November 10-11, 2022
Tinley Park Convention Center
18451 Convention Center Drive
Tinley Park, IL 60477

IL-SCA logo

November 10-11, 2022 | Tinley Park Convention Center
18451 Convention Center Drive | Tinley Park, IL 60477


Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

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

Friday, November 11, 2022

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Breakout Session 1

1st Year School Counselors: Expectations vs. Realities

Lead Presenter: Jonathan Cruz

Are you a prospective or aspiring school counselor considering? In this session, discover what to expect as a first-year professional school counselor at any grade level and the critical role you play in a student’s life. Understand what emotional needs and vulnerabilities students continue to face in the 2022-2023 academic school year. Participants in this session will learn how to use their time efficiently, understand flexibility, and much more!

Career Exploration Event: 4 Career Roundtable Discussions 1 Career Cluster

Lead Presenter: Paige Buttels

Students learning from experts in the field is an invaluable way to plan for their postsecondary pathways. We’ve implemented a career exploration format to foster meaningful conversations amongst students & professionals by career cluster. It doesn’t require as much time as organizing a school-wide career day. Students report it is enjoyable & helpful to learn about careers. Walk away with the logistics to implement this format at your school!

Grounding Your Postsecondary Practices in Equity

Lead Presenter: Andraya White

This session will support K12 teams to systematize more equitable approaches to postsecondary advising. The Illinois State Board of Education will discuss its partnership with OneGoal to address inequities in postsecondary success across the state of Illinois. L from Waukegan CUSD60 will share their experience working with ISBE and OneGoal while OneGoal will present its District Rubric for Postsecondary Readiness.

How to Work Collaboratively with School Administration

Lead Presenter: Leshanda Ausler

Oftentimes, School Counselors are in an environment where school personnel lack understanding of how to utilize our expansive skill set to maximize student outcomes. This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to learn strategies for maximizing the counselor-administrator relationship.

It’s a Team Effort to Support Students with Trauma: Behavioral Health Team

Lead Presenter: Andrea Allen

This presentation will provide tools for counselors to implement and sustain a committee within the school that focuses on tier 2 and tier 3 supports for students. Since school has resumed in person, many counselors are finding difficulty providing services and support for students with various SEL needs on their own. This round table style workshop gives information on how to bring in resources that counselors find helpful with students.

Pillars of Postsecondary: Driving Success for All!

Lead Presenter: Heidi Truax

This presentation will engage participants in thoughtful and interactive exploration of the four postsecondary pillars that Chicago Public Schools has used to build a culture and climate for postsecondary – including having the highest FAFSA completion in the country, increasing college enrollment rates, and leveraging the Learn. Plan. Succeed graduation requirement to increase postsecondary planning for all possible pathways!

SCUTA Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Understanding the Updated ASCA Ethical Standards

Lead Presenter: Haley Wikoff

The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors were updated in 2022 in consultation with state school counseling associations, school counselor educators, and school counselors across the nation. Learn about the changes to the ethical standards and how it impacts you and your school counseling program.

Using Dream Groups to Build Empathy in a School

Lead Presenter: Theodore Stripling

Dreams have been an exciting and mysterious topic for most of humanity. This workshop explores a Jungian based dream group piloted at the Lab School in September. We will start by covering recent literature supporting dream sharing increases empathy in people. We will talk about the group process for a Jungian based dream group. Finally, we’ll explore pilot group results and practice the dream sharing process.

10:20 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. Breakout Session 2

Advocating for and with Muslim American Students in School Settings

Lead Presenter: Hulya Ermis

The marginalization of Muslim American students presents a critical social injustice and public health issue based on the evidence on detrimental effects of bullying.

Advocating to Support the Work of School Counselors

Lead Presenter: John Casey

The 103rd Illinois General Assembly will officially convene on January 12, 2023. Legislation proposed at the state level impacts school communities and the work we do as school counselors. In this session we will show how to monitor bills and discuss actions you can take to advocate for legislation that supports the work we do: building relationships with legislators and collaborating with other organizations.

Graphing It Out With Pre & Post Test Data

Lead Presenter: Nicole Simon

This session will review methods to gather relevant mindsets and behaviors data using various pre & post test assessments. Step by step instructions will be provided to take that data and turn it into visual graphs that can be used in sharing school counseling program results and/or for RAMP applications.

Military Recruiting in High Schools: What Counselors Need to Know

Lead Presenter: Angela Waddell

High schools are required to allow military recruiters access to students. Learn how West Leyden and Fenton high schools comply with these requirements and work with students and recruiters. We will highlight tools we use, what we say to students and how we manage recruiters. This is not an advertising session for military recruiters, but a review of best practices to serve our students while complying with applicable laws.

Navigating the Road to the Doctoral Degree for School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Ahmet Can

The program will address the matriculation through the doctoral program, and preparation for a viable job search upon graduation as well as maximizing the doctoral experience for marketability for professional school counselors. The presenters will address experiences that will enhance their marketability as professors and advanced clinicians in the counseling field.

School Counselor’s Tools & Techniques: Science & Theory Behind Our Practice

Lead Presenter: Jenny Franz

Being a School Counselor, recently, has involved surviving, coping, learning how to adapt, and showing up to do the jobs we know and love! Things are different, WE are different, kids are different. What’s the same? Theory and science! This session is a refresher of theories you already know, specifically related to the nervous system, designed to make a direct connection to the counseling techniques you use to help kids and reminding you your practice is grounded in science.

Tips for Lone Rangers & Rural School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Leslie Goines

Join us to discuss time-efficient, field tested, strategies to help you plan, or fine tune, your school counseling program & improve student outcomes. Program SMART goals, strategies, outcome data, tools, & materials will be shared. Technology integration and the impact of cultural, social, & environmental influences on student success & opportunities will also be discussed. Come get everything you need as a lone ranger or rural school counselor.

UTI Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

With Dual Credit, the Future is Now…Uniting for Student Success

Lead Presenter: Kim Forystek

With the rising cost of college tuition, students today are looking for ways to save time and money when it comes to their post-secondary plans. We will discuss the strategic partnership around dual credit programing between North Chicago Community High School & The College of Lake County. Using student case studies we will highlight how NCCHS & CLC have provided access and supported student success as they transition into their career pathway.

You Can Do It, First Gen!

Lead Presenter: Monica Miller

We will provide tools and strategies to help with post-secondary planning for first-generation students. These tools include how to assist first-generation students with the college application process, academic preparedness, financial aid, and scholarships through the use of innovative techniques.

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Bringing Ethics into the Classroom

Lead Presenter: Lisa Miller

Ethics is the foundation of great leadership. Teaching students to make good decisions based on a defined set of values helps form the core foundation of ethical L. Come learn about the ethics resources that are available through the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Junior High and High School Programs. Leave with a better understanding of ethics and access to numerous classroom resources, including course guides, lesson modules, and more!

Federal & State Financial Aid Updates

Lead Presenter: Meghan Chrum

The Department of Education has begun phased implementation of FAFSA Simplification. FAFSA Simplification impacts many areas of financial aid, including changes to FAFSA and Pell Grant eligibility. While implementation has already started, many changes will take affect within the next two years. ISAC is leading the way on how these changes will impact students and families across the state and ISAC’s programs for this year and beyond.

Promoting CCR For Under-Resourced Middle School Students of Color

Lead Presenter: Sharon Rouls

Middle school is a critical time for students who are often thought of as the forgotten age. This is especially true when it comes to CCR for under-resourced students of color, placing them at a greater disadvantage for losing out on learning opportunities. This workshop will offer tips and strategies for motivating students to become engaged in CCR learning that incorporate SEL standards.

Rites of Passage to the Future: Celebrating Elementary and High School Transitions

Lead Presenter: Stephanie Miller-Henderson

Coordinating and facilitating a High School Reveal or College Decision Day celebration is a great way to cultivate persistence and connection within your school community. In many cultures, the transition from one phase of life to the next is considered a “rites of passage”. These celebratory moments are a necessary way to communicate achievement or success to your student population. We will share practical ways to incorporate such events into your school community.

Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Uniting Mattoon High School Through Impactful Student Leadership

Lead Presenter: Heidi Larson

We will present the data-based BIONIC program and its impact on student leaders. We will discuss the influence of each team. Specifically the impact of the tutor team on school culture, how it fosters Leadership development in students, and how students struggling academically can find support to remain on the path of academic excellence.

Using Ancient Wisdom in Todays Counseling Clients

Lead Presenter: Ray Piagentini

The attendees will walk away with knowledge and actual activities gained from Abraham Maslow, Erik Erickson, the Lakota and Hindu people.

Working Smarter, Not Harder: Easy Tech Hacks for your Practice

Lead Presenter: Michelle Olejnik

As counselors have more expectations placed on them and students mental health needs increase, tech hacks can streamline areas of your practice to save time. This presentation will introduce simple tech hacks that can be implemented right away, including tools in Outlook, Google Drive, and Calendly – no 30 minute tutorials needed! There will be time at the end for participants to collaborate and share any additional tech hacks that they use in their practice. Participants are welcome to bring their laptops to follow along, but it is not required.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Advocating for your Role: The Experience of Urban School Counselors in Illinois

Lead Presenter: Yenitza Guzman

This presentation will discuss the experiences of urban school counselors in Illinois working at the elementary, middle, and high school level. The presenters will talk about how the school counselor’s role is unique in urban settings in Illinois compared to other parts of the country. They will also discuss ways to advocate for appropriate roles and responsibilities as they align with the American School Counselor Association.

Calm Corners in Middle School

Lead Presenter: Nancy Fernandez

Our students need social/emotional support from trusted teachers and adults in their lives, especially during these last few years. Providing the necessary tools to help students validate their feelings, self-regulate their emotions, and understand how to release anxiety is a must! One way to do this is by creating a Calm Corner in the classroom.

Changing the Role of School Counseling

Lead Presenter: Jeannette Schorfheide

School Counseling needs a face lift in Illinois. I was recently able to renegotiate my job description using SB3990, ASCA and ISCA resources. I wish to tell my story and give participants the guidance to start planning their own approach to negotiate their job descriptions and get rid of the administrational aspects that are not ours.

COVID-19 and Beyond: Addressing Equity-Based Career Development

Lead Presenter: Leonis Wright

School counselors are encouraged to promote career development for all students. Addressing these needs have often been a challenge, however, now more than ever, due to the COVID-19, adhering to this call poses even greater difficulty. This presentation highlights the lingering effects of COVID-19, and through discussion offers strategies designed to assist school counselors with implementing equity-based career interventions.

Equity-Based School Counseling: The Power of Mindful Inquiry

Lead Presenter: LeVar Ammons

In this session school counselors will discover how to interrupt practices that perpetuate inequitable student outcomes. By taking an equity centered approach in the data review process, counselors will be able to find entry points to address gaps in achievement, access to opportunity, and student experiences.

Practical Site Supervision

Lead Presenter: LaNedra Mitchell

This session is geared towards those who are interested in being a site supervisor to a school counseling intern, and/or those, who would like to enhance their supervisory skills. This session will elevate professional school counselors’ self-efficacy for site supervision by sharing practical knowledge and skills to increase their participation and engagement in site supervision to make it a more pleasant all around experience.

School Climate Matters: Developing a Culture of Wellness

Lead Presenter: Evisha Ford

Educational leaders deal with so many things daily: budgets, compliance, hiring, & conflict resolution, etc. These tasks are overwhelming. This presentation is designed as a reminder that in addition to the daily tasks that make a school/department function, leaders also have to ensure an environment for teachers & students that is a positive, caring one. This clears the way for the real work to occur; to prepare students for the future.

The State of the Postsecondary and Career Expectations (PaCE) Framework

Lead Presenter: Ana Moya

2022 has brought new and exciting changes and opportunities to the world of PaCE including, ISAC’s first annual PaCE Symposium, new PaCE Implementation support options, and HB 3296, which extends PaCE through 6th grade and requires school districts to prepare students for a career and technical education pathway. Join us to learn how ISAC can help you prepare for HB 3296 and support you through the adoption and implementation of a framework.

The US Service Academies: Application Process and Student Life

Lead Presenter: Leigh McNeil

Come learn about the US Service Academies and their application processes from both the perspective of the applicant and school officials. Meet your Illinois Admissions Counselors and Regional Director, and get your questions answered about the admissions process, student life, and post-graduation opportunities.

Xello Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Breakout Session 5

Legal Updates for School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Vince Walsh-Rock

The past couple of years have seen the largest number of laws passed pertinent to school counselors. This session will review some of these laws and legal trends in Illinois and in the nation and how you can get involved at the local and state levels in the legislative process. A review of the counselor licensure pathways will also be shared during this session.

Leyden Parent University: Involving Families in Postsecondary Planning

Lead Presenter: Beth Gilfillan

A suburban school district just outside of Chicago has committed to increasing parent engagement through multiple types of outreach and events. One successful program – Leyden Parent University – is geared toward involving families in their students’ postsecondary planning process. Presenters will share how they developed and implemented the program, as well as how they continue to collect data, evaluate, and revise the program each year.

The Need for In-House Mental Health Counseling in Schools & How to Get It

Lead Presenter: Natalie McLean Miller

We all know that many student issues stem from mental health, which many of us address through referrals to mental health agencies. However, students and their families face a variety of obstacles in trying to access those services. Join us for a look at how we arrived with an outside-the-box solution to that problem in our small, rural community and successfully advocated for and achieved our progressive proposal in a traditional culture.

SPARCS: Community and Coping Skills

Lead Presenter: Jaclyn Smith

SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), is an evidence-based group crafted to support students in learning about trauma, triggers, and healthy coping mechanisms. Through this group, students find connection, community, and understanding while building self-awareness and confidence. Group interventions in schools are powerful tools to help build positive community and school culture.

We Are One…….District-Wide ASCA National Model Implementation

Lead Presenter: Matthew Beck

Learn how the Rock Island-Milan School District #41 has built a tiered system of ASCA National Model implementation. This session will explore how district school counselor leaders and stakeholders aligned their work to the District strategic plan, how they collaborated with administration, and how data provided a path for advocating for appropriate school counselor activities and service delivery.



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