Renew, Rejuvenate, Refresh:

It’s All About School Counselors!

All K-12 School Counselors welcome!

Register at AEA267 Professional Learning website #15250 $10
Wednesday, April 8th

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

AEA267 in Cedar Falls

Great sessions and collaboration time!

8:00-8:30 a.m.


8:30-8:45 a.m.


8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Mental Health Issues for School Counselors

10:30 a.m. Sessions

  • Ethics and Recordkeeping -Nicole Proesch (Room A)
  • Ready! Set! Knit! Kelly Donlon (Room B)
  • PBIS and Counseling-How It Goes Together -Josie Evanson (Room C)
  • Trauma Sensitive Schools-Jen Alexander (This is a double session and will continue at 11:30) (Room D)
  • The Nurtured Heart Approach -Sandy Thomson- (Room F)

11:30 a.m. Sessions

  • Evolution of the School Bully-Nicole Proesch-(Room A)
  • Intermediaries-Connecting Today's Students to Tomorrow's Careers- Iowa Intermediary Network (Room B)
  • Play Therapy: What Is It and Why Does It Matter-Kristen Meaney-Whalen (Room C)
  • Trauma Sensitive Schools-Jen Alexander-(This is a double session and is continued from10:30) (Room D)
  • LEAD (Loving Everything About Differences) - Empowering Adolescent Girls With Leadership and Self-Confidence- Becky Lins (Room F)

12:30 Lunch and check out booths in the lobby

1:20 p.m. Sessions

  • Surprise! You're the 504 Case Manager! Now What??? Angela Wittmer-(Room B)
  • GRIT -Jaclyn Lussenhop (Room C)
  • New School Counselor Standards -ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success Amy Holst, Keystone AEA Consultant Room D
  • Building Relationships with Mental Health Counselors-Jacob Schafer (Room F)

2:25 p.m.
Start with the Trimtabs: Keeping Balance in the World of a Professional School Counselor

Kris Meyer

Mental Health in Schools

Emily Conrad, LMSW:

Emily Received her B.A. in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work both from the University of Northern Iowa. Emily has been working with children in the mental health field for 8 years. She is currently employed at Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health Center as a School-based Therapist serving within the Cedar Falls Schools. She provides therapy for students in elementary through high school.

Alyssa Fruchtenicht, LMSW

Alyssa received her B.A. in Psychology from Buena Vista University. She then went on to get her Masters in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa. Alyssa is employed at Black Hawk Grundy Mental Health Center as the Coordinator for School-based Therapy and serves students in the Waterloo Schools as a School-based Therapist.

Karen Aldrich, AEA Special Education Coordinator

Karen Aldrich graduated from UNI in 1982 with a BA in education. She continued her education at UNI and obtained her Masters and Doctoral degrees, which included conducting research in the area of mental health assessment and intervention. Karen taught students with mental health issues and behavioral disorders in the Marshalltown School District for 13 years. She has been employed at AEA 6/267 first as a trainer with the Iowa Behavioral Initiative and then as a special education coordinator.

Legal Updates for School Counselors

Legal Guidance on common issues - (Session 1) This session will provide legal guidance on common issues that school counselors are dealing with on a day to day basis. Among the topics of discussion will be confidentiality, FERPA, public records laws, student search and seizure, reporting child abuse, bullying and harassment and more!

Evolution of the School Bully- (Session 2) This session will discuss the evolution of the traditional school bully beginning with face to face bullying and then evolving to bullying over the internet, through texting, and other social media. We will review current court cases dealing with these issues and discuss how school administrators, teachers, and other employees should handle these issues to avoid liability and more importantly STOP THE BULLYING!

Nicole Proesch is the Legal Counsel for Office of the Director at the Iowa Department of Education, joining the department in August of 2012. In this position, she acts as legal counsel to the State Board of Education, the Director, and as general counsel to the Department. Her other duties include serving as the Department’s administrative law judge, assisting with drafting of legislation including the 2013 Education Reform, and assisting the coordination of administrative rules for the Department.

Ready, Set, Knit!

Knitting has many proven therapeutic benefits, including decreasing anxiety, stress and depression and increasing self-esteem. Over the last year, I have found a way to merge my love of knitting with school counseling through developing several different knitting groups. Elementary, middle and high school students, as well as refugees from Burma have experienced benefits from participating in these knitting groups. This session provides information on why and how to integrate knitting into your counseling program.

Kelly Donlon, UNI School Counseling Graduate Student

PBIS and Counseling-How It Goes Together

This session goes over PBIS at Bunger and how my role as a counselor ties into it. I will cover the fundamentals of why we are successful with PBIS and how we have invented another Tier II intervention named Wolf Pack to help students correct problem behavior. I will review what my counselor role is at Bunger facilitating some of the interventions and discuss our successes as well as some of the obstacles we had to overcome. I hope that anyone that attends will leave the session with concrete examples of how counselors can become a critical stakeholder in PBIS and how to use the data to develop the best counseling program for your students.
Josie Evanson, Bunger Middle School, Waterloo CSD

Trauma Sensitive Schools

Participants will learn what trauma is and how it affects students in and out of the classroom, particularly in relation to brain development and functioning. Participants will learn educator do's and don'ts so that we may help all students, many of whom have been traumatized, be successful at school.
Jen Alexander, Hansen Elementary School Counselor, Cedar Falls CSD

The Nurtured Heart Approach

The Nurtured Heart Approach is an approach designed to help our most intense children succeed, but has indeed helped all children flourish. The goal of The Nurtured Heart Approach is to build a child’s inner wealth by recognizing their greatness and celebrating their successes to build resilience within the child. This approach has helped countless numbers of students, families, and school staff to help all our children flourish. If you are looking for simple, yet effective and practical way to build positive relationships with all children, this is it!

Sandy Thomson, Charles City Middle School Counselor

Intermediaries: Connecting Today’s Students to Tomorrow’s Careers

Learn how to utilize your Iowa Intermediary Network to build bridges between classrooms and businesses. Our goal is to support educators in preparing students for the modern workforce. Intermediaries establish connections with local employers to provide relevant, work-based learning activities, create career exploration opportunities, and improve workplace readiness skills for students to assist them in making informed post-secondary education and career decisions.

Iowa Intermediary Network: Mary Schultz, Lizette Aguero, and Erin Swancutt

Play Therapy: What is it and Why does it Matter?

Participants will learn the philosophy of play therapy and why it is used with children. Effects of recent studies will be shared and strategies for including play therapy skills or techniques in your own schools will be explained.

Kristin Meany-Walen is an assistant professor at UNI. She specializes in working with children using play therapy and actively counsels children in elementary schools. Kristin has a number of published research articles and chapters that focus on Adlerian play therapy. She is currently working on the third edition of Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy, with Dr. Terry Kottman, which is scheduled to be released in Summer 2015.

Updated School Counselor Standards-ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success

Come and learn about the new ASCA standards - ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. Along with learning about the ASCA standards, participants will be introduced to Mindset by Carol Dweck: Do you have a fixed or growth mindset? This session will discuss the research behind a growth and a fixed mindset and teach you ways to retrain the way you think. This session will be available to replicate back at school with other staff members and/or students.

Amy Holst, Keystone AEA Consultant

Buidling Relationships with Mental Health Counselors

Jacob Schaefer L.M.H.C Cedar Falls Counseling Associates

Surprise! You're the 504 Case Manager! Now What???

This session will focus on the school counselor's role in the 504 process. As a case manager or part of the 504 team, school counselors play a pivotal role in developing 504 plans with accommodations that meet the needs of their students. Topics will include: 504 VS IEP regulations, child-find systems, development process, appropriate accommodations and maintaining the 504.

Angela Wittmer, Holmes JH School Counselor, Cedar Falls CSD


As educators, you have most likely heard about GRIT and how it is the new big thing in education. Many wonder what is GRIT and how do you teach it? GRIT will be defined using "How Students Succeed" and "Got GRIT?" Lesson plans and experiences will also be shared.

Jacyln Lussenhop, Davis Elementary School Counselor, Grinnell CSD

LEAD (Loving Everything About Differences) - Empowering Adolescent Girls With Leadership and Self-Confidence

Last year, Peet Junior High started a girls' group with the initiative and help from one of their very own students! This 8th grade girl had previously overcome an eating disorder and wanted to make a positive impact on her peers. It has turned into LEAD (Loving Everything About Differences). Come hear about how the themes of leadership, self-esteem, body image (and more) are discussed and leave with activities and resources to LEAD your students!

Becky Lins, Peet Junior High School Counselor, Cedar Falls CSD

Start with the Trimtabs: Keeping Balance in the World of a Professional School Counselor

Professional School Counselors are like ocean liners responsible for the needs of a “boat load” of people!! After a while, through layers of “stuff that happen” we can find ourselves depleted and off course. Kris Meyer, through stories, laughter, and insight, will teach you about "trimtabs" and encourage you how to get back on course so you can enjoy the cruise!!

Dr. Kristine Meyer is a speaker, storyteller, educator, and counselor. She is the director and assistant professor of Professional Counseling Programs for Buena Vista University and does clinical counseling at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA where she lives with her husband, Don.

One of the most special descriptions of Meyer came from a former pastor when he said, “Kris, you don’t remind me of anyone.” To that she says, “YES!!!”