ofTSCA Newsletter October 2010, Vol. 20, Issue 4
o f t h e S c h o o l C o u n s e l o r
thevoiceoftheschoolcounselorisapublicationoftsca. publicationofeditorials, lettersor advertisementsdoesnotimplyendorsementbytsca
Table of Contents
Message from the President . . . pg. 1
It’s Time for a Celebration!. . . pg. 2
Middle School Bright Idea . . . .pg. 2
Creativity and Careers . . . pg. 3
Networking for The Low Profile Students . . . .pg. 3
2011 Scholorships Now Available! . . . pg. 4
Tips for Professional School Counselor Identity . . . .pg. 4
Join Us in Austin! . . . pg. 4
School Counseling - Do This, Not That! . . . .pg. 5
Bright Ideas - ASCA Scene Is A Great Resources . . . pg. 5
Online Tool . . . .pg. 6
Michelle Shoulders Article - NEED TITLE . . . pg. 6
TSCA Professional Recognition Awards . . . .pg. 7
Who Is TSCA, and Why Should I Join? . . . pg. 8
TSCA Wants You! . . . .pg. 9
School Counseling and Advocacy . . . pg. 9
TSCA Board 2010/2011 . . . .pg. 10
If you have comments, questions, an
ar-ticle you’d like to contribute to the “VOICE”
please contact me at
. Have a great year and please,
The Texas School Counselor Association board is proposing
changes in the by-laws. A vote on the proposed changes will
take place at the annual business meeting on November 11
during the TSCA luncheon at the TCA Professional Growth
Conference. See the proposed changes on our website,
Message from the President
Welcome to the fall issue of the “Voice.” I hope this finds everyone having a great start to the new school year.
Each newsletter this year will focus on one of the Texas School Counselor Association’s strategic directions:
Identity, Advocacy, Leadership, and Professional Development. We start with Identity. Who is the school
coun-selor? What is the counselor’s role within the school? Who is the Texas School Counselor Association? Our
aim is to help you answer these questions and educate those in your school system.
Also in this edition, we are pleased to announce this year’s professional recognition award recipients and the
winners of the five TSCA scholarships. The VPs are returning with the Bright Ideas article giving you practical
grade-level suggestions. We are also excited to announce changes that are being made to the CREST
applica-tion for the 2011-2012 school year.
TSCA’s focus is to provide tools to help school counselors and we are very excited about our initiatives for the
year. We are working closely with the Texas Counseling Association to utilize available opportunities to
edu-cate administrators, school board members, legislators, and the media about the importance of school
coun-selors and a comprehensive, developmental guidance curriculum. On November 11, Dr. Wright Lassiter will be
our speaker for the TSCA luncheon at the TCA Professional Growth Conference in Austin. This fall our website,
www.texasschoolcounselor.org, is getting a facelift and will have new resources, including a new school
coun-selor toolkit. The school councoun-selor conference will be February 13-15 in Arlington. Plans are being made for a
wonderful conference in a fun spot! Additional professional development opportunities are also in the works
and will be announced soon.
Enjoy this issue. TSCA is dedicated to serving our members. If you have comments,
suggestions, questions, or an article that you would like to contribute, please contact
It’s Time for a Celebration!!
Time for CREST
by Hilda Lopez, CREST Chair
In 2005, the Texas School Counselor Association began a program called CREST to recognize schools with outstanding counseling pro-grams. Last year, 27 schools were recognized for excellence in school counseling. CREST stands for Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas. Schools receiving CREST awards have demonstrated a commitment using the school guidance and counseling program to improve the lives and achievement of students in academic, career, and personal social domains.
CREST is a continuous improvement document that gives a school counseling program an opportunity to demonstrate effective communica-tion and a commitment to getting results. CREST helps counselors to evaluate their counseling programs, promote their programs to the stake-holders in their districts, demonstrate the effectiveness of their guidance and counseling programs through empirical means, and to implement the Texas and National models for School Counseling Programs.
CREST looks at the counseling program in 10 areas: Principal’s Support, Guidance and Counseling Team, School Climate and Safety, Stu-dent Results, Major Achievements, Measurements, Community Partnerships and Resources, Volunteer Involvement, Focus for Improvement, and Communication. The school counseling team prepares a document that highlights these areas and communicates just what the counsel-ing program is docounsel-ing to help students succeed.
School counselors may download the CREST application at www.txca.org. The completed application packet must be postmarked by December 1st. Once the packet is received, the CREST documents are sent to three reviewers throughout the state of Texas to be judged according to pre-set standards of excellence.
In order to receive recognition, a CREST application must score at least 90% of the possible points on the scoring rubric. Scores will be an average of an evaluation by three different people. If the application receives 90% or better, it has achieved CREST distinction. If an applica-tion does not receive a 90% average in the first round, it is sent to a second team of reviewers. If the second team does not award a 90% or better, the application does not receive CREST distinction. An application that receives a 90% or better by the 2nd review team, goes to a third team for review. An application that receives a 90% or better by the third review receives CREST distinction.
Applicants will be notified by mid January if they received CREST distinction. The awards will be presented at the Elementary/Secondary School Counselors Conference.
TSCA hopes to receive many CREST applications this year. There are many, many wonderful school counseling programs throughout the state of Texas and this is a wonderful opportunity to honor them! Is CREST in your future?
Middle School Bright Idea
Genevieve Bennetts, MS Vice President
The term “Bullying” is becoming more and more a part of our everyday language in schools.
While it is a very serious topic, sometimes our middle school age students better absorb
information on bullying if it is presented in a less serious manner. The DVD “Gum In My
Hair” by the production company Twisted Scholar, is an “engaging, light-hearted program,
which provides real strategies for dealing with the serious problem of bullying.” One of the
best parts of the DVD is that it lists five specific techniques that students can use when
coping with a bullying or harassment problem. Teachers and students are all taught the
techniques and everyone on the campus is encouraged to use a common language when
addressing any bullying concerns. At my campus, students are given a “bully cheat card,”
which is a laminated business card that lists the five techniques with examples so that they
can refer to it in the future if a problem arises.
For more information visit:
Intended for Ages 8-14
by Frank Coulson M. Ed. Career Counselor, LPC
Are you looking for a new way to open your students’ minds up to their future career paths? The Texas Career Development Association has an idea for you that connects the creative arts to career ideas for the students you help. During the Fall, the TCDA promotes the National Career Development Association’s Poetry & Poster Contest. The purpose is to help inspire students’ career ideas and dreams. The main Building/School contest deadline is always in November to emphasize National Career Development Month. This year the deadline is November 17, 2010.
Each year a career theme is created. This year for 2010-2011 the theme is ”Celebrating My Career Dreams”. Contestants can then enter a poem or two types of posters. One poster style is traditional watercolor, oil, acrylic, or pencil art. The other poster style is mixed media using computer graphics or collage work. There are 6 different age divisions:
Primary Grades K-2 Intermediate Grades 3-5 Middle Grades 6-8 Senior Grades 9-12
Adult Student 18 and older in University Open Adult 18 and older not students
The local school contest top winners are sent on to the State contest. Then the top three winners in each category in the state are sent on to the National contest. This last year we had 5 student winners from Texas in the National contest:
Senior Poetry 2nd place Lara Garza|
Adult Student Poetry 2nd place Mariana Hernandez Senior Poster Traditional 1st place Katherine Choi Senior Poster Traditional 2nd place Noemi Gonzalez Senior Poster Mixed Media 3rd place Mica McGuire
I enjoyed the past two years promoting the contest and seeing Texas students go on to win in the National contest. This year I will be the National Chair of the contest for NCDA so have had to step down as state coordinator. Texas will still be involved as Randy Davis, a Career Counselor at Texas A & M Corpus Christi has offered to be Coordinator of the State contest. If you would like your school to be involved and have any questions about the contest or need entry forms please contact him at: email@example.com or his office phone: 361-825-5592.
Last year’s Texas winners can be viewed at the TCDA website: http://www.txca.org/tca/TCDA_Home.asp?SnID=853326893 Just click on the contest
Networking 101 for the Low Profile Students (LPS)
by Leon Kilpatrick Ed. D., LPC-S
Counselor Supervisor, Dallas ISD Counselor Educator, Vice-President TSCA Board
College recruitment is a major endeavor for institutions of higher learning. These institutions spend millions of dollars annually to wheel in the brightest and best students to their campuses. For the most part, students in the top 25% of their class with college aspira-tion will seek out admission and enroll in college with minimal help from the counselor. On the other hand, there are those students who are ranked in the lower percentile (50%<) who may not receive the attention from college recruiters but still posses the solid academic skills and hopes of attending college. From a counseling perspective, these are often your mid to high maintenance students who need the extra help but will not ask. This is where Networking 101 can help bridge the gap for low profile students (LPS). To network for LPS, the following recommendations are suggested:
•Meet with LPS individually or in small group •Consult with parent or guardian about your effort •Contact and invite college recruiters
•Invite parents to attend
Networking for LPS can be the key to helping high school seniors attend college. For counsel-ors, Networking 101 works best when counselors have established a working relationship with local college recruiter and admission staff. Networking 101 is also a good way to help with your school’s college going rate when well planned and organized. In essence, when counsel-ors implement the Networking 101 for LPS, they are not only fulfilling their role as an advocate
2011 Scholarship Applications Now Available!
Go to www.texasschoolcounselor.org for the 2011 Molly Gerold Scholarship Application. The Texas School Counselor
Association is pleased to offer scholarships in three categories:
• A senior child or grandchild of a TSCA member,
• A senior student in the school of a TSCA member, and
• A graduate or continuing education student
Applications must be postmarked by April 15th, 2011. Print the application and start distributing them to your students
today! If you have any questions, contact the TSCA Awards Chair, Calvin Phillips, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Lynda Shuttlesworth, VP for Supervisors
Certified Professional School Counselors have intense training in areas beyond other educators. The master’s degree or higher in school counseling provides specific tools to address the ever-changing needs of student populations. One must know the counselor’s role and communicate the unique knowledge and skills the counselor provides to the school and community. The counselor must develop and deliver a highly effective comprehensive guidance and counseling program that advocates for success for all students. Local needs assessments will guide program goals to serve academic, career and personal / social development needs. School counselors must share their training and skills with students, parents, and staff. Professional organization memberships provide the counselor with professional development op-portunities and resources to enhance a successful program which meets the needs of all students. It is essential that counselors gain the support of principals and play an intricate role on the campus leadership team to promote successful learning and safety. Establishing a trusting relationship and open communication with the principal and staff are essential. A few key things will help the staff recognize a counselor’s unique role in the school. A few ex- amples include posting a schedule, sharing pre - test and post - test data from classroom lessons, providing a yearly guidance calendar, completing a program agree-ment with the principal, contributing parenting tips and timely parent information to the school website or newsletters, providing and sharing needs assess- ments, meeting with staff and parents to guide student development and achievement.
Most of all, be visible on campus and get to know students personally. Be the counselor that makes a difference everyday!
Join Us in Austin!
Texas School Counselor Association Annual Luncheon and Business Meeting at the Texas Counseling Association Professional Development Conference
Thursday, November 11, 2010, 12:00 to 3:00 pm, Cost: $30
Enjoy lunch with your colleagues and earn 1.5 CEU’s. The agenda includes an
update on changes to the CREST Award program and presentation of the annual Rhosine Fleming Awards and Molly Gerald Scholar-ships. TSCA 2011 officer nomination, award nomination, and scholarship application forms will be provided. This year’s speaker will be Dr. Wright Lassiter, whose topic will be “Winds of Change: The Future of the Future.”
BRIGHT IDEAS : ASCA SCENE is Great Resource
by Dalia Gonzales, Secondary Vice-President
The ASCA SCENE is an online professional networking resource that is provided by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) at no cost to users. By signing up for this free service you are automatically connected to school counselors across the country. You can post questions and get responses to learn how your situation is being handled in other regions of the country. Recent topic include: difficult parents, school counselor evolution, student loan forgiveness, dealing with cutters, peer mentoring programs, and school coun-seling notes software. Additionally there is an electronic file cabinet with documents in over 30 different school councoun-seling topics. If you haven’t already done so, check out this awesome resource by going to www.schoolcounselor.org and click on the link in the lower left hand corner for the ASCA SCENE.
By Genevieve Bennetts, Middle School Vice President
I recently picked up a dieting book at a bookstore titled “Eat This, Not That!” by David Zinczenko. The premise of the book is simple: it recommends the better of two choices at many well-known restaurants and purports that by choosing the better of the two items you will successfully lose weight. The theme of the newsletter this month is developing the Identity of the School Counselor. With that theme in mind, I thought that this proactive dieting book might be on to something. Sometimes in our school counseling posi-tions we need to just “Do This, Not That!”
Schedule Changes: Do This: Contact parents within 24 hours of their request.
Not That: Accidentally delete their message from your email or voicemail so that you don’t have to hear their reasoning for wanting a particular teacher.
504/ ARD Meetings: Do This: Schedule meetings well in advance of their deadline.
Not That: Wait until the last minute to schedule and have no teachers willing to attend and/ or ready to throttle you for making them miss their only conference period.
Do This: Plan them out for the year addressing areas that are needed developmentally and that will benefit the overall functioning of your campus.
Not That: Copy handouts for teachers to do with their homerooms in their spare time.
Do This: Let them tell their whole story, being empathetic to their problems and working together with them toward a solution that they feel good about.
Not That: Keep them coming back crying so that you have job security.
Do This: Provide a detailed form to students to complete which provides you with background information so that you can compose a recommendation letter that is customized to each student.
Not That: Open a previously created document and change the student name and date, print it and hand it to them before they leave.
Directives from Administration:
Do This: Take all constructive criticism from administrators and evaluate your program to see where improvements would benefit students’ academic success.
Not That: Make a list of things that your administration does inefficiently so that you can later anonymously leave it on his/her desk. We are Professional School Counselors. On a daily basis we are inundated with a myriad of tasks from and responsibilities to many stakeholders. By maintaining a strong professional identity as counselors, we can be our own best advocates. By conducting every activity in a professional manner, we will earn the respect and confidence of those with whom we work to serve all students.
Online Tool Available For Counselors
To Promote Youth Suicide Prevention
by Mary Ellen Nudd
Mental Health America of Texas announced a new online interactive training
simulation for Texas public high school educators to help stop teen suicides.
At-Risk for High School Educators uses innovative role-playing simulation to
help educators recognize warning signs and refer at-risk youth experiencing
psychological distress and thoughts of suicide.
Educational Strategy Uses Virtual Role Play
The online training provides practice managing challenging conversations
with students in distress. Learners assume the role of a high school teacher
and engage in practice conversations with emotionally responsive student
avatars exhibiting signs of depression, thoughts of suicide, and drug abuse.
“We hope that public high school counselors and Directors of Guidance will review the training and then encourage their
fac-ulty to take the course,” said Mary Ellen Nudd, Director of the Texas Youth Suicide Prevention project at Mental Health America
of Texas, a nonprofit organization.
In the virtual role plays, users learn motivational interviewing techniques to broach the topic of psychological distress, motivate
the at-risk student to seek help and avoid common pitfalls. Those completing the course will have a summary, resource lists and
a certificate of completion available to print.
The one-hour training is free, and available only to Texas public high school educators, at
Mental Health America of Texas partnered with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Education Agency,
Kognito Interactive, teachers, counselors and administrators from the Austin ISD, Dallas ISD, and hundreds of Texas
counsel-ors, educators and mental health experts to develop At-Risk for High School Educators.
“Our goal is to use this technology to get students and educators to begin discussing warning signs and to ask about
thoughts of suicide in a non-threatening way. Suicidal crises tend to be brief; therefore, we believe this new technology will
provide for early detection and save lives,” said Lynn Lasky Clark, president and CEO of Mental Health America of Texas.
Importance of At-Risk for High School Educators Training
Each year more than 2,300 Texans die from suicide and Texas loses between 80 to 90 youths a year to suicide. According to a
CDC study, over 14 percent of high school students had seriously considered suicide in the previous 12 months, and it is this
age group that is the focus for the new training.
“Anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, and substance abuse are an unfortunate part of many high school students lives.
We recognize that suicide is preventable, and this training for educators is a step forward in preventing needless deaths,” said
COFFEE WITH THE COUNSELOR
by Michelle Shoulders, Elementary Vice-President
As counselors we are often asked about what services are available throughout the school and com-munity. One way to provide this information is to host a “Coffee with the Counselor” from time to time throughout the year. This time can be used in many ways- parents can be informed of upcoming school events, information can be provided about local community resources, or a community speaker could present on a helpful topic (i.e. bullying, parenting, charities, etc.). This time with parents is just one more
Texas School Counseling Association
Professional Recognition Awards
We are so pleased to announce the 2010 award winners. The professional recognition awards honor those
indi-viduals who have made significant contributions to the field of school counseling. These indiindi-viduals were nominated
by colleagues or administrators as role models in the counseling workplace. This year’s recipients are:
Elementary Counselor of the Year – Sheila Lashley
. Ms. Lashley is counselor at Lily B.
Clayton Elementary in Fort Worth. She is responsible for designing and implementing the “Kids
Making News” program in which students write, edit and report stories on video to be shared
with Clayton students and families. She also facilitates Love and Logic parenting workshops
for the Clayton parents. In addition, Ms. Lashley serves on various Fort Worth ISD district
com-mittees and serves as a Trainer of Trainers for the 40 Developmental Assets.
Middle/Jr. High Counselor of the Year – Denine Hammonds
. Ms. Hammonds is a
counselor at Griffin Middle School in Lewisville ISD. Ms. Hammonds is a stickler for knowing
how students are different as a result of the counseling program and identifying the data
avail-able to support the counseling program’s effectiveness. She is also aligning the developmental
comprehensive guidance program with campus and district goals so that what she does has a
direct impact on the students and the school. Ms. Hammonds seeks out avenues for assisting
students, teachers, parents and the community at large for improving academically, vocationally
High School Counselor of the Year – Sara Pesina
. Ms. Pesina is a lifelong educator in
Hereford ISD in the Texas Panhandle. She has spent the last 23 years serving as the Lead
Counselor in a Title I school district. Some of the issues the Hereford High School counseling
program routinely deals with include high numbers of migrant and economically disadvantaged
students and a high teen pregnancy rate. Ms. Pesina consistently seeks out ways for the
pro-gram to improve and is a change agent in the high school and the Hereford community.
Counselor Supervisor of the Year – Ms. Melanie Lewis
. Inspirational, motivational,
focused and connected are all adjectives that describe Melanie Lewis. She is the Director of
Counseling Services for Denton ISD in North Texas. Ms. Lewis leads by example as she packs
everything she does and says with passion and enthusiasm. She encourages and fosters
lead-ership in her counselors and works with campus administration to accomplish the district and
campus mission. More than anything, Ms. Lewis inspires everyone that she comes in contact
with to strive for excellence.
We congratulate these ladies for their hard work and dedication to the field of counseling. We also encourage all
TSCA members to nominate exemplary counselors, supervisors, advocates, and legislators for the 2011 awards.
The nomination form can be found on the TSCA website,
Who is TSCA,
Should I Join???
by Betty White, Membership Chair
I have lugged posters, table covers, note cards, and squeeze balls of various sorts all over the state of Texas and
even to Milwaukee and Orlando. I have spent countless hours behind a table talking to people about the Texas
School Counselor Association. I have worked for several years as a board member, officer, presenter, conference
organizer, and unpaid promoter for TSCA. Each time I serve at the booth, I visit with school counselors who are
still unsure about whether or not they are members of TSCA, and who wonder why they should pay the additional
$20.00 to join TSCA.
Why should you join TSCA? First of all, because you are a professional school counselor. An important part of
being a professional is affiliating with other professionals. When you join TSCA, you are joining with thousands of
other school counselors who help to support and promote the profession.
Second, you should join TSCA because it is the only counseling organization in Texas that speaks out solely for the
needs of professional school counselors. While TCA supports ALL counselors in Texas, it is TSCA’s representation
that allows TCA to know and understand the needs of professional school counselors, helping to formulate plans for
lobbying efforts and promotional materials that address school counselors specifically.
Third, you should join TSCA because they provide the only conference in Texas devoted exclusively to the needs of
school counselors. When TEA ceased to present school counselor conferences each year, TSCA stepped into that
gap and has continued to produce high quality, professional, affordable conferences that address school counseling
concerns. When you attend these conferences, you have access to best practices used in school districts across
the state, as well as opportunities to network with other school counselors.
Finally, TSCA sponsors CREST-an awards program that recognizes outstanding school counseling programs
throughout the state of Texas. The CREST program reinforces the importance of school counselors, helps school
counselors use data to prove the effectiveness of their programs, and helps school districts and communities to see
the vital nature of our work.
But what’s in it for ME?? In today’s society, money is tight. Why should I spend an extra twenty dollars? Well,
TSCA provides member only benefits that far exceed the cost of membership. Each year at conference, TSCA
members receive additional “goodies” that have ranged from tee shirts to squeeze balls to note-cards, as well as
School Counselor week kits, food vouchers, and other materials. TSCA sponsors scholarships for students at
schools served by members, children and grandchildren of members, and members themselves. TSCA sponsors
awards for Outstanding Counselors, Administrators, Supervisors, and Educators at all levels, as well as nurturing
emerging leaders. In addition to all of these benefits, you also have an opportunity to serve on a committee and give
back to the profession while networking with other school counselors committed to advocating for school
counsel-ors. In 2011, there will be a “members only” portion of the website where you will be able to share best practices
and bright ideas with other school counselors.
TSCA is the group that works exclusively for school counselors, by promoting and advocating for the role of the
school counselor as a mental health professional and educator who delivers a comprehensive, developmental
guid-ance and counseling program that meets the social, educational, personal, and career needs of all students. That’s
a lot of value for just twenty dollars!
TSCA Wants YOU!!
Want to do service in TSCA? Unsure about where to start? Join a committee! TSCA committees do the work of the organization in various areas. Listed below are the current TSCA committees and their chairpersons. Contact the chair of the committee that interests you to see how YOU can become involved!
Advocacy Linda Hughes email@example.com
Conference Anita Horton, Past President firstname.lastname@example.org
CREST Hilda Lopez email@example.com
Ethics, Bylaws, and Resolutions Gloria Montalvo firstname.lastname@example.org Diana Villarreal email@example.com
Human Rights Laura Bannerman firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Debbie Cogan email@example.com
Membership Betty White firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Recognition and Scholarships Calvin Phillips email@example.com