Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award

2019-20 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Recipient: Jorge Montijo, Panorama High School

Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award
Recognizing and honoring excellence in a California High School Counselor


The Arthur S. Marmaduke Award is an annual award recognizing an outstanding California high school counselor who demonstrates exemplary skills in helping students fulfill their dreams of going to college. Each year, the California Student Aid Commission solicits nominations recommending a California high school counselor who demonstrates effectiveness for serving students in preparing for and pursuing their higher education. The candidate may be nominated by his or her District and County leadership, fellow school counselor/teacher, school principal, or another site administrator.

Arthur S. Marmaduke was the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission for 25 years from 1960 to 1985. The award was established in 1985 in his honor as the longest-serving executive director in the history of the Commission, which was founded in 1955. Mr. Marmaduke also served as the first President of the National Association of State Grant and Aid Programs.

The annual winner is chosen by the California Student Aid Commission and announced in the spring time. The award, which includes a plaque and $1,500 check is presented at the awardee’s high school or virtually via Zoom.

2019-20 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Recipient: Jorge Montijo, Panorama High School, LAUSD

Jorge Montijo, a high school counselor at Panorama High School in Los Angeles, California, has been recognized as the 2019-20 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Winner.  Mr. Montijo is a first-generation college student who immigrated to the United States from Mexicali, Mexico when he was 11 years old. He graduated from California State University Northridge with a master’s degree in School Counseling.  Mr. Montijo began his career as an educator in 2006, where he was hired as a school counselor with the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Mr. Montijo now serves as a College and Career Counselor at Panorama High School in Los Angeles, California. In his 9 years at Panorama School High, he has become an integral part of the school’s mission to prepare students for college.

Mr. Montijo was presented with the award on October 2, 2020 during a virtual ceremony which included a joint California Senate and Assembly certificate; a commemorative plaque, and a cash prize of $1,500.00 sponsored by the ECMC Foundation.  Honored guests in attendance included Assembly member Adrin Nazarian, along with the California Student Aid Commission (Commission) Chair, Catalina Cifuentes, the Chair of California Secondary Schools Representative, Juanita Doplemore, the Public Representative Speaker of the Assembly Appointee, and Marlene L. Garcia, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission.

Mr. Montijo was nominated by a colleague at Panorama High School for demonstrating his exemplary skills in helping students fulfill their dreams of going to college. During the award ceremony Mr. Montijo was recognized for his role as a College & Career Counselor, helping send the highest number of his students into 4 year universities- 28% of the Class of 2019 went straight to university (National Student Clearinghouse)- the highest recorded rate for Panorama High School. He was also honored for his work in identifying the barriers that keep historically disenfranchised populations from accessing higher education opportunities.

The Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award nominations are sought annually by the Commission and named after the first and longest serving Executive Director of the Commission, Arthur S. Marmaduke.  He served the Commission for 25 years from 1960 to 1985 and the award was established in 1985 to carry on his legacy of “making education beyond high school financially accessible to all Californians.”

“As we struggle to get through this crisis, there are still so many things to be grateful for and so many bright lights for us to celebrate  Thank you to all of our educators who really are essential workers and our heroes. Thank you for the work that you do. Today we are recognizing one very special counselor, Mr. Montijo who has made an indelible mark on the lives of thousands of students by encouraging them and supporting them. You have really created a glowing example for the state of California.,” said Marlene. L. Garcia, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission.

“This is truly a team effort. We serve our students. They have taught me great lessons in my profession, and I am inspired by all of them. I have seen them turn their goals into realities and it is a testament to their hard work. I am only the vehicle to their success. I dedicate this award to my students. I believe the work every educator does daily is amazing. Together we will continue to improve the communities we serve. We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity for a community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspiration and needs of others for their sakes, and for our own.”, said Jorge Montijo, Recipient of the 2019-20 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award.

The California Student Aid Commission administers the state’s $2.8 billion portfolio of student financial aid programs and services, including the Cal Grant, the Middle-Class Scholarship, and the California Dream Act Application. The Commission serves as a resource for policy makers and the public on college affordability and financing issues, and advocates for policy changes to eliminate cost as a barrier to any qualified California student pursuing a higher education. Visit our website at or follow us on Twitter @castudentaid.

Past Recipients of the Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award

Year Name School County
2018-2019 Meagan Holmes West High School Kern
2017-2018 Beau Menchaca Century High School Santa Ana
2016-2017 Lynda McGee Downtown Magnets High School Los Angeles
2015-2016 Jesse Barajas, Jr. Gridley High School Butte
2013-2014 Andrea Goodwin Los Angeles High School for the Arts Los Angeles
2012-2013 Warren Popp Keema High School Sacramento
2011-2012 Dr. Dario Villa Montgomery High School San Diego
2010-2011 Lisa R. Golden King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science Los Angeles
2009-2010 Michael Badouin Chino Hills High School San Bernardino
2008-2009 Twila Rutherford Fort Bragg High School Rancho Cordova
2007-2008 Rebecca Jauregui Lodi High School Lodi
2006-2007 Robin Sroka Woodrow Wilson Classical High School Long Beach
2005-2006 Sally Pace Woodlake High School Woodlake
2004-2005 Michelle Khayat Valley High School  Sacramento
2003-2004 Sue Ann Joy San Rafael High School San Rafael
2002-2003 Henry Bailey    
2001-2002 Barry T. Baker    
2000-2001 Barbara McCune    
1999-2000 Hector Armas    
1998-1999 Linden Beckford    
1997-1998 Charlotte Downing    
1996-1997 Douglas R. Mercer    
1995-1996 Carmen Starr    
1994-1995 Jean Flores    
1993-1994 John Mandell    
1992-1993 Janice Reinstein    
1991-1992 Raymon W. Kirk    
1990-1991 Jack Wright    
1989-1990 Eleanor Richards    
1988-1989 Enriqueta V. Chavez    
1987-1988 Tony Gelfuso    
1986-1987 Michael Sullivan    
1985-1986 Marcine Landon    

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for the Arthur S. Marmaduke Award is open to all California high school counselors who meet the following criteria:

  • Fully certified and credentialed and work with high school students
  • Have been counseling at their current school for at least one school year
  • Have been a counselor for at least three years

Candidates for this award need to demonstrate superior skills, dedication, and results in helping students seek and receive financial aid.

Due to the school specific questions on the nomination form and scoring criteria we cannot accept candidates from county offices, Cal-SOAP, or counselors who serve multiple school sites.

Nomination Process

Nomination Form Guide: 2020-21 Nomination Form Template

  •  The nominator should be knowledgeable about the school and the counselor being nominated
  •  When filling out the application, be as specific and detailed as possible
  • Google Chrome has not been found to be compatible with this site.

Scoring & Selection Process

Candidates will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Involvement in financial aid and college events/activities
  • Impact on FAFSA/CADAA completion rates (rates over the past 3 years will be considered)
  • What they do to help students maintain eligibility and prepare for college
  • What they do to support and interact with underrepresented and 1st generation families
  • The personal comments from the nominator and the student testimonies

*Bonus Points are possible for those nominees who coordinate/promote Cash for College events*

To evaluate all the nominations, the California Student Aid Commission (Commission) convenes a selection committee consisting of Commission members, a member of the California Department of Education, a high school counselor, and Commission Staff. Using scoring guidelines aligned with the nomination questions, along with consideration for FAFSA/CADAA completion rates, committee members identify the nominations that best address the prompts and distinguish themselves as exemplary.

Once a winner is selected, the Commission will contact both the nominee and the nominator to coordinate a date and location for the award ceremony.