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President's Letter: Together on the Front Lines

By Jessica Smedley | September 2021

Welcome back to school!

I am thrilled to take on the role of president of the New Jersey School Counselor Association for 2021–2022. I am so proud of the work that our members have been doing all summer to prepare for another year of school counseling filled with anticipation, surprises and significant challenges. I encourage all of you to register for our IN-PERSON Fall Conference scheduled at the Pines Manor in Edison for October 7–8, 2021. We are going to have a plethora of great speakers (many of whom are our own member-experts!) presenting on a variety of timely and important topics.

Over the past year, our Legislative Committee has worked diligently to advance legislation in our state government to further define the role of school counselors in New Jersey and provide advocacy for the profession. Look forward to hearing more about this legislation over the next year – we will need your support!

My goals as president this year include increasing our membership, continuing to provide excellent professional development opportunities for our members and maximizing our marketing and media strategies. Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity to showcase your talents in one of these areas? If so, please contact me about ways to get involved in our organization.

As we return to school this year, I urge each of you to continue practicing grace and compassion for yourself and others. We have always known, and now our local, state and federal leaders are beginning to catch on, that school counselors are the glue that helps keep our school family together. We will continue to be frontline workers as we assist staff, students, families and our communities recover from the pandemic and its associated traumas. Be sure to take care of yourself, too!

Contact Jessica Smedley, Ed.S., NCC, LPC, president of the New Jersey School Counselor Association, at