All learning sessions will be delivered online. More details about our virtual learning platform will be available in the coming weeks. Schedule is subject change.


Learning Session 1
10:10am - 11:00am
Arizona's Career Literacy Standards (K-8)
We all know that a comprehensive school counseling program includes the career domain. For school counselors who work in a K-8 setting there has not been a lot of guidance of what this actually looks like. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) along with many other stakeholders created Arizona's Career Literacy Standards to assist schools in addressing this need. Come learn about these standards, how ADE is supporting career literacy in K-8, and best practices for implementation.
Amanda Nolasco
School Counselor Specialist | Arizona Department of Education

Amanda Nolasco has been in the education field for 22 years where she has served as an English teacher, School Counselor, Department Chair, Counselor Facilitator – CTE and is currently the School Counselor Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education. In 2012 she was selected as the Outstanding CTE Counselor of the Year for ACTEAZ. She has served as the Assistant Chair and Chair for AzSCA and Vice President and Secretary for ACTEAZ.
High School Counselors as Leaders and Partners with Administration
Dr. Teresa Toro will share the results of her qualitative descriptive phenomenological study that explored the phenomenon of school counselors as leaders, who work in school districts in the state of Arizona. The American School Counselor National Model and the Distributed Leadership Model served as the conceptual framework for this study. Co-presenting is Mr. David Montaño, AzSCA Supervisor of the Year for 2019. He will discuss how integral it is for high school counselors and administrators to work as an effective leadership team.
Teresa Toro
Pueblo High School Counseling Department Chair and Pueblo College Preparatory Academy Coordinator | TUSD

Dr. Teresa Toro attended Pima Community College and received her teaching degree from the University of Arizona.  She earned her master's degree from the University of Phoenix and doctorate from Grand Canyon University. She was adjunct professor for Pima Community College and currently serves as the Pueblo Counseling Department Chair and coordinator for the Pueblo College Preparatory Academy. She received the RAMP Award for the school counseling program at Davis Bilingual Magnet School and the Pueblo Counseling Department submitted its RAMP application this school year.

Rafael David Montaño
Assistant Principal and Counseling Department Supervisor | TUSD

Rafael David Montaño attended Pima Community College and received his teaching degree from the University of Arizona.  He earned his master’s degree from Northern Arizona University. He was a teacher for seven years and has served as an administrator for Tucson Unified School District for 17 years.  Of those 17 years, he has served as a High School Counseling Department Supervisor for 15 years. He was awarded AzSCA Supervisor of the Year in 2019. 
Counseling in a Title 1 School: Connections that Endure A Pandemic & Beyond
This year has challenged Counselors, even the most seasoned in the profession. Withering a pandemic, or navigating virtual or in-person schooling, this presentation brings concrete ideas & strategies to connect with students & families during this unique year & beyond. Spend time with two Counselors- 1) An in-person Counselor & an online Counselor, both in Title I communities, who can share their perspective from both sides of the pendulum. Leave the session with tangible ideas & printables to foster profound connections with students & families. Topics will include: collaborating, conducting home visits, facilitating small groups, school wide initiatives, and more!
Cynthia Howell
Counselor | Hartford Elementary School

Cynthia Howell is a lifelong learner. Once a Kindergarten teacher, now a Clinical/Elementary School Counselor, and all while in the Title I communities she adores. She serves on her district’s crisis team, is a leader for Title I school counselors in her district and is an ASIST Suicide Prevention trainer. Working as a bilingual Counselor in diverse communities and seeing the extraordinary examples of resiliency in her students & families, is her great passion.

Jennine Ballew
Counselor | Chandler Online Academy

Jennine Ballew holds B.S. degrees in Child Development & Family Relations, Elementary Education, and a Master of Counseling from ASU. She has been in the educational setting for over 15 years as both a classroom teacher & counselor. As a member of ASCA, AZSCA, and ISCA (International School Counseling Association), Jennine is committed to lifelong learning & advocates for all students. Currently, she is tasked with developing the elementary counseling program for an Online Academy.
Preparing Juniors to be College-Ready in a Virtual Year
Dive into strategies to prepare Junior students for a college search process in the new all-virtual landscape. In this session, you’ll hear from the University of Arizona’s Admissions team about programming to connect students to their in-state college options. We’ll look at how “pass/fail” and core 16 courses required by ABOR are considered since the introduction of alternative grading systems. Helpful if your students are feeling the stress about their college-search experience in a virtual environment, come prepared to hear about the resources and programming available to students and strategies to combat the realities of college-search Zoom fatigue!
Dan Kellish
Associate Director, Arizona Recruitment | University of Arizona

Dan Kellish serves as the Associate Director for Arizona Recruitment in the Office of Admissions at the University of Arizona. Having worked with dorms, events, and recruitment through his career in Higher Education, he always looks forward to connecting with counselors and continuing to swap strategies and best practices!

Ariana Valverde
Assistant Director, Southern Arizona Recruitment | University of Arizona

Ariana Valverde serves as the Assistant Director of Southern Arizona Recruitment in the Office of Admissions at the University of Arizona. Having served as a tour guide in college, Ariana knew the importance of helping students find their fit. Since her time at Arizona, Ariana has worked with numerous schools in the Southern Arizona region. Now in her role, Ariana enjoys making connections with counselors, families and students.
Learning Session 2
11:10am - 12:00pm
Apart, But Not Alone: Navigating Traumatic Stress and Grief During the Covid-19 Pandemic
As a community, as counselors, and as humans, we have collectively hit “weary”. We are spread thin, having to juggle new information, new expectations, and new crisis. This workshop will begin with a focus on the history, development, process and current partnerships of school-based mental health services with schools and how these partnerships are working together to serve the community. Participants will be invited into experiential moments of mindfulness, to connect with our bodies and minds. Participants will join in an exploration into how trauma, toxic stress, grief and compassion fatigue looks personally and in our community.
Catherine Tansey
Director of Integrated School-Based Services | Valle Del Sol

Catherine Tansey, MSW, LMSW is a Licensed Master of Social Work with over 7 years of clinical experience in, Child and Family Attachment Work, Mindful Parenting, Trauma-Informed Therapies, and Play Based Interventions. She is currently the Director of Integrated School-Based Services at Valle Del Sol, a leading integrated health center in Arizona. Catherine is excited to connect with school-based counseling staff during this particularly challenging time to encourage self-awareness, self-care, and professional development.
To be “woke” means to be aware and conscious of the injustices around us, but how does that translate to action? Learn about the role of school counselors as leaders in social justice advocacy, working to eliminate racism and bias in schools by integrating the ASCA National Model and standards in practice. Hear practical, solution-focused action steps to begin or deepen this critical work.

Walk away with realistic, tangible tools to apply immediately at your school to effectively meet the needs of students of color and their families through the lens of wholistic healing from systemic oppression and race-based trauma.
Sylvia Hollins
ASCA Trainer / Doctoral Researcher | American School Counselor Association

Sylvia Hollins is currently a counselor education and supervision doctoral student at the University of Alabama. She served as a school counselor for several years, during which she was awarded the New Counselor of the Year honor from the Alabama Counseling Association. She has taught various counseling and trauma. Her concentration of research, teaching and advocacy includes: counseling individuals and families from marginalized and minority populations, racial justice and advocacy.
AdviseAZ: A Collaboration between the Arizona College Access Network and Earn to Learn
AdviseAZ is an AmeriCorps supported "Near Peer" college advising program that works with high school counselors and college readiness programs to increase the number of high school students who enroll and complete postsecondary education. Advisers are current college students or recent college graduates from local community colleges and universities. Advisers receive intensive training in order to deliver personalized, knowledgeable support on college admissions, financial aid and enrollment for low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students. The goal of the program is to increase the number of high school students who enter and complete postsecondary education.
David Rodriguez
Director of Access and Recruitment | Earn to Learn / AdviseAZ

David has a long history of college access service in our communities. The recipient of several local and national awards; his background includes program development and evaluation, and he is an expert in college access processes, educational marketing and recruitment/retention strategies. His interventions and programs have generated millions of grant and scholarship dollars for first generation college students in Southern Arizona. He holds degrees from the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University.

Marissa Bachler
Program Coordinator | College Success Arizona / AdviseAZ

Marissa Bachler started working with students towards reaching their postsecondary goals at Northern Arizona University in 2014 as a peer mentor with the Academic Transitions Program. After graduating, she continued her passion for education, starting at the Northern Arizona College Resource Center as an AmeriCorps educational advisor before taking on the role of Program Coordinator Marissa graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She is now in graduate school.

Ebonee Robinson
Program Support Specialist | Earn to Learn / AdviseAZ

Ebonee Robinson is the Program Support Specialist for the AdviseAZ program at Earn to Learn. As a former AmeriCorps position experience, she was inspired to further her education to better serve the youth of her community. She attended Arizona State University, and recently graduated as a first-generation college student with a BS in Nonprofit Leadership and Management and a Nonprofit Professional certification.
AzSCA Mentor Program
This session is perfect for the "NEW" school counselor AND for any veteran school counselor who wants to become a Mentor. AzSCA has developed an opportunity for "New" school counselors to be matched with a "Veteran" school counselor for support. Find out what it takes to qualify to be a mentor and discover how to request a mentor.
Julie Cota
School Counselor | Show Low High School

Julie Cota has been a school counselor since 1995. She has served as a member of the AzSCA board for many years. She is motivated to leave a legacy of strong school counselors and school counseling programs in Arizona. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and is the liaison chair for professional Development.


Learning Session 3
9:10am - 10:00am
Data and the Four Ws
Find out how to showcase and present your school counseling data with intent and purpose to various stakeholders. Learn the 4 Ws of data and how to showcase and present student data to advance your school counseling program and your role. This workshop will help you convey through data to a level of understanding that broadens the need for school counseling within your school and your community. After attending this workshop, you will be able to identify the 4 Ws of data to support the cause and need for school counseling services to specific stakeholders.
Gus Ochoa
School Counselor | Raymond Cree Middle School, Palm Springs, CA

Proudly serving my 7th year as a school counselor at Raymond Cree Middle School in Palm Springs, CA. Experience in building and delivering a comprehensive ASCA-aligned school counseling program and providing support to county and district counselors in such areas as: tier 2 interventions, data, attendance, and distance learning.

Marisol Guerrero
School Counselor | Raymond Cree Middle School, Palm Springs, CA

With six years of experience serving as a school counselor,  I am proud to serve and support all students through a comprehensive school counseling program. In 2018, I was recognized as Palm Springs USD, School Counselor of the year. Before joining Palm Springs USD in CA, I worked as a Math teacher for nine years, serving as Department Chair for six years. While working for Coachella Valley Unified, I also work with youth in an independent studies program supporting them toward completing their education. 
Coping with Crisis
Traumatic events can shake our sense of safety, fuel anxiety, and leave us with a sense of uncertainty. The resulting stress in the aftermath of a crisis impacts physical health, feelings, and behavior. Adults supporting our students in times of crisis can mitigate the intensity of a student’s response by responding to this trauma proactively. During this forum, participants will consider common reactions to crisis (including COVID-19), explore potential short and long-term effects, and brainstorm recovery activities for both adults and students that can be implemented in response to troubling events.
Kate Fuller
Senior Director | Generation Schools Network

Kate has 31 years of school experience as a teacher and principal, and has worked in higher education as a student teacher supervisor and adjunct professor. At GSN, she facilitates school redesign and Diagnostic Reviews and finds it rewarding to support a Turnaround School’s transition into a successful school status. Kate earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Cincinnati and an MA in Educational Leadership from Adams State University.

Larry Martinez
Senior Education Specialist | Generation Schools Network

Larry has been an educator for over 30 years, serving students with a passion for improving academic achievement. He has had many roles, working as a teacher, secondary school administrator, educational consultant and Director. His work has been primarily in high minority and low socio–economic schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Massachusetts. He served as a Deputy Director for Turnaround in the Denver Public Schools and Network Director for Blueprint Schools Network in Boston.
Winston's Words of Wisdom Using Interactive Stories to Solve Real World Issues 
This session demonstrates how to use stories to help young children relate to real world problems. Best selling authors Clarissa Willis and Linda Apple share examples of how "Winston" a scotty dog with a big personality challenges children to handle things like change, telling the truth, following rules and accepting yourself.
Clarissa Willis
Associate Professor of Teacher Education | University of Southern Indian

Clarissa Willis, PhD has written over 19 teacher resource books and has spoken in 48 states and 12 foreign countries on such subjects as child mental health, autism spectrum disorder, handling challenging behaviors and social/emotional development. In addition she has written curriculum for McGraw Hill, Frog Street Press, Kaplan Early Learning Company and Scholastic. She is also the author of "Critter Invasion" a children's book about anxiety in young children.

Linda Apple
Freelance Author

Linda Apple is the author of seven non-fiction books and also is an inspirational speaker. Her newest book "Winston's Words of Wisdom" is a children's chapter book about Winston, a Scottish Terrier, who lends a paw to help children identify and deal with their daily problems by sharing his own dilemmas. From scary aliens (turtles) to fishing for flies, Winston tells about the challenges he has faced.
Money Mindfulness: Watching the Language We Use in Financial Advice
Traditional budgeting advice tells students to cut the fun things in their lives and save. Sacrifice now to pay off later. Don’t buy the fast food! Don’t buy the car! While this advice is well intentioned, does it work? And does it really cut to the core of the financial habits we want them to build? Learn how to incorporate money mindfulness into your student financial discussions in this engaging and memorable workshop.
Emily Schwartz
Faculty Associate | Arizona State University

Sometimes called the Bill Nye of personal finance, Dr. Emily Schwartz has been a financial speaker at college campuses across the country where she’s praised for her energy and ability to break personal finance concepts down into relatable chunks for sustained impact. Through the MoneyMoments program at ASU, she’s helped students learn actionable personal finance skills. She holds a Ph.D. in education from ASU and has both K-12 and collegiate teaching experience.

Learning Session 4
11:10am - 12:00pm
NAMI Valley of the Sun Ending the Silence
Ending the Silence School Staff presentation is geared toward helping school staff recognize signs of mental health conditions and suicide, who to turn to for help, working with students and families, and stopping the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
Alys Carnesi
Coordinator of Ending the Silence | NAMI Valley of the Sun

Alys is the coordinator for Ending the Silence with NAMI Valley of the Sun. She is also an elementary educator for 20 years.
Tech Tools for School Counselors: Digital Tools to Transform your Practice
Educating students in the 21st century is about more than preparing them for work in the digital age; it's also about connecting with the whole student and transcending barriers. Designed for school counselors and other education professionals. Learn how digital tools can be used daily and virtually or in-person to not only enrich intervention and instruction but also guide decision-making, streamline work, enhance communication, and promote happier students.
Angela Cleveland
School Counselor, Web Developer, Author | Counselors for Computing

Angela Cleveland is an advocate for student equity and access to technology, both in terms of content and the design-thinking process that informs intentional and inclusive integration practices. She advocates for people of all ages, genders, races, economic backgrounds, abilities, and sexual orientation are empowered to achieve their learning potential through the integration of technology in the educational process, and identifying, helping to create, and communicating the tools and techniques that make this goal possible.

Kelsey Kman
Engagement Specialist | Counselors for Computing

Kelsey Kman is is a recent graduate of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, earning her M.Ed. in Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services. She serves as Engagement Specialist at NCWIT Counselors for Computing program.
Rocking out with AzSCA Directors: What IS AzSCA? What will it do for ME? You have questions? We have answers! 
You can recognize the name but may not really know what it really means or what it entails. This will be a question and answer session with AzSCA's Board of Directors. Be ready to be surprised and informed when we pull back the curtain and expose AzSCA. Why should you be part of AzSCA? What does AzSCA offer? How involved should I become? Most importantly, what do you want from the AzSCA Board?
Sarah Skemp
School Counselor | Lake Havasu High School
Chair | AzSCA Board of Directors

Sarah Skemp is a school counselor at Lake Havasu High School, a Re-RAMP school. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and her Master of Art in School Counseling from Sonoma State University (California). She is an ASCA RAMP reviewer. She was the 2015 Arizona School Counselor of the Year. Sarah currently serves as Chair for the Arizona School Counselor Association (AzSCA).
Exploring Culture, Identity, and Social Justice
During this forum, participants will explore the integration of culture, identity and social justice. We will examine the impact of student worldview and beliefs on shaping self-image and discuss strategies for cultivating empathy for the lived experiences of others.
Lisa Leith
Chief of Field Services | Generation Schools Network

Lisa brings a wealth of experience to GSN. She was a Senior Consultant for the Colorado Department of Education and is the author of Pathways to Common Core Success. Lisa led School Improvement as Director of Accountability and Accreditation for Thompson School District, and has served for 7 years with The National Association of Street Schools as Vice President of School Development for a network of more than 50 alternative schools.

Shirley Smith
Senior Education Specialist | Generation Schools Network

Shirley has been an educator for 19 years and brings an extensive background in special education and Social Emotional Learning. She is an Adjunct Instructor at the Community College of Aurora and was named the 2018 Instructor of the Year. Shirley led initiatives in Culturally Responsive Teaching in multiple roles, and holds a master’s degree from Walden University in Educational Leadership, a Bachelor’s from Metropolitan State College at Denver in Psychology and African American Studies.


Learning Session 5
9:10am - 10:00am
Scholarship Fundamentals
Staff from two of Arizona's most prominent scholarship programs will share tips and resources for guiding students through the scholarship application process. Scholarship applications can be shrouded in mystery, and this session is designed to provide information and specific strategies that will be useful to counselors and their students.
Anne Lassen
Vice President, Scholarship & Education Initiatives | Flinn Foundation

Anne Lassen has overseen the Flinn Scholars Program since May 2015. Before joining Flinn, Anne spent nearly ten years working in undergraduate recruitment for the University of Arizona. Anne holds a master’s degree in counseling and bachelor’s degree in speech communication, both from Northern Arizona University.

Chrystale Fulayter
Program Director- College Retention | Dorrance Scholarship Program

Chrystale Fulayter has been with the Dorrance Scholarship Program since May 2013. Before coming to the Dorrance Scholarship Program, Chrystale spent three years working in academic advising at Northern Arizona University. Chrystale holds a master’s degree in counseling/student affairs and bachelor’s degree in career and technical education, both from Northern Arizona University.
Conquer your Stress: Go from Worrier to Warrior
Stress is at an all time high and it is imperative that we recognize that stress is not the problem - it's our reaction to our stress and we can learn to control it. Acquire cutting edge self-care techniques - affirmations, visualization, breathwork, mindfulness and mini-meditations - that you and your staff can do for better health. Master a mini meditation that anyone can do anytime. Learn how we can use visualization to improve our leadership and work performance outcomes and gain control over our reactions. Practical tools that can immediately be put to use.
Kathy Gruver
International Speaker, Author, Coach

Kathy Gruver is an author, speaker, and coach with over 30 years of experience in mind/body medicine and human behavior. Gruver has delivered hundreds of programs world-wide including two TEDx. Kathy has written seven books with 12 awards, penned countless articles and appears regularly as a media guest, recently on the Dr. Phil Show. She earned her PhD in natural health and studied mind-body medicine at the famed Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard.
Student Success? It's As Easy As T.L.C!
This session is designed to give solutions to educators as they try to reach students (and their families) who may be apathetic in their outlook toward education or struggle with discipline issues. It features research-based strategies that will improve student behavior and make clear the role motivation plays in the education process!
Sean Buchanan
Principal | Geary Public Schools

Sean Buchanan is an author, elementary principal, and national keynote speaker. Thousands of educators have improved the quality of their life and their craft through the application of his principles.
Childhood Trauma and ACE's Training
This training is available to anyone who wants to understand the impact of ACEs on the health and well-being of Arizona youth.

The study of the impact of ACEs is not a treatment or program, but a movement, to equip communities with the skills to better understand the benefit of prevention and understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences
Ruben Castro
Prevention Specialist | Arizona Youth Partnership
Learning Session 6
11:10am - 12:00pm
Arizona's SEL Competenices
Social and emotional learning (SEL) enhances students’ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges. The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recognizes the value and importance of supporting students’ academic, social, and emotional learning as well as the SEL of educators and communities. ADE is using CASEL’s integrated framework to promote intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competence. These five core competencies and SEL equity elaborations can be taught in many ways across many settings. This session will review the competencies, resources, and best practices for implementation.
Amanda Nolasco
School Counselor Specialist | Arizona Department of Education

Amanda Nolasco has been in the education field for 22 years where she has served as an English teacher, School Counselor, Department Chair, Counselor Facilitator – CTE and is currently the School Counselor Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education. In 2012 she was selected as the Outstanding CTE Counselor of the Year for ACTEAZ. She has served as the Assistant Chair and Chair for AzSCA and Vice President and Secretary for ACTEAZ.
Resilient Leadership: The Power of Vision and Action Now
Resiliency is another quality of strong Leadership in our self, family, tribe and community. We as Native Americans are in a historic time at the moment. Our ancestors and communities have a genetic memory (blood memory of resilience and survival) that has brought us to this time and will carry us into our future existence. Traditional knowledge, Goal-oriented decision making, vision and leadership will play key roles in the next seven generations to follow.
Brian Frejo
National NA Health and Wellness Advocate, Traditional-Based Facilitator | Created 4 Greatness

National Motivational speaker, Leadership/Teambuilding trainer, Traditional-based facilitator from the Pawnee/Seminole Nations of Oklahoma. Brian is dedicated to cultural vision and to empower youth and communities to reclaim and celebrate their Traditional knowledge, healing practices, language, foods, fitness activities and all cultural spiritual life ways for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellness. The outcomes and these best practices can produce empowerment, healing, healthy choices, community wellness and success.
The Perceived Impact of Mentors/Counselors Among Students At Risk Of Dropping Out During The COVID Pandemic
With the current climate surrounding the Covid Pandemic the need is even greater to provide effective communication and support to help students graduate high school. A major component is pairing mentors/counselors with their students. The purpose of this qualitative case study design was to gain an understanding of how mentors/counselors helped former high school dropouts graduate. Thirty-four participants responded to open-ended questions regarding experiences with their mentors/counselors. Using Thematic Analysis, the resulting themes were communication, encouragement, motivation, understanding, and caring. Findings from this study may help inform educators how to improve communications with youth-at-risk for dropping out of school.
Greg Hickman
Senior Core Faculty | Walden University

Dr. Greg Hickman has been with Walden University since 2010 and is currently a Senior Core Faculty member in Human Services. Dr. Hickman is a nationally known scholar of educational, psychological, community, and familial research, with over two decades researching at-risk issues related to child and adolescent development and developing community partnerships creating social change. Dr. Hickman is Research Fellow for the National Dropout Prevention Center and editor for the Journal of At-Risk Issues.

Shannon Anderson
Dr. Shannon Anderson, LMFT has been a faculty member in the CACREP-accredited Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Phoenix since 2000. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years’ experience counseling individuals, couples, and families and supervising other clinicians. Clinical emphasis include trauma recovery, adolescent behavioral and mental health issues, and family dynamics in mental health recovery.
Break the Second Arrows of Job Related Stress
Learn to not only handle work stress with more ease, but also learn to be more productive while doing so. Mindfulness tools and meditation practices are scientifically founded and lead to a more enjoyable work life even in the highly emotional role as school counselor.

This interactive presentation offers scientific evidence of proved tools to combat stress and lead a more productive work life leading to better balance. In these 50 minutes, we will not only learn about some self-help practical tools, but we will begin to practice them to ensure lasting learning.

The key is to break second arrows.
Allison Carmichael
Principal / Founder of Second Arrow LLC | Queen Creek Unified School District

Allison Carmichael has served in public education as teacher, coach and administrator for 19 years. She has experience with job related stress for which she found scientific answers to help. After creating the company Second Arrow, Allison has offered professional development to teachers, administrators and student athletes to help build skills in stress response.

Allison is a wife and mother of three. She is an avid reader and is currently working on her PHD.