Now the Iowa Association of College Admissions Counselors has made it official. During the spring conference, the association named Ogren the Iowa Professional School Counselor of the Year.
One of the people nominating Ogren was Amy Williams, associate director of admissions at Morningside College.
"Renea, hands down, works harder than anyone at putting the interests of the students first. She keeps the students focused in seeking the right educational fit after high school and in applying for grants ad scholarships in an effective and timely manner," Williams said
Williams noted that colleagues from across the state vote on counselor of the year.
"This is not only an honor for Renea but also for Northwest Iowa," she said.
Ogren modestly attributes her success to the attitude toward education of faculty, parents and others in the community.
"Teamwork and cooperation make the difference. The MMC community advocates for students. This is the difference between large schools and our personal, caring, yet, academically-minded philosophy," Ogren said
She noted that her passion is for students. "Whether it is through career planning of grief counseling or guidance lessons, the chance to understand and assist students is rewarding. Developing strong leaders and citizens is of utmost importance," Ogren said.
Ogren is a 1976 graduate of high school in Holstein. She earned a BS degree in Home Economics from Iowa State University and a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of South Dakota.
Ogren has served on both the Iowa State University and the University of Iowa Advisory Boards, the College Planning Center Advisory Board and currently serves on the Foundation Board for Northwest Iowa Community College. She serves on the Government Relations Committee for the Iowa School Counselors Association. She is Nationally Board Certified and is an adjunct instructor for Morningside College, teaching graduate studies classes to area teachers.
Locally Ogren is the sponsor for the MMC Leadership Team and serves on the District Leadership Team. An initiative that began in 1999 is the Dollars for Scholars Foundation. With an active team of community supporters, this organization funds nearly $40,000 of local scholarships each year.
Her husband Steve farms. They have two children, Liz and Eric, both MMC graduates continuing their education at Iowa State University. The Ogrens enjoy church and family activities and attending Iowa State events with friends.