August 2018

President’s Letter: Taking on the New

By Mindy Hall
What an exciting time of year! As school counselors, program directors and counselor educators, we can feel the nervous anticipation as we prepare to serve in first-time placements, new positions or new buildings; welcome new students, collaborate with new administrators and navigate new challenges. After 24 years of providing counseling services at all levels of pre-K through higher educational settings, my new role is that of the New Jersey School Counselor Association 2018-19 president. Embarking on this journey, I am truly honored to represent so many impassioned professionals dedicated to providing the best supports possible to ensure the success of every student in New Jersey.
 
While connecting with visionary professionals in July at ASCA’s National Leadership Development Institute and conference in Los Angeles, and at NJSCA’s summer LDI sponsored by TCNJ, I gained a greater understanding of innovative approaches used to implement evidence-based interventions. Not only did l learn more effective avenues to deliver more impactful counseling services and advocacy for my program, but I also had the pleasure of celebrating six New Jersey schools who earned national recognition for their comprehensive ASCA Model Programs. A major highlight for me at the conference this year was proudly watching inspirational counselors from these six schools receive their RAMP recognition!

Engaging with fellow counselors and national leaders of our profession, I found a renewed sense of energy and vision. As you prepare for the school year and plan your professional development, you can visit NJSCA’s website to locate resources and learn more about upcoming events to connect with other professionals. The executive board members have created wonderful opportunities and tools to help support school counseling efforts in your schools. Our commitment to you is to provide exciting professional development opportunities, consultation when you aren’t sure about questionable situations and inspiration to promote excellence.
 
By registering for the NJSCA fall conference on October 11-12 – featuring Dan St. Romain as the keynote speaker – you will be making a commitment to revitalize and renew your own professional growth. Register now for the fall conference.
 
Join Dan as he leads a pre-conference session on Positive Behavioral Principles starting at 5pm on Thursday, October 11 at the Pines Manor in Edison. We hope you will also attend the full day of workshops on October 12. Dan St. Romain will deliver the keynote address and provide two break-out sessions on “Mixed Messages: The Changing Face of Discipline.” Included among the day’s lineup is the opportunity to attend the NJSCA Mentor Training Program track. Created in partnership with NJPSA/FEA Legal One, the mentor training certification will provide you with a legal framework for mentors and novice school counselors to address legal issues that may arise, both in the mentoring relationship and in the day-to-day work of the school counselor.
 
Meanwhile, please know that I am thrilled to be your president this year. There is no other group for whom I would rather represent and advocate. School counselors are making a difference in the lives of students every day, so keep up the excellent work!
 
Contact Mindy Hall, M.Ed., M.A., SAC, NJSCA president, at mhall@mtps.com.