2019 Counselor of the Year Recipient Announced


ANN ARBOR, MI, May 14, 2019 – The Joyce Ivy Foundation is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2019 Counselor of the Year Award: Holly Markiecki-Bennetts, School Counselor at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills and 2018-2019 President of the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling.​

“Through both the Summer Scholars selection process and Joyce Ivy College Admissions Symposium (JCAS), the Foundation has interacted with some truly extraordinary counselors over the years,” said Allison Jegla, Vice President for Program Development at the Joyce Ivy Foundation. “In seeking a way to recognize these professionals, the JCAS Planning Committee designed an award that is driven by student and peer nominations.”

Based on the mission of the Joyce Ivy Foundation, the Counselor of the Year Award recognizes a counselor or advocate at a high school/community-based organization who:

  • demonstrates tremendous impact daily and who goes above and beyond for his or her students
  • is committed to introducing young women to new ideas
  • supports young women in their pursuit of higher education and inspires them to dream big

​This year’s honoree, Holly Markiecki-Bennetts, MS, MSEd, began her counseling career in 2010 after having worked in Student Affairs and Residential Life as well as coordination of service and liturgical programs. She joined the Mercy High School Community in the fall of 2018 as a 10-12 grade counselor. Markiecki-Bennetts considers herself lucky to walk alongside a wonderful community of young women as they experience high school and discern their post-secondary path. She served as the 2018-2019 Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling President and sits on the National Association for College Admission Counseling Presidents Council.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive the Joyce Ivy Foundation Counselor of the Year Award”, said Markiecki-Bennetts. “My role as a counselor is to meet students where they are and help them to become the young women they are meant to be. The Joyce Ivy Symposium provides me the tools to guide young women in their post-secondary path and the Summer Scholars program has opened doors for so many women in our community. The Joyce Ivy Foundation helps expand the scope of post-high school life for our students – and this makes a world of difference to young women who might not otherwise know what is possible for them.”

“Holly Markiecki-Bennetts exemplifies the qualities that we look for in our Counselor of the Year award recipient,” said Jegla. “As her nominator voiced, Holly is a vocal advocate of the intentional work that counselors do to shepherd their students and help them find their own authentic paths. Although Holly’s career trajectory is impressive, the student experience remains at the heart of her work. We are grateful for her participation in our programs, and we are proud to have her as part of the Joyce Ivy family.”

Markiecki-Bennetts will be honored during an award ceremony at the Joyce Ivy College Admissions Symposium on Friday, May 17. Registration for JCAS is open for both counselor and student/family attendees and can be found on our website.

Markiecki-Bennetts joins last year’s honoree, Ann Bartus (West Bloomfield High School), as a recipient of the Counselor of the Year Award.