School counselor honored

Briggs-Casson wins Hazie Werner Award for Excellence

Margi Briggs-Casson, a counselor at Steamboat Springs Middle School, is this year's winner of the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s Hazie Werner Award for Excellence.

Ski Corp. established the award 18 years ago to honor women who have "achieved a standard of excellence in their field through the pursuit of personal goals," according to a news release. Briggs-Casson will receive the award at this year's April 8 Snowball event.

"Through her work as a youth mentor, Margi has exemplified Hazie Werner's remarkable dedication to the community," said Chris Diamond, president of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. "Margi is an outstanding member of our community and is very deserving of this award."

Briggs-Casson moved to Steamboat Springs in 1978 to teach preschool. She also taught reading and kindergarten at Soda Creek Elementary School before beginning her counseling job at the middle school in 1995.

That same year, she sat on the original boards of directors for Partners in Routt County and Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, nonprofit organizations that serve the community.

"I'm very pleased that the mission of what we're doing with both agencies is still alive and strong, even after 10 years," Briggs-Casson said Thursday.

Partners in Routt County pairs adult mentors with junior partners. Briggs-Casson said the organization now has nearly 50 pairings, its highest number of partnerships.

Grand Futures promotes healthy lifestyles for people of all ages, Briggs-Casson said, and focuses special attention on teenagers.

"(Teenagers) seem to be a part of the population that is overlooked," said Briggs-Casson, who has a master's degree in social work from the University of Denver. "We want to embrace them."

In 2005, the Steamboat Springs School District honored Briggs-Casson as its Teacher of the Year.

On April 17, she will take a group of eighth-graders on a three-week trip to Sweden as part of an international student exchange program.

"That will be an exciting trip," Briggs-Casson said.

Previous winners of the Hazie Werner award include Skeeter Werner Walker, Katy Rodolph Wyatt, Eleanor Bliss, Carol Baily, Lucile Bogue, Criss Fetcher, Dorothy Wither (awarded posthumously), Sureva Towler, Rita Valentine (awarded posthumously), Geneva Taylor, Carol Schaffer, Gloria Gossard, Jayne Hill, Elaine Gay, Millie Beall, Arianthe Stettner and Wanda Redmond.

"I am honored to receive such a prestigious award," Briggs-Casson said.

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