General Counseling

Burston, Andrea

Andrea BurstonAndrea Burston

Andrea Burston is a former high schoolcomputer/technology teacher turned elementary school counselor. She is theschool counselor for Wake County Public Schools working at JY Joyner IB MagnetElementary School in Raleigh, NC. Andrea is also the writer of the jyjcounselor blog where she shares her enjoyment of her career as well as many counselor ideaswith school counselors from all over the world. She loves using technology andis always looking for new and innovative ways to integrate technology into herschool counseling program. Andrea has presented at various conferences andworkshops on using technology in counseling programs.

Click here to download Andrea Burston's session descriptions.


Cook, Julia

Julia CookJulia Cook

Julia is a former teacher and school counselor, and is now an international speaker and one ofthe world's foremost authors of guidance storybooks for children. She is always seeking creativeways to connect with people and impart valuable life lessons. Her imaginative stories areextremely engaging to all ages, leading her to publish over eighty successful storybooks, earningnumerous national awards and recognition. The goal of Julia's books is to enter the world viewof children and teach them to become life-long problem solvers.

Click here to download Julia Cook's session descriptions.


Dean, Amie

Tara BrownAmie Dean

Amie Dean, M.Ed., B.A. has worked in education for 21 years. She has experience teaching at all levels, and has taught both special and general education. She was with Fulton County Schools (GA) for ten years, four of which she provided support to teachers and students as the Student Support/RTI Coordinator for her middle school. She holds a Masters degree in Education and is Nationally Board Certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. With 21 years experience as an educator and 10 years as a professional consultant, Amie has worked with thousands of teachers, counselors and administrators in over 250 districts to improve best practices in behavior support, student engagement, and differentiated instruction. Amie has trained with Dr. Rick DuFour, Dr. Kay Burke, Dr. Spencer Kagan, Dr. Ruby Payne, and many others.

Click here to download Amie Dean's session descriptions.

Click here to see a video clip of Amie Dean.


Dinwiddie, Rodger

Rodger Dinwiddie

Rodger Dinwiddie

Rodger Dinwiddie has been the CEO STARS-Nashville, an evidenced-based Student Assistance Program as recognized by the National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices, since 1986. Prior to joining STARS, Rodger served as the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization working with juvenile court referrals. He also was a classroom teacher in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools for 7 years. Rodger is also a Certified Prevention Specialist - Level II. He is a certified trainer and Olweus Technical Assistance Consultant for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and Safe Dates Program, and he serves as the Tennessee State Olweus Coordinator in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, Clemson University, and Hazelden Educational Publishing, where he currently provides consultation in the areas of best practices in bullying prevention and intervention, school climate improvement, and the development of social emotional competencies. In addition, he provides consultation to both businesses and school districts to assist leaders in building strong(er) relationships in the workplace. Rodger is also the Immediate Past-President of the International Bullying Prevention Association. He is a native Nashvillian, where he is involved in numerous community organizations, including the Nashville Rotary Club. He and former CEO of Oasis Center, Hal Cato, were named Nashvillians of the Year by the Nashville Scene for their work in the collaboration and development of the Youth Opportunity Center, a partnership between Oasis Center and STARS.

Click here to download Rodger Dinwiddie's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Rodger Dinwiddie..


Ertl, Scott

Scott ErtlScott Ertl

Scott Ertl's career began as a comedy magician and juggler. As a GoodwillAmbassador, he toured Russia, Denmark & Estonia with Patch Adams. Afterperforming comedy magic and juggling for 11 years and over 3,000 circusand stage audiences, Scott ran away from the circus to join a school! Since1996, he has enjoyed working as an elementary school counselor to helpchildren develop goals and learn how to turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Click here to download Scott Ertl's session descriptions.


Everest, Kathryn

Kathryn Everest

Kathryn Everest is in her 22nd year as Director of Guidance andCounseling for the Fort Worth Independent School District. She provides leadership and program managementfor 240 professional school counselors.Kathryn, appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve on the State Boardfor Educators Certification, was instrumental in pushing for revisions in the TACfor more rigorous requirements for school counselor certification. She was recognized as Texas' Counseling Supervisorof the Year and is recognized for her innovative andcomprehensive implementation of crisis response in schools andcommunities. For her work in the area of "wellness" on anational level, Kathryn was chosen "Great Woman of Texas - A Woman of Influence". Everest is recognizedas one of the best in her field as Kathryn's wide range of experiences, coupledwith her own unique perspective and insight intuitively and strategicallyaddresses today's ever changing issues as an advocate for students.

Click here to download Kathryn Everest's session descriptions.


Frank, Tip

Tip Frank

Kim "Tip" Frank, longtime school counselor and therapist, has had the privilege of helping thousands of students, formerly as a teacher, and more recently, as a counselor/therapist. Tip worked in the public school setting for over 20 years and now maintains a thriving, private counseling practice. He has authored and coauthored numerous books on topics including ADD/ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, social skills, grief, technology and gaming addictions, divorce and separation, and presents nationally on these topics.

Click here to download Tip Frank's session descriptions.


Griffith, Karen

Karen GriffithKaren Griffith

Karen Griffith, PhD, LPC, worked in public education for 35 years, 27 as a school counselor, earning multiple state and national recognitions. Now retired, she works at the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor (Term-Limited) in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, and with ASCA as a trainer on the national model, Lead RAMP Reviewer, and Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Counseling and Development. She has authored three books and several articles, and speaks at state and national conferences on a variety of topics. Her primary area of research is around resiliency.

Click here to download Karen Griffith's session descriptions.


Gruener, Barbara

Barbara GruenerBarbara Gruener

Barbara Gruener is a nationally recognized speaker, school counselor,character coach and author who thrives on positively influencingcharacter change, passionately helping people create lifelong connections,and intentionally improving school climate and culture. Her innovativeand inspirational ideas are sparked by 32 years in public education,growing alongside students from every age and stage. Currently, Barbarais the counselor at Bales Intermediate in Friendswood, Texas. 

Her book, What's Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind supports caregivers andmentors as they help develop character strengths in young people at home and in school. Additionally,Barbara's reflections and ideas have been published on a number of blogs and magazines. 

Barbara has been leading supercharged character-development trainings with students, parents, teachersand administrators both nationally and internationally for nearly two decades. She is a connectededucator whom other professionals seek out as a mentor who can help them stretch and grow.

Click here to download Barbara Gruener's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Barbara Gruener:


Hodge, John

John HodgeJohn Hodge

Dr. John W. Hodge is president and co-founder of UrbanLearning and Leadership Center (ULLC), an organization focused on studentachievement and reduction of the achievement gap. He has served as a readingteacher, English teacher, AVID teacher, Assistant Principal and AssociateDirector of AVID Center Eastern Division. He served as Director of AnAchievable Dream Academy, an inner city school that piloted many of theinterventions used by Urban Learning and Leadership Center. An Achievable DreamAcademy is a high performing, high poverty school that has received numerous nationalawards. Prior to his career in education, Dr. Hodgedistinguished himself in the service of our country with the 7th InfantryDivision of the United States Army.

What sets Dr. John W. Hodge apart in the field ofeducation is his well-documented ability to put research and theory intoeveryday practice in rural, urban and suburban schools. His career has beendefined by assisting students and teachers overcome obstacles and achievegoals. He has served as an inspirational speaker at national, regional, andstatewide conferences across the United States. His presentations are often"the spark" for schools in their quest to meet and exceed state/federalaccreditation standards and implement strategies for continuous improvement.Dr. Hodge is an expert in helping schools create and sustain academicexcellence..

Click here to download John Hodge's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of John Hodge.

Click here to see an interview of John Hodge.


King, Lisa

Lisa KingLisa King

Lisa has worked with students developing and using innovative practices as a school counselor for 20 years. She has won numerous awards in her district and presented her programs at local, state and national conferences. Lisa has authored five books including her latest book, Mindset Matters: A Counseling Curriculum to Help Students Understand how to Help Themselves Succeed with a Growth Mindset (2016). Other books of hers include, Making the Link (2005), Academic Advisement Program (2006), Teaching Career Essentials (2015) and How to Create A College Day (2016). Lisa attended Tufts University for her undergraduate degree and Georgia State University for her graduate degrees. She lives in Marietta, GA (Atlanta suburb) with her husband and daughter.

Click here to download Lisa King's session descriptions.

Click here for more information about Lisa's book, Mindset Matters.


Opalewski, Dave

Dave OpalewskiDave Opalewski

Dave Opalewski has been aclassroom teacher for twenty-five years and an at-risk counselor for 8 years.Dave has taught at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. Hehas recently retired from the Bridgeport/Spaulding Community Schools and ispresently a full-time instructor at Central Michigan University in the TeacherEducation and Professional Development Department. He has a Bachelor of ScienceDegree and a Masters of Arts Degree from Central Michigan University. Dave'sMasters Degree is in Secondary Education with a Health Education emphasis. HisMasters Thesis is titled "Death Education: Guidelines For The ClassroomTeacher." Dave has taught Death Education for Delta College and Death andDying and Suicide Prevention for Central Michigan University. 

Dave also has three years experience working in a funeral home helping thefamily and friends of the deceased cope with their loss. He has been a memberand has led crisis teams for schools who have lost students and staff due toillness, accidents, and suicide. His experiences of what works and what doesn'twork, plus a desire to share this information, has encouraged him to helpcreate "Crises Response to Tragedy," and "Suicide Prevention Programs." 

Dave also has coached interscholastic athletics for twenty-two years. He hasdeveloped many quality relationships with students and parents in thecommunities he has worked. Although teams he has coached have won numeroushonors, he is more fulfilled by the quality of relationships that has developedbetween players, coaches, parents, and the community. 

Click here to download Dave Opalewski's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Dave Opalewski:


Richards, David

David RichardsDavid Richards

David Richards is a partner in the Austin, Texas school law firm Richards Lindsay & Martin, LLP. The firm's practice is limited to the defense of school districts and special education cooperatives in matters arising under Section 504 and the IDEA. Mr. Richards is a frequent speaker on disability law issues at school districts and conferences throughout the country.

Click here to download David Richard's session descriptions.


Robinson Bennett, Ginger

Ginger Robinson BennettGinger Robinson Bennett

Ginger Robinson Bennett recently retired after 39 years of working with students, both as a teacher (17 years) and as a counselor (22 years). Her experiences of being in the classroom as a teacher and then as a Character Educator in elementary schools and also, her most recent experience, as a high school "social/emotional" counselor, make her a great resource to assist teachers and counselors in their daily work with students. For many years she also worked as a Child Care Consultant. Now, she finds her greatest love is in assisting and affirming educators in the "daily grind" of "making a difference" in the lives of students. Her presentations involve some of her own personal experiences, along with a vast array of trainings and research into student behavior. Ginger will always promise the two L's: Learning and Laughter!

Click here to download Ginger Robinson Bennett's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Ginger.


Sabella, Russ

Russ SabellaRuss Sabella

Dr. Russell Sabella is currently a Professor of Counseling in the College of Health Professions & Social Work, Florida Gulf Coast University and President of Sabella & Associates.He is well known for his Technology Boot Camp for Counselors workshops conducted throughout the country. Dr. Sabella is Past President (2003-2004) of the American School Counselor Association.He has trained and consulted with thousands of school counselors, educators, parents, and organizational leadersthroughout the country.

Click here to download Russ Sabella's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Russ Sabella.



Stone, Carolyn

Carolyn StoneCarolyn Stone

Carolyn Stone, Ed.D., is a Professor of Counselor Education at the Universityof North Florida (UNF). Dr. Stone is a Past President of the American SchoolCounselor Association (ASCA). Prior to coming to UNF, Dr. Stone spent 22years with Jacksonville, Florida's Public Schools as an elementary and highschool counselor, middle school teacher and Supervisor of Guidance Services.She supervised 225 school counselors. Dr. Stone currently serves as the Ethics Chair for ASCA andhas done so for 15 years. Have Carolyn conduct one of her informative presentations at your nextfunction or event.

Click here to download Carolyn Stone's session descriptions.

Click here to see video clips of Carolyn Stone:


Taylor, Julia V.

Julia TaylorJulia Taylor

Dr. Julia V. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. Previously, she was the Dean of Student Services for the Wake YoungWomen's Leadership Academy, a public, all girls' school located inRaleigh, North Carolina. Originating from the Washington, DC area,Julia received her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science with aconcentration in Health Education from George Mason University.She received her master's degree in Psychology with a concentration inSchool Counseling from Marymount University. Julia received her doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Julia is the author or co-author of six books; Salvaging Sisterhood, Girls in Real Life Situations (G.I.R.L.S. is two separate curricula, one for secondary ages, andanother for elementary ages), The Bullying Workbook for Teens, The Body Image Workbook for Teens and a children's book, Perfectly You. Shefrequently presents her research and experiences with educators, parents,and students at the national level.

Click here to download Julia Taylor's session descriptions.


Williams, Deirdra

Julia TaylorDeirdra Williams

Deirdra is a graduate of NC State University (French Language and Literature) and NC Central University, where she received a Master of Arts in School Counseling. As a National Board Certified Teacher in K – 12 school counseling, she enjoys practicing school counseling at the secondary level so that she can help students prepare for and make a positive transition to post high school. She believes all students can learn and have something special to contribute to society. They just need the right resources and be willing to put forth a little effort.

Deirdra has been a professional school counselor in Wake County Public Schools for over 14 years. She has been able to advocate for school counseling and student achievement by actively using ASCA National Model documents to show evidence of a data driven and student centered school counseling program. During her tenure in the district, she has led two separate counseling teams to RAMP status, one receiving RAMP in just the school’s second year of existence. She currently serves as an ASCA RAMP reviewer and has traveled the state teaching and encouraging school counselors to use the ASCA National model to advocate for students and the profession.

Click here to download Deirdra Williams's session descriptions.


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