LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Everyone was in on a surprise for a La Crosse elementary school counselor Friday.

The students at Northside Elementary cheered as Melani Fay learned she is the Wisconsin School Counselor Association's Counselor of the Year. It was announced during the school's annual holiday sing along.

Students presented her with a star and a paper chain with a link made by each student.

Miss Fay is a longtime counselor in the district and is known for her anti-bullying curriculum called Giraffe Talk. "Giraffes are the kindest animal in the world, they have the largest heart of all land mammals and their long neck and ears and eyes up high help them to make good choices," said Fay.

Miss Fay will formally receive her award at a conference in February.