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Support for Your Challenges

By Vince Walsh-Rock, Ph.D., LCPC | September 2022

I recall hearing many school counselors, prior to the 2021–22 school year, share feelings of anticipated stress in thinking about how students and faculty would start the school year following a year of isolated learning for so many. Reflections heading into the current school year are also cloaked in anticipated stress with hopes that this year must be better than the last one! So many challenges were a part of last school year including but not limited to personal health and safety concerns, learning loss, student developmental delay, mental health concern resources, school violence and expectations that schools and their counselors are the solution to all problems. No wonder school counselors were exhausted after last school year and have degrees of trepidation heading into this school year. The work ahead can seem daunting without an identifiable place to start. However, school counselors are uniquely trained to meet these challenges as they work from a data-driven intervention framework supported by compassion and care for all students. ISCA is here to support you as you meet this challenge!

ISCA is thrilled to offer its annual conference in person on November 10 and 11. Day one, “The SEL Experience: Illinois School Counselors Edition” is all about you! Our amazing featured speaker Felicia Houston sets the table for an afternoon of self-care experiences for school counselors. Following will be our ISCA Awards Ceremony to celebrate all of our 2022 award winners and Illinois School Counselors of the Year, Nancy Fernandez and Mary Wilson. Following the Awards Ceremony, ISCA participants will head to Accelerated Indoor Speedway and Events for a night of fun and connections. Day 2 offers powerful and informative breakout sessions with an inspiring and challenging message, “It’s Not Enough to DO EQUITY . . . You Must BE EQUITY: A Discussion on Equity Mindset” from keynote speaker Principal Baruti Kafele. We want to see you at the conference and know it will be a life-changing experience for all in attendance.

ISCA is here to partner with you to meet your challenges. In the past year, ISCA membership has grown significantly as ISCA has offered many high-quality professional development events and expanded its advocacy voice to support all school counselors. ISCA looks to bring even more school counselors into a supportive network of caring professionals. As you look forward to the 2022–23 school year, please contact any of the ISCA Board members or Region Representatives at any time for assistance, support, or if you just have a question. ISCA is grounded in service to its members and knows that together, we can make a significant difference with all Illinois students.

If your ISCA membership has lapsed and needs to be renewed, join/renew today! ISCA Annual membership remains only $50 and provides access to a network of supportive professionals and professional development that is often free or at a reduced cost to ISCA members. Want to get involved in the work of ISCA? Stay tuned – we will be recruiting committee volunteers this fall. This is a great way to learn from other school counselors and to increase your involvement with one of the best school counseling associations in the country.

Contact Vince Walsh-Rock, Ph.D., LCPC, ISCA executive director, at