News

Megan McDougal is 2020 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year

Lincoln, NE - Megan Mc Dougal, School Counselor at Bell Elementary School in the Papillion-La Vista School District, was announced as the 2020 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year by the 2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Rachel Catlett.  The announcement came at a formal dinner where the Nebraska School Counselor Assocation (NSCA) also honored three semi-finalists and two additional finalists for the school counselor of the year.   Those recongized as semi-finalist were Carla Brauer-Sidney Public Schools, Fran Hassler-Ponca Public Schools, and Jerry Wiggins-Gothenburg Public Schools.  The two other finalist that were honored were Tasha Osten-Raymon Central Public Schools and Loni Watson-Chadron Public Schools.  As Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Ms. McDougal will be the Nebraska nominee for the upcoming American School Counselor Association's (ASCA's) National School Counselor of the Year.  She will be honored at the ASCA School Counselor of the Year Gala in Washington, DC next February.  ASCA will pay her travel expenses to attend the gala.  Along with being named the 2020 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, the Nebraska School Counselor Association presented Ms. McDougal with a $500 check to help cover any expenses associated with being Nebraska's nominee for ASCA National School Counselor of the Year that are not covered by ASCA.  

Pictured from left to right are:  Rachel Catlett-2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Doug Hauserman-NSCA Executive Director, Megan McDougal-2020 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, and Jake WIllems-Chair of the NSCA Governing Board.
 

Catlett Honored as ASCA Gala

Washington, DC - Rachel Catlett, 2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, was honored at ASCA's School Counselor of the Year Gala at Union Station in Washinton, DC on January 30th.  While in Washington Ms. Catlett and the other school counselor honorees from across the country took part in a briefing at the US Department of Education.  Picture from left to right is Rachel Catlett-2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Katherine Pastor-Chair of the ASCA Board of Directors, and Richard Wong-ASCA Executive Director.

Governor Rickets Proclaims National School Counseling Week in Nebraska

Lincoln, NE - Governor Pete Ricketts proclaimed the week of Februrary 3rd-7th as National School Counseling Week in Nebraska during a proclamation signing ceremony in the State Capitol.  At the ceremony, Nebrasksa School Counsleor Association Government Relations Chair, Kathy L'Heureux, shared remarks highlighting the differences between the modern day school counselor and the guidance counselor of the past.  During her remarks to the Governor and a room full of attendees she said, "On behalf of the Nebraska School Counselor Association and over 800 counselors across the State of Nebraska I’d like to thank you for this proclamation.  School counselors have come a long way since the days of being known as guidance counselors. Many remember their school counselor as someone they saw once a year to figure out their schedule or when they were a senior in high school someone who helped them with the college process.  And while that is still what many school counselors do, it’s not the only thing. School Counselors today are an integral part of all students’ experiences from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary. We help with academic concerns, social-emotional well-being, and career readiness. We are teaching in classrooms, holding parent workshops, and attending meetings as part of the school’s leadership team. We are doing suicide threat assessments, holding a child’s hand during an investigation by child protective services.  We are interpreting test scores and other data to help improve graduation rates and attendance as well as determine the best intervention needed for students. We advocate for kids every day. We appreciate this opportunity to recognize and honor the work and dedication of Nebraska School Counselors."

Governor Ricketts briefly acknowledged the change in the school counselor role over the years and shared his appreciation for the valuable work that school counselors do for Nebraska Students.  View the official proclamation HERE.  Pictured at the ceremony from lfet to right are:  Donna Hoffman-School Counseling Specialist at the Nebraska Department of Education, Governor Pete Ricketts, Kathy L'Heureux-NSCA Goverment Relations Chair, Brenda Leggiadro-Supervisor of Counseling and School Social Work for Lincolng Public Schools and Larissa Reams-School Counseling Intern in the Lincoln Public Schools.
 

NSCA Announces School Counselor of the Year Level Winners

Kearney, NE - The Nebraska School Counselor Association announced the 2019 Elementary, Middle, and High School Counselors of the Year at an awards luncheon during the NSCA Annual School Counselor Academy on November 7th.  This year's recipients are Megan McDougal - Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Tasha Osten - Middle School Counselor of the Year, and Loni Watson - High School Counselor of the year.   Ms. McDougal is a school counselor in the Papillion-La Vista Public Schools.  Ms. Osten is employed by the Raymond Central Public School District while Ms. Watson is a counselor at Chadron HIgh School .  

Prior to announcing the winner Ms. Angie Kruse, NSCA Professional Recognition Chair, told the audience of over 200 school counselors that this year the committee had received over 70 nominations for the three awards.  Narrowing it the field down to 6 finalists and eventuall three winners was extraordinarily difficult.  Given this fact NSCA also recognized the three additional finalists before announcing the winners.  Jerry Wiggins from Gothenburg was recognized as a finalist for High School Counselor of Year.  Fran Hassler of the Ponca Public Schools was recognized as a finalist for Middle School Counselor of the Year.  Finally, Carla Brauer from Sidney was honored as a finalist for the Elementary School Counselor of the Year.   All of the finalists, including the three winners, will be recognized at a formal dinner in conunction with National School Counseling Week in February.

Pictured from left to right are: Megan McDougal - Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Loni Watson - High School Counselor of the Year, and Tasha Osten - Middle School Counselor of the Year. 

 

Kathryn Hecht Weber Joins NSCA Board

Omaha, NE -  On July 1st Kathryn Hecht-Weber became the newest NSCA Board Member.  Coinciding with her new role as an NSCA Board Member, is her new position with the Omaha Public Schools as the District School Counseling Supervisor.  Prior to becoming the OPS School Counseling Supervisor she served as the District Secondary School Counseling Lead, a High School Counselor, and a Middle School Teacher, all in OPS.  In total she has 18 years of experience in education, all in the Omaha Public School District.  All of us at NSCA would like to welcome Katie to the Governing Board.  We also express our gratitude and appreciation to Ann Luther and Jerry Wiggins for their years of service as they transition off the NSCA Governing Board.
 

4th Edition of ASCA National Model Released

Alexandria, VA - The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) has released the 4th Edition of the ASCA National Model.  The ASCA Model is a frame work for comprehensive school counseling programs.  The most significant changes from the 3rd Edition are changes in vocabulary to align with current education vocabulary.  For example the names of the 4 quadrants of The Model have changed from nouns to verbs.  The Model is designed to show what school counselors do, making verbs a better choice.  One such change was renaming the "Accountability" quadrant to "Assess".  Accountabilitiy was a focus of the "No Child Left Behind" era and unfortunately that term under "No Child Left Behind" made some educators and school counselors uneasy as it was too often misused to assigned blame to educators and as a result left some school counselors hesitant to embrace the model for fear the data would fall short of projections.  The change in terminology is intended to inspire and support school counselors instead of being an impairment to implementation. Nebraska School Counselors will be able to learn about all the changes in the model at the 2019 NSCA School Counselor Academy being held November 7th and 8th in Kearney, NE. 

Elementary Conference Sees Record Attendance

Nebraska City, NE - The 32nd Annual Elementary School Counselor Conference took place on April 5th.  This was the first year that the conference fell under the NSCA umbrella.  Heather Forbes spent the day sharing her knowledge and expertise about working with trauma impacted students.  The conference saw a record high attendance with over 150 counselors in attendance.  Amongst the attendees were several representaives from the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA) including NSEA Executive Director, Maddie Fennell.  The 33rd Annual Elementary School Counselor Conference is scheduled for April 3, 2020.
 

Rachel Catlett is 2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year

Lincoln, NE (February 19, 2019) - On a snowy evening at the Embassy Suites Lincoln, Rachel Catlett was announced as the 2019 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year at the 1st Annual NSCA School Counselor of the Year Dinner.  Rachel is a middle school counselor in the Grand Island Public School District. Also recognized at the dinner were school counselor of the year finalists, Angie Meyer and Erin Malm, both work in the Omaha Public School District.  Three semi-finalist were also celebrated and they were Jodi Hansen - Tekahma-Herman Public Schools, Kristin Henkenius - Fremont Public Schools, and Stephanie Hames - South Sioux City Public Schools.  The honorees were joined at the dinner by their families and friends, the NSCA Governing Board, Matt Blomstedt - Nebraska Commissioner of Education, Donna Hoffman - NDE School Counseling Specialist, and numerous NSCA Past Presidents.  Rachel will represent Nebraska in the American School Counselor Association's 2020 national School Counselor of the Year competition.


2020 Elementary Conference 
"Special Kids, Special Parents, Special Solutions"

April 3, 2020
Lied Lodge and Conference Center

Registration closes March 26th

More Information