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


The Arthur S. Marmaduke Award is a $1,500 annual award recognizing one outstanding California high school counselor who demonstrates exemplary skills in helping students fulfill their dreams of going to college. The candidate is nominated by his or her District and County leadership, fellow school counselor/teacher, school principal, or other site administrator. Each year, California Student Aid Commission staff solicits nominations from high schools recommending a California high school counselor who demonstrates effectiveness for serving students in preparing for and pursuing their higher education.

Arthur S. Marmaduke was 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 Nomination Period for the 2017-18 Award is Now Closed

Thank you to all who submitted a candidate. Watch for future updates on the 2018-19 award


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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

Candidates for the Arthur S. Marmaduke Award can be nominated by:

  • District and County leadership
  • School counselor/teacher colleague
  • Site administrators

There is a two-step process for nominations:

  1. Complete online nomination form
  2. Three personal testimonies from students on the counselor’s impact/merits
    1. One testimony must come from a current high school student, another must be from a former student, and the final testimony can come from either a current or former student 
    2. At least one paragraph but no longer than 1.5 pages 
    3. Email testimony to Krista Rindell with subject line “2017-18 Marmaduke Award Student Testimony for (Nominee Last Name)” 
    4. Excerpts from the testimony may be used on the CSAC website for the winner’s announcement

Nomination Suggestions:

  • 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
    • This Sample 2017-18 Application can be used as a reference
    • We recommend using Word or another program to draft your responses and copy and paste into the nomination form

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 in April or Early May.

2017-18 Recipient: Beau Menchaca (Century High School)

A veteran high school counselor in Santa Ana has been selected as the winner of the Arthur S. Marmaduke Award for outstanding achievements in high school counseling. Beau Menchaca has been honored in a ceremony at Century High School, during the Senior Breakfast, for his dedication in encouraging students to pursue their higher education dreams.

Mr. Menchaca was presented the award on May 25, 2018, which included a California Assembly resolution, a commemorative plaque and a cash prize of $1500.00 sponsored by the Education Credit Management Corporation (ECMC). The event was attended by California Student Aid Commissioners Catalina Cifuentes, Jose Solorio, and Alejandro Lomeli along with U.S. Congressman Leo Correa, a representative from California Assembly member Tom Daly’s office and Mai P. Tran of ECMC.

Mr. Menchaca, who was nominated by his colleague, Louisa Ruiz, was unaware that he was the recipient.  In her nomination Ms. Ruiz listed several of Mr. Menchaca’s achievements at Century High School such as:

  • Revitalizing the campus Higher Education Center (HEC), inviting the participation of 9th through 12th grade students;
  • Establishing a financial aid goal luncheon inviting all stakeholders including counselors, teachers, parents, higher education partners; alumni, community members and elected officials;
  • Responsible for double-digit increases in financial aid applications at Century High School;
  • Creating individualized Cal Grant Eligibility Flyers for students including potential grant dollar amounts;
  • Repurposing the Commission-sponsored Cash for College Workshop incentive dollars into student cash scholarships.

“Every year it is so difficult to choose from the many deserving high school counselors that are nominated.  This year we selected Beau Menchaca for his dedicated advocacy for all students,” said Lupita Cortez Alcalá, Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission. “We heard from students who described his extraordinary commitment in assisting them in applying to colleges and encouraging them to complete applications for state and federal financial aid.”  Cortez Alcalá went on to praise Mr. Menchaca’s work, saying “his efforts have resulted in many students pursuing their education dreams and he has truly made a difference in the lives of his students and their families.”

During the ceremony, Mr. Menchaca quoted, “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.” Spoken like a true Leader. Mr. Menchaca also expressed the importance of building and maintaining parent/counselor relationships throughout a student’s four-year term of high school. After the ceremony, Mr. Menchaca said, “This is an emotional job and the students mean everything to me. The job never gets old and I really love what I do because the smallest efforts can lead to the biggest changes for my students.”

Marmaduke Award nominations are sought annually by the California Student Aid Commission and is named after the first, and longest serving executive directors 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.”

Past Recipients of the Arthur Marmaduke Award

Year Name School County
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