Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award


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

Nominations are Now CLOSED for the Annual 2023 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award!

2021-22  Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Recipient: Norma Murillo,  Orange Cove High School, Kings Canyon Unified School 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 their 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.

2021-22 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Recipient: Norma Murillo, Orange Cove High School, Kings Canyon Unified School

A high school counselor from Orange Cove, CA, Mrs. Norma Murillo, has been selected as the winner of the 2021-22 Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award for outstanding achievements in high school counseling.

2021-22  Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award Recipient: Norma Murillo,  Orange Cove High School, Kings Canyon Unified School

“One of the most important and inspiring recognitions the California Student Aid Commission offers each year is the Marmaduke Counselor of the Year award. This year, we proudly recognize Norma Murillo for her exemplary commitment to supporting students prepare for college and applying for financial aid,” said Marlene Garcia, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, “Norma Murillo goes the extra mile in helping students realize their college dreams, especially first-generation college, and low-income students. In the process she involves parents and the community to share in this journey in support of student success.”

As a first-generation college student herself, Norma Murillo, is a passionate counselor committed to helping students achieve their full potential. Murillo is from Dinuba, a small rural community in the San Joaquin Valley. She earned both her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and master’s degree in counseling from Fresno State University. She is currently the lead counselor at Orange Cove High School and has served as a high school counselor for over ten years.

Murillo’s efforts have made major impact for students and Orange Cove High School, which has seen its financial aid application rates climb to 90% over the past few years due to her efforts. This year alone, Murillo was assigned 350 students, providing individual support to help students navigate the college application and financial aid process. Collaborating with teachers, administrators, other counselors, and student transition teams, Murillo hosts a variety of college preparation events that highlight the importance of financial aid. During these events, she provides important timelines, shares college resources, and provides step-by-step guidance to filling out financial aid forms. For example, Murillo holds a “Parent Academy” in which she covers everything from high school graduation to college enrollment and financial aid. This curriculum is specifically for low-income, first-generation families.

“Much of why I love working with students at Orange Cove High School is because I see myself in many of them,” said award winner Norma Murillo, “as graduation approaches, I think back on how much students have grown from their freshman year… it is a great feeling to know that one has been part of their journey.”

“On behalf of the team at ECMC Foundation, I am thrilled to congratulate Norma Murillo on her outstanding and inspiring commitment to her students at Orange Cove High School,” said Rosario Torres, Program Officer, Career Readiness, ECMC Foundation. “As a first-generation college student, myself, I recognize the one-on-one commitment that Norma
demonstrates to each student and makes all the difference in opening up a brighter future, not just for her students, but also uplifting their families and the Fresno community. “

Murillo was honored at a virtual ceremony with school district leaders, family members, friends, students, and community leaders earlier today. The presentation of Murillo’s award included a California Legislative resolution, a commemorative plaque, and a cash prize sponsored by ECMC Foundation.

Marmaduke Award nominations are solicited annually by the California Student Aid Commission and is named after one of the longest running executive directors of the Commission, Arthur S. Marmaduke. Mr. Marmaduke 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.

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
2020-2021 Yia Le McLane High School Fresno
2019-2020 Jorge Montijo Panorama High School Los Angeles
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:

  •  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.

Submission Deadline: 

Scoring & Selection Process

Candidates will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Involvement in financial aid and college events/activities
  • Impact on FAFSA/CA Dream Act Application (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.

Arthur S. Marmaduke Award Videos – Prior Years

Jorge Montijo 2019-20