Cockeysville Middle School principal named Baltimore County School Counselor Advocate of the Year | COLUMN

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School counselors are vital to the success and well-being of students – particularly during the middle school years. Cockeysville Middle School is fortunate to have an amazing trio of counselors in Jen Evert-Brown, Nicole Sueta and Nancy Schlenoff, and they in turn are supported by Principal Adam Carney.

In fact, Carney was just named the 2022-23 School Counselor Advocate of the Year by the Baltimore County Association for Counseling and Development. All three members of the school’s counseling team nominated Carney for this honor which recognizes a Baltimore County Public School administrator, teacher, support staff, parent or community member who consistently advocates for and supports the critical work school counselors.


The Baltimore County Association for Counseling and Development, a professional organization created exclusively for BCPS counselors, supports the school counseling profession by providing opportunities for collaboration, professional development and advocacy on the local, state and national levels.

Carney has been principal at Cockeysville Middle School since 2019, after almost 15 years as a teacher and administrator with BCPS. His passion and dedication create a learning environment that supports and cultivates student success through a combination of academics, traditions, athletics and social opportunities.


With an emphasis on being an advocate for creating positive conditions for all students to achieve success, Carney has introduced several programs that fosters this success – from Coffee with Carney, a monthly time for the community to come together for a cup of coffee and informal conversations about all things CMS; the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, an in-school academic support program to prepare students for college eligibility and success; or BRILLA (Bilingual Readiness for Intellectual Language Learning Advancement), which focuses on support for bilingual, native Spanish-speaking students.

BRILLA, which means “shine” in Spanish, is a flexible curriculum designed to close opportunity gaps, promote bilingualism and strengthen students’ academic English. Under the direction of Spanish teachers, Kristen Denton and Tiffany Higgins, the program has already had a great impact on student success.

BRILLA is also fostering ties in the community through a partnership with Padonia International Elementary School. With Padonia located just down the street, both the AVID and BRILLA scholars came together for a quarterly literary partnership by walking to the elementary school to visit a group of third graders.

More than 65 students from each school were paired up and were able to enjoy sharing stories both in English and Spanish. The Cockeysville Middle School students picked the books, prepared lessons and activities, and shared positive messages with each other.

The program has been a great success with measurable improvements in English language arts among the CMS BRILLA students. According to Mr. Carney, “This has been one of the things I am most proud of that Padonia and Cockeysville have collaborated on this year.” The partnership between Padonia Principal Dan Pizzo and Cockeysville Middle School has been a long-standing collaboration, and it has nicely benefited both schools.