October 18-20, 2023
Embassy Suites & Hampton Roads Convention Center
1700 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666

Virginia School Counselor Association Logo

October 19-21, 2022  |  Embassy Suites & Hampton Roads Convention Center
1700 Coliseum Drive  |  Hampton, VA 23666

Virginia School Counselor Association Conference October 18-20, 2023 Header
Virginia School Counselor Association Conference October 18-20, 2023 Header
Virginia School Counselor Association Conference October 18-20, 2023 Header

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

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

Thursday, October 19, 2023

10:15 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. Breakout Session 1

Title: Calling All MLL/ELL/ESL School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Chelsea Hilliard

Attendees will hear the results of a recently conducted study exploring the experiences of school counselors who support multilingual learners (MLL), including the study’s implications for school counselors. This will be a space that encourages discussion and community building for similarly positioned school counselors, as well as a space for those interested in learning more about supporting MLL students.


Title: Classroom Management Rock Stars

Lead Presenter: Teshia Stovall Dula


Title: Closing the Gap with Minute Meetings

Lead Presenter: Sarah Frye

Do you want to learn how to set up and successfully run minute meetings? Learn from two school counselors from both the elementary and middle school level who will share their experiences. They will be talking about how to analyze the data to help you close the gap and meet the needs of your students. Different questions will be explored that can prompt further data collection. Bonus: you will speak with every student on your caseload!

Title: Groups and Games

Lead Presenter: Stacy Hassler

Are you looking to level up your group plans?! Need some easy ideas to engage students in a fun way?! Join this session to learn how you can use board games as tools to teach and practice social skills in small group counseling sessions. Leave with a list of games and the skills that they match with that can be done with students of all ages.

Title: High Five to Kindness! Create a School Kindness Club

Lead Presenter: Sarah Ritchie

High Five to Kindness! Learn to develop and implement your own Kindness Club to create strong schoolwide and community relationships! Kindness Clubs can bring students, staff, families and the community together to create positive environments that benefit the entire school (& beyond) by completing contagious kindness movements. Learn creative ways to implement school wide initiatives, create a club, build self esteem/morale, and support SEL schoolwide.

Title: Making the Path to Higher Ed More Accessible for Students with Disabilities

Lead Presenter: Sarahbeth Dreis

SCHEV, in partnership with VDOE, has created a variety of resources to make higher education more accessible for students with disabilities such as college visit checklists and a video series focusing on the different aspects of college preparation. Attendees will discuss how to better prepare students with disabilities for postsecondary education using the resources and hear from a recent college graduate with a disability.

Title: Planning a Financial Aid Night for Students and Families

Lead Presenter: Lori Auxier

Applying for financial aid can be one of the most daunting and confusing aspects of the college-going process. Join us for this informative session because there is no need to “reinvent the wheel” when you can R&D (“ripoff and duplicate”) these “plug and play” programs to help you plan a financial aid night.

Title: Strategies to Sharpen Your Supervision Skills

Lead Presenter: Julia Taylor

One of the best ways to provide service to the school counseling profession is to supervise a graduate student. In this session, participants will learn a variety of tools, strategies and techniques for effective site supervision, with a focus on integrating and enhancing culturally responsive supervision practices. This session is designed for all levels of experience, including those contemplating supervising a graduate student.

Title: TBD

Lead Presenter: Paul Harris


Title: TBD 

Lead Presenter: Tip Frank


Title: Understanding Big Feelings

Lead Presenter: Samantha Conner

Understanding Big Feelings is a small group curriculum aimed at increasing students’ competency in recognizing, labeling, and managing emotions. This curriculum will support existing self-regulation skills through providing elementary-aged students with evidence-based tools to use moving forward. Presenters will share this small-group curriculum, while discussing its importance in a post-COVID-19 education system.


Lead Presenter: VA529 Sponsor Session


Title: VSCA Board: Meet and Greet

Lead Presenter: Jentae Scott-Mayo 

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Come to this “Meet and Greet” session and meet the VSCA Board of Directors. Learn about the Board of Directors’ professional backgrounds, diverse experiences, and their collective goals as they pertain to the VSCA Ends Policies. The session will end with a question and answer session.

Title: What Every Educator Needs to Know About the Brain.

Lead Presenter: Jessica Sinarski


11:35 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Breakout Session 2

Debunking the Myth that “You Can’t Afford College”

Lead Presenter: Lori Auxier

An education beyond high school is a big investment, and families and students often think it is out of their reach. Join us for this informative session as we debunk the “Top 10 Financial Aid Myths” that many families have about financial aid, and how you can help them navigate the financial aid process.

Engaging and Supporting Multilingual Learners and Families

Lead Presenter: Chantel Hill

Looking to grow your skillset in supporting multilingual learners this school year? If so, join Chantel Hill, former school counselor and current federal education program specialist, in Engaging & Supporting Multilingual Learners and Families. Key takeaways include data-driven programming that supports students, staff and families to help increase cultural competency and responsiveness. You will leave with access to several digital resources!

Handle with Care: Virginia Partnership Between Schools and Law Enforcement

Lead Presenter: Kaylee Powell

A lot can happen between the time a student goes home and comes back to school each day! Handle with Care is a statewide trauma informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence through partnership between school divisions and local law enforcement. Want to learn how to implement Handle with Care in your school or community? Join us for an overview of the what, when and why of Handle with Care!

Title: Harnessing the Power of Student Leadership to Reach your Goals!

Lead Presenter: Beth Mertens

As counselors, we know firsthand that ALL of our students are a wealth of creativity, ingenuity, and promise! Have you ever thought about how to harness their talents to impact your school community? This presentation will provide participants with strategies and resources for using Project Based Learning and data to give students opportunities to lead both small groups and school wide events, which in turn will help you reach your program goals!

Let’s Play in Counseling Lessons

Lead Presenter: Lauren Rice

Want to learn more about play in counseling lessons? In this session, we will discuss how we use children’s language of play to teach conflict resolution, emotional regulation, career development, and other social/emotional skills. Come learn about play and how we incorporate it into our school counseling lessons to help increase student engagement, and truly connect to our K-5 students with their language!

Meet the VSCA Emerging Leaders

Lead Presenter: Jentae Scott-Mayo

Are you a potential leader in the school counseling profession? Do you want to get involved and improve your leadership skills? In this session, participants will learn about this NEW leadership program to strengthen the future of VSCA Leadership. The goal of Emerging Leaders, as an initiative, is to create a process to inform and equip new and aspiring board members effectively and efficiently to assume leadership positions within VSCA.

Middle School Career Investigation-What I Want to Be?

Lead Presenter: Aisha Thompson

Middle school students are at an age where they are curious about their future. Early Career exploration is an important way to provide students with a sense of purpose and direction. Learn how to provide fun and interactive career investigation lessons. After attending this session, you should be able to deliver a complete career lesson using skills, videos, handouts, activities, and assessments.

School Counselor and Administrator Collaboration for Postsecondary Success

Lead Presenter: Sarah Whipp

Research has shown the collaboration between school counselors and administrators can have a lasting impact. This program will review suggested ways in which this partnership can be used to improve school counselor role ambiguity and student postsecondary outcomes. Through intentional goal setting and utilizing a recurring check-in meeting process, the two roles can collaborate effectively to achieve shared goals and improve graduation rates.

Small Groups 101

Lead Presenter: Lauren White

Small groups don’t happen unless you make them happen. To run a comprehensive school counseling program rooted in the ASCA National Model, small groups must be part of your program. Our presentation will focus on overcoming barriers to small group counseling, including from feelings of self-doubt and scheduling logistics, to choosing curriculum and parent/guardian permission. Learn ways to improve your small group delivery.

So, You Want to Get a Ph.D.?

Lead Presenter: Julia Taylor

Virginia has an abundance of school counselor educators, leaders in the profession and spectacular doctoral programs. If you have ever pondered returning to graduate school to earn a doctoral degree, this panel presentation will answer all of your questions related to the process.


Lead Presenter: Sarah Bazemore



College Funding Coach


Title: TBD

Lead Presenter: Tip Frank



Lead Presenter: SCUTA


Title: What Every Educator Needs to Know About the Brain

Lead Presenter: Jessica Sinarski

Description: TBD

1:25 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Breakout Session 3

Title: College and Career Counseling Supervision: ALL In!

Lead Presenter: Anaid Shaver

Description: We are ALL In on how we provide supervision to our college and career counselors. We invite you to join our discussion on the value of collaborative supervision. As Advocates and Leaders, come Learn how we provide quality supervision and the strategies used to support counselors in their delivery of counseling services. Hear from our panel of counselors, school counseling directors, and supervisors on their supervision experiences.

Title: College and Credit Exploration through the Transfer Virginia Portal

Lead Presenter: Micol Hutchison

Description: This session will introduce attendees to the Transfer Virginia portal, a tool for school counselors and students that facilitates exploration of college and career options. Designed for high school students in dual enrollment courses as well as those considering the community-college-to-university path, the portal provides transfer equivalencies, degree requirements, guaranteed admission information, and access to college advisors.

Title: Ethical and Legal Best Practices for Working with EL Students & Families

Lead Presenter: Shannon Wingert

Description: Presentation addresses the legal components of supporting EL students and families, to include Federal Monitoring for ESSA and Title III requirements. Cultural considerations will also be discussed, as well as family communication and engagement strategies.

Title: Game Show Network

Lead Presenter: Erin Crane

Description: Looking to incorporate more play into your school counseling lessons? Have extra time to fill with a small or large group? Come learn games that can be played with students of all ages to help with classroom management, relationship building in group settings, and just having fun with your students! We will go over and play at least 5 games that don’t need any preparation or props and take home rules for 8 games total!

Title: Get Real

Lead Presenter: Teshia Stovall Dula


Title: Implementing Schoolwide SEL That Works!

Lead Presenter: Cheryl Gallello

Description: Let us share with you how we got “buy-in” from our administrators and teachers to implement schoolwide SEL lessons that TEACHERS facilitate weekly with their homeroom students. You will walk away with at least 5 schoolwide engaging SEL lessons that are adaptable to meet the needs of your school community.

Title: Incite the Light!: Empowering and Advocating for Neurodivergent Learners

Lead Presenter: Jentae Scott-Mayo

Description: School counselors light paths daily. Through ADVOCACY, we fight for systemic change. Through LEARNING, we commit to current evidence-based best practices. Through LEADERSHIP, we educate stakeholders for a shared understanding. This engaging session will focus on the school counselors’ role in serving neurodivergent youth (within a school counseling program) through strengths-based approaches and key factors specific to youth and schools.


Title: Make it Happen: School-Wide Mental Health

Lead Presenter: Monique Young

Description: Ever have a mental health practice that you know would transform your school community for the better, yet you didn’t have the support from admin or your teachers to make it happen? Don’t throw that idea out the window. During this session, participants will gain knowledge in developing a Tier 1 program implementation plan that staff can’t refuse.

Title: My Amygdala Can Smell Your Amygdala: Help for Anxious Children &Teens

Lead Presenter: Tori Stone

Description: Child and adolescent anxiety is ubiquitous and on the rise. Working with anxious kids (and their parents) is stressful and can feel like a never-ending uphill battle. In this fun session, participants will learn more about anxiety and will build skills so that they can better support anxious kids. We will focus on coping skills and building resilience so that school counselors can help teens to turn down anxiety and reengage in life.


Lead Presenter: ODU Sponsor Session


Title: Trauma Informed Practices for K-12 Educators

Lead Presenter: Kevin Ber

Description: Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event such as an accident or natural disaster. Through this presentation, attendees will be able to clearly define trauma, identify signs and symptoms of trauma in students K-12, and learn specific interventions on how to work with these students. Every student is different, and every student responds to trauma differently, come learn how to be proactive and talk through unique circumstances.


Lead Presenter: UTI Sponsor Session


Title: Where to Go From Here? Supporting Students with Disabilities after High School

Lead Presenter: Audra Lancaster Boyce

Description: This presentation will focus on how school counselors can support students with disabilities in their transition from high school to post-secondary education (college). During this session, we will gain a better understanding of current laws, prevalence in needs, levels of support, barriers to access, and actionable takeaways school counselors can use in their current roles.

2:45 p.m. – 3:35 p.m. Breakout Session 4

Title: Amplify Advocacy: Increase Graduation Rates Evaluating Foreign Transcripts

Lead Presenter: Phoenicia Grant

Description: Learn how your district can avoid costly legal expenses and Office of Civil Rights complaints by creating an intentional, consistent, and sustainable transcript evaluation and enrollment procedure for your English Learners. Improve the graduation rate by awarding transfer credits that meet graduation requirements for foreign transcripts. Participants will receive a comprehensive toolkit with resources and activities for immediate implementation.

Title: ALL Means All: SCs Advocating for Awareness and Action Beyond Borders

Lead Presenter: Tim Grothaus

Description: This interactive and practical presentation will explore the benefits of promoting a more globally aware and active school counseling program and school culture. Our global interconnectedness is clear given our shared climate concerns, economic and resource inequities, immigration issues, and COVID-19. Come discuss and experience ideas and plans for promoting global awareness and action and learn how this can benefit our students and schools!

Title: Demystifying Evidence-Based School Counseling

Lead Presenter: Blaire Cholewa

Description: Does the phrase “evidence-based school counseling” (EBSC) make you think of manualized interventions? Do you wonder if and how EBSC can help you? Please join this interactive session discussing the evolving conceptualization of EBSC and ways you can use this framework to enhance your school counseling program to impact the system, student outcomes, and promote equity!

Title: Do You Really See Me?: Supporting Gifted Black Students in Schools

Lead Presenter: Crystal Hatton

Description: Black students are underrepresented within gifted education. However, school counselors are ethically obligated to help close gaps and promote equitable access for students who are marginalized by educational systems. This session will explore cultural considerations for gifted black students and identify how school counselors can effectively meet their needs.

Title: EASRCC Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: 


Title: Elementary Students Explore Career Clusters

Lead Presenter: Michele Seibert

Description: Meet those Career Development Standards by introducing grades K-5 to all 16 Career Clusters with these new print materials.
Two booklets reach grades K-2 and 3-5 with an online component for more exploration.
Learn creative ways to introduce the 16 career clusters for elementary students while meeting Standards of Learning and Virginia Counseling Standards.

Title: Empowering School Counselors with Level Up Virginia (LUV)

Lead Presenter: Erin McGrath

Description: Discover how Level Up Virginia (LUV) empowers school counselors to support students’ access to education beyond high school. In this session, attendees will learn about SCHEV and the VDOE’s new student-facing website, which offers a local access provider-finder, financial aid info, and resources for all pathways. Rebranded college prep events provide students the opportunity to learn about, apply to, finance and decide on where to enroll.


Title: Find Joy…No Matter What!

Lead Presenter: Karla Allen

Description: This workshop relies on humor, storytelling, depth and practicality to remind school counselors that joy and hardship really can travel in tandem. It’s often a matter of being intentional about accessing the joy that’s walking right alongside the tough times. Participants will: Learn specific strategies for inviting joy into their challenges; Find ways to “discipline” their minds for joy; Make room for “joy shots” every day…no matter what.

Title: Implementing a School Wide Peaceful Spot Program in Elementary Schools

Lead Presenter: Jennifer Poteet

Description: This presentation will assist schools with encouraging self regulation and emotion management. We will share best practices with how to start and manage peaceful spots in your school. We will also guide you on how to get staff, student, and family support for this program. Peaceful spots are areas in the classrooms, cafeteria, office, and specials classes that provide students a safe place to go when they are having big emotions.

Title: Prevent High School Dropout! Identify At-Risk Students and Intervene Early

Lead Presenter: Madiha Jamil

Description: Prevent High School Dropout! Identify At-Risk Students and Intervene Early

Title: Strengthen Your College Knowledge and Jump Into College Bootcamp

Lead Presenter: Alison Bollander 


In this session we will be sharing information about our Hanover County Public Schools Virtual College Bootcamp and Mini College & Career Expo. This session will cover how we developed a successful college bootcamp experience for our junior and senior students, to prepare them for the college admissions process.

Planning tools, communications, bootcamp session ideas and the format of how to organize and execute this event will be provided

Title: TBD

Lead Presenter: Sarah Bazemore


Title: Therapy Dogs: Improving Student(and Staff) Well-Being

Lead Presenter: Elizabeth Sharp

Description: Our staff and students are faced with many daily challenges due to a global pandemic, violence, social media, and controversial issues. Implementing a program to improve the mental well-being of our children is critical and necessary. A 2019 study published by the National Institute of Health found that a dog present in the classroom promotes a positive mood and provides significant anti-stress effects on the body.

3:50 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. Breakout Session 5

Title: Becoming a Parent Whisperer

Lead Presenter: Erin Rettig

Description: We all have noticed that the relationships between our communities and schools have been strained these past few years but as the counselor it is our job to help maintain a positive relationship between our families and our school. We will share some ideas of how to lead your staff so that you can be a model for effective parent communication whether it is attending parent conferences, presenting a parent workshop or making phone calls home.

Title: Children with Incarcerated Parents

Lead Presenter: Jeanne Booth

Description:More than 5 million U.S. children in the United States have had at least one parent in prison. Counselors must understand the trauma youth experience when affected by this dynamic. This presentation addresses the counseling considerations for this population from both clinical mental health and school counseling perspectives.

Title: Classroom Management Rock Stars

Lead Presenter: Teshia Stovall Dula

Description: Military-connected students face unique challenges brought on by parent(s) deployment, frequent relocations, and multiple cycles of adapting to new schools/friendships. This session discusses social-emotional supports that educators can implement to develop relationships, increase connectedness and foster a strong sense of belonging among their military-connected students.

Title: Creating a Culture of Caring through Minute Meetings

Lead Presenter: DeLisa Joseph

Description: 60 second meetings. Depending on how you look at it, it can be considered a little bit of time or a lot. Learn how I used digital minute meetings to help cultivate a culture of caring at my school among all stakeholders (students, staff, and families). A culture of caring has been indicated as a protective factor for student’s mental health.

Title:Culturally Affirming School Counseling Groups

Lead Presenter: Stephanie Smith-Durkin

Description: Counseling groups are a way in which school counselors provide academic, social-emotional, and behavioral support for identified students. Once a student is identified, school counselors must prepare to provide data-informed, culturally affirming, and developmentally appropriate interventions. Attend this session to learn strategies for delivering culturally affirming small group interventions with fidelity.

Title: Encouraging Engagement Among Freshmen Students & Families

Lead Presenter: Deborah Lucas

Description: Attendees will hear about an interactive program created for the purpose of encouraging engagement with freshmen students and families, as well as welcoming them to the high school community. During the program, participants will learn about community involvement, fostering new relationships and the importance of wellness and prevention. Come see how two fellow school counselors teamed up with a local organization to best reach this population.

Title: GROWN: Bibliocounseling for Teen Girls of Color

Lead Presenter: Christina Tillery

Description: Bibliocounseling is an intervention using narratives to consider personal dilemmas and teach cultural traditions (Byrd et al., 2021). For teen girls of color, bibliocounseling can provide an opportunity to be exposed to literature that mirrors their lived experiences. School counselors can utilize bibliocounseling within small groups to process themes and foster sisterhood.

Title:Promoting Wellness With Students and Staff

Lead Presenter: Rachel Wollenberg

Description: This session will encourage implementing Tier 1 wellness initiatives through workshops for students, Wellness Week, Mindful Mondays, and weekly tips. We will also discuss and encourage collaboration with Administration, School Counselors, School Social Workers and/or School Psychologist in your building. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy fun wellness activities.

Title: Social-Emotional Supports for Military-Connected Students

Lead Presenter: Joanne Hanger

Description: Military-connected students face unique challenges brought on by parent(s) deployment, frequent relocations, and multiple cycles of adapting to new schools/friendships. This session discusses social-emotional supports that educators can implement to develop relationships, increase connectedness and foster a strong sense of belonging among their military-connected students.

Title: We’re ALL In This Together: Increasing Rural School-Community Partnerships

Lead Presenter: Sarah Henry

Description: High Five to Kindness! Learn to develop & implement your own Kindness Club to create strong schoolwide & community relationships! Kindness Clubs can bring students, staff, families & the community together to create positive environments that benefit the entire school (& beyond) by completing contagious kindness movements. Learn creative ways to implement school wide initiatives, create a club, build self esteem/morale, & support SEL schoolwide.

Title: Your BFF for Student Success: Counselor/Teacher Collaboration

Lead Presenter: Cassandra Asekhauno

Description: Often times School Counselors and Teachers have less than ideal relationships. Collaborating and working together as student support teams can help to foster a positive school environment, promote equity, and holistically support students. Teachers can be the eyes and ears of the School Counselors. This session will provide ways to build the collaborative relationship between School Counselors and Teachers.

Friday, October 20, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Breakout Session 6

Title: ACT Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: 


Title: An Introduction to Slumberkins, the SEL Program you need!

Lead Presenter: Katie Mihaly

Description: Do you have the Slumberkins program in your school? If not, you need to join us to learn all about this amazing SEL program that administrators brag about, kids love and did I mention it is ASCA and CASEL aligned too?! Come discover how I use the Slumberkins program in my school, and be able to ask questions from a member of the Slumberkins team. Be prepared for a fun learning experience with handouts, examples, and a surprise or two in store.

Title: Career Day 101

Lead Presenter: Kimberly Norton

Description: Are you looking for a FUN, CREATIVE, and MEMORABLE way to expose your school community to the World of Careers? Have you thought about hosting a Career Day, but have no idea what that could look like or where to start?! Look no further!! Come join me as I walk you step by step on how to envision, plan, and execute a successful event that your students, staff, and families will be talking about for months!!

Title: Help VSCA with our School Counseling Career Outreach Project!

Lead Presenter: Amy Gleason Carroll

Description: Learn how you can help VSCA reach out to the next generation of school counselors! Our goal is to ensure that school counselors share the share the gender, racial, cultural, and regional diversity of the students we serve. Learn how to become part of this outreach effort to high school and college students across the Commonwealth. You will leave with the passion and materials necessary to recruit new school counselors to this profession we love!

Title: Incorporating DBT into School Counseling

Lead Presenter: Liz Beatley

Description: Do your students struggle to successfully manage strong emotions? Do relationship issues interfere with your students’ abilities to focus on academics? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) provides practical strategies that students can use to regulate emotions and improve their interpersonal relationships. Come learn more about how to incorporate DBT concepts and strategies into your school counseling program.

Title: Mental Wellness

Lead Presenter: Emily Ellinghausen

Description: This presentation covers how anxiety and stress can affect our work, health, personal wellbeing, and relationships. We will discuss short term coping skills as well as how we can create healthier patterns for long term health and wellness.

Title: The Mindset of Vocational Education: Steering the Wheel Towards Trade Skills

Lead Presenter: Verona Wilborn

Description: How can counselors shift the mindset regarding the stigma associated with vocational and non-traditional education? Participants will learn how to highlight trade skills and ensure that students are graduating with employability skills whether or not they decide to take the highly encouraged college track.

Title: The NCAA & You ” A Counselor’s Guide”

Lead Presenter: Corey Eaton

Description: Inevitably during a high school counselor’s career, a student on their caseload will have aspirations to play a sport in college. If the counselor is uninformed about the NCAA eligibility process, this can lead to issues that can derail a student’s dreams. This session is designed to add to the counselor’s base of knowledge about the NCAA eligibility process and to brief everyone on the changes that will be implemented by the NCAA next year.

Title: What You Need to Know About Students Experiencing Homelessness

Lead Presenter: Laura Hackett

Description: This session will provide an introduction to the McKinney-Vento Act, the definition of homeless children and youth, provisions for educational stability, and how school counselors can help identify and support children and youth experiencing homelessness.

9:35 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. Breakout Session 7

Title: Career Transitions as a School Counselor

Lead Presenter:  Joshua Denny

Description: Have you thought about changing school levels recently? Do you have the itch to transition into a leadership role? Has an opportunity opened at another school division? We have changed our levels, roles. and school divisions this past year and want to share our experiences with those who may be pondering a similar career transition.

Title: Empowering Students to Resolve Peer Conflicts

Lead Presenter: Uzma Baig

Description: In a post-COVID learning environment, there is an increased demand for conflict resolution. School-age children often find themselves in a state of confusion and abandonment during conflicts with peers. How should school counselors respond to teacher and admin requests for help in the classrooms? What tools should students utilize for resolving their conflicts? At this workshop, you will gain tangible tools for supporting your students and staff.

Title: Ruling Our Experiences Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: 


Title: Having Difficult Conversations

Lead Presenter: Michelle Johnston

Description: I graduated with my M.Ed. in 1998 and worked as a school counselor in both public and independent schools. I was a parent educator for Commonwealth Parenting for almost 20 years and a parent myself since 1995. These experiences have helped frame and support conversations with parents and students.

Title: Lunch With Every Kid: A New Look At Lunch Bunches

Lead Presenter: Rachael Mendez

Description: Born from the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ll help you entertain the idea of lunch with every kid! Our session will give tools and strategies you need to implement a school-wide lunch bunch program that reaches all students in an organized and intentional manner. Gain strategies for scheduling, keeping track of attendance, rapport building, and using your classroom lessons to create conversations. You’ll leave with actual activities to use right away!

Title: More than Advising: Proactive Counseling Services to Meet Students in Class

Lead Presenter: Claire Handville

Description: Education today needs a redesign. Students are calling out the system for not working, & adults are treading water in silos toward similar goals. We need to embed, in classrooms & culture, teaching skills to support students becoming healthy, thriving adults. Join us to hear our journey of integrating tier 1 SEL into content standards as well as using strategies with technology & “unwalling offices” to improve relationships with students & staff.

Title: Quaver 

Lead Presenter: 


Title: Stronger MEN-tality: An Adolescent Male Mental Health Group

Lead Presenter: Scott Markland

Description: Are you tired of seeing your students choosing to “Man Up” and “Be A Man” at the expense of their own well-being? Stronger MEN-tality is an 8-week counseling group that address topics such as toxic masculinity, empathy, and healthy relationships. Come learn about the group, the impact it had on our students, and the potential a Men’s Counseling group can offer your students!

Title: TBD

Lead Presenter: Jaime Kurtz


Title: The Future of Healing: Shifting from TIC to Healing Centered Engagement

Lead Presenter: Corey Eaton

Description: Healing Centered Engagement (HCE) is a holistic approach to trauma that involves “culture, spirituality, civic action, and collective healing.”1 HCE expands upon trauma-informed care through its strength-based, collective view of healing that does not limit trauma to the experience of an individual and “offers a more
holistic approach to fostering well-being.

Title: Using Supervision Models in Effective School Counseling Site Supervision

Lead Presenter: Krystal Clemons

Description: Tenured school counselors are called upon to provide site supervision to future school counselors as a mandatory component of school counseling graduate programs. However, school counselors haven’t received formal training in site supervision and/or models of supervision. This presentation will provide the school counseling site supervisor with information on supervision, as well as different models of supervision and how to incorporate them.

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Breakout Session 8

Title: Daisy and Rosie go to School

Lead Presenter: Kristen Bailey-Hardy

Description: Interested in developing an innovative dog therapy program? Join licensed and certified dog therapy handlers Kristen Bailey-Hardy and Sheila Pope. Learn about ways to add value and depth to existing SEL programs as well as provide academic benefits. Build both proactive and responsive plans to support our students who are struggling the most, while also adding value to our overall school culture.

Title: Enhancing Your School Culture & Climate Through Student Leadership

Lead Presenter: Starlette Anderson

Description: Who says elementary schools can’t have plenty of leadership opportunities for students? Learn a process on choosing the right students to lead your various activities school-wide (application, interview, setting expectations). You will hear of various clubs and activities that incorporate student leaders, discuss the role of student leaders and discuss action steps on how they can develop their leadership skills throughout the year.

Title: Less is More: Revamp the Rec Letter to Save Time & Be a Stronger Advocate

Lead Presenter: Alice Whitener

Description: This session focuses on maximizing time and effort spent writing letters of recommendation on behalf of students. Presenters will examine the role of letters of recommendation in college admission and how the organized narrative/bulleted-style letter can help counselors both summarize student achievements and maximize the use of their own time. Resources to help gather information from students, formatting options, and examples will be shared.

Title: Small Group Counseling Smackdown

Lead Presenter: Liz Dinwiddie

Description: In this session, school counseling graduate students from the University of Virginia will present their personally designed, ready-to-go small group curriculums. Each curriculum includes an overview, parent/guardian consent forms, evaluation tools, and action-packed lesson plans for 6-8 week sessions. Group curriculums and resources will be shared electronically with participants.

Title: Threat Redemption: The Intersection Between Mental Health & School Safety

Lead Presenter: Dr. Andy Belcher

Description: Safety remains a top concern for everyone connected to public education, especially among school and district leadership. Yet, several recent incidents point to an emerging type of school attack. In this session, the presenter will discuss the evolution of school safety in America, where safety trends are heading, plus share their own research and personal experience with a framework termed ‘Threat Redemption’.

Title: The Regulation Rainbow: Skill Building Techniques for Students

Lead Presenter: Amy Kastelberg

Description: School counselors are frequently called upon to intervene when a student becomes dysregulated. Kids who don’t adequately develop communication skills and socially acceptable behavior feel frustrated when they can’t express themselves appropriately. The Regulation Rainbow includes a series of self-regulation techniques designed to help students learn to identify their feelings, communicate those feelings, and control their behavior response.

Title: VA Tech Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: 


Title: Where is That? Minority Student Engagement in Rural Districts

Lead Presenter: Jazmin Coleman

Description: Rural districts often have limited access to enrichment opportunities. As a result of this, rural minorities can be doubly disadvantaged. In this session, attendees will learn how a rural high school is empowering its Black Student Union (BSU) to advocate for social and cultural enrichment as well as culturally relevant pedagogy. Educators can translate our BSU model to fit the needs of their school.



Fax 423.899.4547


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