President's Message

By Kelly Curtis, WSCA President

As we end the 2014-15 school year, we also complete a WSCA year as well, one which has been very productive and successful.  This issue of WSCAlink also marks not only the end of my WSCA Presidency, but also the end of all WSCA presidencies.  Next month will mark our official transition to Policy Governance, which will divide our WSCA Leadership Team into two sections: elected Governing Board and Committee Chairs/Staff, with an Executive Director working between the two groups.  No longer will be elect a WSCA President, but rather a Board of Directors who select a Board Chair and Assistant Board Chair each year. 

This transition is the end of years of effort by the WSCA Leadership Team – both elected and appointed. When I started on the board as Elementary VP three years ago, the conversation about policy governance was already in full swing, and the work done before and after has led our association to this point.  Because of this vision, we have much to be proud of, and even more to look forward to.  If you know anyone who has served on the WSCA Leadership Team (elected Board or Committee Chairs) anytime in the past several years, please take a moment to thank them for this service.  It has brought our association to a launching pad from which we will surely continue to grow. 
Next month I will address you as the WSCA Board Chair.  Until then, enjoy rest, relaxation and rejuvenation!
After a productive Executive Director search process, with input from current and former WSCA board members, committee chairs and WSCA members, we are pleased to introduce WSCA’s first Executive Director!

Stacy Eslick has worked in the Madison Metropolitan School District for 15 years, with experience K-12, and she has also served on the WSCA Board as Treasurer for the past two years.  She was elected by members this spring to the WSCA Governing Board, and will vacate her spot to assume the position of Executive Director July 1, 2015. 

As Executive Director, Stacy will serve as the link between the Board of Directors and the Committee Chairs and management. In this role, she will take the Ends Policies (broad goals) set by the Board of Directors and determine SMART goals to guide the work of the Committee Chairs and staff.  This structure is considered best practice for associations like WSCA and we are thrilled to have Stacy in this role to guide us toward even bigger and better things!

Topic of the Month:  The Next Chapter

Transitioning to Next School Year
Paula Haugle: WSCA Professional Development Chair
The end of another school year is upon us, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking about all of the things you want to implement next year.  Then the craziness of fall begins and you lose track of all of the wonderful things you wanted to do.  Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  With a little foresight and planning, you can make next year the best yet!
In my eight years as a practicing school counselor, I have found the ASCA and Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Models to be extremely helpful.  If you follow the models, you are organized, you plan ahead, and you can work smarter, not harder.  Here are five tips to help transition to next school year:
  1. Develop a Master School Counseling Calendar.  This should include high level activities and events for your program month by month, across the school year.  Several templates can be found online.  It’s important to find something that works for you and your department.  Align your personal calendar to the master calendar.  Find a system that works for you, whether it’s online or paper, and put in the important dates, deadlines, and events for next school year.  It seems daunting at first, but you’ll thank yourself later!
  2. Make notes for yourself this year.  As you go throughout the year, make notes on how to do things differently, or better next year.  Maybe it’s notes on a lesson plan that worked well, or maybe its notes on promoting local scholarships.  Then make sure the notes are in a place where you’ll be sure to find them next year.
  3. Take time to reflect.  After the school year is finished, take time to yourself, or better yet – as a school counseling team, to reflect on the past school year and plan for the next school year.  Be sure to follow your comprehensive school counseling program for guidance to ensure all students are receiving services in career, academic and social/emotional domains.  It’s also helpful to start thinking about goals for next year.  Jot down some SMART goals for your program, or at least some ideas of what data to examine in the fall.
  4. Consider some professional development time this summer.  The summer can be a nice time to work on a project like developing your comprehensive school counseling model, starting a WSCPAR, or attending a conference.  There are many training opportunities within the state and nationally to take advantage of.
  5. Take time for yourself this summer to recharge!  Those of us in education know the value of recharging over the summer – take advantage!  Do something you enjoy every day.  Unplug and remove yourself from technology – even if it’s for a few hours a day.  Spend time with family and friends, read at least one book for pleasure, spend time in nature.
By taking a few moments this year, you’ll be able to start the new school year rejuvenated and organized.  Best wishes on a seamless transition for yourself and your program! Graduating from Being an Intern
Liz Singer WSCA Graduate Student Representative
Transitioning from the role of school counselor intern to professional school counselor is an exciting--and slightly terrifying--time. A unique opportunity to bridge these roles is possible through a long-term substitute position.
While it can be tricky (and emotional) to end internship early, I decided that the experience I would gain working full-time in a school, not juggling other jobs and struggling to find time to prepare for small groups and counseling sessions late at night, plus the chance to see if I could spread my wings and fly on my own, was worth the sudden change in my plans. With some careful planning (often being at multiple schools in one day), I was able to wrap up my small groups--as closely to fidelity as I could--and wrapped up my individual counseling sessions as well. It wasn't easy to say goodbye, but knowing I would have had to say goodbye a month and a half later made it a little easier. (If only we all had the opportunity to be employed at the same school we interned at and could skip all the goodbyes!)
I recommend seeking out long-term subbing opportunities if you are able to communicate with your department, internship instructor, and site supervisor to clarify logistics early on. This will alleviate any extra stress during the interview process, knowing you are supported. I also recommend spending time reflecting on all the great work you have done over the year, and make sure your resume is updated to include those things. Take time to feel proud of what you've accomplished, to calm any fears you have about competing with more qualified school counselors when applying for a position. Know that you are especially valuable to districts because of your recent coursework and current knowledge of the ASCA Model and the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model. That being said, make sure you are prepared to shine in those areas in an interview! Do your homework--and study up on the school! Come to the interview ready to suggest what you would do as their school counselor. No matter what the outcome, be grateful for the experience to interview in (hopefully!) a less threatening environment so you feel more calm about full-time interviews.
And if you do get hired as a long-term sub...then, the real work begins! Spend time shadowing in the school, get to know the principal and student services team, and introduce yourself to staff before you start. If you hit the ground running and get some prep work done ahead of time, it will make the transition easier for you and for the school. Be prepared to learn a lot, and also draw from your previous experiences. Say 'yes' to many things--attend meetings, do classroom observations, and check out what's going on with students at recess and during lunch. Don't hide in your office! Show faculty and students that you are visible and ready to take on your role. Make sure to take time for self-care during your new busy schedule--and be prepared to fall in love with a new school and hopefully make a positive impact on many students' lives. 

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DPI Corner
Gregg Curtis; DPI School Counseling Consultant

As the school year comes to a close, it’s easy to remember the challenges we faced and all of the woulda/coulda/shouldas that made up our school year. I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for the heart, sweat, and soul that you put into working with all of Wisconsin’s students…your students.  You may never be lucky enough to know of the lives you’ve touched or the trajectories you’ve changed through your work; but I assure you, you make a difference.
Please accept my best wishes for a restful, refreshing and safe summer. Practice some self-care. You certainly deserve it.

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Board Member Spotlight

Tabitha Stelter: 2015-2018 WSCA Publications Chair 
Thank you for allowing me to serve WSCA as your 2015-2018 Publications Chair!
I have some experience in writing/editing from my days at Carroll University (then Carroll College) where I served as staff writer and editor for The New Perspective. When I enrolled at Marquette University for School Counseling I had no idea that my term as Graduate Student Representative during the 2005-06 school year would bring me back to editing/writing. I served as the Publications Chair from 2006-09 and saw so many positive changes with the newsletter that I am excited to be back in time for the amazing growth in our professional organization's governance.
I've just completed my first year as Elementary Counselor in the School District of Wisconsin Dells.  Prior to serving Spring Hill Elementary I worked as a middle school counselor for 8 years in Adams-Friendship where I developed the Restorative Practices Program and worked with colleagues to create the comprehensive school counseling program, which included student planning conferences that consistently had 70%+ parent participation. I miss middle school humor, but enjoy the many hugs and high-fives I get from elementary friends!
I graduated from Badger High School in Lake Geneva and will enjoy the reunion this summer that marks 15 years since I began the journey towards my professional career as school counselor. In that 15 years, I feel that my biggest accomplishment is becoming the mother to two amazing children; almost 2 and 4 years old.  My husband and I are excited to move closer to family over the summer so that our children can bring smiles to their grandparents as much as possible!

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Upcoming Events & Announcements

Plan to Attend WSCA's 9th Annual Summer Leadership Academy
This year's topics:  Data Boot Camp or Academic and Career Plans (ACPs).  Choose from two levels of data training or choose to learn more about ACPs. Join us for some excellent professional development and to network with other professionals from across the state!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Oshkosh, WI
Register Today!
CLICK HERE for more information

Fall Summit
Thursday, Oct 22, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Turtle Lake, WI
CLICK HERE for more information
  Network with Statewide School Counselors Today!
The Wisconsin School Counselor Association is excited to announce the addition of "Wisconsin SCENE" to the American School Counselor Association discussion board,
ASCA SCENE, located at 
For directions on how to use Wisconsin Scene Click Here. We hope this new tool helps enhance and support the important work you do as a school counseling professional in Wisconsin.

June 2015

President's Message
By Kelly Curtis

Board Member Spotlight

Upcoming Events & Announcements

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