Centerstone Names Tina Baxter Teacher/Counselor of the Year

Columbia Resident Recognized for Outstanding Service to Children, Families

Columbia , Tenn.
— Centerstone, Tennessee’s leading provider of behavioral healthcare services, has named Tina Baxter the Teacher/Counselor of the Year for its AmeriCorps RIP (Regional Intervention Program).

Baxter was nominated for Teacher/Counselor of the Year for her enthusiasm, determination and initiative in helping the children and families with whom she works. The Regional Intervention Program serves the families of children struggling with behavioral disorders and is administered by Centerstone. RIP shows families how to promote positive, developmentally appropriate behavior and minimize negative behavior in their children.

“Tina initially gave us no hint of her true talents,” Renee Leach, coordinator for RIP and Baxter’s supervisor, said in her nomination letter. “Fidgety and unruly children become smiling, cooperative students with Tina’s special touch….Tina became our ‘rock.’ Her skills in the classroom setting were the template we used to train other parents in the program.”

Baxter was originally involved as a parent participant in RIP, and began working for the program as an AmeriCorps member in 2003. AmeriCorps is the new National Service movement that engages 40,000 Americans a year in a domestic Peace Corps.

Now that Baxter has received a local award, she is eligible for nationwide honors through the American Re-Education Association (AREA). It recognizes the contributions of teachers and counselors who work with children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral problems. AREA comprises dozens of member and sponsor agencies that provide mental health services throughout the United States.