WSCA Executive Director Message

 

By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director

It has been an exciting and busy six months under the new WSCA policy governance model.  We have a dedicated Board of Directors that are able to focus on the vision of WSCA while our passionate Coordinator team puts this vision into practice for our members.
 
The mission of WSCA is to advance the profession of school counseling, pre-school through post-secondary education, in order to maximize the academic, career, and personal-social growth of all students.  The WSCA Board of Directors took this mission and created a more detailed ENDS policy (below) that guides the work of the Executive Director and Coordinator team.

School counselors are highly qualified practitioners.
1. School counselors are experts in the implementation of the Wisconsin Comprehensive School
Counseling Model and the American School Counselor Association National Model. 
a. School counselors are thorough in applying the Ethical Standards for School Counselors. 
i. School counselors are culturally competent. 
ii. School counselors are responsible with technology.  
b. School counselors are skilled at using data and evidence‐based practices to guide program decisions.
 
2. School counselors are visionary leaders who impact the state and national agendas surrounding education and student success. 
 
Every year the WSCA Coordinator’s write work (action) plans for their committees, which include SMART goals that align to the ENDS.  Throughout the year, Coordinators also write and monitor short and long term goals for their work on behalf of WSCA.  In planning for the future, the Coordinator team is in the process of developing a strategic plan that will provide focus and direction for the next three to five years.
 
WSCA needs your help to make all of this possible. Please consider doing the following:

  • Take a few minutes to complete the member survey which allows us to gather feedback and data for our work.
  • Attend our annual conference and other professional development opportunities.
  • Stop by the WSCA booth at Conference to learn more about all the WSCA committees and the work being done on your behalf.
  • Renew your membership.
  • Join the WSCA twitter chats to connect and learn with other counselors.
  • Follow WSCA on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest).
  • Volunteer to be on a WSCA committee.  We are always looking for more volunteers!

 
I look forward to seeing you at conference! 
 
Warm regards,

Stacy Eslick



WSCA Assistant Board Chair Message

By Jennifer Betters-Bubon, WSCA Assistant Board Chair

By now you have likely settled into the routine of the new year.  As a Board of Directors, we are anticipating the start of our new board year in June, 2016.  Thus, as a member of the Elections Committee, I have been engaged in work to find additional board members to serve the organization.  It has been a wonderful way to learn more about the work that school counselors are doing across the state.
 
This year the election process will be a bit different.  We, as board members, have done the legwork in the elections process—finding excellent candidates to bring to you for the election.  Rather than vote for individuals, we will be providing a ‘slate’ of three candidates for your approval.  As a committee, we examined applicants’ experiences and ability to represent you, the members, in the work we conduct as a board.  Please know that you will have the option to approve or not approve the slate, based on how well you believe the applicants will do the important work of the organization. I’ve written it before- serving on the Board of Directors is a great way to stay connected to important issues that impact the work we do each day.  We are very excited to present some very dedicated and talented school counselors to you in February!
 
We also hope you are finding time to recharge and are gearing up for a fantastic conference in February.  We look forward to seeing you! Should you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch with me (bettersj@uww.edu) or Board Chair, Kelly Curtis (curtiskj@hudson.k12.wi.us).
 


Graduate Student Corner:  Self-Care: It Will Always Be Important

By: Amanda Lorentzen

At UW Oshkosh I have learned so much about self-care and how it is a necessity if school counselors are to be, and stay successful in the field. Personally, I went into the field of counseling because I enjoy helping people, especially children and adolescents. I have learned that in order to help my students the best that I can, I must first help myself. This means taking time out of my busy schedule and making time for me.

Taking this time has been liberating, frustrating and sometimes extremely hard. One of my self-care activities is reading a book for fun every night before I go to bed. Often times, instead of concentrating and enjoying my book, I find myself drifting away and thinking about what I could or should be doing related to school or my internship site. When this happens, I get angry with myself and then the time I am taking for self-care is not really self-care at all.

On the bright side, I do know that if I continue to schedule this time for me it will get easier. Practice makes perfect, right? I have no doubt that self-care does and will continue to be a part of my life. Not only am I doing it for myself, I am doing it for my students.

 

Staff Spotlight

Lisa Koenecke, Public Relations Coordinator
Take a summer camp director of twenty years, send her to UW-Whitewater to get a Master's Degree and viola, you have Lisa Koenecke.  She started on the WSCA board as a graduate student representative, then secretary, then Middle School VP-Elect, and then President.  As the WSCA Past-President she was awarded the Mary McAllister Gehrke Leadership Award.  Next November, she will be the keynote speaker for the Indiana School Counselor Association Conference speaking about Advocacy.  She also just found out that she made it to the state round of the Kohl Fellowship Teacher of the Year Awards. 
 
She is a WSCPAR trainer, and the Public Relations Chair for WSCA.  If she hasn't hugged you yet, or asked you to join a committee, don't worry, it will happen.  This January she gets to go the White House and meet the First Lady as a member of the American School Counselor Association Board.  As a hugger, she will have to be careful about the secret service people...stay tuned.  If you'd like to join a committee, please ask her, she'll connect you with the right people. 
 
A huge shout out to Joni Downs, Brenda O'Beirne and Gregg Curtis for their mentorship during this amazing journey we call school counseling!
 
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Board Member Spotlight
 
Tammi Fure, Director
Hello, my name is Tammi Fure and I am currently a Director for the WSCA Board. I am in my second year on the WSCA board. My involvement in WSCA started when I began presenting at the WSCA Conference in 2012 and WSCA Summer Academy in 2013. Being on the WSCA board benefits my school because I stay current in regard to up and coming school counseling programs and initiatives at the state and national level, along with being able to network with other school counselors throughout the state. I currently work for the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District at West Allis Central High School. I have had the opportunity to work at the elementary, middle, and high school levels since becoming a school counselor. Before moving to Wisconsin I was a school counselor in Iowa. I wish you all a wonderful school year and look forward to seeing you at the WSCA conference!

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Committee Updates & Upcoming Events

Graduate Student Update


The graduate student committee is gearing up for the WSCA Conference, February 16-18.  We are still looking for volunteers, especially for Thursday, February 18th.  Graduate students who volunteer 4 hours of their time at the conference will have their registration fee waived!  For more information, please e-mail Sara Rollin  (slrollin@gmail.com)
 
We are also looking for students who would like to present a graduate student poster at the WSCA Conference! This is a great opportunity to present on a topic that you're passionate about and to show off all of your hard work as a graduate student! If you're interested in showcasing your work, please email Katie Nechodom (nechodomk@gmail.com)
 
If you are a graduate student looking to get involved in WSCA in another way, or are curious as to what opportunities WSCA holds for you, please contact Sara Rollin or Katie Nechodom for more information.
 

Membership Update


The benefits of membership go beyond our annual conference and include many other professional development opportunities, such as the Summer Leadership Academy, Fall Summit, and WSCPAR training. All of these trainings are available at a reduced rate for members! Active members also stay informed through Counselink, WSCAlink, Wisconsin SCENE, our many social media sites, and the newly enhanced WSCA website. By enhanced, we now have the following website updates to provide even more functionality:
  • Photo Gallery
  • New Members Only Responsive Site (works with Smartphones) that includes:
    • Directory of Members (can search by location, building level, etc.)
    • Events Section where you can register and then edit after it’s submitted
    • Public Profile  
Our organization is also an advocate for all school counselors in the state as we work with legislators on issues affecting school counselors and students (look at ACP Advocacy, for instance). And don’t forget about our scholarships and professional recognition! What a great way to be involved, support, and network with other school counselors! 
 

Publications Update


Please consider submitting! If you are nervous, or unsure how to write/submit, attend the sectional at this year’s conference entitled, “Write for WSCAlink” where I will give you some easy tips and the courage you need to get published!


Consider submitting to WSCAlink! We want your submissions in the following areas:
  • Feature Articles:  There are monthly topics related to WSCA’s Ends Policies (upcoming topics to be covered include The Ethically Minded Professional School Counselor and Mental Health in Our Schools). Articles tend to be no more than 2 pages in length, 12 font double-spaced.
  • Tips for Best Practice: Anyone can submit for this section!  It should be no more than 500 words (roughly two pages, double-spaced) and offer practical ideas that can be implemented right away. Examples include an innovative small-group idea that worked well for your students or a great classroom management strategy that you’ve used during lessons.  Short and easy to use is the goal for this writing. 
 
Send questions/articles to tabithastelter@gmail.com and the Editorial Board will let you know when it will be used. Don’t be afraid, be published!
 

Scholarship and Professional Recognition Update


The Professional Recognition and Scholarship Committee has completed the review process for high school and grad school scholarship awards.  Winners have been chosen and will be announced at conference in February.  Professional Recognition and WSCA School Counselors of the Year will also be announced at that time.
 

Conference Updates

  • Want to learn more about how the 2017 state mandate for Academic & Career Plans for 6-12th graders will impact you?  How about learning more about Career Cruising, the state selected ACP electronic platform?
  • Interested in hearing about the most effective strategies for working with anxious students who have a hard time coming to school?
  • Looking to add some new energy in your School Counseling Program by finding some fresh new tools to use in your practice?
    • Register before January 22, 2016 & SAVE $35…
WSCA Speaker Spotlight - Tammy Holtan Arnol & Robin Marsden presents:  The Nurtured Heart Approach - Igniting Greatness (Gr. K-12) - We asked Tammy why should someone come to your session?  For fun and fulfillment! 

She hopes that her session will be both informative and entertaining. School counselors often act as agents of behavior change, whether it be working directly with kids one-on-one, in small groups, classrooms and large groups, or consulting with teachers, administrators and parents. It behooves us to be well-versed on how to get more of the behaviors we desire and fewer of the undesirable behaviors. The Nurtured Heart Approach® helped me go from, what felt-like, a behavior-management failure to a district wide behavior coach.  She believes there are other school counselors out there who would also like to experience a similar lift.
 
Having been in education for 20 years, she has attended many presentations.  She has taken what she appreciates most in a presentation, useful information and inspiration, and spice it up with a little fun. She hopes that everyone leaves with cheeks that hurt from smiling and a heart that’s beaming.
How to Register for this Workshop
Tuesday, Feb 16th 2016
9:30-4:30pm, includes lunch
**Member Cost - $130
**Non-Member Cost - $149
Click Here to Register


Tammy, what do you see as the biggest challenge facing school counselors?
 
As a school counselor in the Verona Area School District, I am working hard on reducing the achievement gap and other disproportionality issues like the opportunity gap and the belonging gap, through positive practices like the Nurtured Heart Approach®, Restorative Practices®, and PBIS. School counselors have the skills to be leaders in these, and other, areas (There is so much to be done!), but are still sometimes viewed as schedulers and party-planners. So, sometimes, the challenge is to free ourselves up to do the great work we’re capable of!

As a speaker at several conferences, what one piece of advice would you have for someone attending WSCA 2016?
 
Every veteran attendee knows that the WSCA conference is a chance to recharge your school counselor battery, both professionally and personally. It’s easy to envision the professional bounce we’ll get from the exciting new information we will learn. You’ll also get a lift from being with other school counselors and getting to know them and their practices.

So, my one piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to stay late at lunch, stay up too late at dinner, or skip a session (Did I just write that?) to socialize with your school counseling peeps. You’ve got a connection that’s like no other, and that, too, will help you when you’re back at school!

 

January 2016


WSCA Executive Director Message

By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director

Committee Updates & Announcements