September 2017

A Message From Your Board Chair…
A Systematic and Sustainable Voice for WSCA!

By Olin Morrison, WSCA Board Chair

This July, the Wisconsin School Counselor Association Board of Directors met for their Leadership Development Institute (LDI). At this annual meeting, we set our vision for the upcoming year. Last year, our focus was on the topic of School Counselors as Leaders, a topic I have written about here in the past. This year, the board made the decision to focus on two key areas that I would like to share with you today.Our first focus this year is to find ways to ensure that we are hearing the voice of WSCA members in a systemic and sustainable fashion. The nine people elected to the WSCA Board are in place to serve as your voice. After hearing your voice, it is our job to establish policies that ensure maximum benefit to our members in areas that are essential now and into the future. The important distinction in policy governance is that the board is not nine people elected to be the members voice, it is nine people elected to represent the member voice.


With this in mind, it is crucial that the board continues to interface with our members so that we can accurately represent you. How we do this was the focus of much of our discussion in July and will continue to be our focus moving forward. Though we are not sure exactly how this will be accomplished, one of the central themes of our conversation was “going beyond the survey” to find more authentic ways to hear member voices. The challenge is in making this systemic and sustainable so that this is not “the year of the member” and next year we move on to something different.

As the year goes on, you should continue to see more and more opportunities to connect with your board members and let your voice be heard. I strongly encourage you to take part. In the meantime, if you have input on how the board could accomplish this goal, please contact me directly.

The second focus of the board this year will be creating a leadership program with the purpose of developing the next generation of WSCA leaders. Again, it is our goal to make this systemic and sustainable. Last year at our annual conference I began this effort by holding a sectional dedicated to educating people on policy governance and the WSCA Board… I had less than ten people attend! Now, I’m sure that was more of a judgment on the topic than on me (or at least that is what I told myself), but that kind of attendance does not lend to sustainability of effective governance.

Clearly, we have our work cut out for us in this area. Again, as the year moves along, you will see opportunities to learn about WSCA leadership. I strongly encourage you to participate in the opportunities presented, even if you don’t think you have interest in joining.

WSCA needs you!

DPI Corner
with Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director and Gregg Curtis, Ph.D., DPI Educational Consultant
“Professional Development That Counts: Moving to the ASCA National Model (3rd ed.)”

The Wisconsin Comprehensive School Counseling Model and its accompanying student standards has provided the essential framework for the last decade.
In 2012, ASCA revised and updated their evidence-based practice model in the ASCA National Model (3rd ed), and in 2015 the ASCA “Mindsets and Behaviors: K-12 College and Career-Readiness Standards for Every Student” replaced the previous ASCA standards. This change left Wisconsin school counselors with an antiquated model of practice and outdated student standards.

Following intentional data collection from the field in 2015-2016 and deliberate, collaborative decision-making by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin School Counselor Association (WSCA), the decision was made to adopt the ASCA National Model (3rd ed.) and the “Mindsets and Behaviors” as the delivery model and student standards for Wisconsin. Linked to the DPI School Counselor Evaluation System, ( the new practice model presents an evidence-based framework for effective school counseling programs.

WSCA has been working in collaboration with ASCA and DPI to create a three year professional development training model to support counselors in the transition to the ASCA model. The first year of training will include three full days of professional development with coaching and feedback on program implementation between training dates. Registration includes three books: ASCA Model 3rd Edition, ASCA Model Implementation Guide, and Making Data Work.

Training series have been confirmed and several more are being scheduled. Check the WSCA website for the most current information on training availability.

Southwest Technical College – Fennimore

Day 1

Friday November 10th


Day 2

Monday January 29th


Day 3

Monday April 16th


Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – Rice Lake

Day 1

Tuesday November 28th


Day 2

Monday March 5th


Day 3

Thursday May 24th


The following training locations and dates still to be finalized:

Mid-state Technical College – Wisconsin Rapids

Gateway Technical College – Racine

Moraine Park Technical College – Fond du Lac

Dane County

Rock County

Milwaukee County

We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming ASCA Model trainings!

This Month’s Feature…Best Groups Ever!
By Tricia Norby, WSCA Director

Small groups allow you to connect with students in a way that isn’t possible in a classroom setting and it is more efficient than seeing students individually. Once you run a few groups, the prep time is manageable. Running groups is also a great way to reach students who all struggle with similar issues—it normalizes their experiences (note: self-harm groups are not recommended).

There is some great group curriculum out there but it is very rare to find one that fits your students’ needs and your teaching style 100%, so plan on tweaking any canned curriculum as needed. Of course, evidence-based curriculum are a good place to start and with Pinterest and counselor blogs there are plenty of other ideas out there as well.

Group Length: Unless you are doing one-time lunch bunch groups (which I love and do 1-2 times per week), most groups will run 6-10 weeks. Six weeks is okay for a friendship and social skills group but is too short for a depression and anxiety groups. Eight weeks tends to work well for family change, study skills, and most other types of groups.

Number of Students: Most groups will have 4-8 students. You want enough students so that students feel that ‘shared experience’ help normalize their feelings around whenever they are struggling with. You might have a group with only 2 students if there just aren’t enough students who share the same struggle but for whom a group might be very important (children with incarcerated parents, students will siblings who have special needs, etc). If your students struggle with attendance you can have groups with higher numbers knowing that you might end up with 6-8 for each session.

When: Other than lunch bunch or friendship type groups, avoid lunchtime groups. Most groups have some amount of activities and it is hard to do them with lunch trays and sticky fingers. Teachers often prefer to have groups rotate throughout the day so as not to miss the same class more than once or twice. If you are lucky enough to have a common recourse period then you will want to take advantage of that time.

Group Ready: This is the most important item in groups—is each student ready for a group: is their behavior manageable, are they respectful to other students, do they want to be there, etc. Interview students individually before the group starts so they know what to expect and are able to manage with the other students. They will probably want to know the other students who might be participating and I usually ask them to wait until the first meeting to find out to respect the privacy of others. I also tell the students that they can try the group out for the first week or two and discontinue if they feel that it isn’t for them. After that, then they must show-up each week—no skipping because they’d miss gym class that week. If a student’s behavior is keeping others from feeling safe physically or emotionally, then they will need to be removed from the group—it doesn’t happen very often but must be done in some cases.

Most groups will follow the same format:

Week 1: This week is almost always the same regardless of the topic. You will go over group rules (created by students but be sure to include respect, right to pass & confidentiality), topic of the group, when, where, and for how long the group will meet, how they will know when to come to group (will they get a pass, do you go and get them, etc), and a fun get to know you game (MnM or toilet paper activity, etc). Best practices also encourages the use of a pre & post-test to check for learning and/or growth.

Weeks 2-9: You will be teaching the content during these weeks. Be sure to spend a few minutes reviewing the previous weeks’ content at the beginning of each session. You might also want to start each session with a ‘roses & thorns’ round share. The use of a prize box can encourage positive behavior and attendance—either choose one name at the beginning of the group randomly and secretly and let the students know that at the end of the group when you reveal the name, if that students participated appropriately, they can choose a prize. You can also offer a ticket to each student for each group that they participate in appropriately and at the end of each group, you draw one ticket for a prize. The tickets stay in each week so the chance of winning goes up each week. Students whose name was never drawn can pick on the last day.

Last week: Doing some sort of craft or fun activity is a nice way to wrap up group (making worry dolls, stress balls, friendship bracelets, goals collage, doing improv activities, etc). Most students love receiving a certificate as well as having an end of group snack (pizza, root beer floats, parfaits, etc). Don’t forget the post-test!

Groups can seem overwhelming at first but once you have a few under your belt, they can be your new favorite way to reach students!

Tricia Norby is a school counselor at St. James Catholic School in Madison and also serves as Coordinator of the Family Programs for Catholic Charities. This is her second year as a WSCA Board Director.

8th Annual Fall Summit
October 26, 2017
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cardinal Stritch University
6801 N. Yates Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53217

Parking: Free
Box Lunch Included

Registration Fees:

Early Bird: $10 discount (does not apply to student fee; ends September 30)
Fees: Member $65; Non-Member $75; Student Member $40
*On the day of the event, any unpaid registrants will be required to pay before entry.
Two Options to choose from:
Title: “Resiliency: Promoting Mental Health in the Schools”

Presenter: Tammy Scheidegger
Title: “Practical Application of the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors to Your Existing School Counseling Program”

Presenter: Mark Kuranz


Spotlight on School Counselors
Laura Multer, Board Director

Laura is a school counselor at the Kohler School District at the elementary and middle school levels. About her work, Laura says, “I absolutely love seeing my students overcome challenges. Being able to teach them skills or help them discover abilities that they didn’t know they possessed is so rewarding!”

She went on to share that because she works in a 4K-12 building, “I am able to witness our students grow, mature and accomplish their goals. It is a honor to be part of the lives of these young people and their families.”

When asked why she decided to get involved with WSCA she stated, “The Wisconsin School Counselor Association has benefited me tremendously over the last seventeen years. WSCA has always provided the highest quality professional development and support. I have presented at the WSCA conference twice and have served on the SPARC-W (now WSPAR) and the Public Relations committees. I am now at a point in my career where I can give back to this amazing organization in a different capacity.”

Just for fun, Laura was asked what she was currently reading. “For enjoyment I am reading Sheltering Rain by Jojo Moyes. She is a British author that reminds me of my mom and my extended family in Northern Ireland. As part of my of summer professional work, I am reading The Zones of Regulation by Leah M. Kuypers. It is my intention to weave these concepts into our comprehensive school counseling program and eventually have them integrated throughout our school.”

In her role as a board director Laura wants to help ensure that the next generation of professionals in our field have the opportunities that she has been provided from the Wisconsin School Counselors Association. School Counselors play such a vital role in the life of our students and in our schools. “I want to do my part to advocate for our profession and increase understanding of our of training and our professional role.”

When not at school, Laura enjoys time with her family. She and her husband of 20 years have two high school age sons and enjoy supporting their interests. She also enjoys home improvement, gardening, sewing, cooking, travel, and reading. This summer, she also devoted time to her yoga practice. She is being mindful of the importance to self-care so that she can bring her best self to those around her, especially the students.

My name is Paula Haugle (Hug-lee) and I am entering my 11th year as the 4K-12 School Counselor for the School District of Elmwood. I recently served as the Professional Development Coordinator for WSCA for 3 years and was in charge of Summer Academy and Fall Summit. After taking a year off, I am happy to rejoin the WSCA Staff as the Conference Co-Coordinator, leading the committee in charge of Conference Sectionals.

As the sole school counselor for my district, I am passionate about professional development and have had a wide variety of experiences, ranging from regional and state trainings, attending the ASCA national conference twice, and presenting at the WSCA Conference for several years.

Presenting at the WSCA Conference has really helped me grow as a professional. Through presenting, I quickly realized that we all have strengths and resources we can (and should!) share at conference. If you’ve been thinking about presenting, I encourage you to pursue it! My committee and I will continue to work hard to provide high quality sectionals that meet the needs of school counselors.

Conference Committee

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

The WSCA Conference Committee would like to welcome you to the 2017-2018 school year. May this be the best year yet as you embark on the journey of the important work school counseling professionals do with students and families.

With a new school year comes new ideas and sometimes new responsibilities. Right now you are likely being asked to do many things, but we didn’t want to miss this opportunity to solicit your ideas for informative sectional proposals for the 2018 conference.

If you’ve attended the WSCA Annual Conference in the past, then you know how much the engaging, timely and educational sectionals play a part in a rewarding conference experience. These sectionals enrich the conference with amazing school professionals just like yourself committed to sharing a promising practice or successful strategy.

Sectionals Update


As you know, the 2018 WSCA Annual Conference theme is Agents of Change. It’s time to take a look at the change agents in your practice. What ideas have you seen making a difference in your school or district? Consider a practice you’ve implemented or one that you’ve admired from a colleague and encourage those school professionals who are making positive changes through their work with students to consider sharing those ideas as a sectional presenter at this year’s conference.

Presenting a sectional is rewarding, helps you grow as a professional and is the heart of our conference! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to share your expertise with your colleagues. We need quality sectionals for elementary, middle, and high school levels. Just click here to get to the WSCA Sectional Proposal page. Sectional proposals are due by Friday, November 10th. Please consider adding your ideas and energy to the conference by presenting a sectional. It’s what makes the WSCA conference so powerful!

2018 WSCA Conference Links:

● 2018 Conference Home

● Keynote Speakers

● Call for 2018 Sectional Proposals

Preconference Committee

2018 WSCA Pre-Conference Highlight:School Counselors as Leaders and Agents of Change for Social Justice

Heather Lemke & Erin Wood, WSCA Pre-Conference Co-Coordinators

Calling all Agents of Change!!
What are your School Counselor “Super Powers”?
Are you looking for a way to enhance your role as a school counselor?
Do you feel compelled to serve as a leader in your school, but are unsure how to do so?
Are you interested in forging a strong, working relationship with your administration and developing a concrete plan for your role in leadership in your building?

WSCA is thrilled to have Dr. Colette Dollarhide, Associate Professor of Counselor Education from The Ohio State University and former WSCA Board Member, presents a powerful seminar on “School Counselors as Leaders and Agents of Change for Social Justice” for a full day pre-conference at the 2018 WSCA Conference.

Dr. Dollarhide describes the sessions as follows: “School counselors are called to provide program leadership by ASCA and called to provide social justice leadership for the school and community by current events. Many school counselors want to respond, but lack the understanding, skills, or confidence to act. In this pre-conference, school counselors are urged to invite their administrator to attend with them, so that the afternoon session of co-constructing a leadership plan will be truly collaborative.

In the morning session, participants will learn about the foundations of leadership, including power, and how they manifest in a school. We will then discuss definitions and models of leadership, including transformational leadership, distributed leadership, participatory leadership, and transformative leadership, and how they apply to school counseling.

We will also focus on servant leadership as an emerging form of leadership that is especially germane for social justice leadership. Practical applications and considerations will then be explored, including a presentation of a program in a Wisconsin school that provides a working example of how social justice for a building and community can be fostered by the school counselor.

The afternoon session will consist of guided planning for a social justice project in the school. Participants are encouraged to bring their administrator for the afternoon session, so that the planning work will have real applications for the building. School counselors and their administrators will co-design a leadership plan for social justice in their school.

Participants will be placed in teams and will work through the steps together to create a viable plan for a social justice project in the school that will connect the school, families, and the community. In this way, participants will leave the session with a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical considerations for leadership in general, and social justice leadership in particular, and they will have a concrete plan that will enable them to apply these insights to better the lives of their students and school community.”

We look forward to you joining us on February 20, 2018 as we transform into Agents of Change through the POWER of school counselor leadership in our schools!

Publications Committee Update

Like what you see? Tweet about it! Include us in your tweets please. @TabithaStelter @WSCAlink

All submissions are due by the 10th of each month to Upcoming topics include:

November: Trauma Informed Care
December: Social Media Standards for Success
January: Gearing Up for Conference: What’s in Store!