February 2018


In This Issue:
Board of Directors Elections
National School Counseling Week!
Early College Credit Program
Mindfulness Practices
ECU- High School Scholarships
NEW-WSCA Leadership Academy!
Join Us ~ Afternoon on the Hill
Counselink Newsletter
WSCA Leaders Spotlight
Scholarship Winners Announced
Committee Updates

A Message From Your Assistant Board Chair…

By Angela Goebel

It’s that time of year again; WSCA 2018 Annual Conference on February 20th – 22nd at Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, WI.  We look forward to your registration and attendance.  We are excited to have our keynote speakers and sectional presenters share their wealth of knowledge and wisdom with you.  Our Board and Coordinators are ready to be present with you and support your needs.

With the Annual Conference upon us, it is also time for a new slate of candidates to be accepted for WSCA Board.  While you are at WSCA Conference, we look forward to your participation in voting for our slate of Board Director candidates.

Our WSCA membership will vote for the slate of new Board Directors candidates with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote.  If the membership votes are 85% for “yes”, the election for our three new Board Directors will be complete. New Board Directors represent Wisconsin School Counselors for a three-year term.  Please take a moment to review the slate of Board Director candidates.

Miriam Brown
Miriam is ready to serve WSCA as a board member after having shared her knowledge at our Annual Conference for the past three years.  She has presented on topics such as PBIS Tier I practices, School Counseling and Data Collection, and PBIS and Issues of Equity.  Miriam’s experience of advocating and making a difference for others happens at Sugar Creek Elementary School and the Verona Area School District.  Her positive proactive approach to building community and a positive climate will be an asset to our counselors throughout the state.



Andrea Donegan

Andrea has been a school counselor for over 23 years.  She has been a servant for WSCA the past 4 years as the Government Relations Co-Coordinator and Committee Member.  She believes serving others is one of the highest honors imaginable.  Her co-worker describes her to be the first person to take on a challenge and to be proactive. She has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to share with our stakeholders and members.



Amy Everson 
Amy serves as a school counselor at Westside Elementary in River Falls School District.  She has been a school counselor for 11 years.  Amy brings with her knowledge for policy governance as she has served on the board for one year and will continue to grow with the board.  Amy has also shared her time by presenting at WSCA Conference on mindfulness for elementary level.  Her colleagues state that she is an innovative force and active leader within their district.  Amy will be a dedicated member to the WSCA Board.


We are always looking for people to join our Board, Committees and Coordinator teams.  If you have any questions regarding how you can serve, please meet us at the WSCA booth during the conference and we will be happy to answer your questions.  See you in a couple of weeks.

Happy National School Counseling Week! 

Join Wisconsin School Counselors to celebrate National School Counseling Week in your school. 

We encourage you to do something special each day (see below).  Celebrate your efforts by taking photographs and submitting them to WSCA Social Media.Take part in the photo/video challenge during National School Counseling Week with these signs:

Monday: Happy National School Counseling Week – download the NSCW sign and take your picture with it.
Post to WSCA Social Media for a chance to win a prize!

Tuesday: Put the School in School Counselor – wear your School Guidance
Counselor shirt or download this sign and take your picture with it and share on WSCA Social Media.

Wednesday: Passion – Download “I ♥ being a school counselor because” sign – complete the sentence and hang it up and share on WSCA social media.

Thursday: Appreciation – Share how you showed appreciation to your staff or how staff or students expressed their appreciation of YOU!

Friday:  Reach Higher – Download this Reach Higher sign – put on your college gear, encourage other staff and students to wear college gear as well.  Consider printing out this sign and adding the name(s) (& logos) of the institutions where you have earned your degree(s) and certification(s) and then hang outside your office (see example below).  This is a great way to show our stakeholders the preparation and hard work required to be a school counselor.

Post your photos by February 10th to be entered in a special prize drawing.

For more information about National School Counseling Week visit /national-school-counseling-week-2018/ 


DPI Corner
A Message from Your DPI Consultant,

Gregg Curtis

Early College Credit ProgramAnchor
Gregg Curtis
(revised from Tahira Chaudary, DPI ACP & ECCP Consultant)

In the 2017-19 budget, Wisconsin Act 59 (Act), the department’s Course Options and Youth Options programs were combined into a single program called the Early College Credit Program. Statutorily, this was done by reverting Course Options back to Part-Time Open Enrollment and amending the title of the Youth Options statutes to read “Early College Credit Program.” The Act aims to simplify college credit attainment for high school pupils and school districts. All changes will be effective July 1, 2018.

The Course Options statute was reverted to the part-time open enrollment language that existed prior to Course Options. This revision of the statute allows Wisconsin public high school students to take up to two courses at a time in other Wisconsin public school districts. The part-time open enrollment statute no longer permits students to take courses at colleges, universities, charter schools, or nonprofit organizations. The statute is limited to high school students and does not permit elementary or middle school students to take courses in another district. More information can be found within the revised statute for Part-time Open Enrollment.

The Youth Options statute was renamed the Early College Credit Program (ECCP). The statute allows Wisconsin public and private high school students to take one or more courses at an institution of higher education for high school and/or college credit. Under this section, “institution of higher education” is defined as an institution within the University of Wisconsin System, a tribally controlled college, or a private, nonprofit institution of higher education located
in the state. For a more detailed understanding of the changes from youth options to early college credit, please review the revised statute for the Early College Credit Program.

While technical colleges are not eligible institutions under the new ECCP program, pupils that have completed 10th grade will continue to have the option to take courses at technical colleges through a separate “Start College Now” program under statute, 38.12(14). School districts should contact the Wisconsin Technical College System listed below for more information on technical college dual credit options.

The Department of Public Instruction has created a new website that includes implementation tools related to the Early College Credit Program. One of the most useful tools is the comparison chart that outlines the similarities and differences of the Youth/Course Options programs and the ECCP.

If you would like to be added to the ECCP listserv to receive updates and program information, contact Tahira Chaudary at 608-267- 3161 or tahira.chaudary@dpi.wi.gov.

Information about Start College Now can be gotten by contacting Ann Westrich, Education Director of WTCS at Ann.westrich@wtcsystem.edu or (608) 261-4588.

WAICU Private College Application: http://www.waicu.org/dual-enrollment/eccp
UW System Application: https://uwhelp.wisconsin.edu/prep-for-college/credits/high-school-special-student-options/
WI Tech Schools Application: http://mywtcs.wtcsystem.edu/student-success/career-prep/new-start-college-now-(formerly-youth-options)

Mindfulness Practices for Emotional Regulation

By Amy Everson, School Counselor

Many teachers and parents know the struggle that some children have with regulating their emotions. They may lack self-control in stressful situations and can move from a calm emotional state to an elevated state very quickly. This can lead to poor decision making as well as poor social skills with their peers. Mindfulness practices can be a useful tool for students who lack self-regulation skills. Mindfulness practices can increase self-awareness of the connection between their emotions and body and help create a slower reaction to emotional stress. Furthermore, mindfulness has the capacity to positively influence a school’s climate and students’ behavior.

Mindfulness means that you are attending to the here and now and is a skill that can be developed by paying close attention to the present situation and your role in it. You are focused on the environment, other people, or a situation, in a considerate, nonjudgmental way. Helping children recognize that their emotions are connected to their physical feelings can help them slow down the reactions they have to be able to stop, think, and do in a more thoughtful and calm way. Students who participated in a mindfulness intervention group showed a significant decrease in the levels of impulsivity and aggressiveness compared to students who did not participate in the group. (Franco, et al., 2016). Mindful awareness can be learned through self-regulation resources and many other mindfulness activities that help children become aware of their bodies, thoughts, and actions.

Increased mindfulness skills are significantly associated with decreased emotional symptoms related to social phobia, separation anxiety, and generalized anxiety (Dove & Costello, 2016). Students who practice mindfulness skills are associated with better well-being (Kuyken, et al., 2013). Students who participate in mindfulness programs in schools, post-intervention, report fewer depressive symptoms, lower stress, and greater well being.  Furthermore, students who had a calming corner accessible to them in the classroom decreased the frequency of office visits by 50% (data collected through verbal and written plans of K-5 classrooms at Westside Elementary, River Falls, WI who had access to a calming corner in the classroom). Calming areas in a classroom may include items that help with self-regulation such as coloring pages, breathing visuals and tools, visual reminders, fidgets, timers, weighted blankets, comfortable seating, and other sensory tools that help to regulate emotions.

At each age level, there are resources that school counselors can use on a regular basis. Some of this teaching is done at the classroom level through large group counseling lessons and others are taught through small groups and individual counseling sessions. The resources shared below are just a few that can be taught by school counselors or classroom teachers, as well as brought home and reviewed by parents/guardians with their child.

The Zones of Regulation (Grades PK-5) 
by Leah M. Kuypers, MA Ed. OTR/L is a systematic, cognitive behavioral approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete colored zones. The Zones framework provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of and independent in controlling their emotions and impulses, manage their sensory needs, and improve their ability to problem solve conflicts. By addressing underlying deficits in emotional and sensory regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition, the framework is designed to help move students toward independent regulation.

The MindUp Curriculum, The Hawn Foundation Brain-Focused Strategies for Learning and Living
(Grades PK-8)
Help children achieve and maintain focused attention
Experience children in the class as individual learners with a more accurate view of their talents and challenges
Respond more thoughtfully and mindfully rather than be reactive when under pressure
Improve communication with children, parents, and staff
Develop a classroom climate that is infused with optimism and hope
Creates a stronger, more vibrant school ethos and culture
Be happier, more joyful and experience greater job satisfaction

Mindful Schools (Grades K-12), educator training and resources to bring mindfulness to your classroom. http://www.mindfulschools.org/ 

Apply for the 2018 Educators Credit Union Scholarship

It’s time for outstanding students throughout Southeastern Wisconsin to apply for Educators Credit Union’s 2018 scholarship. For the third straight year, Educators is giving 35 deserving students $2,000 for college.

To apply, students must:

  • Be the primary owner on an active Educators Credit Union Prime Share Savings account.
  • Be enrolled in a Dane, Green, Jefferson, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Walworth, Washington, or Waukesha County high school.
  • Be eligible for graduation at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of the first semester of their senior year.
  • Be accepted to an accredited college or technical school at the time of the award.
  • Demonstrate one or more of Educators’ core values- — honesty, fairness, integrity, respect, and excellence.

Applications are due by Feb. 27, 2018.
To download an application and learn more, visit ecuscholarships.com.

WSCA Leadership Development Program

The Wisconsin School Counselor Association is proud to offer the brand new WSCA Leadership Development Program. This year-long program will explore leadership from the school counselor position and provide participants the opportunity to deepen their understanding of individual leadership strengths and leadership philosophy.  Program participants will be better equipped to lead their profession at the building, community, and state levels.

Applicants selected to the WSCA Leadership Academy Class may:

  • Attend a series of leadership workshops and training sessions.
  • Learn more about WSCA’s history, governance process, and strategic initiatives.
  • Meet with current and past WSCA leaders in a small group environment, thereby increasing the opportunity for high quality, one-to-one interactions.
  • Learn more about leadership opportunities within WSCA, including leadership positions associated with the Board of Directors, Coordinators, WSCA committees, councils, and task forces.
  • Develop lifelong relationships with other WSCA members interested in leadership opportunities.
  • Prepare for future leadership positions on the WSCA Leadership team.

Here’s the best part: it’s FREE!  This program is not only designed to be free of cost for participants, but also has built-in monetary benefits including free Summer Academy attendance, ASCA School Counseling Leadership Specialist Training & Certificate, reduced Annual Conference fee, and free materials.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Stacy Eslick (stacye@wscaweb.org) or Olin Morrison (olin+board@wscaweb.org) for more information. If you are interested in applying to the 2018 WSCA Leadership Development Program, please review the program dates below before completing the application.

Application Timeline
Open February 1st
Leadership Academy Application can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WSCA_Leadership_Academy_2018
Applications Close March 9th
Notice of acceptance into program Wednesday, March 14th

Program Dates: 

March-April 2018 Book Study Required
April 21, 2018 12:00 pm -1:00 pm

WSCA Board of Directors Lunch

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Leadership Academy Training Part 1

May – July 2018 Online ASCA School Counseling Leadership Specialist Training Required
July 31, 2018 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

WSCA Summer Academy

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Leadership Academy Training Part 2

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

WSCA Leadership Reception and Social

August-September 2018 Online ASCA School Counseling Leadership Specialist Training Required
September-November 2018 WSCA Leadership Meetings

Attend one Board and one Coordinator meeting. Dates TBD, Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

January 2019 WSCA Conference Planning Meeting Required
Board or Coordinator Meeting Optional
February 2019 WSCA Conference Required


– Be Inspired… Engage your legislators… Make a Difference!

Participate in WSCA’s FREE Afternoon on the Hill pre-conference EVENT and raise the profile of school counselors. Prior to our short walk together from Monona Terrace to the Capitol, you will have the opportunity to learn everything you need to know about legislative visits and connect with other professional school counselors from your state senate and assembly district to strategize and craft your talking points prior to your visits. All appointments will be set in advance for you by the Government Relations Committee, so all you need to do is show up and shine! An after event to debrief will be at DLUX near the Capitol and a complimentary beverage will be provided by WSCA. Join us for true inspiration and fun!

Tuesday, Feb. 20th – 1:30 – 4:30 (with after event to follow for those who can join us)
Monona Terrace
Click here to register for this free, Inspiration, Impactful event!
Contact Andrea or Rachel, Government Relations Coordinators for more info: govrelations@wscaweb.org

Tricia Norby
St. James School, Madison & Authenticity Counseling

Why did you decide to get involved with WSCA?
I decided to get involved with WSCA because I felt like private school counselors were underrepresented on the board. Many of us are part-time but still feel the need to provide the same level of service that our public school counterparts provide. We often work with no budget and are the only member of the student services team outside of the principal. 

What are you reading currently?
The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by Chip Heath

What do you hope to accomplish through your role at WSCA? 
Through my role in WSCA, I hope to bring resources to private schools that are currently only afforded to public schools. I also hope to impress upon my fellow private school counselors the need for advocating for our positions, keeping up to date with professional development, and striving for use of best practices, even when it isn’t required of us.

What do you love about your work? 
I work in a 3k-8 school and I love being able to see the growth of my students over many years. Since we have only one class per grade, I am able to teach weekly guidance classes in each room and really form a connection with all of the students and staff.

Why did you decide to become an educator?
I decided to become a school counselor because I love helping children see possibilities–for themselves and their future.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at school? 
I love to read, hike, kayak, travel, and spend time with my family. As a therapist and private practice owner, I also spend a lot of time learning the ins & outs of running a business.

Steve Schneider, Conference Co-Coordinator
Sheboygan South High School

Why did you decide to get involved in WSCA? 
I first got involved with WSCA as the Treasurer in 2005.  I was looking for ways to offer leadership to the profession.

What are you reading currently? 
Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

What do you hope to accomplish through your role in WSCA? 
Every year, I hope that we are able to provide the highest quality professional development experience possible to the school counselors across the state.

What do you love about your work? 
I love the challenge of helping students understand the relevance of the skills they are learning in high school, and how those skills can be utilized in the ever-changing landscape of the adult world they will be entering.

Why did you decide to become an educator?
I think the energy around the transition from teenager to adult is very exciting, and I wanted to make myself available as a resource to young people during that critical time of transition.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at school? 
I get a lot of gratification when working with food.  I’ve lived in so many different parts of the world that have their own unique flavors, and cooking enables me to stay connected to my life experiences.  I also enjoy experimenting with new flavors, which helps me create new life experiences.

Xello and Method Test Prep High School Senior Scholarship Award Winners!

We would like to thank Xello and Method Test Prep for sponsoring our high school senior scholarships! Each year we are able to provide four graduating seniors $1,000 towards continuing their post-secondary education. This would not be possible without Xello and Method Test Prep!

Xello and Method Test Prep are very proud to be the official sponsors for all high school scholarships through WSCA for the 2016-2017 school year.

Xello was created with one goal in mind: to engage and inspire people of all ages to achieve their full potential in school, career, and life. They do this with age-appropriate career development, assessments, planners, experiential learning and other resources that are based on the real world. In partnership with schools, community organizations, and employers, they enable a ‘whole community’ approach to career and workforce development. Xello is correlated to the Grade 8 and Grade 12 Career Domain Benchmarks of the Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model.

Recently Xello partnered with Method Test Prep, a leader in standardized test preparation, to be able to truly provide a comprehensive set of tools to help students succeed in the transition from school to life. For over 12 years, Method Test Prep has helped students get higher test scores in a number of effective ways. With comprehensive practice on typical test questions, students can achieve higher scores come test time. Method Test Prep has been proven time and time again, with improved SAT scores an average of 120 points, while ACT scores increase an average of three points.

Together with the WSCA, Xello and Method Test Prep are extremely excited to be able to continue engaging and inspiring Wisconsin students to achieve their fullest potential.

This year’s Xello and Method Test Prep High School Scholarship and Mike Troy Graduate Student Scholarship award winners are: 

Xello & Method Test Prep High School Scholarship Winners

Molly Thorne – Mishicot High School
School Counselor – Sarah Greenwood

Eva Schrank – River Falls High School
School Counselor – Sheri MacBeth

Jessica Lange – Stevens Point Area Senior High School
School Counselor – Jennifer Ries

Heaven Lucas – Muskego High School
School Counselor – Caitlin Riegert

Mike Troy Graduate Student Scholarship Winners
Lauren Eierman – Marquette University
Holly Kortemeier – UW Whitewater



Publications Committee Update

Are you interested in helping with WSCAlink?
Here are two ways to get involved:

Submit an article! Anyone can write for our Tips for Best Practice section. Articles should be no more than 500 words and offer practical ideas that can be implemented right away. Past topics include a small-group that worked well, a great classroom management strategy, an enjoyable mindfulness technique, and more.

Join the Editing Team! Do you have a penchant for pronouns? Do you leap for language? Do you delight in descriptions? If so, we would love for you to join the Publications Committee! Responsibilities include editing two to three WSCAlink issues per year. Contact us if you jump for jargon!

Send questions or articles to publications@wscaweb.org and then we will let you know when it will be used. Don’t be afraid, be published!All submissions are due by the 10th of each month to publications@wscaweb.org

Upcoming topics and suggestions for article submissions include

March: Motivation and Success- How Counselors Support Student Achievement

  • Partnerships with Teachers
  • Increasing Student Engagement

April: Advocacy in the Profession

  • Reflection on Afternoon on the Hill
  • Ways to Get Involved

May: Reviewing Your Program’s Effectiveness

  • Using data in your audits
  • SPO/PPG write-up tips

Conference Committee

 Wisconsin School Counselor Association Annual Conference
February 20-22, 2018     
Madison, WI

February is a great month to be a school counselor! Of course, all months have a highlight, but February is a month that allows school counselors a chance to be recognized for their professional work during the week of February 5-9, 2018, during National School Counseling Week. This year’s theme is “School Counselors: Helping Students Reach for the Stars”. The WSCA Conference Committee wishes all school counselors across the state a very happy “National School Counseling Week”!

In addition to the recognition week, February also provides school counselors the amazing opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin School Counselor Association’s annual conference. By now, you’ve likely made arrangements to attend the conference and are looking forward to three days of extensive professional development and networking.

Tips for a Successful Conference Experience:

  • Determine a goal you have for the conference. Do you want to meet other school counseling professionals at your grade level? Learn a new strategy to use in your practice? Gather new ideas to bring back to your school team? Whatever it is, be sure to make these goals a focus of your conference experience.
  • Prior to your arrival at the Monona Terrace, be sure to download the conference app so that you can customize your conference experience. Now available for download at the App Store and Google Play! Search for “WSCA Conferences”.
  • A little pre-planning can go a long way when parking in downtown Madison. Determine your game plan now by figuring out where you will park (see downtown Madison parking information and FREE Shuttle Schedule HERE).
  • Prepare for networking opportunities! Bring a supply of business cards and be sure to have a full charge on your electronic devices.

New This Year:
You’ve asked, we’ve listened! There are many new and returning events in the works this year to help make the conference a positive experience for all.

  • In an effort to provide as many sectional opportunities as possible, there will be a variety of early bird session of sectionals starting at 7:15 a.m. View the entire list of sectional offerings HERE.
  • The National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI) will host the official bookstore at the conference this year. Don’t miss their large display of top-selling K-12 resources for school counselors which will occupy one end of the Grand Terrace exhibit area! The official conference bookstore will also provide support for our keynote speakers’ book sales and the ASCA books normally sold at the WSCA registration/information center. Stop by and check it out! Don’t forget to pick up a fabulous WSCA t-shirt!
  • Conference exhibitors will offer a trivia game and prizes for conference attendees at exhibit booths. Be sure to check out all of the great school counseling resources from the many exhibitors at the conference.
  • Are you in need of a new or updated professional photo? There will be a professional photographer on site to take FREE headshots during conference.
  • We are also excited to announce the return of the “Afterglow Reception” on Wednesday from 5:00-6:15 p.m. The reception will feature a cash beverage bar & snacks and located on Level 4 at Grand Terrace. There will also be drawings for the raffle prizes. You must be present to win.
  • Are you a graduate student attending your first conference? Be sure to check out the opportunities to connect and meet other fellow grad students at the Grad Pad in Ballroom B.

This year’s conference will be packed full of information sharing and learning opportunities. Be sure to finalize your conference plans now so you won’t miss out on these wonderful professional opportunities. We can’t wait to see you there!

2018 WSCA Conference Links: