The Counselor CARE-ier

February 2023

Kudos to Our Counselors

National School Counselor Week

February 6-10, 2023, was National School Counselor Week. This purpose of this week, which is celebrated during the first week of February each year, focuses attention on the unique contributions of school counselors within our schools. School counselors, at all levels, have a tremendous impact in helping students achieve overall school success, planning for career and/or college after high school, and providing social and emotional support.

Counselors were spoiled during the week with small tokens of appreciation and a celebratory lunch! The Campus counselors work hard for all students often putting in long hours during the nights and weekends. Thank you to Dale Bonavita (PPEC), Katy Swann (SSAE HS), Jenny Allen (SSAE HS), and Stephanie Troscher (SSAE MS) for all that you do to support students!

Community Resources

Career & College Readiness

February is CTE Month

CTE (Career & Technical Education) Month happens every February and is to help raise awareness of the role that CTE has in preparing students/learners for career and/or college success. CTE provides students with a plethora of skills (career, academic and soft skills) to help prepare them for postsecondary life, whether they enter the workforce or go to college. Skills learned may include: communication, critical thinking & analysis, citizenship, teamwork, civic engagement, creativity & innovation, Digital/Media/Data Literacy, and more. The goal of CTE is to prepare students for the modern workplace by teaching skills sought after by industry employers. Check out this CTE101 VIDEO for more information about CTE.

Did You Know???

  • SSAE has an CTE Engineering Pathway for students (Intro to Engineering, Principles of Engineering & Engineering Development & Design)
  • SSAE has a CTE Computer Coding Pathway for students (Coding I, II, III, and IV)
  • D49 has many different CTE Programs in which your student may be able to participate (Culinary, Construction, ACE, Agriculture, Athletic Training, Biomedical Technology, Business/Marketing, Commerical Photography, Education- Teacher Cadet, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Hair Styling, Manufacturing/Machining, Networking & Security, Nurse Aide, and Web Design); check out D49's Career & College website HERE.
  • If SSAE doesn't offer a program your student is interested in, talk with your student's counselor. Your student likely can participate in some of these programs offered at another high school while still enrolled with SSAE.
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General Academic Related Information

SAT Test Prep

SATs for Juniors will take place on Wednesday, April 12, 2023. SAT testing not only serves as our state assessment, it also is used for graduation mastery of English & Math therefore it is imperative that students take their SAT Assessment in April. Additionally, it serves as an admission requirement for many colleges and universities. Students can better prepare for taking the SAT's in a number of ways. Khan Academy has partnered with College Board allowing students to create an account that links their last PSAT scores to their account so a very individualized study plan can be created for the student. Students that study using their own individualized study plan have been shown to improve their scores (20 hours of study averaged a score increase of 115 points). There are practice tests you can take as well. Check out the College Board website for more information.

SAT assesses in three different areas: Reading, Writing & Language, and Math (Science is assessed within the reading portion of the assessment). When taking the SAT, remember there is no penalty for guessing.

Class of 2023

Senior Singer & Speakers Need for Graduation Events

SINGER: If you are interested in singing the National Anthem for our senior events, please let Mrs. Swann ( know and she will add you to our interest list. We will have auditions after spring break for those interested.

SPEAKER: If you are interested in speaking at the graduation ceremony, please submit your speech to Mrs. Swann ( no later than April 1st. All submissions will be reviewed by the graduation committee and two speakers will be selected. Speeches should be no longer than 5-7 minutes.

Upcoming Senior Events

The semester is flying by and senior events are quickly approaching. Here is a reminder of each of the upcoming events; be sure to mark your calendars!


Friday, April 21, 2023, @ 7:30 am

The Campus

6113 Constitution Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80915

**This event is for the graduate and two guests. Caps & gowns will be distributed at senior breakfast.


Wednesday, May 17, 2023, @ 3:15 pm

The Campus

6113 Constitution Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80915


Friday, May 19, 2023, @ 11:00 am

Double Tree Hotel

1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80906

Each graduate can request up to 12 tickets for the graduation ceremony; please request only the number of tickets you need. You can request extra tickets and we will try to fulfill those requests within reason, but cannot promise extra tickets to anyone. The event will be live-streamed for those friends and family members who cannot be in attendance. More info on this as the date draws closer.

Please fill out this FORM to RSVP for Senior Breakfast & Capping Ceremony and to order your graduation tickets. There are additional questions that must be answered on the form to help us prepare for the events. Please fill out the form no later than April 1st. Thank you!

February is Random Acts of Kindness Month

February 14 - 20 of every year we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Month, with February 17th being Random Acts of Kindness Day! This is a time to celebrate positivity and all the ways we can positively influence each other's lives.

We encourage each and every one of you to do something kind for someone else (a friend, a family member, a colleague, a classmate, or a complete stranger), not just during this time, but always... and often! Make kindness the norm.

The Art of Kindness

Kindness is more than behavior. The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy.

Good for the body

Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer. Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, which can directly impact loneliness, improve low mood and enhance relationships in general. It also can be contagious. Looking for ways to show kindness can give you a focus activity, especially if you tend to be anxious or stressed in some social situations.

Good for the mind

Physiologically, kindness can positively change your brain. Being kind boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure/reward centers in your brain to light up. Endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer, also can be released. Discover ways you can create happiness.

Be kind to yourself

It is not just how you treat other people — it is how you extend those same behaviors and intentions to yourself as well. I believe you can be kinder in your own self-talk and practice gratitude. People are good at verbally beating themselves up, and rarely does that work as a pep talk. Rather, negativity often causes you to unravel and may even create a vicious cycle of regularly getting down on yourself. You wouldn't talk to your neighbor the way you sometimes talk to yourself. This is what I call the “good neighbor policy,” which can be helpful. If you would not say it to your good neighbor, do not say it about yourself.

Take action

Simply asking "How am I going to practice kindness today?" can be helpful. For a homework assignment, I have invited some clients to pay attention and periodically document during the day their evidence of kindness to others and especially to themselves. This positive focus is like planting positive seeds in your mind garden. Where focus goes, energy flows.

I recently was talking about kindness to a young client who asked if I wanted them to get on the ark. I asked what that meant. The client said, "Acts of random kindness." That was a great response from a young person. How about you? Are you willing to get on the ark?

Consider joining Mayo Clinic Health System's Kickstart Kindness program to start your kindness journey. The program offers many ideas of how to extend kindness.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with this quote: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." —Dalai Lama

Steve Siegle is a licensed professional counselor in Psychiatry & Psychology in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Article shared from the Mayo Clinic Health System website:

Kindness 101 with Steve Hartman: Inclusion

Social Emotional Resources

I Matter.

The I Matter program is a behavioral health services program for youth 18 and younger (21 and younger if receiving special education services). You can be connect with a therapist for up to 6 free virtual counseling sessions (some in-person appointments available, too) that are completely confidential. Talking with someone can make you feel better.

To start, please take a short survey, which can be filled out by the youth or the parent. Be as honest as possible: your answers will help match you with the right therapist. If you’re 11 or younger, your parent or guardian must fill out the survey with you. Parents, seeking support for your child is not a sign of failure—it’s a sign of strength. Start by taking the survey here.

"How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time" - Morgan Freeman