October 4-6, 2023
Embassy Suites
Loveland Hotel Conference Center & Spa
4705 Clydesdale Pkwy
Loveland, CO 80538

COSCA logo

October 4-6, 2023
Embassy Suites – Loveland Hotel Conference Center & Spa
4705 Clydesdale Pkwy, Loveland, CO 80538

Colorado School Counselor Association Conference October 4-6, 2023 Header
Colorado School Counselor Association Conference October 4-6, 2023 Header
Colorado School Counselor Association Conference October 4-6, 2023 Header

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

We look forward to having you join us at the Colorado School Counselor Association Conference!

Thanks for joining us for the 2023 Colorado School Counselor Association Conference!

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Extended Breakout Session 1

Advocacy Everywhere All at Once

Lead Presenter: Katie Brown

School counselors are called to be advocates, to help build a more equitable world for our students. In this session, we will review why it’s important not just for your students and community, but to prevent burnout. We will look at different advocacy opportunities to meet student needs and talk through developing a flexible message to deliver when the chance to advocate arises. Advocacy happens everywhere, we just have to be prepared.

The Antidote to Compassion Fatigue


Lead Presenter: Hilary Mahoney

Human Connection: The Antidote to Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Trauma
This workshop explores how caring, supportive, long-term relationships are the antidote to the compassion fatigue and secondary trauma we experience in our everyday lives and especially in helping professions. Dive in and explore how human connection is a primary protective factor necessary to support ourselves, each other, and the workforce. 

Attacking Anxiety: An Approach That Works!

Lead Presenter: Aaron Ragon

How do we meaningfully and systematically help students suffering from anxiety? Sometimes 504’s are written to protect students from anxiety but is this the best solution? Usually, it isn’t. An easy model for understanding anxiety and the brain will be shared along with a method for engaging with anxiety that is also easy to understand and implement. Participants will practice using the model and leave with tangible tools they can put into practice immediately.  

Counseling Gone Wild: 50+ Fun, Engaging Strategies


Lead Presenter: Amber Branecky

Transform your school counseling program with these creative and effective ways to engage students in elementary and middle school levels. Infuse popular games throughout your counseling tiers. Utilize everyday household items, office supplies, and crafts to amplify counseling concepts and ideas. Learn how to manage a classroom or small group, the counselor way! Spark interest and add movement to any classroom lesson. Walk away with over 50 usable techniques that you can implement right away! 

Dealing with Resistance

Lead Presenter: Judith Norman

In your role working with students and adults, sometimes it’s working with adults that presents the greatest challenges. Learn to understand the “resistance” you may be experiencing as you recognize where an educator might be along a developmental continuum. Identifying their readiness helps guide us in working with them more effectively. Explore the various roles we can play to empower others in recognizing that we are all responsible for supporting social and emotional health. 

Further Upstream: Suicide Prevention in Elementary

Lead Presenter: Matt Hofmeister

There is a stark lack of suicide prevention programming at the elementary level. This session will introduce participants to an upstream and strength-based approach to engaging elementary students and staff in effective adverse outcome prevention and mental health promotion. Initial evaluation efforts across numerous states suggest positive mental health and prevention outcomes for students and staff alike. 

Improving Executive Function Skills

Lead Presenter: Nick Thompson

When students struggle with executive function (EF) skills like time management, organization, and planning, they’re more likely to have late or missing assignments or procrastinate on long-term papers and projects. However, these skills don’t occur naturally—they’re learned. Teaching the EF skills these students lack helps them to succeed not just academically, but in all areas of their lives. Through repetition, routine, self-advocacy, and staying active, students can thrive. 

A Map to the Wild World of Classroom Management!

Lead Presenter: Daniel Lee

Are your lessons off-track and wild? It doesn’t have to be a 14er. If you are like most counselors, this is something we’ve had to find on a map. Guide yourself here to improve your lessons by not having to tame the wild things. This session has weathered well with the most spirited scores on evals. So join us! I hope this session makes your tour show how wildly controlled you can be. With some fun and interaction, when you walk away you’ll be trained to handle the most wild of things.  

School Counselor & Admin Collaboration meeting SIP

Lead Presenter: Matthew McClain

Please join our exploration of aligning the comprehensive school counseling program to school improvement plans (SIP) and goals. ASCA professional standards mindsets and behaviors will be highlighted along with the use of ASCA templates to build the foundation for an evidence-based, data-driven school counseling program that aligns with the achievement and outcome goals for the school. 

Share your PWRful & Wild Career Conversation Mind!

Lead Presenter: Lauren Jones

Join state leaders in an enthusiastic and fun focus group/workgroup-type experience where YOU get to be the voice that impacts the next evolution of Meaningful Career Conversations in Colorado. Expect exciting updates, explore new marketing brands, get creative rethinking alignment to SEL, Graduation, Accountability Metrics & Academics, and dive into resources that will prompt the inner wild adventurer in YOU as an ICAPper who PoWeRfully impacts the wildly ICAPped (students) statewide. 

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Breakout Session 2

504 Teaming Guidance- Never do it alone again!

Lead Presenter: Todd Friesen

In 2021, contractual language was added to the Jeffco Negotiated Agreement in which, “school counselors should be part of the 504 team, not the sole member, writer, nor the primary coordinator or provider, of the 504 team.” Come learn how Jeffco combined creativity, collaboration, guidance, and support to address this aspect of the mental health professional’s work, including lessons learned, best practices, and future considerations for improvement.

Bling & Bowties: sparkle & pizazz counseling

Lead Presenter: Matthew McClain

Come and see the sparkle! The shine! The accessories that you can add to your school counseling program! Elementary school counselors, or even other levels, can come and gain ideas to add the finishing touches to their classroom lessons, groups, and individual sessions. Participants will walk away with ideas that counselors can implement when the time is right! Whether you are new, or feeling kind of stuck, please come join our high-energy, spirited session where we will discuss best practices.

Building Bridges to Support Student Wellbeing

Lead Presenter: Susan Davis

“It takes a village,” so the saying goes. How do we, as leaders in our building, connect our students to effective universal social and emotional learning opportunities? Counselors are one person but are often required to act as superhumans. How can we leverage our leadership in the realm of SEL to effectively meet the needs of all students? I will outline several opportunities school counselors have to support systemic SEL, while not having to do it All!

Building Systems to Beat the Burnout

Lead Presenter: Anna Gisetti

As school counselors, we know that self-care is important. But how are we at walking the walk while talking the talk? We do well with after-school activities that bring us joy, but how are we at incorporating best-practice trauma-informed routines into our work life? Join us for rich conversation and resource exploration, building on what we already know and elevating our practices so that we are able to achieve longevity with health and happiness.

FAFSA® Changes Impacting you and your Students

Lead Presenter: Dianne Fulmer

The U.S. Department of Education has overhauled the FAFSA and its impacts will be felt beyond the financial aid office. Join us for an overview of the changes and resources to assist with the transition.

Going Wild for a Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

Lead Presenter: Vicki Helfer

GSAs can provide a positive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students as well as questioning folx or allies. A GSA club can be a way to proactively support students, their identity, and their personal growth. This session will share practical ideas of what that can look like for your school building and include student testimony, common issues that arise, sample activities, and time for Q&A.

Narrative Career Counseling as Suicide Prevention

Lead Presenter: Vasti Holstun

School counselors are tasked with supporting students in their career readiness. Narrative career counseling can be an excellent tool not only for career counseling, but also for suicide prevention and intervention. Narrative career counseling is a unique approach that can help students find motivation, purpose, and meaning in their lives. It can be used successfully with diverse students, it is adaptable to K-12, it can be conducted in 1-3 sessions, and it can be built on free resources.

The Simplest Way to Advocate Using Your Calendar Data

Lead Presenter: Steve Zaharakis

In this session, you will learn why time documentation and analysis support data-driven school counseling programs; how to document your services, and how you spend time As a school counselor; ways to explain and share data about your school counseling program; and how to use the data to advocate and improve your program impact and outcomes.

Utilizing Neuroscience in Calls for Support

Lead Presenter: Hayden Ahlbrandt

Have you ever been taught how to de-escalate a student or respond to a call for support from a classroom? In this session, my goal is to help equip you with useful knowledge and skills to empower you to respond to those calls from a place of empowerment, rather than just guessing and seeing what sticks. We will explore relevant neuroscience, discuss specific examples, and give strategies to be utilized at the moment so that you can connect, regulate, and get the student back to class.

We’re All in This Togethet

Lead Presenter: Lindsey Jannaman

Building student social and emotional skills isn’t a one person job. This is done most effectively when everyone in the building is promoting and supporting tier 1 practices and routines. Join us as we share ways to increase school-wide collaboration to support implementation at the classroom level and throughout the school.

2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Extended Breakout Session 3

Are things wild? Become a better school counselor!

Lead Presenter: Daniel Lee

Enduring! Substantial! Want these words to describe you and your counseling program? Don’t get lost looking for the answers, come get them from over 30 years of shared school counseling experience. Feel like Bear Grylls with new ideas in a wide range of areas. In the past several years, this session has been the ultimate survival guide with our evaluation scores. Have questions? We have answers. So lace up your boots and leave with some mapped-out knowledge. Go Wild and change things up!

Building Community through Restorative Practices

Lead Presenter: Priyanka Graten

Participants will learn how to:
1. Proactively build community in their own schools
2. Utilize restorative practices in conjunction with/or in place of traditional discipline.
Examples provided will be from a pilot study done at Cimarron. Participants will be able to have hands-on experience in facilitating community-building circles. They will be able to walk out with tangible resources to implement at their schools. 

Demolishing Myths of the Financial Aid Process

Lead Presenter: Lesa Briggs

The process of financing a college education can be a daunting task but the good news is it does not have to be! This workshop will destroy myths of the financial aid and FAFSA application process and put your mind at ease when helping students and parents. Come learn about the new changes with the FAFSA and get a better understanding of award packages, types of available aid, and what happens in the financial aid office and why. 

Empowering Adolescent Girls

Lead Presenter: Sameen DeBard

Young people have struggled with mental health issues for a while. However, covid has exacerbated these issues profoundly. This interactive and experiential session will discuss current research on adolescent girls and offer effective interventions to address various topics. This presentation will offer suggestions for developing a strength-based, experiential program to enhance young girls coping skills. Experiential initiatives will be introduced and can be replicated in SEL programs.

Helping Your Students Handle Grief and Loss

Lead Presenter: Sharon Miles-Hastings

Grief is a natural response to loss that all will walk through in our lives. Many of your students don’t know how to deal with the physical, social, emotional, and mental reactions to their grief, nor do we as school counselors know how to help. Come find out effective individual and group interventions.

Implementation of MTSS with an ASCA Foundation

Lead Presenter: Kelli Smith

Explore one district’s implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs within an MTSS framework. Hear how we structured a tiered approach to supporting students. We will share how we differentiate support for our counselors, align our district and school data, and how we use data to drive our implementation. We will also share our 3-year ASCA National Model implementation plan with the end goal of having RAMP-ready programs.

Porn Isn’t Going Away, So What Do We Do About It?

Lead Presenter: Margaret Ochoa

Today’s porn is violent, misogynistic, racist, and ubiquitous. This workshop will provide youth perspectives on porn consumption, including methods of exposure and ages of onset. The traumatic nature of experiencing pornography with a developing brain will be examined. The session will promote strategies to navigate the online world, knowing that youth are encountering porn both intentionally and accidentally. Resources for both schools and families will be provided to use at once.

This Counselor is Wild about Books

Lead Presenter: Catherine Coyne

Are you wanting to add bibliotherapy to your School Counseling practice? We are wild about using books to increase engagement and retention in our lessons and small groups. We will provide you with classroom lessons, small group/ book club sessions, and ideas to use with individual students and families. You will leave with lesson plans, a book list, and resources after attending our session.

Friday, October 6, 2023

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Breakout Session 4

50 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for School Counselors. Possible Title Change because 2 with 50

Lead Presenter: Holly Hilts

This session is designed for all school counselors, from the seasoned professional to the brand-new graduate. We will be presenting 50 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks to help save you time, organize your program, and make your life as a school counselor easier! We will cover grab-and-go strategies, as well as loftier goals to implement in the future. We will end with a brainstorming and sharing session to capture all the great ideas from the various counselors in attendance.

Affirmative Practices with LGBTQIA+ Youth

Lead Presenter: Sandra Gavin

More youth are identifying as LGBTQIA+ than ever before in U.S. history, and school counselors have an ethical responsibility to serve all students, especially marginalized individuals. Working through the MTSS framework, it is imperative that school counselors engage in affirmative practices across all tiers to support LGBTQIA+ students. Attendees will gain foundational and advanced skills to support their LGBTQIA+ students in their own school settings through experiential station rotations.

Attendance Interventions for Mental Health Support

Lead Presenter: Kristin Hefflon

Chronic absenteeism and truancy significantly impact student achievement and well-being. Attendance work is intentional and requires a compassionate focus through an investigative lens that, if done systematically, can increase school-wide MTSS support, mental health support, community partnership, and compassion for our students in the highest need. Learn how focusing on attendance can create a more well-rounded, whole child approach to student support, and improve your counseling program.

Being a Critical Consumer in Today’s School Counseling Market: How to Advocate For and Choose the Job You Want

Lead Presenter: Jon Widmier

In this session, graduate students will have the opportunity to hear varied tips, strategies, and critical decision-making considerations from practicing school counseling professionals regarding navigating the school counseling job market in the transition from graduate school to the school counseling career field. When considering the American School Counselor Association’s domains of academic, career, and social/emotional development, the question as to how an entry-level counselor can make an informed decision in determining which school-based setting might be the best fit will be addressed. Information shared can also be applied for those pursuing internship placements as part of their graduate education.

Best New Books for Elementary Bibliotherapy Lead Presenter: Jennifer McIntyre Come learn about great new books that will help you support students’ social and emotional needs! Books will cover topics including feelings, mindfulness, kindness, friendship, growth mindset, anxiety, bullying, grief and loss, and other challenges that elementary students face. Attendees will receive an annotated list of the books discussed in this session and will leave with activity, and discussion ideas for using the books with students.

Expanding Options with Online Learning Programs

Lead Presenter: Dan Morris

Hear from a panel of counselors and district/BOCES staff on how they use online learning to expand local options for students in Advanced Placement, concurrent, credit recovery, gifted programs, and elective courses (such as CTE, STEM, and World Languages). Hear lessons learned on how best to prepare students to be successful in online learning, and explore resources being provided by the state supplemental online program.

Get Ready for Your Annual Administrative Conference 

Lead Presenter: Suzette Remy

In this session, you will learn the components of the Annual Administrative Conference and how this can be used to advocate for your time and program with your administrators. We will review the school data summary and how that drives goal setting, the use of a time calculator to help reassess how time is spent, and all of the logistical information that illustrates how the counseling program is run and maintained. Walk away with your Annual Administrative Conference form started and the tools to use it!

The Mental Health Continuum

Lead Presenter: Renee Cawley

Learn how our team found that by collaborating as a mental health team (psychologist, social worker, and counselor) we could strengthen and increase the services offered to all students. We developed a system that offered tier 3 services, resources, and data collection to tier 2 students, and lowered the number of special education referrals. Additionally, our entire team worked together to ensure the counseling program reached all students, regardless of their educational needs.

Welcome to the Field Supervising Interns

Lead Presenter: Adam Wilson

This presentation provides a framework for effective supervision of master’s level interns, explores evidence-based approaches to supporting and training interns, and provides guidelines for developing or evaluating an internship program. Participants will examine and discuss the tensions between addressing site, program, and student developmental needs. Participants will explore school counselor roles as it relate to internship experiences.

Wellness is More than Meditation

Lead Presenter: Makisha Gunty

Are you surviving or thriving? Seeking health and wellness? This workshop will provide a framework for understanding SAMHSAs 8 Dimensions of Wellness, and how they impact daily life. Using self-assessment tools, we will explore the strengths and opportunities within each wellness dimension. Through engaging conversation and activities, participants will feel energized and reflective. Each participant will gain a better understanding of themselves. and leave with a personal action plan.

9:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. Breakout Session 5 – ASCA Hour

Cultivating Change through a Comprehensive Program

Lead Presenter: Sonya Sallak

Jeffco is cultivating a community of school counselors driven to support positive student outcomes through their comprehensive school counseling program implementation. Learn how teams utilize data, create goals and action plans, monitor their progress, and share results with key stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of the program essentials, corresponding resources, and both the outcomes and lessons learned.

Data? Who Has Time for That?

Lead Presenter: Connie Dewlen

There are never enough hours in the day, and taking time to look at data can feel overwhelming. This session will look at how the RAMP templates and other forms of data can be used to assist counselors in advocating for their programs and their time. Whether you are pursuing RAMP or not, we will look at how the templates and additional data can help organize your priorities and assist with communication to stakeholders, support the whole child, and create a comprehensive counseling program.

Get Ready for Your Annual Administrative Conference 

Lead Presenter: Suzette Remy

In this session, you will learn the components of the Annual Administrative Conference and how this can be used to advocate for your time and program with your administrators. We will review the school data summary and how that drives goal setting, the use of a time calculator to help reassess how time is spent, and all of the logistical information that illustrates how the counseling program is run and maintained. Walk away with your Annual Administrative Conference form started and the tools to use it!

Go Wild with Data in Excel

Lead Presenter: Janelle Winders

Data and time are two words that can increase counselor anxiety. You may often wonder, how do I have the time to run a data-driven, comprehensive school counseling program? Or maybe you are running a comprehensive program and want to learn new ways to analyze your data. Come to this session to learn how you can use Excel to help you be more efficient in gathering and manipulating data to show student outcomes. Attendees should have knowledge of basic Excel skills such as sorting, cutting and pasting, and formatting. This session will be based on attendee needs but will cover functions such as averaging, subtotaling, conditional formatting, and other Excel hacks that these two Excel lovers have learned over the years. Please bring a device to practice on and some of your own school data to use during the session.

Ideas for Proactive School Counseling Programs

Lead Presenter: Hannah Hurlburt

Proactive school counseling begins with hard work up front, building the basic foundation, to free up more of your time for students. In this session, we will describe: 1. A unique way to set your student caseloads, and 2. How to run your RTI/MTSS teams, to achieve the goal of reaching ALL of your students efficiently. We will also review useful data collection methods, and you’ll gain ideas that have worked at a comprehensive high school, to make your counseling program stronger.

It’s not a Wild Idea to Reach Every Single Student

Lead Presenter: Daniel Lee

It is just a Minute Meeting. Minute Meetings are quick meetings designed to reach every student. This session will show how to create the Google form and use this information about the three domains. These basic questions open a relationship with every student. With this information, you will have the map for a better program and some solid oak of knowledge to help your students. If you can, bring a device. Strong marks in the past and many counselors have hiked this peak, so join us.

New ASCA Ethical Standards: What Are They and What Does that Mean For Me?

Lead Presenter: CSCA Ethics Committee

In 2022, revisions were made to the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors publication. This session will provide participants with a look into what changes were made regarding safety and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) language, among other revisions and additions. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the changes and learn how the revisions apply to school counselors and their programs. Participants will walk away with answers to questions such as, “What does this mean for me and/or my program?” and “What are some practical ideas I can use to make sure I’m adhering to the standards and implementing ethical programming?”.

RAMP Planning, Process, and Preparation

Lead Presenter: Becky Meidinger

Current RAMP Reviewers will share tips and tricks on how to create a successful RAMP application using the 4th edition Rubric. You will have a chance to learn about the timeline, planning, and processes that we have seen increase success rates and, ask any questions that are on your mind. Let’s make RAMP ‘Go Wild!’ in Colorado!

10:40 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. Breakout Session 6

Being a Strategic Solution Focused Brief Counselor

Lead Presenter: Dan Borkovec  

This presentation will focus on Strategic Solution Focused Brief Therapy for School Counselors. This is the Ellen Quick Model, which was built from MRI Problem Solving Brief Therapy and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. You’ll also be introduced to modern options for brief therapy that utilize the combination of MRI/Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. Attendees will be taught techniques to use in their schools and given practice scenarios. Be prepared to try this during the session with small groups!

Beyond the Amygdala

Lead Presenter: Jenny Pelo

You’ve learned the story of fight or flight. Now, learn the rest of the story. How do we connect with one another, even in the midst of adversity? How can we harness the healing power of our brain-body connection to help ourselves and our children grow and thrive? This presentation will give you an introduction to the Polyvagal Theory, a brain-based approach to describing how we regulate ourselves and co-regulate one another.

College for Foster Care and Houseless Students

Lead Presenter: Andrea Fortney

Gain practical tools in this session to better support students you work with from foster care, unaccompanied houseless, and other independent backgrounds. Learn about FosterEd for current and former foster students, which covers the full cost of attendance at public CO colleges/universities. Topics include: identifying students for college funding/support opportunities, building support networks, and providing warm hand-offs to college programs supporting the independent student population.

DBT Interventions for Anxiety and Depression

Lead Presenter: Jamie Doak

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based intervention that teaches students to practice mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation. After this session, counselors will be able to: 1) Explain the foundational components of DBT, and why it is useful in school settings, 2) Implement a variety of DBT interventions that can be executed in 15 minutes or less, and 3) Access adapted worksheets that can be used in individual and group counseling.

How Skills-Based Practices Can Open Careers

Lead Presenter: Tracey Everett

Learn how a skills-based approach can help you unlock career opportunities and establish work-based learning experiences. As a Senior Manager at Career Navigation, I develop resources that help career navigators understand the value of a skills-first approach, and how to apply it in their work. I will provide access to free tools and training you can use to help students articulate the skills they can bring to a job, and help you to build a more equitable workforce system.

Is a College Degree the ONLY Ticket to Success?

Lead Presenter: Steven Coyle 

For years, we have been telling students to go to college to get a great career. We are pushing students into college at a 70% clip. However, almost 70% of careers available today do not require a college degree. Skilled trades are in high demand and can provide students with a great career and great pay! Come join Dr. Coyle to learn what those careers are and how you can reach more of your students. You will also learn how to get the industry involved in your schools and how to get more buy-in from parents. See what UTI is doing to get girls involved in STEM careers. Finally, learn how students can make school more affordable to avoid debt after graduation.

Sexual Assault Prevention as a District Program

Lead Presenter: Jennifer Smela

Poudre School District has a partnership with the Sexual Assault Victims Advocate Center to train students in delivering peer education prevention programs in middle and high schools. In this session, you will engage in the PSD presentation, facilitated by our trained students and district coordinator, to build safety and prevention awareness and skills in middle and high school students. Come away with ideas on how to implement a program like this in your school and district.

Students Going Wild To Improve School Climate

Lead Presenter: Sandy Austin

What does it look like at a school if kids look out for each other to let peers know they are seen, matter, and are not alone? For 19 years, the international award-winning B.I.O.N.I.C. Teams have done just that (as a natural arm of school counseling services) by empowering K-16 students to reach out to peers who are new, sick, hospitalized, bullied, or have lost loved ones to help prevent them from spiraling down into more serious issues. Hear how kids wildly care and change school climates.

Therapy Dogs in Schools

Lead Presenter: Sara Tusler

In this session, we will give a brief overview of therapy dogs in schools. We will share the applications of therapy dogs in an academic environment along with the impact it has on students, staff, and the community. We will discuss how to connect with therapy dog teams in Colorado, how to introduce them to your stakeholders, and how to manage a therapy dog partnership at your school through effective intervention. You will leave the session understanding the benefits and application of dogs in schools.

Way of the Warrior Monk

Lead Presenter: Aaron Ragon

Amazing school counselors are like Warrior Monks. This session will explore how the demands of school counseling have evolved over the years, making the job more demanding, and requiring skills that many school counselors never imagined they would need. An exploration of various topics, and entertaining stories and parables, will be shared to explore how longevity in this profession is attainable, but more importantly, how to thrive and do your best work following the way of the warrior monk.

12:40 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. Breakout Session 7

Admit It – I’ll Never Get Admitted!

Lead Presenter: Brian Powers

What are the factors influencing how high school students determine the selectivity level of colleges to which they will apply? How do those choices influence student decisions on rigor in terms of course selection and extra-curricular involvements in high school? The presenter will lead an interactive session to hypothesize the range of variables that drive student decisions, as well as share implications for how this influences student well-being and what educators can do about it.

College for Foster Care and Houseless Students

Lead Presenter: Andrea Fortney

Gain practical tools in this session to better support students you work with from foster care, unaccompanied houseless, and other independent backgrounds. Learn about FosterEd for current and former foster students, which covers the full cost of attendance at public CO colleges/universities. Topics include: identifying students for college funding/support opportunities, building support networks, and providing warm hand-offs to college programs supporting the independent student population.

Compassionately Led: Active Threat

Lead Presenter: Paula Deegan

Active threat course offered compassionately. Learn best practices and the role of law enforcement in securing a scene. With guidance from the American Red Cross and other government agencies, you will have a safe space to discuss roles and responsibilities. Emergencies can happen at any time, but the American Red Cross is committed to providing up-to-date information and training for our communities. Come and learn about additional Red Cross resources available free of charge to your schools.

Elementary Emotion Regulation Group

Lead Presenter: Jenny Pelo

We’ll go through activities to do for each session in an 8-week group for elementary students needing assistance with emotion regulation. I’ll share a few games and activities, and go through a few specific self-care exercises that I use with students that you can take back to use in your schools.

Ensure Post-secondary Success for all Pathways

Lead Presenter: Jessica Chow

In this session, you will hear firsthand from Eagle County School District. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to future planning with students. Encouraging curiosity and exploration is an ongoing process. As Educators, it is more important than ever to engage students throughout their entire academic journey, so that each activity, lesson, and lived experience brings students closer to a meaningful post-secondary plan.

How does CSCA work? Understanding the structure

Lead Presenter: Matthew McClain

Come and hear about how the CSCA structure works. The governing structure, the positions, the committees, all of it! Go wild in learning the difference between elected roles and appointed roles. Hear about the history of CSCA and how you can plug in and help our professional association grow.

The Songs, Soundtracks and Stories of Our Livess

Lead Presenter: Jon Widmier

Explore the unnoticed and unrecognized themes that play in people’s heads, and how these can become soundtracks in our lives that affect our relationships, our ability to learn, and even our life’s path. Learn how to live well, and the importance of recognizing the soundtracks in lives of yourself, and why they occur. How to suffer well and overcome that in order to find regulation. Finally, what finishing well looks like, and the important characteristics and skills we can utilize to do so.

Students Going Wild to Improve School Climate

Lead Presenter: Sandy Austin

What does it look like at a school if kids look out for each other to let peers know they are seen, matter, and are not alone? For 19 years, the international award-winning B.I.O.N.I.C. Teams have done just that (as a natural arm of school counseling services) by empowering K-16 students to reach out to peers who are new, sick, hospitalized, bullied, or have lost loved ones to help prevent them from spiraling down into more serious issues. Hear how kids wildly care and change school climates.

Teaching Mindfulness Using the MindUp Curriculum

Lead Presenter: Jane Steiner

Have you wanted to introduce mindfulness to your students but didn’t know where to start? This session will use the framework from the MindUp curriculum while incorporating various mindfulness techniques to teach your students the benefits of mindfulness. Your students will have the opportunity to increase emotional regulation, focused attention using their senses, optimism, and gratitude. Participants will leave with fun, interactive, ready-to-use ideas that will fully engage students!

1:50 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. Extended Breakout Session 8

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Teens

Lead Presenter: Jen Studt

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has demonstrated an ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression among adolescent populations, benefit cognitive and emotional development, improve stress responses, and lead to improvements in quality of life. After attending this session, participants will be able to explain the foundational components of ACT, implement a variety of ACT interventions adapted for adolescents, and access worksheets/resources that can be used in secondary schools.

Advanced Practice: Attacking Anxiety Systemically

Lead Presenter: Aaron Ragon

For anyone who attended our initial session, this session will provide a deeper exploration of helping students with their anxiety. Learn how to parse out how to identify the most salient factors of a student’s anxiety and design a sequence of challenges to help them overcome them. Learn how to design hierarchies and utilize metaphors that will motivate your students to challenge and defeat their anxiety. This advanced practice will leave you with a deeper understanding of how to do anxiety work.

Creating Options for New Behaviors

Lead Presenter: Judith Norman

The behavior looks intentional and defiant when students aren’t using strategies they’ve learned. This can lead to educators and students getting stuck in a cycle of challenging dynamics. However, much of our SEL programming and teaching is missing vital pieces, making it difficult for students to use strategies independently. Help educators include these missing pieces with only small shifts in their daily routines. Explore going beyond top-down approaches and creating options for new behaviors.

Creative School Counseling Gone Wild 

Lead Presenter: Kristin Myers

Are you looking to get in touch with your creative side and support students in processing social/emotional issues? If you answered yes, this session is for you! The presenters will provide a hands-on session in learning creative strategies to support students. Attendees will have a chance to explore sand trays, arts, and other creative means of expression and processing for students of any age, ability level, and race/ethnicity.

Ethical Dilemma Discussion

Lead Presenter: CSCA Ethics Committee

Join the CSCA Ethics Committee in a scenario-based conversation about ethical dilemmas. Hear how school counselors have worked through topics such as information-sharing, boundary-keeping, and advocating while upholding ASCA’s Ethical Standards. Bring your questions, dilemmas, and your expertise!

ICAP Postsecondary Readiness Screener

Lead Presenter: Kristin Hefflon

In 2021, St. Vrain Valley Schools developed an ICAP survey to identify ICAP needs, interests, and plans that drive ICAP implementation and district-wide counselor programming. This mandatory survey is provided to middle and high school students and supports SEL implementation, 8th to 9th grade transition, CTE recruitment, postsecondary guidance, and financial aid guidance. School counselors and mental health specialists have used the data to analyze trends and identify areas of need related.

Innovative Strategies Build Resilience in Students

Lead Presenter: Christian Moore

How do you help students bounce back from what they have been through? From trauma, isolation, and poverty, to mental health challenges, our students have faced many obstacles over the last few years. Come see a formula to help you guide students through the challenges that destroy motivation, and make it difficult to find success.

Pathways for Implementing a Therapy Dog Program 

Lead Presenter: Jennifer VonLintel

Research is growing in the field of Animal-Assisted Interventions. This presentation will outline this research and provide a checklist of actions that will allow you to build a solid foundation for therapy dog programming in your school or district. We will review 2 different models in this work. Best practices and ethics will be emphasized, and ample resources provided. A therapy dog will be onsite to assist with this presentation.



Fax 423.899.4547


National Center for Youth Issues
P.O. Box 22185
Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185