#StrongerTogether: 2022 ISCA Annual Conference

“It’s like a family reunion!”  

“The recharge that I needed!” 

Networking, connecting, learning, collaborating. These are just some of the words used to describe this year’s Iowa School Counselor Association’s Annual Conference, held last month at the Iowa Events Center.

This year’s conference featured keynote presentations from Julia Cook, award winning children’s author of over a hundred social-emotional learning books, and Houston Kraft, co-founder of the social-emotional program CharacterStrong and author of Deep Kindness. The 41 breakout sessions discussed topics ranging from dating violence to closing the achievement gap to college and career readiness in the elementary world. For those who came early, pre-conference sessions highlighted social change, resiliency training, and learning about the Iowa Skills Trades where attendees had the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the trade jobs, even being able to operate heavy machinery!

As hundreds of school counselors from across the state came together to join in two days of learning and connecting, the conference theme of #StrongerTogether could be seen and felt by all. The message of this year’s conference was that we as school counselors cannot do it all; we must collaborate with others who share the same goal of supporting the academic, career, and social-emotional development of Iowa students. We learned how to partner with key stakeholders, including: parents, administrators, school board members, area education agencies, local college access networks, mental health providers, college admissions, local businesses, and more! At a time where educators are feeling the strain more than ever, working together and sharing the load is essential. 

As a K-12 school counselor, I personally look forward to the ISCA annual conference every November. It’s always a wonderful experience of connecting and rejuvenating with colleagues (hello, chair massages and puppy therapy!). This year was no exception! Thanks to the ISCA Board and Conference Planning Committee, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees for an exceptional conference! We are truly #StrongerToghether! 

Alyssa Cobie-Nuss
Professional K-12 School Counselor/At-Risk Coordinator
ISCA K-12 Level VP
West Central School
Maynard, IA

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