Counselor Connection--June 1

Education Service Center Region 15

School Counselor Spotlight

LeeAnn Stork is a school counselor at Brownwood High School in Brownwood ISD. She has been in education for 12 years, with the last three in counseling. When asked what made her want to become a counselor, LeeAnn says, "To make a difference in students' lives, create a safe space, help guide them in academic success and make future goals." There are a lot of things that she enjoys about being a counselor, including building meaningful relationships, seeing students succeed, and helping them develop their belief in their ability to make future goals and believe in themselves.

When asked what advice she would give to others, LeeAnn says, "Take one day at a time, and realize emotions are a part of life. It is how we react to situations; for example, if we directly go to a negative place, our problem will intensify. We need to learn to find coping skills to overcome how we handle issues in our lives, and help is always available." To destress, she likes to spend time with her family, play with her dogs, and spend time at the ranch with the deer. Her favorite counseling tool is just to be there for her students, building meaningful relationships and trust through providing a listening ear.

LeeAnn says she has a fantastic husband and two amazing daughters. "My oldest daughter Sarah who is 27, is a graduate of Texas Tech nursing school, where she is now a Territory manager of Medical Sales. My 21-year-old daughter Allie is graduating in August with a degree in Natural Resources. I have two Aussies that I adore. We do a lot of traveling when we can." A fun fact about LeeAnn is that she works at a deer ranch breeding deer when she is not a school counselor.

Check out these other ESC Podcasts!

SS&T From the ESC with Rusty Fleeman. If you haven't heard his recent podcast with the keynote speaker from the upcoming Safety Summit, please do. It's great!

Lean Into Leadership with Lindsay Carr. One of her latest episodes is on What all leaders need to know about mental health and supporting their staff and students. Interview part 2 of 2 with Alex Robles.

Mental Health Resources for K-12 Schools

The United States published a resource for mental health in schools. The resource aims to make schools safer by improving school connectedness and access to mental health services. View facts, figures, and resources from the CDC and other national stakeholders on this link.

Raising Resilient Kids

Nemours Children’s Health and the Michael Phelps Foundation have created Raising Resilient Kids, a video series that helps parents tackle common parenting concerns around social-emotional health in children.

In the series, gold medalist Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole — who are mental health advocates and parents of three — sit down with Nemours Children's experts to ask some of the most pressing questions parents have today. Questions like,

  • “What’s the best way to help kids cope during tough times?”
  • “How can we help them handle disappointment in a healthy way?”

With expert advice and actionable tips families can practice at home, this series supports parents in raising children who are happy, healthy and resilient.

Where has this website been my whole life?

Check out this new (to me) resource for teenagers called My Life is Worth Living.

College, career, and military readiness resources

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Updates

Federal Student Aid (FSA) is changing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2024-25 academic year. The start date for the 2024-25 FAFSA will be delayed due to the complexity of simplifying the FAFSA. The 2024-25 FAFSA will become available in December 2023 instead of October 1, 2023. The application will be pared down to just 36 questions instead of 108. For more information, please visit Federal Student Aid.

Professional Development

Upcoming Sessions at ESC

We've got some really great sessions this spring and summer designed to support you this school year. You can simply click on any of the graphics to register.
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STEAM into Summer

Tuesday, June 13th, 5:30-7:30pm

612 South Irene Street

San Angelo, TX

The Region 15 STEAM Team will be hosting STEAM into Summer, June 13, 2023, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the ESC Region 15 Conference Center. Our goal is to get the word out about all the wonderful STEM providers and activities that are available in our area

Open Registration: Little Changes = Big Results Conference

Registration is officially open for the Little Changes = Big Results Conference. This two-day conference is meant to tailor your needs and availability! You will receive a certificate for each session that you attend during the two-day conference, being able to earn up to 12 hours of CPE. Just like last year you get to choose the tools you need in your toolbox to get you ready for the upcoming year. This conference is for anyone that works with students: Admin, Gen Ed, SPED, Mental Health, Paraprofessionals, etc. This year we will have a variety of local presenters training on a variety of topics: Autism, Behavior, learning, classroom management, sensory, mental health, and so much more. Please share this with all your listserve, and with anyone that you feel will benefit from this conference. Looking forward to seeing you all this summer!

Our Key Speaker is Ashley Mohesky. Some of you might have even worked with Ashley Mohesky during your education career.

Ashley Mohesky is a graduate from San Angelo ISD. Ashley has a neurological disorder called Cerebral Palsy that affects her ability to walk and talk. Due to brain damage caused at birth, doctors predicted that she would not have a quality of life and at three years old, she was placed in special education. Ashley was evaluated for a communication device and after using it for a short time proved to excel at her studies and was transferred to general education. As Ashley reports, “During my time in school, I did everything that other kids my age did. In fact, I was voted prom queen during my senior prom. I also was on a bowling league for people with disabilities throughout college.” Ashley graduated high school and attended Howard College where she received her Associate degree in General Studies. Ashley went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Angelo State University.

Hotel Block is Open

If you will be attending the Counselor Retreat, please contact the Fredericksburg Inn and Suites to make your reservation. You must secure the reservation with a major credit card at time of booking. The group rate is not available online. Contact the hotel at (830) 997-0202 and ask for the ESC Region 15 Counselor Retreat. The rate is $98 per night and cut-off date for this rate is June 11.

CTE Professional Learning Dates

I wanted to share with you all several opportunities for professional development this summer. Last year, TEA created training geared toward new counselors and administrators and asked ESCs to conduct regional convenings. ESC 15 partnered with ESCs 14, 16, 17, 18, and 9 and held training at ESC 14. This year, these sessions will be available here at ESC 15. In addition to the new counselor/administrator training, TEA is releasing a series for experienced counselors and administrators. Please know you are welcome to attend any and all training regardless of your experience level or role. Counselors serve in many different capacities and you are welcome to attend administrator training. Registration is open for all sessions. Flyers have been attached detailing each session. Additional resources will be provided if applicable to the session.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you this summer.


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Foster Care Summit 2023

Thursday, Sep. 21st, 8am-5pm

1865 Aldine Bender Road

Houston, TX

The purpose of this training is to provide guidance, resource tips, and tools to assist local education agencies and child welfare organizations with addressing the educational needs and requirements for students in foster care, as required by Every Student Succeeds Act (2016). Topics include transportation, school of origin determination, educational decision-making, data, dual-identification with McKinney-Vento Eligible students, and other education-focused foster care content. The target audience for this training is school administrators, school counselors, registrars, and district foster care liaisons, as well as child welfare ESSA points of contact, CASA, and DFPS staff who work with school-aged students. The purpose of this training is also to provide up-to-date information and strategies for supporting students in foster care in Texas public schools.

Special Thanks to Education Service Center Region IV, which is graciously hosting this event for TEA, DFPS, and the Children's Commission. For this summit, Region IV LEAs, DFPS, CASA, and community resource providers will have the first opportunity to register starting June 1, 2023. Registration will open to all others interested in attending on July 19, 2023.

Registration: Link will be available through Education Service Center Region IV website

Emergency and After Hours Resources

This list is of known providers of particular services. The providers on the list are from a variety of sources. The list is being provided as a courtesy, for information only, and the user should understand that no assurances or guarantees regarding the providers on the list are being made by providing this list. We do not endorse, approve, or recommend any specific provider listed below. This list is not inclusive of all community agencies, services, or organizations that provide the particular service, and the omission of an agency, service, or organization from this list does not imply disapproval. It is the responsibility of the user of this list to determine whether any of the content is of value to them and whether or not the agency, service, or organization meets their specific needs.