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ICON of the Month: Monica Anderson

ICON of the Month: Monica Anderson

Franklin Community Schools counselor named 2024 Middle School Counselor of the Year

By Sherri Coner

After recently being named the 2024 Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Indiana School Counselor Association, Monica Anderson said, “It’s been a whirlwind. I’m very humbled and kind of shocked.”

As the child of educators, Anderson grew up in Columbus.

After high school, “I attended Franklin College and just never left,” she said with a laugh.

Her 22-year career began with six years of experience as an elementary school counselor, followed by six more years in that role with high school students.

She found her forever office at Franklin Community Middle School.

“Reflecting on all three levels, middle school is my niche,” Anderson said. “I really love how individual and unique they are. So much growth and development, physically, mentally and emotionally takes place during middle school years.”

Married for 23 years to husband, Brian, their home life is a constant blur of activities.

The couple’s oldest son, Max, 19, now attends Herron School of Art and Design.

But she and Brian are still rushing Reid, 12, and Graham, 11, to basketball, soccer and every other interest while they also keep up with homework.

Though free time is definitely limited, Anderson cherishes downtime with the boys and visits with family.

She also treasures finding some quiet time to do some gardening, curl up with a book or quietly create and complete a new craft project.

After these years of working with students, Anderson continues to be genuinely interested in student dreams and helping them set and accomplish goals. She carefully watches them learn from mistakes and choose to make better decisions.

Along with her dedication to students’ individual needs and concerns, Anderson launched a mentor program called Cubs to Grizzlies, which matches eighth graders with high school juniors. Already having an established trust with a high school student greatly alleviates the anxieties of starting the freshman year of high school. 

“Monica sees her students not only as middle-level learners but as the future adults they will become,” said Franklin Middle School principal Rita Holman. “She believes in them, sees their full potential and continuously advocates for the whole child.”  

What do you consider your greatest virtue?

Being able to see the good in everything and everyone.

What human trait do you most dislike?


What do you like most about living in Johnson County?

The people, the history, the opportunities.

If you had to live somewhere other than in Johnson County, where would it be?

Most likely Brown County; Nashville specifically.

If you could begin life over, what would you change?

I would have traveled more.

If money were no issue, how would you spend it?

I would take care of any debt that my family members and friends had accumulated, and then I would set up funding for peer mentoring programs in middle/high schools.

What makes you happiest?

My family, friends and my students.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere there is a lake!

What do you do with free time?

What’s free time? Just kidding … read, garden, crafting.

What is it that makes you angry?

People being inconsiderate and disrespectful.

What do you do to escape from reality?

Read, garden, bubble baths.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My family

Which living person in Johnson County do you most admire?

Lori Myers, program director of the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center and owner/lead trainer of Connect.ed

What is the quality you most like in a person?


What is your greatest extravagance?


What are your fears, phobias?

Something happening to my children, and I’m not able to help.

What has been the happiest time of your life?

The birth of my three children and being their mom.

Which talent would you most like to possess?

Thicker skin? I’ve always been very sensitive.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, dependability and loyalty.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mother Teresa

What is your greatest regret?

Not accepting God into my life sooner.

What principle do you live by?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

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