News


 


Oelslige, Meredith and Fields Are 2023 Nebraska SCOYs

Kearney, NE - Three outstanding school counselors were recognized at the annual awards luncheon at theNebraska School Counselor Academy on November 10 th . Cami Oelsligle was recognized as the Elementary School Counselor of the Year. Cami is a K-12 school counselor at the Humphrey
Public School. Katie Meredith was announced as the Middle School Counselor of the Year.
Katie is the school counselor at Nebraska City Middle School. Kevin Fields of Seward High
School was awarded the High School Counselor of the Year. All three of these individuals
implement exemplary comprehensive school counseling programs. These three individuals
along with finalists, Shana Dick from the Scottsbluff Public Schools and Dawn Draeger from the Crete Public Schools will be honored at a formal dinner on March 4th. During that dinner either Ms. Oelsligle, Ms. Meredith, or Mr. Fields will be named the 2024 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year. The counselor named the 2024 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year will be Nebraska’s representative for ASCA’s 2025 School Counselor of the Year and be invited to Washington, DC for ASCA’s annual School Counselor of the Year Gala.

 

Sen. Jacobson Honors Kara Hahn

North Platte, NE -  On Monday, April 24, 2023, Sen. Mike Jacobson, District 42, presented a copy of Resolution 60 which recognizes Kara Hahn as the 2022 Nebraska Elementary School Counselor of the Year and as the 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year.  Sen. Jacobson met Ms. Hahn at the NSCA Day at the Capitol in February.  Following the meeting Sen. Jacobson’s office reached out to NSCA wanting to introduce a resolution recognizing Ms. Hahn for her accomplishments.   With the support of NSCA Sen. Jacobson wrote resolution 60 which specifically recognizes Ms. Hahn’s excellence in implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and her work with students with internalizing and externalizing behaviors as identified through a universal screener.  The resolutions also served as an education tool for all senators as it included information on the role of a school counselor.  Read the complete resolution which was adopted by the legislature on March 22, 2023.  Kara Hahn is a school counselor at Jefferson Elementary School in North Platte, NE.

 

Krogstrand, Osten and Scott Join the NSCA Board

Omaha, NE - The Nebraska School Counselor Association is pleased to announce that Alyssa Krogstrand, Tasha Osten and Suzanne Scott have been elected to serve a three year term on the NSCA Governing Board.  Ms. Krogstrand is a school counselor at Westview High School in the Omaha Public Schools, Ms. Osten is a middle/high school counselor at Raymond Central and Dr. Scott is a counselor educator at Wayne State College.  All three will officially begin serving on the board on July 1st.  They are replacing three board members who were either not eligible to run for another term or who chose not to run for re-election.  Those out-going board members are Don Ferree, Julie Schiltmeyer and Jake Willems.  We wish our departing board members all the best and thank them for ther dedication to NSCA.  We congratulate Alyssa, Tasha and Suzanne and are excited to welcome them and know our organization will benefit from their leadership over the next three years.

 

Kara Hahn is 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year

Lincoln, NE -  Kara Hahn, school counselor at Jefferson Elementary School in North Platte, was named the 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year at the annual school counselor of the year dinner at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.   Ms. Hahn was introduced earlier in the evening by her building principal, Mr. Jeff Ellsworth.   Ms. Hahn, like all the finalists and semi-finalists, has done an exemplary job of implementing a comprehensive school counseling program based on the ASCA National Model.   Her application stood out for her use of screener data to identify students to participate in a variety of small groups on topics such as: appropriate student behavior, a positive mindset, resiliency, and emotional regulation.  Ms. Hahn continually adjusted which students participated in which groups based on the screener data.   Two finalists and three semi-finalists were also celebrated and recognized at the dinner.  Finalist included Julie Williams (Millard Public Schools) and Julie McNamara (Daniel J Gross Catholic High School in Omaha).  Semi-finalists included:  Megan West (Holy Name School in Omaha), Stef Lorenzen (Millard Public Schools) and Ashley De Los Santos (Gering Public Schools).  Earlier in the day, Kara Hahn and Julie Williams were introduced on the floor of unicameral as the Elementary and Middle School Counselors of the Year and were welcomed congratulated by senators by their applause.

As the 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Ms. Hahn will be Nebraska's nominee for the 2024 American School Counselor Association School Counselor of the Year.   As Nebraska's nominee she will be invited to attend the ASCA School Counselor of the Year Gala in Washington, DC.  This black tie event is held each year at beautiful Union Station during National School Counseling Week.  Ms. Hahn will be a guest of ASCA's and as such have her travel expenses paid for.  

Pictured from left to right is Doug Hauserman, NSCA Executive Director; Kara Hahn 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year; Bethany Seehusen, NSCA Board Chair.
 

Dr. Rony Ortega is NSCA Administrator of the Year

Omaha, NE - Dr. Rony Ortega, Principal of Bryan High School, has been named the Nebraska School Counselor Association Administrator of the Year.   Dr. Ortega was nominated by Bryan High School Counselor, Jeanne Simmons, for his unwavering support of their school counseling program and their efforts to implement a program that is closely aligned with the ASCA National Model.   Bryan High School is in the Omaha Public School District.  Pictured from left to right is Doug Hauserman, NSCA Executive Director, and Dr. Rony Ortega, 2022 NSCA Administrator of the Year.

 


School Counselor of the Year Recipients Announced

Omaha, NE - The Nebraska School Counselor Association announced the 2022 Nebraska Elementary, Middle and High School Counselors of the Year at the 2022 NSCA Annual School Counselor Academy.   Ms. Hahn, school counselor at Jefferson Elementary School in the North Platte Public School District, was named the 2022 Nebraska Elementary School Counselor of the Year.  Ms. Julie Williams was named the 2022 Nebraska Middle School Counselor of the Year.  Ms. Williams is a school counselor with the Millard Public Schools at Central Middle School.    Ms. Julie McNamara of Daniel J Gross Catholic High School was named the 2022 Nebraska High School Counselor of the Year.  All three recipients received a $200 stipend in addition to a plaque.  One of the three honorees will be named the 2023 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year at a formal dinner and celebration in February.   Megan West of Holy Name Elementary (Omaha) was a finalist for the Elementary School Counselor of the Year while Stef Lorenzen of Millard’s Russell Middle School was a finalist for the Middle School Counselor of the Year.  Ashley De Los Santos was a finalist for the High School Counselor of the Year.   Ms. De Los Santos is a school counselor at Gering High School.

Pictured from left to right with Doug Hauserman, NSCA Executive Director: Kara Hahn (North Platte Public Schools), Julie Williams (Millard Public Schools), and Julie McNamara (Gross Catholic High School)
 

NSCA Scholarship Recipients Announced


Omaha, NE - The Nebraska School Counselor Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 Scholarships.   Each year the Nebraska School Counselor Association awards scholarships to three high school seniors whose school counselor made a significant impact on their lives.  One scholarship is awarded to a senior from a Class A high school, one to a senior in a Class B high school and one to a seniors in a Class C or D high school.  This years recipients are Kenton Brass from Pius X High School, Isabella Kester from Norris High School and Braden Miller from Gibbon High School.  By offering scholarships to students based on size of high school, NSCA is able to ensure it is supporting students both in the rural and urban parts of our great state.  This scholarship is one of the many benefits NSCA provides to its members and as such all recipients' school counselor must be members of the Nebraska School Counselor Association.

Pictured from left to right: Kenton Brass (Pius X High School), Isabella Kester (Norris High School), and Braden Miller (Gibbon High School)

 


Michel Kimle is 2022 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year

Lincoln, NE - Michele Kimle, School Counselor at Hasting Middle School was announced as the 2022 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year.  The announcement came at a formal dinner where the Nebraska School Counselor Association (NSCA) also honored three semi-finalists and two finalists for the school counselor of the year.   Those recognized as semi-finalists were Kirk Ramsey-Blue Hill Community Schools, Lisa Bade-Omaha Public Schools, and Noelle Baker-Seward Public Schools.  The two other finalist that were honored were Stef McAlpin-Bennington Public Schools and Marilynn Peaslee-Lincoln Public Schools.  As Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, Ms. Kimle 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 in February of 2023.  ASCA will pay her travel expenses to attend the gala.  Along with being named the 2022 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, the Nebraska School Counselor Association presented Ms. Kimle 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:  Doug Hauserman-NSCA Executive Director, Michele Kimle-2022 Nebraska School Counselor of the Year, and Bethany Seehusen-Chair of the NSCA Governing Board.
 

McAlpin, Kimle, and Peaslee Receive 2021 School Counselor of the Year Honors 

Lincoln, NE - The Nebraska School Counselor Association announced the 2021 Elementary, Middle, and High School Counselors of the Year at an awards luncheon during the NSCA Annual School Counselor Academy on November 4th.  This year's recipients are Stef McAlpin - Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Michele Kimle- Middle School Counselor of the Year, and Marilynn Peaslee - High School Counselor of the year.   Ms. McDougal is a school counselor in the Bennington Public Schools.  Ms. Kimle is employed by the Hastings Public School District while Ms. Peaslee is a counselor at Lincoln Northeast High School.  

Prior to announcing the three recipients the finalists for each level were recognized.  Noelle Baker from Seward was recognized as a finalist for High School Counselor of Year.  Lisa Bade from Alice Buffett Magnet Middle School in Omaha was recognized as a finalist for Middle School Counselor of the Year.  Finally, Kirk Ramsey from the Blue Hill Community Schools 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 this spring.

Pictured from left to right are: Stef McAlpin - Elementary School Counselor of the Year, Michele Kimle - Middle School Counselor of the Year, and Marilynn Peaslee - High School Counselor of the Year. 
 


2019 ASCA School Counselor of the Year Will Be Academy Keynote Speaker

Brian Coleman, 2019 ASCA School Counselor of the Year, will deliver the opening keynote at the 2020 NSCA School Counselor Academy - “Excellence Through Equity”.   Mr. Coleman is a school counselor and counseling department chair at Jones College Prep High School located in downtown Chicago.  Jones College Prep High School is part of the Chicago Public Schools.  Brian is an actor that found his passion in education and school counseling.  As an actor, Brian thrives on the stage and will entertain you, inspire you, and make you laugh.  As the 2019 ASCA School Counselor of the Year, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with you about being authentic with your students and advocating for your students that need it most.  Mr. Coleman brings everything you would want in a keynote speaker.  Learn more about Mr. Coleman HERE.
 
The 2020 School Counselor Academy – “Excellence Through Equity” will be held on November 12th and 13th at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.  Registration for “Excellence Through Equity” will open up on August 17, 2020.  Hotel reservations at the Embassy Suites for the special rate of $139 per night can be made HERE.
 

NSCA Releases "Tips for Parents During COVID-19 Pandemic" Document 

Omaha, NE - NSCA has released a document with a list of ways that parents can support their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We encourage school counselors, school administrators, and anyone working with parents during this time to share this document with parents.  CLICK HERE for a direct link to the document.  NSCA also continues to update a webpage dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 resources for school counselors.  That webpage can be found under the “Resources” tab at the top of this page. We are asking school counselors to reach out to us if there are additional ways we can support you during these challenging times.
 

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 at 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 Ricketts 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.


2024 American School
Counselor Conference




Kansas City, Missouri