March 1-3, 2023
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Seattle
18740 International Blvd. Seattle, WA 98188
We look forward to having you join us at the Washington School Counselor Association Conference!
Alternatives to Traditional Education: Non-Baccalaureate STEM Career Pathways
Lead Presenter: Steve 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 UTI 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.
Expanding Our Wellbeing Toolkits: Educators, Counselors, and Students
Lead Presenter: Christy Anana
The pandemic and troubling news of our country and world have contributed to unprecedented fatigue, stress, mental health issues, and trauma. It is critical to mitigate these impacts personally and organizationally so that we can recover our resilience. Be on a guided journey with me to deepen your wellbeing through Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping, mindfulness, a chair yoga sequence, and a talk about her books that
offer strategies to feel better.
Innovative Strategies to Motivate and Build Resilience in Every Student
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.
Rebuild Relationships and Connections through Vulnerability, Authenticity and Creativity
Lead Presenter: Colleen Schiller
Our communities have endured constant change. Schools have transitioned from in person, home, online, hybrid and finally returning to buildings. Throughout this immense change, students and staff have suffered a loss of connection. During this “Rebuild” session, learn how studies have shown that connection is invaluable in education and how Vulnerability, Authenticity and Creativity can encourage its progress. Hear different examples of these themes with testimonials and observations from the past two years. From the game “Operation” to connect with scientific minded students, “Labyrinth” and “ZIP-IT” for students experiencing panic attacks, to our Counseling TA’s competition to create camaraderie. Finally, an office walk-through with authenticity and creativity on display in an effort to balance the scales of trust and sharing… and Rebuild connections.
Understanding Apprenticeship to Advise Students for their Future Goals
Lead Presenter: Wes Allen
This session will introduce and/or reinforce the advantages of guiding students towards the opportunities presented via apprenticeships. Much like the yearly update that counselors get related to updates for preparing their students for a post-secondary educational environment like 2 and 4 year college, the opportunities for counselors to learn about the updates and opportunities that the apprenticeship world can be invaluable in advising students of their options both within and after their high school years. Within this session, key terms and information will be given to counselors to assist in guiding students while also reviewing the current programs in place that are available. This session will also present resources and best practices to fully understand and expand the current practices within a school setting.
Wellness in the Workplace: Self-Care Practices that Work
Lead Presenter: Lindsay Morris
Feeling worn out, burned out, or checked out? Does the never-ending checklist of things to do have you feeling more like a human do-ing and less of a human be-ing? Education is the third most stressful career in America, and we can no longer turn away from creating a culture where staff well-being is the foundation. More than ever, school counselors need tools to de-stress, release second-hand trauma, and fill their cup regularly, so that they are able to give their best to students, staff, and families. In this uplifting and experiential workshop, participants will learn simple tools that cultivate personal well-being and encourage staff wellness. Say farewell to a one-size fits-all wellness approach filled with traditional practices that don’t work and experience simple habits that have been proven to increase happiness, decrease stress, and increase productivity.
What Singapore Can Teach Us About Character Education
Lead Presenter: Sue Constan
In 2014, Singapore’s Ministry of Education released their comprehensive Character and Citizenship Education Program which serves the educational continuum of early primary through secondary age students. As a school counselor in the United States, I sought to understand the multi-faceted curriculum that is provided to all Singapore students. School counselors are called to create school counseling programs that are comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, and developmental in nature. What might a national comprehensive program teach us about the development, and/or enhancement of character education in our buildings and districts? Through a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Fellowship, my research revealed themes in Singapore’s national program that left me with the question – What aspects of their model can I incorporate into my counseling program that can enhance students’ academic, career and social/ emotional outcomes?
Building a Multi-Tier Approach to Emotional Regulation in Children
Lead Presenter: Rebecca Bowen
The individual and collective trauma and ongoing stress experienced during the pandemic have made the work of school counselors even more challenging and vital. As we return to a more normal school year, many have found that the children are not the same. Join this session to learn creative, research-informed strategies for school-wide, small-group, and individual student supports to restore a sense of safety in the school environment, address gaps in regulation skills, and equip students with strategies for managing heightened anxiety. Discover books, tools, and resources to use in your school counseling program and to share with parents and guardians to nurture emotional wellness at home.
A Case for Fun: Building SEL Skills through Role Playing Games
Presenters: Monique Simkova & Jaclyn Layton
According to a 2022 nationwide survey of 362 counselors by the New York Times, “94% said students were showing more signs of anxiety and depression than before the pandemic”. Learn why the current solutions are not meeting the needs of students and how TableTop Role Playing Games (TA-RPGs) are valuable SEL interventions. As outlined by the nonprofit Game to Grow, students learn self-regulation, perspective-taking, collaboration, pretend play, and planning skills through creative storytelling. TA-RPG provides a unique opportunity for students to see themselves differently, explore their identity, and master a new pattern of behavior that supports their best selves. Hear about the benefits that derive from decades of research about the value of playbased therapies. Silliness and laughter are not required but highly recommended. Caution: You may be asked to “high-five” a stranger.
Online Learning and Other Options to Meet Students’ Needs
Lead Presenter: Nicole Gonzalez
This session will focus on how counselors can assist students with accessing online learning. Additional enrollment options to encourage earning credit/ graduation will also be shared. Guidance on how to advocate for students at the building & district level will be provided.
A Path to Lead through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Lead Presenter: Major Robert Gentry
The ROTC program allows you to combine world-class leadership and management training with your college degree program. Join us to learn more about the Army ROTC program and scholarship opportunities and how they compare to attending West Point and the other U.S. Military Academies.
The Power to Motivate
Lead Presenter: Reagan North
How often does it seem like you are more committed to positive changes for your students than they are? How often do you work with students to create a detailed plan for change only to find that they didn’t follow through? Before students can increase grades, build healthy relationships, or pursue career plans in earnest, they have to be deeply motivated. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based counseling style that taps into students’ own motivation to make positive changes in their lives. Learn practical techniques to help students change their future trajectory for the better. In short, learn to motivate!
Rebuilding Student Support Structures for Students with Unique Needs
Presenters: Jessica Raigoza, Kiona Benton & Heather Garcia-Mendoza
The session will discuss different research-based strategies and programs that can be implemented in high schools to support students with unique needs and backgrounds. In addition, the information provided will share how counselors, teachers, and students with their families can collaborate on dropout prevention, college and career readiness, leadership, and mental health services. You will hear and see how Kiona-Benton High School collaborated with MSDRS and other educational agencies to develop a model that has helped increase graduation rates for students with special needs, language barriers, homeless, LGBTQ, and migrant backgrounds. They will share the curriculum used to support students in credit accrual and language development. In addition, participants will hear from student participants who will share how their involvement in the program has helped them succeed and stay in school. You will leave with strategies and resources you can use in your school.
School Counselors as Servant Leaders: Impacting Belongingness Outcomes
Presenter: Melvin Fields
Servant leadership and belongingness are important factors contributing to the success of teachers, counselors, parents, and students. Demographic and socioeconomic shifts in Washington State have had a direct impact on the one-on-one interactions between teacher/school counselor and students. Numerous educators have trouble making positive connections with students and families of different races, cultures, and beliefs in our public schools. These differences require specifically all educators and others to take more of an active role in developing positive relationships and creating a sense of belonging for underserved students. Learn how to effectively incorporate Servant Leadership in your School Counseling practice.
What Documenting My Time and Using My Data Has Done for Me and Others
Presenter: Steve Zaharakis
This session will illustrate: 1) why it is important to document your time; 2) how to effectively schedule your time; 3) how to work with your administrator/supervisor; 4) how to make your data do the talking; and 5) real-world examples that improved school counseling programs.
Best Practices For Addressing Elementary Student Mental Health
Presenters: Regina Brown, Diana Gruman & Lucy Purgason
Prior to the pandemic and wide-spread social injustice, children were already experiencing increases in anxiety, depression, and other mental health (MH) concerns. Today, elementary school counselors (ESCs) are facing a rising tide of distress among K-5 students. As the lone Mental Health professional in some buildings, they face unique challenges in their role. To meet demand, ESCs must understand the science of prevention and be prepared to harness the power of Tier 1 socially-just approaches. A school-wide-mental health approach can help ESCs respond with research-informed interventions. In this session, we introduce the Comprehensive School Mental Health Framework and its social-justice-informed components. Presenters will provide practical tools and strategies for addressing young students’ needs and customizing interventions to settings. Presenters will also review developmentally appropriate MH resources including: suicide screening, school-wide curricula, and gatekeeper training.
Digital Playground: Promoting Your Comprehensive Counseling Program Using Canva
Lead Presenter: Kristina Grundmanis
Have you seen presentations, posters, or newsletters and wondered how others make them look so good? One tool they might be using is Canva. This platform enables individuals to create so many things. As a school counselor, Kristina Grundmanis has been using canva.com to create images, posters, and newsletters that help advocate and share what is offered through the counseling program. This session will introduce you to Canva, share some ways in which you may use this platform to promote and enhance your counseling program, and provide you time to play around with the tools. The hope is that you leave with a product that benefits your program. Please bring a device that allows you to play in Canva (either the app or the website). It will be helpful if you have an account with Canva for this session. Educators can get free access to a premium version with their school email.
Migrant (Farmworker) Youth: Reducing Barriers and Nurturing Hopes and Dream
Presenters: Enrique Lopez & Tanya Rojas
During this interactive session we will take a deep dive into learning the goals, objectives of the Migrant Education Program in our state and WHY WA is the 2nd state with the highest migrant youth identified. Furthermore, in collaborative groups we will explore what this means for our school systems, including exploring actual migrant student scenarios to identify areas of opportunities. Although school counselors may not share the lived
experiences of all their students, gaining a deeper insight into migrant student lived experiences will contribute to school counselor best approaches, interventions and strategies servicing the academic, social/emotional and career of migrant youth in your schools.
Outdoor Learning: Rebuilding for the Whole Child
Presenters: Elizabeth Schmitz & Sheila Wilson
As schools and students grapple with how to recover the academic and social-emotional losses suffered during the pandemic, immersive outdoor education is proving to be a key solution to address the needs of the whole child. Learning outcomes include: increased retention of subject matter; higher standardized scores; better grades; better math, reading and writing skills; and higher graduation rates. Personal development outcomes include: better leadership skills; better communication skills; more resilience; better critical thinking and problem solving; and better spatial skills. We will review the research documenting the academic and social benefits for outdoor learning for K-12 youth and school staff, share case studies of successful projects, discuss barriers and opportunities for implementation, and review resources to support future work.
School Counselor and Administrator Collaboration for Student 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 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. With a focus on postsecondary planning, schools can establish goals and a culture where students feel confident transitioning into any postsecondary pathway of their choosing.
Supporting Multilingual Learners: Guidance and Best Practices
Presenters: Kristin Percy Calaff & Ema Shirk
Multilingual learners bring significant assets to their learning and their school community. Creating counseling systems that support both newly arrived and continuing multilingual students and their families can present unique opportunities and challenges. In this session, join members of the OSPI Multilingual Education team to learn more about asset-based counseling practices that can promote well-being, academic identity, and pathways to graduation for multilingual learners.
Advocating for Our Time: The Use of Time Assessment
Presenters: Marin Marks
Use of Time work empowers school counselors to showcase what they are doing and accomplishing within a comprehensive school counseling program. With SSB5030 legislature and the related RCWs, it is outlined for School Counselors to track their use of time, in order to advocate for the right School Counseling work. The legislature directs 80% of School Counselors time to be in Services to Students. It’s important to know where we are now, to make a plan moving forward. Attendees will see various ways to track Use of Time and how to utilize those tools for data development, and planning forward.
High Leverage, Easy to Remember Social Skills – Elementary and Beyond!
Presenters: Scott Jones & Tracey Tymczyszyn
At Hazelwood Elementary School in Renton, our scholars regularly practice Social/Emotional Skills, based on RULER (Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence), Kelso’s Choice, and John Gottman’s work. Scholars learn basic skills repeatedly, so they are ready to apply them when situations arise. From RULER, each class writes a Class Charter and checks in with the Mood Meter, learning ways to shift to help them understand their emotions, and self regulate. We have simplified Gottman’s strategies that help make a strong partnership/relationship, using easy to remember, high leverage cues that scholars can apply to self-regulation, building friendships, and resolving conflicts effectively. Come learn how our school has built a culture where scholars experience joy in learning and choice in opportunity. Come ready to learn new skills and have fun in the process. While this is practiced at the elementary level, the concepts work with all ages, including adults and families.
High School Roundtable
Presenter: Lilia Hueso
This roundtable discussion provides an opportunity to present the current actions items for High School counselors, discuss issues of importance in acknowledging the need to become more inclusive to all high school counselors within the profession, comprehensive school counseling program, data, advocating, and networking.
Increase Student Well-Being + Decrease Behavior Referrals (Generation Wellness)
Language at the Intersection: Why Language Learning Belongs in All Pathways
Lead Presenter: Veronica Trapani-Huebner
With Proficiency Assessment, World Language Competency-based Credits, the Washington State Seal of Biliteracy, and the Graduation Pathways programs, all students should be learning or utilizing language in their post-secondary goals. This session will teach attendees the what, how, and most importantly, why language learning is beneficial to students in all Graduation Pathways. From medical interpretation to global cultural competence to celebrating and preserving heritage, students deserve to find out more about themselves and the world through language classes and the multilingual programs OSPI supports.
Leveraging Resources and Support to Build Your Financial Aid Advising Day
Presenters: Christina Winstead, Sam Washington & Yaslin Torres-Peña
ESSB 6141 provides schools with the unique opportunity to increase equitable access of financial aid information for all seniors and their families. In this session, participants will learn about the requirements of Financial Aid Advising Day, resources to support FAAD work, and best practices in presenting financial aid information to engage students and their families. Participants will leave with a flash drive of materials to help support their FAAD work as develop their 23-24 FAAD goals.
Middle School Roundtable
Lead Presenter: Megan Bledsoe
During this session, please join other middle school counselors to discuss current issues we are facing and relevant topics to our field. Topics include 5030, the counselor’s role, appropriate tasks, groups, affinity clubs, and more.
Minute Meetings: The Most Important Minutes of Your Year
Lead Presenter: Myrna Porter
Minute meetings provide counselors the opportunity to connect with every student on their caseload. In these brief moments , relationships are built, students learn where they can seek help, and hidden truths are uncovered. We all notice our students with externalized behaviors, but how many of your students living in trauma suffer in silence? How will they share their stories if nobody asks? This session will focus on the questions to ask during minute meetings and how to use the information you collect. It will show how minute meetings can serve to guide tier 1 instruction and plan for tiers 2 and 3 interventions
ASCA National Model
Lead Presenter: Marin Marks
Attendees will have an opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of the 4th Edition American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model and its updates and changes. These updates are truly meant to simplify the National Model. The ASCA National Model helps school counselors think proactively about how they can best serve their students in their schools through a comprehensive school counseling program. A major focus of this session will be on the Manage and Assess components of the ASCA National Model. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own templates and action plans, and their questions and concerns!
The Benefits of Earning a Doctoral Degree for Practicing School Counselors
Lead Presenter: Lillian Martz
Many school counselors consider themselves lifelong learners and continue to take courses including professional development throughout their careers. Fewer consider earning an advanced degree in Counselor Education and Supervision. This presentation will examine different advanced graduate program structures and how these are compatible with the working school counselor professional. We will examine the roles of a counselor educator (Leadership and Advocacy, Counselor, Research, Teaching, and Supervision) in the context of continuing work as a school counselor. We will examine how earning an advanced degree can positively impact the work school counselors are doing in their schools and districts.
Cookies with Counselors: Rebuilding Parent Collaboration
Presenters: Sharee Zirker & Juan Mata
In this session you will learn about ways to “rebuild” parent collaboration through a series of different school events. Whether you are a veteran or new counselor, these ideas can be implemented immediately in your Comprehensive School Counseling Program. The following are some of the ideas we will be discussing in our session today: Advisory Council, School Board presentations, Cookies with Counselors, Plactica Educativa, Home Visits, Maturation/HIV parent night, Parent Teacher Conference, PTO, Awards assembly, Fall Carnivals, Open House, Migrant parent nights, Career Day, Pajama and Books Parent/Family night, Positive parent phone calls and notes home, Grade level parent information nights, Collaboration with SRO-lunch and classroom lessons. We know when parents are involved, student success is higher. Attendance, academics, and attitudes are positively affected. Come collaborate and work with us. Included in this session, you will walk away with a handbook of ideas to use in your own programs.
The Power of Words
Lead Presenter: Oracio Valdez
Oracio Valdez currently serves as a counselor at Issaquah Middle School for the Issaquah School District. Mr. Valdez is the son of former Migrant Farmworkers. He was born in Burlington, Washington where his parents would migrate during the strawberry harvest. His family would migrate from their home town of Wapato through the states of Oregon, California, and Nebraska. Oracio shares his personal and touching story of how he endured microaggressions, discrimination, injustice, harassment, and bullying as he navigated through the school system. One day he had an encounter with a professional who was identifying, and recruiting migrant and seasonal farm worker students to attend Universities. The words used by this individual of “SI SE PUEDE” (yes you can) were life changing for Oracio This experience motivates his work in sharing his personal story to students, teachers, and school leaders.
Understanding Grief After Suicide: Supporting Children and Youth
Lead Presenter: Charlene Ray
Understanding Grief After Suicide is for school counselors, other staff, families, and anyone wanting to learn how to support children and youth who are bereaved by suicide. This workshop will shine a light on concepts rarely discussed in our culture. Are the experiences after a loss ‘normal’? Will you find joy again? What does useful support for a suicide loss survivor look like? How do we provide this support in a school setting?
Vaping 101: The Truth Behind the Haze
Lead Presenter: Skye Allen
In this session, we will explore vaping technology and the addictive nature of nicotine and vaping products. Together, we will also increase our capacity to address students who have been caught, or are thought to be vaping.
WSCA President’s Roundtable
Lead Presenters: Adrianna Wissel, Melvin Fields & Denise Reddinger
Creating Your Data
Lead Presenter: Christine Robinson
Learn how to create and capture your data using Excel. You do not need to be an Excel expert to create or manage this, you will learn some basic formulas so that you can capture and communicate the impact of your direct services (or other services such as indirect services).
Elementary Roundtable: Advocating for Our Time
Lead Presenter: Lindsay Butler
Lead Presenter: Susie Honaker-Wirzbicki
The great thing about ASCA is that there is a shared understanding that ethics are ever evolving. The release of the 2022 update to our ASCA Ethical Standards has surfaced helpful insight to the contemporary work we are implementing. We will use the updated standards document to take a deep dive into the bounds of counselor ethics. Come and work with the complexity of bounds of ethical standards. You will also learn about the consultation process available to WSCA members.
Graduate Student Roundtable
Lead Presenter: Kimberly Brunner
Are you wrapping up your internship hours and anxiously waiting for jobs to post? Does interviewing have you feeling some nervous excitement? Or are you a year or more out and just want to get a feel for the future job search? This is a session for you! Join us, along with experienced counselors and administrators, to ask the questions running through your mind about interviewing and hiring for new school counselors as the hiring season begins to pick up. This season can feel hectic and exciting all at once, and it’s our hope that this session helps bring clarity and confidence as you begin the journey to your first School Counseling job!
Reading the Tells: Learning How to Read Body Language for School Counselors
Lead Presenter: Jerry Balistreri
Reading the Tells is a powerful training seminar that gives you practical techniques, tools, and strategies for understanding and using non-verbal communication for the highest impact and effectiveness. Become a highly respected, highly influential, and highly successful communicator! Whether you are a new or veteran school counselor, the degree of career success you enjoy is virtually dictated by your skills in communicating with
others on the job.
Seven Habits of Highly Efficient and Resilient School Counselors
Lead Presenter: Renee’ Schoening
This session takes the wisdom of Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and makes direct and practical application to the world of school counseling. School counselors will learn how practical ways to manage their time, collaborate effectively, and stay resilient during a time of increasing demand. This session will integrate these strategies into development and improvement of a comprehensive school counseling program based on the ASCA National Model. There will be a focus on resiliency strategies based on contemporary research on embodiment theory and burnout.
What We Know and Don’t Know About Teen Suicide In Our Pandemic Challenges
Lead Presenter: Greg Hudnal
Research shows that half of all cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Scientists are discovering that changes in the body leading to mental illness may start much earlier, before any symptoms appear. Through greater understanding of when and how fast specific areas of children’s brains develop, we are learning more about the early stages of a wide range of mental illnesses that appear later in life. New developments from 2021 CDC data indicates 1 out of 5 youth has contemplated suicide. Helping young children and their parents manage difficulties early in life may prevent the development of disorders. Hope Squad is a school-based, peer-to-peer suicide prevention program that trains and mentors students nominated by their peers to perform intentional outreach. Trained Advisors team up with a local mental health agency to support students, their families and community, to come together in reducing mental health stigma, creating safe school environments and to promote connectedness.
Advancing College Opportunity Through Data and Partnerships
Lead Presenter: Meagan Taylor
Now accepted by 1,000+ colleges, including 19 in Washington, Common App is committed to helping all students access, afford, and attain higher education. Learn about initiatives to address systemic inequities in the college admissions process. We’ll discuss recent data insights, key partnerships, and ways you can join our efforts.
Growth Through Games: Using Games to Promote Social Flourishing
Lead Presenter: Hayden Jones
Games of all kinds, not just those specifically created for use in therapeutic groups or social skills programs, can be used in a social flourishing model to cultivate social skills and build a capacity could to connect in a group setting because the interpersonal nature of most games prompt players to practice a variety of skills while playing. Skilled facilitators can use games to assess needs, provide feedback, and encourage practice in a naturally reinforcing environment that helps to generalize skills. This presentation compares social flourishing models to the deficit model and describes how games such as tabletop role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons) and sandbox style video games (Minecraft) can be used to assess and support growth in these capacities. This is relevant to counselors who support clients with lagging social skills for any reason, including but not limited to ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, major depressive disorder, and anxiety related disorders.
Professional School Counselor of Color Community Roundtable
Presenters: Christine Robinson, Lilia Hueso
This Roundtable creates a space for future, current and previous (retired) Professional School Counselors of Color to feel affirmed, make connections, collaborate, and discuss cultural diversity and personal/professional journey. Discussions will be focused on the conference theme of “Rebuild” with the PSCOC lens.
Recruit and Retain School Counselors with Comprehensive Induction Supports
Lead Presenter: Kati Casto
Novice School Counselors are most likely to stay in the profession if they feel a sense of belonging, support, and efficacy in their schools. School and district leaders must create affirming, supportive school cultures through comprehensive induction services to best support Counselors. After all, what we do for our novice educators, we do for students!
Repairing the Counselor-Administrator Relationship: Why Change was Necessary
Lead Presenter: Denise Reddinger
Participants will learn how one school counseling program worked with their administrator to problemsolve, use data, and gain respect for their program and their role.
A Well-Lived Life: Applying Positive Psychology in School Counseling
Lead Presenter: Lillian Martz
This session will explore the art and science of happiness through the lens of positive psychology. Participants will be introduced to several evidence-based happiness practices that can bolster counselors well-being and increase personal satisfaction. Additionally, we will examine how counselors, teachers, and other personnel can weave these practices into a comprehensive school counseling program at all levels. Participants will leave with lesson plans for use in their counseling programs at all levels and tiers.
National Center for Youth Issues
P.O. Box 22185
Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185