2020 OSCA Elections
The 2020 OSCA Elections are now open and active until March 14th. Please read about the candidates below and make your vote. Thank you for your participation and for helping OSCA continue it's mission to advocate for students and school counselors.
If you are having issues with the ballot form please contact Sue Harte - OSCAPresElect@oscainc.org
President Elect Candidates:
- Roberto Aguilar -- I believe that I possess many of the same qualities as other candidates. I am passionate and committed. I have aspirations for our students and our profession. I believe that we must be inclusive, equitable and mindful to work in the three domains of a comprehensive school counseling program as outlined by ASCA to achieve optimal performance level for our programs and our students. I trust all quality candidates will have similar beliefs and qualifications and I believe I have strong skills in all of these areas. Three areas where I believe I stand out from my fellow candidates are: 1. My service record in advocacy for greater numbers of school counselors, at both the state and national level, 2. My intentional approach to networking across the entire state of Oregon and throughout the nation with school counselor leaders, 3. My intentional work in equity to produce “courageous spaces” for students and school counselors of color so that they are not only heard and valued but also empowered and supported to participate in their academic system and become an integral part of student and school success. Thank you for your consideration. I would appreciate and love the opportunity to serve as the next President Elect for the Oregon School Counselor Association Board.
- Virginia Rose -- I am interested in working with OSCA again because OSCA provides wonderful supports, professional opportunities, and education for professional school counselors in Oregon, especially the new or returning counselor. I worked in many capacities with OSCA about 20 years ago and I feel it’s the right time to get re-involved in our counselor community. I’ve seen tremendous growth of OSCA over the years and am so proud of the work everyone has done to keep our professional association growing and thriving. I’ve worked as a school counselor in mostly rural settings and small towns, poverty ridden without a lot of resources. You learn to make do with what you have. Sometimes you are the only trained mental health professional in the area. That can be tough, emotionally and otherwise. While I’ve been looking for a permanent counselor position, I have had some temporary school counselor jobs and been working as a substitute teacher in the Portland area. It’s been a great adventure to get to work and learn with different ethnicities and races, socioeconomic levels, languages and English levels, and cultural values. So I am lucky to come to OSCA now with such a wider range of experience and knowledge, including being able to claim some competence in the areas of Anxiety and Stress, Bullying Prevention, Career Development, Grief and Loss, Mental Health, Trauma and Crisis from ASCA U. I have a passion for kids and know how dedicated professional school counselors can help them become better people and engaged citizens, even the little ones. I’ve seen lives turned around, students going to college who were only dreaming about it, fragile suicidal students make a stand for their own mental health, victims become stronger than their already resilient selves. On the flip side, I’ve seen those students we haven’t been able to reach and I know that pains every one of us. It can be difficult for us to lose a student to drugs or a gang or suicide. But we do it year after year after year because we love kids. I would be happy to make the three-year pledge to be the President-Elect, President, and Past President of OSCA. It was a lot of hard work for me but a pleasure to be involved in the OSCA community in the past and I would be thrilled to be able to reconnect and be involved again.
- Kristen Thompson-Graber -- I have worked in the public school setting as a School Counselor for 16 years. I have also held administrative positions in public education and have worked as a Qualified Mental Health Provider in the State of Oregon. I have been trained and have used PBIS, RTI, AVID, Character Strong, Second Steps, and many other behavioral programs in both the roles of a counselor and an administrator. My level of experience and the fact that I hold a MA degree in Counseling Psychology with my School Counseling certification give me a level of knowledge that can aid my work as the next President Elect for OSCA. Working as a board member for OSCA will allow me to use both organizational and communication skills which are strengths. As I have worked in administration I also have a global view not only of what is needed for a comprehensive counseling program but also the professional development needed to help school counselors to be as strong as needed in today's ever changing world. Schools are being challenged with not only the education of children but the safety of children, when we can only create safety in the school setting, this can feel limiting to most if not all I feel my overall experience K-12 and beyond gives me an edge when trying to help manage and work as a team with other board members and the counseling community to create answers to current problems and professional development for current need. I would be honored to be elected/selected as the next President Elect for OSCA.
Amanda Bennett -- This is my third year as a licensed school counselor and I would like to become more involved in the broader school counselor community. I enjoy working with numbers and developing graphs/charts so joining the OSCA board as the Treasurer seems right. As the OSCA Treasurer, I will use my enthusiasm for math, project management skills, and charisma to develop and manage an annual budget.
High School VP Candidates:
- Teresa Dowdy -- After 16 years in the classroom, I made a career change in 2006 and went back to school to become a high school counselor. That decision has changed my life. I have been a counselor for 14 years. My aspiration to serve on the board as the High School VP is two-fold; I want to network with other counselors and share that knowledge with others (especially in Eastern Oregon). I believe my 30 years as an educator could be beneficial to the board. I would like to share the great things OSCA is doing in our part of the state. Equally, important I would like to continue promoting the counseling profession. I have attended several Oregon Counseling Conferences and have learned so much. I am interested in the OSCA High School VP Board position because I want to work with the board to bring innovative ideas to counselors and advocate for the profession. Our school is focusing on Trauma-Informed Care, Social-Emotional Learning, Collaboratively Problem Solving, PLC’s, ACES, Mindfulness, and Staff Wellness. I work closely with all of these projects. My experience and exposure to the different trainings has helped me become a diverse and well-rounded school counselor. I would love to serve on the board to collaborate and promote all of the great things OSCA is currently doing. I am a team player, enjoy sharing ideas, and love to learn. I am genuine, organized, compassionate, detail-oriented, open-minded, and love the counseling profession.
- Ashley Herndon-Dubra -- I have been a high school counselor in a rural school for the last five academic years. I am a part of a district that has counselors at only two of the five schools. I have seen firsthand how helpful the statewide community of counselors can be when there isn't a lot of counselor support in-district. I am excited to be a part of building that community and opportunities for professional development that many of us just don't have often as well as give ideas and resources to others like me around the state. Additionally, I am excited to be a part of the advocacy going on in OSCA to increase the presence of school counselors statewide.
- Amber Yeager -- I love my job! I love helping adolescents realize their potential and to help them follow their dreams! I get to break down barriers and help them succeed! I like the test of helping a student who is struggling and figure out the best academic plan so they could be successful! Best of all, I love to see each and every one of my students walk across the stage and graduate! I have a double Bachelor's in Sociology and Psychology from UC Davis, and a Master's in Counseling from Oregon State. Cohort 87! I want to be an agent of change. With my military background and my military social activism, I have a history of working at the State and National level. I have managed many conferences while in the military. I believe my skill set and passion could benefit the Oregon School Counselors Association.
Middle School VP Candidate:
Luisa Kinder -- Since August 2019, I have had the honor of being OSCA's Middle School Vice President. This position is important to me as a fairly new school counselor in that I am connecting and getting to know other Oregon educators like myself. Our OSCA board members represent our work as caregivers and educators in a unique and diverse way. I would love to continue to work with them as advocates for our profession. I am a bicultural female who was raised in small Midwest private schools. My family and my constant curiosity for learning brought me from a rural town in Missouri to living in downtown Portland 12 years ago. It took a few career changes to help me realize who I am as a professional: a Change Maker! With the support of my loving family I was able to graduate from George Fox University in 2017 and find my spot among the amazing school counselors in Multnomah's East County. Middle school is a crucial few years in student development; it can be a daunting task to determine a comprehensive and effective way to meet the needs of students. My hope in continuing as the Middle School Vice President is broadening my understanding of how our school counselor community supports our students in becoming well-rounded global citizens. We have such a strong and supportive school counseling community right here in Oregon; I want every school counselor to know and be a part of our OSCA vision and mission as we continue to advocate to our state leaders! Thank you for considering me as your OSCA Middle School Vice President; I will continue my middle school work here at West Orient Middle School and hopefully statewide & nationwide! Go Counselors Go!