School Counselor Connection

Tips for Success Vol 7, February 2021

This newsletter celebrates School Counselors! Thank you for all that you do for our students and families. We end the newsletter with words of encouragement and hope-- building student resilience and self-efficacy is what we do!

Celebrating National School Counseling Week Feb 1-5, 2021

National School Counseling Week is celebrated the first week in February to recognize School Counselors' unique contribution within the U.S. school systems. Each year, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) sponsors a celebration and highlights the impact school counselors have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. This year’s National School Counseling Week’s theme is "School Counselors: All In for All Students."

Orange County School Counselor Recognition & School Counselor Advocate Awards

During this special week, the Orange County Department of Education recognizes exemplary Orange County School Counselors and School Counselor Advocates who work tirelessly to support our Orange County students and families. 2020 was a significantly challenging year for many educators. However, School Counselors did not falter in their call to support our communities. They were at the forefront, checking in with students and families by ensuring their physical and emotional well-being and linking families to resources such as food banks, mental health resources and support with accessing technology.

This year, the Orange County School Counselor Recognition Program and School Counselor Advocate Award Program recognizes six incredible School Counselors and three School Counselor Advocates:

2021 School Counselor Recognition Awardees:

Veronica Alvarez

Savanna High School, Anaheim Union High School District

Robert Stelmar

Brea Olinda High School, Brea Olinda Unified School District

Jessica Sandoval

Marco Fisher Middle School, Capistrano Unified School District

Laurie Tristan

MacArthur Fundamental Intermediate School, Santa Ana Unified School District

Julie Chutuk

Kinoshita Elementary School, Capistrano Unified School District

Rosy Chavez

Ponderosa Elementary School, Anaheim Elementary School District

2021 School Counselor Advocate Awardees:

Jenni Thai

Counselor on Special Assignment from Capistrano Unified School District

Nicole Jones and Katherine White

Officers of Parent Teacher Student Organization from Cerro Villa Middle School in Orange Unified School District

Dr. Mijares, Superintendent of Schools sends a special message to all of you!

School Counselor and School Counselor Advocates Celebration | Dr. Al Mijares

Show your appreciation!

We welcome you to help us celebrate these incredible educators, and utilize some of the resources in the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Promotional Toolkit to demonstrate your appreciation for their invaluable contributions.

Participate in the Photo Challenge!

Participate in Professional Development

Coffee with Orange County School Counselors

We are excited to bring to you, Coffee with Orange County School Counselors. These meetings will be co-facilitated by our 2020 Orange County Counselor Recognition Recipients. We will host an open space to collaborate and learn from each other for student success. This is a great opportunity to foster a support system among school counselors.

Please click here to share any discussion topics.

One Starbucks gift card will be raffled at each session.

High School Collaboration

Facilitators: Darwin Vega & Dr. Luz Arellano

February 11, 2021

8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Elementary and Middle School Collaboration

Facilitators: Kyle Sivcovich, Jacqueline Gallardo-Hoffmaster & Dr. Luz Arellano

February 18, 2021

8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Fostering Student Resiliency & Self-Efficacy

School Counselors Nurture Student Resilience and Self-Efficacy through Mindsets & Behavior Standards for Student Success

Want to nurture academic perseverance? Role of Non-cognitive Factors

Resilience: The ability to personally or professionally succeed despite adversity stems from resilience, or coping effectively with difficulties that might otherwise lead to anxiety, depression, withdrawal, physical symptoms, or poor achievement. Considerable research has revealed that resilience results from positive social relationships, positive attitudes and emotions, the ability to control one’s own behavior, and feelings of competence (Doll, Zucker, & Brehm, 2004).

Schoolwide Methods for Fostering Resiliency

Self-efficacy: Relates to beliefs that students have about their abilities to succeed at a given task. Individuals tend to engage in activities in which they feel confident in their ability to complete and to avoid those in which they lack such confidence (Bandura,1986).

Self-Efficacy: Helping Children Believe They Can Succeed

Rachel Wagner Talks About Building Resilience in Children
Importance of Self-Efficacy

This is a difficult time but, "You are Doing a Good Job"

We acknowledge this is a difficult time and heightened emotions and stressors are among us. I want to take a moment to validate and acknowledge your hard work, and share a video that I know will warm your heart. Share with everyone who needs to hear this!
Alicia Keys - Good Job | Cover by One Voice Children's Choir | A Tribute to Covid-19 Heroes

Upcoming Professional Development


Resources Available for Mental Health Awareness Month: Do you have a group of students interested in a conducting schoolwide activity for Mental Health Awareness Month in May? The Orange County Department of Education’s Student Advocates for Mental Health program can provide free training, supplies, resources, and support to create or promote your activity. This opportunity is available to all Orange County public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. For more information, please visit our program website or contact Lisa Nguyen at

Scholarship Opportunity: Young Women Public Affairs Award Recognizing young women for their commitment to volunteerism, volunteer leadership achievements and dedication to empowering women worldwide. The Young Women in Public Affairs Award is a Zonta International program funded by contributions to the Zonta Foundation for Women. Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.

Link to application:

Luz M. Arellano, Ed.D

K-12 School Counseling Coordinator

Educational Services

Orange County Department of Education

View previous newsletters HERE

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