For Laura McGuirk, student scholarships such as the Chancellor’s Medallion have been near and dear to her heart for most of her career. A lifelong educator and post-secondary counselor retired from New Albany High School, McGuirk went above and beyond to assure her students had every opportunity to attend college and to receive every scholarship or financial aid assistance that was available to them.
A graduate of New Albany High School herself, McGuirk has close ties to IU Southeast, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1979, Master of Arts in Counseling in 1986 and school counselor certification in 1997. She also taught as an adjunct professor at the IU Southeast School of Education from 1986-1994. During her 22 years at New Albany High School, McGuirk’s students earned more than $145 million in scholarships, many of those scholarships due to her diligence in making sure every application was filled out correctly and personally writing letters of recommendation for her seniors. She also supervised countless aspiring school counselors from IU Southeast School of Education as a practicum supervisor.
McGuirk was twice awarded the New Albany High School’s Teacher of the Year award. In 2016 she was one of 30 high school counselors selected nationally to attend the NYSACAC Subway Tour of New York City colleges and universities. Other accolades include the 2005 IU Southeast School of Education Outstanding Supervisor in Counseling award, 2015 College Board College Scholarship Service Award, and the 2019-20 IU Southeast School of Education Excellence in School Counseling Award. Earlier this year, McGuirk was also inducted into the New Albany High School Hall of Fame.
After earning her undergraduate degree from IU Southeast, McGuirk worked for Kentuckiana Metroversity as a tutor coordinator. She later served as assistant director of admissions at IU Southeast where she received the 1991 IU Southeast Distinguished Service Award for Administrative / Professional Staff. Prior to joining the staff at New Albany High School, McGuirk worked at Lanesville Jr./Sr. High School and was a participant of the 1994 class of Leadership Southern Indiana.
McGuirk has two children, Adam and Colleen and is the proud grandmother of Cruz McGuirk.