ll Starts With Us”
Over the past two years I have asked myself several times if I had lost my mind; what was I doing as the future president of the Arkansas School Counselors Association? The time has finally arrived and I am president of ArSCA and in a legislative year!
Past President, Debbie Drake, and I attended the American School Counselor’s national conference in Orlando, Florida in June, specifically at Disney World. (It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it!) At the conference I found my direction for the year.
I have chosen two issues that I feel are very important to the future and well being of our organization: advocacy and membership. In a recent survey from the American School Counselor Association school counselors we asked what positions or groups had the most impact on their ability to do their job. Number one (1) was principals; number three (3) was superintendents. When asked who had the most influence over improving critical challenges, principals were again number one (1) and superintendents number two(2). But, when asked how often school counselors met with these critical key players sixty-one percent (61%) of school counselors said they never met with their superintendents. Legislators, who set the laws we play by, faired worse. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of school counselors said they never met with their legislators. How can we, as school counselors, expect these two important and powerful groups to advocate for the school counseling profession if we never let them know what we stand for, what changes we would like to see in Arkansas, and just how important school counselors are to every school district in the state?
The second issue, membership, is also very important. At this time there are over 1300 school counselors in Arkansas, only 644 are members of their own professional organization, ArSCA. Why? That is the question I want to find an answer to, with your help.
My theme for the year will be; “It All Starts With Us”. Think about all we do in our schools. Who gets called on first when the state begins a new initiative? We get called on to serve on one committee after another. Not only do we work with our students but we collaborate closely with our colleagues in almost every area. Why? We are leaders.
Over the coming year I will be asking for your help and ideas to advocate for and grow ArSCA. If we want change, “It All Starts With Us”. I wish all of you the very best school year and look forward to working with and for you.