Newest Lifetime Member


Congratulations to our Newest Lifetime Member: Dr. Kitty Shanks Pruett


Annually, the TCA Executive Council is privileged to deliberate on the recognition of long-standing leaders for the highest distinction within our organization—the esteemed Lifetime Membership.

During the 2023 TCA Conference, we took great pride in conferring the Lifetime Membership upon Dr. Kitty Shanks Pruett, a well-deserved honor that sent waves of excitement throughout the event.

My initial acquaintance with Kitty dates back over 20 years to my graduate student days when we regularly convened at the monthly meetings of the SMCA Chapter.  Kitty's dynamic presence, boundless generosity with her time, and passionate advocacy for counselors were a constant source of inspiration. As I ascended the ranks of leadership within TCA, Kitty's unwavering support served as a rock, assuring me that not only could I conquer new heights, but she would be there every step of the way. Her leadership has been pivotal, resonating at both the Chapter and State levels. Yet, it's her impact on fellow leaders, including myself, that truly encapsulates the profound influence Kitty has bestowed upon TCA.  Kitty is more than a leader—she's a living testament to the belief that counselors are an unstoppable force when united.  Her contributions have been diverse—ranging from orchestrating state conferences, spearheading innovative initiatives as Membership Chair, skillfully crafting and updating bylaws, to adding aesthetic flair as a member of the decorations committee for conferences.

Her impact on TCA goes beyond measure, with a relentless passion for nurturing and elevating our leaders. In times when the weight of presidency, conference planning, and juggling the demands of young kids pressed upon me, she emerged as an unwavering pillar of support. Her commitment wasn't just in words; she promised to do whatever it took, and true to her word, she delivered!

The specific date she joined TCA eludes her memory, but it is inconsequential, for we cannot recollect a time without her, and for this, we are profoundly grateful.

Let the virtual drums roll and the digital confetti fly as we collectively raise our voices in an exuberant cheer for Dr. Kitty Pruett, our newest, most dedicated addition to the distinguished league of Lifetime Members!


Kat Coy

TCA Executive Director


In Kitty's words: 

I learned about the importance of being professionally involved first thing in graduate school at the University of Tennessee.  Dr. Larry DeRidder was the head of the counseling program and was known by us and by members of TCA as “The Father of Guidance and Counseling in Tennessee”.  Students were expected to attend the local TCA chapter meetings, to present at conferences, and to grow into association leadership.  Dr. DeRidder attended the meetings as well as the other counselor educators in the department.  They took leadership roles in TCA and modeled professionalism at many levels.  They attended conferences with their students and presented workshops with some of them.  These counseling leaders taught us that participation in professional organizations, reading professional literature, conducting research, and presenting at professional conferences was not an option – that those professional activities were required of a true counseling professional and that professional involvement was part of our ethical code.  Larry DeRidder, Bill Poppen, Sig Dietz, and Chuck Thompson set the stage for my long, satisfying career as a counselor and as a leader in TCA.  I will always be grateful to these educators.


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