October 19-21, 2022
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


Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

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

Thursday, October 20, 2022

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

Ahh! Big Feelings! Regulate to Educate

Lead Presenter: Kara Hart

Being an educator is harder than ever right now. The pandemic has left us and our students overwhelmed and experiencing challenging emotions. This session will help you identify causes for behavior, triggers, red flags, coping strategies, how the brain works, and how to build emotion regulation skills, as well as, improve our confidence in managing when we experience or we witness our students experience big feelings to help co-regulate them.

Career Counseling in Rural Communities

Lead Presenter: Sarah Henry

The way we approach career counseling in rural communities can change our communities and our students. We will discuss factors that influence rural youth’s decisions about careers, as well as evidence-based career interventions in individual, group, and classroom settings. Using a strength-based approach, we will walk away with plans that utilize place-based career education, community partnerships, and social justice actions.


Lead Presenter: Cassandra Asekhauno

School Connectedness has become increasingly important as students have dealt with school closures due to the pandemic and an escalation of technology use in their daily lives. With a focus on Maslow before Bloom, creating an environment where students feel accepted as learners and individuals is imperative. Join this session to see how we implement Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions focused on School Connectedness within our high schools.

Helping Anxious Teens

Lead Presenter: Tori Stone

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 teens. We will focus on coping skills and building resilience so that school counselors can help teens to turn down anxiety and reengage in life.

Make an Impact with Check-In/Check-Out!

Lead Presenter: Jennifer Smith 

Get results with this Tier 2, evidence-based intervention that supports students with behavioral needs in just 15 minutes a day! CICO provides structure, increases accountability, improves motivation, teaches social-emotional and, self-monitoring skills, and improves self-esteem, as well as enhances family engagement. Walk away from this session with the tools you need to get started right away!

Passionate for Supervision? Strategies for School Counseling Supervision

Lead Presenter: Erica Daniels

Research suggests supervision is vital for the growth and development of counselors. Effective site supervision in addition to post graduate supervision is critical to the growth, development, and retention of school counselors. This interactive collaborative session will provide participants with practical information related to effective school counseling supervision for graduate students, school counselors, and school counseling supervisors.

PRIMETIME RVA: Life-Ready Tournament

Lead Presenter: Holly Guelig

How can we close K-5 social and emotional learning gaps with purpose? How can we provide a platform for students who are excelling in this area to showcase their gifts and talents? How can we bridge the connection between students in elementary and high school? Why is teacher voice and choice critical for creative growth in schools? Find out! PRIMETIME RVA brings Tier 1 and Tier 2 social and emotional learning at your school to the next level!

Purpose & Passion: Rebuilding Your Comprehensive School Counseling Program

Lead Presenter: Tracy Jackson-Tapscott 

Learn how to pick up the school counseling pieces, after two years of being in survival mode. Get back on track with comprehensive school counseling implementation. Revisit your existing data and determine how to create your next needs assessment. Lastly, review all the mandates in the VDOE Standards of Accreditation that effect school counseling and need to be included as you rebuild.

Race-Related Consultation: Tips for Working with Teachers

Lead Presenter: Blaire Cholewa

Sadly, BIPOC students often share their experiences with teachers they feel are “racist” or “biased”. We also see disproportionate discipline data indicating a persistent problem. We may be able to indirectly support BIPOC students experiencing some form of unfair treatment at school by providing consultation to teachers. Join us as we introduce practical tips and strategies for consulting with teachers to influence racist and biased behaviors.

School Counselors Advocating with Legal Muscle to Support Trauma-Informed Schools

Lead Presenter: Carolyn Stone

School counselors can be powerful strategists and formidable advocates when applying legal muscle to problems that impact youth who are victims of trauma. Intervening on behalf of students is infinitely easier if there is a law that provides leverage. This session focuses on the legal rights of students who have experienced trauma such as domestic violence, abuse, homelessness, foster care, sex trafficking, and bullying.

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 thought about going back to graduate school to earn a doctoral degree, this panel presentation will answer all of your questions related to the process.

Why Are They Angry? The Impact of Traumatic and Sudden Loss on Urban Teens

Lead Presenter: Tiffany Hillian

This session will provide school counseling professionals and administrators with the latest trends and research regrading homicides that impact urban communities. Moreover, the session will strategically explicate the increase of violence in these specific communities that has caused an influx of bereaved urban adolescents into secondary schools, requiring intensive support of school counselors.


Lead Presenter: Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy

More details to come!


Lead Presenter: Paul Harris

More details to come!

VA 529 Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

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

College Funding Coach Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Counseling Identity Over the Lifespan: “A-ha” Moments in Life and Work

Lead Presenter: Austen Winkler

Have you felt like your counseling identity has changed over the years? We will talk about how catering to other’s needs can impact our own professional identity and make some changes for us, both for good and not so good. Nostalgia goes a long way with reminding us how our counseling identity has changed so we aim to uncover “a-ha” moments while promoting the importance of combining the past and the future with making us who we are today.

Creating a Kindness Club! “Kindness is a Puzzle… It Just Fits!”

Lead Presenter: Sarah Ritchie

Learn creative ways to develop your own Kindness Club and create strong schoolwide and community relationships! The mission of a Kindness Club is to bring students, staff, families and the community together to create positive environments that benefit the entire school (and beyond) by completing contagious kindness movements. build self esteem, improve student/staff morale, and teach and support SEL schoolwide.

How to Effectively Support Students After a Major Racial Incident

Lead Presenter: Marsha Rutledge

Due to social media, students are exposed to the increasing number of racial incidents happening around the country. These incidents often find their way into our schools resulting in racial tension. It is critical that school counselors are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to effectively support students. Participants will leave with proactive ways to support students as well as build culturally inclusive schools.

Introduction to Restorative Practices in Schools

Lead Presenter: Ashley Stovall

Are you looking for ways to create a positive school culture? Are you wanting an impactful way to respond to staff conflict or student discipline? Restorative practices is the answer! Participants will learn about the integration between SEL competencies, PBIS, and restorative interventions, learn how restorative approaches can cultivate a positive school community, and discuss strategies for addressing and repairing harm.

Lunch and Learn

Lead Presenter: Tarri Jones

Are you in middle or high school and have a wide range of needs in your school? Lunch and Learns can be your way to reach a wide range of students and cover a variety of topics. Counselors will be given an active playbook to help them implement lunch and learn sessions in their school. Resources and lessons will be given for topics covered in previously done sessions.

Mental Health is Health: Building Your Toolbox

Lead Presenter: Holly Guelig

Our minds are much like houses; the messages we hear from others build the walls while the messages we send to ourselves impact the condition of our ‘house.’ What’s in your coping toolbox to handle past, current, and future repairs? Do you have enough? Do you know which tool is best for the job? Leave with researched-based, creative, concrete, and impactful techniques to help your students challenge unhelpful thoughts damaging their ‘house.’

Practical Strategies for Helping Students Develop Resilience

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 two years. Come see a formula to help you guide students through the challenges that destroy motivation and make it difficult to find success.

School Counselors Advocating with Legal Muscle to Support Trauma-Informed Schools

Lead Presenter: Carolyn Stone

School counselors can be powerful strategists and formidable advocates when applying legal muscle to problems that impact youth who are victims of trauma. Intervening on behalf of students is infinitely easier if there is a law that provides leverage. This session focuses on the legal rights of students who have experienced trauma such as domestic violence, abuse, homelessness, foster care, sex trafficking, and bullying.

The Simplest Way to Advocate Using Your Calendar Data

Lead Presenter: TBA

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.

Understanding the Psycho-Social Development in Students of Color

Lead Presenter: Kateresea Ford

This presentation will prepare counselors and administrators to gain an understanding of the psychosocial developmental process that students of color endure. Being aware of this process enables those working with these students to become aware of the impact that bullying and microaggressions have on the student’s social-emotional behaviors and their academic progress. Recognizing this process can improve relationships with students and adults.

VDOE Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: Sarah Bazemore

More details to come!

We Need YOU! – School Counseling Leadership at the State Level

Lead Presenter: Lauren Kershner

To be a school counselor is to be a leader. As a VSCA member, you are eligible for a leadership position within our organization. During this session we will explore how leaders can affect systemic change while practicing ongoing professional growth. You will assess your current leadership capacity and skills, learn how to foster collaboration while problem-solving on a macro level, and gain information about leadership opportunities in VSCA.

“What If I Get Lost?”: Supporting Elementary Students’ Move to Middle School

Lead Presenter: Emily Kitching

Students are experiencing social, emotional, physical, & intellectual changes during the elementary to middle school transition, and elementary school counselors play a vital role in preparing them for success. In this session, you will walk away with resources for understanding your students’ needs, engaging them with innovative activities, and working with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition. Middle school counselors will thank you, too!

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

Alternatives to Traditional Education:
Non-Baccalaureate STEM Career Pathways

Lead Presenter: Steven Coyle

Almost 50% of high school students are no longer considering Bachelor’s degrees and more than 50% are open to other career pathways. Yet 85% of students feel pressure to pursue a college degree! Join Dr. Coyle as he will focus on your students and how you can give them the information they need to make important career decisions. Learn how to get more of your female students involved in STEM careers. Learn how to get industry involved in your school and how to get parents more engaged in your programs. Find out about new scholarship opportunities that will benefit your students.

Candid Counseling Conversations

Lead Presenter: Tiffany Kremsreiter

Want to know how high school counselors have maintained longevity? This session will be a moderated panel discussion from a diverse group of practicing school counselors with 10 or more years of experience. This will be an open discussion between panelists and audience members, to include potential topics such as preventing burnout, implementation of successful programing and candid conversations of a day in the life of a school counselor.

“It Takes a Village”: Community Collaborations to Support the “Whole Child”

Lead Presenter: Jentae Scott-Mayo

As a School Social Worker and a School Counselor, we have developed a partnership based on a shared passion to support the “Whole Child”. In this session, we will share strategies and resources on how our Center for the Advancement of Learning (CAL) and School Counseling/ School-Based Mental Health programs work collaboratively to provide evidence/ needs-based resources, supports and interventions. Gain access to resources to use right away!

Level Up Virginia

Lead Presenter: Brittany Everett

As we work to become the best educated state, we have to make sure the full suite of educational opportunities and career pathways are available.

Moving Schools Towards a Broader View of Behavior

Lead Presenter: Judith Norman

Learn to work with adults to shift from a behavior perspective to a regulatory focus. Assess where an educator is on a developmental continuum to guide you in supporting them more effectively. Help others see what behaviors are saying about neurophysiological states. Create an understanding for different and complimentary roles amongst staff. Support educators in understanding their important role in social and emotional health.

Navigating the Middle: Career Exploration Toolbox

Lead Presenter: Quanetra Carney

Middle school is the primetime to promote college and career readiness. Our session will give you the necessary tools to promote career exploration and help students identify their personal interests and aptitudes which will influence future career choices and achievement.

Old Dominion University Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Postsecondary Pathways for Virginian Undocumented Students

Lead Presenter: Molly Redican

Participants will learn how they can best support undocumented students as they explore their postsecondary options. They will engage in dialogue regarding a brief historical context of this issue, current barriers this population may face, and resources and pathways available. Information will also be provided on how counselors can be social justice advocates for these students outside of school.

Say Amen: Professional School Counselors and the Black Church

Lead Presenter: Krystal Clemons

The Black Church’s importance to the Black American community is paramount, and its resources for the community are underutilized in school counseling. This presentation will give an overview of two research studies exploring the perceptions of both professional school counselors and Black pastors regarding experiences and collaboration. The presentation will conclude with suggestions for developing good working relationships between the two.

School Counselor to Therapist: Demystifying the Process

Lead Presenter: Brett Welch

Have you ever thought about pursuing your LPC but haven’t because it feels overwhelming or scary? Hear the real deal behind taking the leap from a former SC who’s making the transition. Learn how to start the process, steps towards residency, ethics, tips for completing hours and supervision musts. Discover all of the ways you can still serve kids in schools and in the community with the unique background and knowledge you bring to the table!

SEL and Yoga Supports for All – Students, Staff and Community Members

Lead Presenter: Sarah Tracy

In this presentation you will engage in a training on social/emotional learning, yoga, and mindfulness. Engage in a wellness workshop with materials that you can use immediately after the session with students, staff members, parents/community members. Lesson plans, resources, and examples will be provided. Resources can be used on the elementary and secondary level along with adults (staff/community members).


Lead Presenter: Paul Harris

More details to come!

Trash or Treasure? Innovative Counseling Using Household Items

Lead Presenter: Bethany Bushey

Interested in jazzing up your practice but don’t want to break the bank? Want to try some new ideas but feel like you’re not very crafty or creative? Come to this presentation to learn how to make cheap, effective, easy DIY tools to use with your students. Attendees will walk away with lots of innovative ideas for individual and group counseling sessions.

Working Smarter, Not Harder, Using FREE Technology Resources

Lead Presenter: Katie McWilliams

School Counselors are responsible for collecting a lot of data. You will learn how we collect individual student data, as well as overall program data, all with Google! We will also share other FREE technology to enhance your school counseling program. We are constantly trying to find smarter ways to do our jobs efficiently, and have adapted each year.

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

Advocacy for You and Me

Lead Presenter: Lila Hiltz

Come learn how to advocate at your school, district, and state level for the role of the School Counselor. We’ll explore how to select data and language that connects with stakeholders. How to work smarter to advocate for appropriate roles and additional supports. When one of us advocates appropriately, all of us benefit, so imagine what all of us could do together!

Cheerful Classroom Lessons: Building Student Connection

Lead Presenter: Amber Underhill

Learn how two elementary counselors build student connections by incorporating their passion for play into engaging classroom instruction, using low to no-cost materials that can be found around the building. Come ready to move, play and interact. Take away six classroom lessons, grounded in the Virginia 5 C’s, SEL and ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors.

Coaching is Just a Sweatier Version of Counseling

Lead Presenter: David Wilkerson

Venturing out of your office toward the athletic arena can reap benefits for you, your health, your relationships, and the fashion in which your community perceives you. The skills required to be a great coach are very similar to those we associate with exceptional counselors, with a slightly more directive component. Learn how your dual roles can be symbiotic, lots of fun, and truly meaningful for you and your students.

Coffee with Counselors, for Counselors

Lead Presenter: Katie McWilliams

School Counselors are leaders in schools and divisions. As leaders, we are well informed of various policies, we impact school climate, and are well versed in school and community resources. Our Coffee with Counselors series informs our teachers and staff of current and relevant topics to give teachers resources to help students and themselves. We will share how we collected data, topics we addressed, and results of our series at our schools.

Collaboration with A Purpose

Lead Presenter: Shannon Wingert

Uniquely position your counseling programing by creatively utilizing other school counselors and experts within your school division. Purposeful collaboration amongst counseling colleagues leads to effective programming to support student development and success. Presentation will focus on collaborative data-driven curriculum and the importance of relationship building amongst colleagues in order to promote student success.

College Board Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Do You See Her? Smashing Black Girl Microaggressions

Lead Presenter: Millicent Lee

There is only one direct way to address a problem that continues to snowball within the educational system…head own. As professional school counselors being diversified in cultural awareness is key when counseling student of colors and even more so for Black girls. However, at times implicit bias arises without knowing. Do you know how to smash Black girl microaggressions? Learn specific skills to do just that. Smash Away!

EASRCC Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Effective Strategies for Future Student Borrowers

Lead Presenter: Scott Kemp

This fall marked the launch of Virginia’s first student loan tool (virginiastudentloanhelp.org). This online resource is designed to help future, current and former students understand the complexities of student loan borrowing and repayment, within the context of all aspects of how to finance college. Come learn more about this resource, along with lessons learned from four years of student loan advocacy.

Into the Unknown: Cinematherapy in School Settings

Lead Presenter: Mary Milley

Cinematherapy as an emerging counseling practice is gaining traction. Dive into current research on the efficacy of integrating cinematherapy into school counseling. Explore ways that film can promote equity, build connections, and deepen relationships amongst students by providing a shared group experience, inspiring students to embrace their authentic selves, and engage in emotional learning. Discover how to create a cinematherapy group.

Mindfulness-Based Career Interventions for K-12 and College Students

Lead Presenter: Jennifer Niles

Through the application of mindfulness-based strategies, school counselors and college counselors have an opportunity to support students’ ability to navigate uncertainty in the career development process. This presentation will bridge mindfulness with career development interventions for K-12 and into college. Specific mindfulness techniques and strategies will be shared, with opportunities for experiencing the practices together.

School Counseling Program Evaluation and Implementation

Lead Presenter: Jennifer Lanz

The role of the school counselor has changed over the years and the school counseling program needs to keep up with those changes. Learn how one program re-invented itself, developed a strong team, mastered the skills necessary to support students’ academic, social & emotional, and career needs. Data collection, decision making, and evaluation techniques will be shared to help you evaluate and improve your school counseling program.


Lead Presenter: Sarah Bazemore

More details to come!

Why Aren’t Students Using the Skills I’m Teaching?

Lead Presenter: Judith Norman

We spend hours teaching skills that go unused when most needed. What isn’t working? Most SEL programs are missing vital pieces. Developing self-regulation requires many skills including interoception, the neurobiological foundation of SEL. If students can’t recognize when they need to regulate, they can’t successfully implement strategies. Learn how to teach these missing pieces to strengthen the program you’re already using or develop your own.

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

Depression Education is Suicide Prevention

Lead Presenter: Michelle Peterson

There is a unique and undeniable link between depression, mental health, and suicide. This supports the idea that effective mental health education IS suicide prevention – particularly depression education. Learn how the diverse and inclusive Tier 1 programs for 4th -12th grades, and all additional resources, help support educators and counselors in providing a strong focus on mental health and help-seeking skills for all students.

Explore Careers in Cybersecurity with Virginia Career VIEW

Lead Presenter: Emily Fielder

Jobs in the cybersecurity field are projected to grow significantly over the next ten years. This session will explore careers in cybersecurity using the Virginia Career VIEW website. Participants will be introduced to a digital Cybersecurity Careers Toolkit, including interactive cybersecurity career lists (K-12), lesson plan ideas, games, book lists, resource links, and more. A folder of resources will be provided for participants!

Healing by Design – Creating a Space that Supports Your Goals!

Lead Presenter: Sarah Ritchie

A space should be something that supports you as you try to achieve specific goals, so let’s talk about what your counseling space looks like! Research on human behavior and design principles are shown to promote positive interactions between therapists and clients. The same goes for counselors and students. Well-designed offices also exude softness, personalization and orderliness. Learn the tips and tricks to help design your own healing space.

Healing Centered Engagement in a Post-Covid World

Lead Presenter: Corey Eaton

Healing Centered Engagement (HCE) is an approach that allows practitioners to approach trauma with a fresh lens that promotes a holistic view of healing from traumatic experiences and environments. An HCE approach views trauma not simply as an individual isolated experience, but rather highlights the ways in which trauma and healing are experienced collectively.

Introducing the Digital SAT Suite of Assessments

Lead Presenter: Valerie Keating

The SAT Suite of Assessments is adapting to meet the evolving needs of students and educators. At this session, we will introduce the Digital SAT Suite of Assessments and highlight the new student- and educator-friendly changes. Participants of this session will learn how these changes will benefit them in their important work with students. We will also review what’s staying the same with the SAT Suite, as well as the administration timeline.

Navigating the Expansion: Medicaid and Schools for School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Randal Queen

Medicaid and Schools is growing! The planned program for expansion will offer opportunities for a broader array of staff participation and services. This session is aimed at encouraging expansion through providing a basic understanding of the program including how reimbursement works and requirements for school counselors such as qualifications, covered work activities, and documentation.

Rearviewing the COVID Existential Crisis: Driven to Thrive and Reimagine

Lead Presenter: Rita Schellenberg

COVID left many wounded and suffering from coronaphobia. Survivors need support while not only learning to coexist with the lethal arachnid, but to re-imagine and thrive in its presence. As a diverse collective we will examine COVID impacts through a positive psychology lens and emerge with forward strategies, rear-viewing the existential crisis. It has been said that we are at the precipice. If so, may I inquire–will we petrify or grow wings?

Schoolwide SEL Curriculum: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Supporting Students

Lead Presenter: Carlee Hanchak

Join us as we review how one district implements a schoolwide Social-Emotional Learning curriculum including multi-tiered supports for all students. Participants will leave with an understanding of how our district’s counselors gained buy-in from upper admin as well as building level staff, understand how to approach your curriculum through a lens of tiered supports, as well as how your curriculum can connect to the state SEL standards.

The Science Behind the Struggle

Lead Presenter: Paige Abasolo

What is executive functioning and how does it affect emotional regulation? In this presentation, you will learn how executive functioning and emotional regulation are connected. Understanding the root cause of the academic and emotional challenges of students can provide the framework for effective school counseling interventions as well as the knowledge needed to support other educators within your school.

Suspension: Is It the Only Solution to Discipline Problems?

Lead Presenter: Betsy Perez

Attendees will learn about alternatives to suspension through several tier 2 and tier 3 intervention strategies. Strategies will include evidence and research based interventions that aim to reduce suspension rates for high school students. Presenters will also include how trauma informed and restorative justice practices can help to teach students effective social-emotional learning skills to prevent disciplinary issues.


Lead Presenter: Paul Harris

More details to come!

Trauma Informed Practices for K-12 Educators

Lead Presenter: Kevin Ber

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.

Wellness Room Effectiveness in the School Setting

Lead Presenter: Ashley Korman

In conjunction with Emory University data has been collected and analyzed regarding how the Potomac Shores Middle School Wellness Room has helped our students increase their mental wellness and self-regulation. The Wellness Room provides a safe space for students to practice coping skills to re-align to their best selves. Students have access to various stations focusing on the five senses that are tailored to the student-identified feeling.

Friday, October 21, 2022

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

ACT Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Alternative to Suspension: How To Address Substance Use

Lead Presenter: Majken Whitaker

Learn how to assist students in exploring their presenting use by educating them on the impacts on the brain, health, social life, future choices and assessing their place in the stages of change. Discover how presenting this as an alternative to suspension, or in conjunction with suspension, benefits the youth’s outcomes and your counseling relationship.


Lead Presenter: Elizabeth Beatley

This presentation will outline a 6 session counseling group that focuses on empowering our students to recognize and utilize their talents, strengths, and positive supports. The topics and activities in this group can be modified for all ages (elementary-college aged). The Empower group is designed as an intentional time to focus on what is right in our lives!

Fed Up with Testing?! Taking Down the One (Wo)man Dog and Pony Show!

Lead Presenter: Kathryn Shapiro

Are you saddled with the responsibility of being the AP/Testing Coordinator for your high school this year? Join AHS counselors to talk strategy and tips for transitioning this position from an insurmountable one-person show to a field-appropriate team approach. Learn how advocacy turned our process on its head. Attendees will walk away with tangible ideas and strategies for delegating testing and managing the workload.

First Year School Counseling Survival Guide

Lead Presenter: Molly Jacobs

Come learn tips and tricks to make your first year as a school counselor a smooth experience! You will walk away from this session with hands on strategies to try with students, ways to minimize imposter syndrome, and the confidence to know that you can do it!

Passion and Purpose: #TGIM

Lead Presenter: Ryan Stein

It’s time to wake up to your WHY and change the climate and culture of your school on the best day of the week: Monday! Personal stories will share the blueprint on how to implement an inclusive, equitable, and unforgettable learning experience for all students. Mondays can become the cornerstone in your school’s ability to build authentic relationships, support social-emotional learning, retain teachers, and increase attendance!

School Counselor Role Ambiguity – Impact on Student Postsecondary Readiness

Lead Presenter: Sarah Whipp

School counselor role ambiguity is an increase in time spent performing duties outside of the profession. Because of this school counselors’ time is taken away from supporting students’ skill development that assists with postsecondary planning. This session will review ways in which school counselors can collaborate with key stakeholders to reduce role ambiguity and focus on student achievement and success.

To SEE Us, It Must BE Us!

Lead Presenter: Jentae Scott-Mayo

As School Counselors, we recognize the need for representation for our students. This is true in the graphics we choose, the flyers we design, books we purchase and lessons we plan. Most agree- representation MATTERS. Yet what about the representation that we, as professionals, need to set goals and work toward sustainable outcomes? In this session, we will address the need for minority representation in state school counselor leadership.

Tools to Do the Work: Supporting Mental Health Needs of Students of Color

Lead Presenter: Crystal Hatton

While mental health needs are prevalent within all student populations, research suggests that students of color are particularly vulnerable due to various disparities and inequities that already impact their communities. In this session, attendees will explore the mental health needs of students of color and identify specific ways that school counselors can lead efforts to promote their social-emotional health and wellness while in school.

You’ve Got The Power! Energize and Engage K-8 Learners

Lead Presenter: Melissa Leischner

Energize your counseling lessons and groups with ideas from this fun interactive session! Come ready to learn as we demonstrate ideas that work in improving student engagement and outcomes. Discover activities and creative techniques using music, movement, technology, and other tools to create a dynamic counseling environment.

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

Addressing the Ethical Imperative of Self-Care for School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Carrie Sanders

Imagine a retreat designed specifically for school counselors as they prepare themselves for work. We will describe intentional efforts to invite school counselors for an engaging renewal experiential day with individual and collective activities designed to attend to various subsets of wellness including physical, social and emotional wellness through connection.

All The Tough Stuff

Lead Presenter: Molly Jacobs

The world of school counseling has changed since the events of 2020. Come learn how one elementary school addressed the rise in risky technology related and sexually explicit behaviors being displayed among students. This presentation will share how we have addressed this topic on a micro and macro level in our school community.

An Application of Bibliotherapy & Narrative Therapy: Zines!

Lead Presenter: Sarah Henry

Interested in bibliotherapy and narrative therapy, but feel lost about how to apply these interventions in a school setting? Zines are an easy, flexible, and creative way to engage students and allow them to be the expert in their own story, process experiences, and connect with others. This session will be a hands-on adventure into the history, function, and designs of zines that will allow you to take a tangible tool back to your school.

Classroom Management for Elementary Counselors

Lead Presenter: Ginnie Szczypinski

Effective classroom lessons are built on a foundation of classroom management. Do you want your students to be fully engaged in your lessons? Do you want the respect of teachers and administrators. If so, you need to develop a style of classroom management that will make your expectations clear and nurture a positive classroom climate. This active and engaging workshop will teach you the tips they did not include in your masters program.

Expanding on Student Strengths: School Counseling in a Nontraditional High School

Lead Presenter: Tyler Cabatic

The counseling team at William Obediah Robey High School will present on the development of their school counseling program. Robey is a nontraditional high school that serves students who are working, parenting, English learners, or need to earn credits more quickly than their traditional high school allows. Further, Robey offers a smaller environment, individualized instruction, and self-paced learning to meet the unique needs of every student.

The Forgotten Grievers: Adolescent Grief and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lead Presenter: Ellen Winsor Chaffin

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the US faces an epidemic of grief. Often unrecognized or poorly understood, grief can have a significant negative impact on physical and mental health particularly for adolescents. This presentation will discuss signs and symptoms to look for in grieving adolescents and suggest specific primary and secondary intervention strategies that schools can implement to mitigate the effects of grief on their students.

Lead with Love

Lead Presenter: Ryan Stein

Morning choice wins! Throw away morning packets and start each school day with a passion and purpose! The simple implementation of morning clubs will change your school’s climate and culture, foster meaningful relations, promote academic excellence, and retain teachers. Get ready to dance, step, drum, and cook in this unique and immersive experience where you learn simple action steps on how to build a sense of belonging by leading with love.

Sister Circles as Affinity Groups

Lead Presenter: Christina Tillery

Sister Circles has provided spaces for girls to explore their identity, connect with their peers and mentors, and develop leadership skills. School counselors will gain knowledge on the importance of Sister Circles and how to conduct successful Sister Circles in the school environment. This session will leave participants feeling confident to host their own Sister Circle and will have supplemental materials to guide them.

 Sponsor Session

Lead Presenter: TBA

More details to come!

Trauma Responsive Strategies for School Counselors

Lead Presenter: Jaime Conklin

While we know that many of our students have experienced some type of childhood trauma, we may not always know the best ways to interact with these students. In this session, we will explore the effects of childhood trauma on the adolescent brain and student behavior. Attendees will learn how to use a trauma responsive approach to working with challenging students to help build connections and decrease barriers to learning. 

The Virginia Partnership for School Mental Health

Lead Presenter: Julia Taylor

Did you know up to 80% of youth in need of mental health services do not have access to treatment? The VPSMH aims to close that gap by improving school-based mental health services and increasing the number of highly-qualified providers in schools across the Commonwealth. This interactive session will include an overview of the partnership, a live demonstration of our mentoring/case consultation model, and will provide an abundance of resources.

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

“Be A Starr”–Interrupting Racism & Inequities in Schools and Communities

Lead Presenter: Turesa Gilchrist

This presentation will utilize the novel/film The Hate U Give to examine inequities that exist in schools and communities surrounding K-12 students of color. Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory and a hands-on activity, participants will consider ways to interrupt racism and promote advocacy by supporting the needs of students and families often marginalized in society.

Building Business Partnerships for Career Programming

Lead Presenter: Shannon Edwards

Learn about how middle and high schools in one county collaborated with local business partners to create connections and valuable programs for secondary students. Discuss new ways to have career conversations with students and examine how to partner with employers in your community to have ongoing, equitable career exploration opportunities. Participants will receive comprehensive programming and planning tools for a recent Career Expo event.

Career Beats

Lead Presenter: An WineKing

Engage students in a unique adventure in Career Exploration through a musical game of Bingo! This is an interactive group experience that you won’t want to miss!

It Takes a Village: Empowering Parents as Partners

Lead Presenter: Alexandra Williams-Diaz

Join us for a strategy-packed presentation on empowering families as allies and advocates in their child’s education. Presenters will provide participants with practical techniques to communicate and engage with parents.

National & Local Data Collide in High School Senior Transition & Attitudes

Lead Presenter: Peggy Spiak

The pandemic negatively impacted seniors’ desire to matriculate to 2 & 4-yr schools. We also know that their attitudes regarding the high school experience & post-secondary transition were also negatively impacted. Let’s compare how a rural high school’s data (New Kent) mirrors national data on matriculation & feelings of depression, anxiety, & overall pessimism toward the future. Results will guide program development for ‘22-’23.

Overcoming Implementation Barriers for Strong SEL Frameworks

Lead Presenter: Kathleen Doppelheuer

The difficulties faced by our community from 2020 to present underscore what most school counselors already know: students, staff and families need social-emotional support. But, translating a framework into actionable items and measurable goals is difficult. Together, we will examine typical implementation barriers for SEL programs in grades K-12, and provide recommendations to develop strong, data-driven, sustainable implementation plans.

Reach for the STARs! A Purposeful & Passionate Way to Implement your CSCP

Lead Presenter: Tracy 

Before you can RAMP, you need a comprehensive school counseling program. Learn how one Northern VA school division executed the necessary steps and taught their school counselors how to create and own their programming to meet the needs of their schools.

Small Group Counseling Smackdown

Lead Presenter: Liz Dinwiddie

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.


Lead Presenter: Olivia Carter

More details to come!

Trauma Informed Counselors Help Every Student Succeed

Lead Presenter: Tanipa Thomas

During this presentation School Counselors as well as Mental Health professionals will learn to be prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. A trauma-sensitive school is one in which all students feel safe, welcomed, and supported and where addressing trauma’s impact on learning on a school-wide basis is at the center of its educational mission.



Fax 423.899.4547


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