District Departments » Student Support Services » Student Support Services In the Press / Awards

Student Support Services In the Press / Awards

Greg Mizel, Associate Superintendent, Student Support Services, Poway Unified School District, received the Administrator of the Year

“Greg has been a strong advocate for our district’s school counseling program. He has promoted and advocated for school counseling and mental health from day one since accepting the position as the associate superintendent for Student Support Services.”

Full SDCOE article linked here

Two Poway Unified Counselors Named 2021 San Diego County School Counselors of the Year


The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is proud to announce that Nicole Pablo, Twin Peaks Middle School, and Fran Hjalmarson, Los Peñasquitos Elementary School, have been named the 2021 San Diego County School Counselors of the Year by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE). The recipients received surprise visits at their schools today and were recognized by their colleagues, family members, and PUSD leadership in front of students and staff. They also each received a $500 check from sponsor North Island Credit Union.

Interview with CBS8 | PUSD Press Release | Times of San Diego Article

School & Student Safety

November 2022 - Article linked here

Before the pandemic, Poway Unified schools had an average of one counselor for every 600 to 700 students.

With the help of COVID funding, the schools now have an average of one counselor for every 300 to 400 students, according to Greg Mizel, associate superintendent of student support services.

September 2022 - Article linked here

“They went above and beyond,” he told a group of parents and others gathered for the first quarterly School Safety Summit of the year on Sept. 22.

The May 26 call, by a robotic voice that threatened shootings at Del Norte High and a nearby elementary school, was referenced many times during the meeting, which was held at the Poway Unified district office. The threatening call and lockdowns come two days after an 18-year-old gunman stormed into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and opened fire, killing nineteen students and two teachers, and wounding seventeen people.

Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps recalled that parents were trying to sneak onto the campus in an attempt to get to their children.

August 2022 - Article linked here


Last week leaders at Poway Unified let ABC 10News tag along as they went on school vulnerability walks. A group of leaders from the district and campus officials walked the grounds of several campuses looking for points where schools are vulnerable and areas where safety can be improved.

man showing paper

Poway Unified officials are sharing with the community what they are doing to help protect students from potential gun violence, after lockdowns at several district schools following the deadly attack at a Texas Elementary school.


Two days after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary, students at San Diego’s Del Norte High School got a glimpse of the kind of fear people at the Texas school undoubtedly felt that day.

DNHS-Classroom-(1).JPG police car at school

The call came early Thursday afternoon, threatening violence at two North County schools. A robotic voice calling from a Google number told authorities that somebody was going to shoot up Del Norte High School and a nearby elementary school, San Diego police said.

That information triggered lockdowns at Del Norte and several other campuses in the Poway Unified School District. After two hours and multiple searches by police or sheriff’s deputies, authorities gave the all-clear.




The San Diego County community is reacting to another mass shooting at a school. The shooting was at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas where an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers Tuesday.

March 2022 - Article linked here


Tim Ware, coordinator of school safety and security services for the San Diego County Office of Education, is learning about Poway schools by meeting with everyone from principals to custodians to procure threat assessments.

Mental Health & Student Wellness

February 2023 - Article linked here


In addition, four special awards in school counseling leadership – Advocate of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Community-Based Organization of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement – were announced this week.

Greg Mizel, Associate Superintendent, Student Support Services, Poway Unified School District, received the Administrator of the Year.
June 2022 - Article linked here 
tv show video still

Counselors explain the summer slide phenomenon and what can be done to combat it.
March 2022 - Article linked here


School is out for summer. That phrase should trigger excitement for families, but not for parents with kids struggling in school. Many are still reeling from pandemic-related shutdowns.

January 2022 - Article linked here


Students at Poway Unified are exhibiting more symptoms of depression, anxiety and isolation due to the pandemic, school counselors and psychologists said Thursday night at a virtual summit.

The number of students having suicidal thoughts and engaging in self-harming behaviors is increasing, they said.

December 2021


Nicole Pablo, counselor at Twin Peaks Middle School and Fran Hjalmarson, counselor Los Peñasquitos Elementary School tell us all about it.