A Brief History of PWCA

For more than half a century, the Piney Woods Counseling Association has been serving the counselors and other mental health professionals of East Texas as a resource for professional support, networking, and education.

In the fall of 1957 Melvin Wester, Longview High School counselor, felt the need to connect with other counselors in the area.

The first counselor meeting was held at that time in Longview, Texas with six counselors attending. They were Dean HintonMildred SittonElsie BundyLollie GunnFrances and Melvin Wester. Melvin served as host and Frances, his wife, made cookies to serve the newly formed group. For the first few years, the group was a loosely knit group with no officers. The counselor who served as host also served as chairperson.

The group began to grow as counselors continued to invite other counselors. Longview, Nacogdoches, Marshall, Gladewater, Kilgore, Hawkins, Henderson, Hallsville, White Oak, and Mt. Pleasant were among the first schools to be represented. The group met twice per semester to share their concerns and experiences.

Members of this group met informally from 1957 to 1966, when they decided to form an official organization of counselors. A committee was appointed to work toward this goal. On February 14, 1967, thirty-two counselors from the East Texas area met in the Administration Building of the Longview public schools. The group was welcomed by Wyatt McDowell, Longview High School counselor, who served as host. Louise Jeter, Kilgore High School counselor, presented a tentative constitution for the Piney Woods Area Counselor Association.

The organization's name has been changed at least three times to be in compliance with the state organization. In November 1973, the Piney Woods Area Counselor Association became the Piney Woods Personnel and Guidance Association (PWPGA). In the spring of 1984, PWPGA changed its name to Piney Woods Association for Counseling and Development (PWACD). Finally the current title, Piney Woods Counseling Association, was adopted in the early 1990s.


(This space reserved for the history yet to be written...)


Past Presidents

The Piney Woods Counseling Association owes a debt of gratitude to the following persons who gave their time, energy, and wisdom to build and guide PWCA as president of the chapter.

2020-2021 Rebecca Lincoln

2019-2020 Sarah Radulescu

2018-2019 Open

2017-2018 Jennifer Quine

2016-2017 Sarah Radulescu

2015-2016 David Deel

2014-2015 Binta Brown

2013-2014 Tom Haygood

2012-2013 Pam Gatton

2011-2012 Carrie Shaw

2010-2011 Janet Adams

2009-2010 Janet Adams

2008-2009 Cathy Sullivan

2007-2008 Leaurme Black

2006-2007 Vickie Spearman

2005-2006 Marian Richardson

2004-2005 Deb Clouatre

2003-2004 Jill Milem

2002-2003 Melinda Coker

2001-2002 Gloria Heath

2000-2001 Gladys Cooper

1999-2000 Patsy Fisher

1998-1999 Yvonell E. Witt

1997-1998 Ruth Shaw

1996-1997 Ken Luke

1995-1996 Massalina Moseley

1994-1995 Ben Cadenhead

1993-1994 George Ann Oravetz

1992-1993 Dennis Gronewald

1991-1992 Dana Ransom

1990-1991 Ronnie Hardin

1989-1990 Gay McAlister

1988-1989 Frankie Muffoletto

1987-1988 Edwinna Palmer

1986-1987 Sondra Allen

1985-1986 Alan Barnes

1984-1985 Janiece Buck

1983-1984 Robert Gholson

1982-1983 Melvin Webster

1981-1982 Janice Youngblood

1980-1981 Suzanne Schmidt

1979-1980 Doris Pitts

1978-1979 Frances Wester

1977-1978 Ralph Busby

1976-1977 Flora Nauls

1975-1976 Julia McKelvy

1974-1975 John Hall

1973-1974 Jean Dowdy

1972-1973 Percell Warren

1971-1972 Don Tuttle

1970-1971 Willa Dean Hinton

1969-1970 Karlena Jackson

1968-1969 Louise Jeter

1967-1968 Dorothy Carr


The following awards are presented by the Piney Woods Counseling Association and the Texas Counseling Association in recognition of service to the public and to the counseling profession.


Outstanding Counselors of the Year


2020-2021      Jan Barker

2019-2020      Ronald (Ron) Smith

2018-2019      Patricia Willis

2017-2018      Susan Moon

2016-2017      Pam Gatton

2014-2015      Jennifer Quine

2013-2014      Ben Cadenhead

2012-2013      Lynn Bearden

2011-2012      Sharon Monroe-Rettig

2010-2011      Joel Jackson

2009-2010      Janet Adams

2008-2009      Angele Fanning

2008-2009      Randi McRae

2007-2008      Michael Turpin

                        *Alice Spacek

                        **Vickie Spearman

2006-2007      Alice Spacek

2005-2006      Vickie Spearman

2004-2005      Jill Milem

2003-2004      Melinda Coker

                        ** Gladys Cooper

2002-2003      Gladys Cooper

2001-2002      Madeline Gill

2000-2001      Marian Richardson

1999-2000      Gay McAlister

1998-1999      Tony Gibson

1998-1999      Yvie Witt

1997-1998      Ken Luke

1996-1997      Alan Barnes

1995-1996      Patsy Fisher

1994-1995      Dennis Gronewald

1993-1994      Ronnie Hardin

1993-1994      Dana Ransom

1992-1993      Massalina Moseley

1991-1992      Joyce Odom

1990-1991      Lauree Burkett

                        ** Mary Beth Fitzgerald

1987-1988      Suzanne Schmidt

1986-1987      Bailey Nations

1985-1986      Edwinna Palmer

1984-1985      Flora Nauls

1981-1982      ** Maggie Driggers

1978-1979      Karlena Jackson

1977-1978      Frances Wester

1977-1978      Melvin Wester


* TCA Dr. Jamesanna Kirvin Outstanding Counselor Award

** TSCA Rhosine Fleming Outstanding Counselor Award



Laypersons of the Year


2020-2021      Robert Patterson

2019-2020       Gregg Zackary

2009-2010       *Rev. Lynn Willhite           First United Methodist Church – Elkhart

2006-2007       Chuck Hopson                   Texas House of Representatives


* TCA Layperson Exemplary Service Award



PWCA Outstanding Graduate Student Award


2016-2017      Donald Brown                   East Texas Baptist University



PWCA Counselor Educator of the Year


2005-2006       Ralph Busby                      Stephen F. Austin State University

2004-2005       Dr. Shirley Jones               University of Texas at Tyler

2003-2004       Dr. Jane Holland               Stephen F. Austin State University



TCA Chapter Awards


2005-2006       PWCA                                TCA Co-Outstanding Chapter

1994-1995       PWCA Pine Needle          TCA Outstanding Newsletter (Editor: Ronnie Hardin)

1991-1992       PWCA                                TCA Outstanding Chapter

1991-1992       PWCA Pine Needle          TCA Outstanding Newsletter (Editor: Ronnie Hardin)

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