Division Spotlight of the Month
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ISCA President’s Letter

Greetings and Welcome Back, School Counselors!

I hope all of you had a much-deserved summer break and had the chance to practice self-care to rejuvenate for the upcoming school year.  For those of you I have yet to meet, my name is Matt Liberatore and I am beyond humbled and excited to serve as your association president for the 2019-2020 school year.  Eleven years ago, I made a decision to leave a successful electrical contracting business to follow my passion to become a school counselor and have an impact on the trajectory of student lives.  Never did I imagine I would be serving as association president and as an administrator at Illinois’ largest high school district, dedicated to focusing on the advocacy of school counselors on a state and national level.  It is a true honor to serve you as members and the profession. I look forward to getting to know many of you!  

This is an exciting time for the Illinois School Counselor Association, and I know you will find great value in the year ahead. I am continually awed by school counselors’ dedication and devotion to students and their families.  I am excited to announce

that the ISCA Board of Directors was busy at work during the ISCA annual retreat.  The energy at the annual retreat was electrifying, and I know this team will continue advocating on behalf of the amazing work of school counselors.  Many ISCA members and Board Members have been working on and spearheading state and regional initiatives (see 2nd page), and it makes me proud to play a small part in this amazing organization.  

We are extremely excited to announce our professional development series for the year.  This year we are transitioning to a single two-day annual conference located at the Tinley Park Convention Center on April 16 and 17.  April 16 will consist of a workshop-style national trainer and speaker, with April 17 being a day of breakout sessions and collaborative learning.  Moving to Tinley Park equates to ease of parking for our members, and the conference can be seen as a destination conference with great social networking on Thursday evening and partnerships with our neighboring state professional organization can be established.

In regards to workshops, we are bringing in Allison Edwards from Vanderbilt University, a nationally recognized speaker, for a full-day workshop downstate at Collinsville High School on Monday, December 2, 2019.  In addition, we will have Brett Zyromski coming to UTI in Lisle on Thursday November 21st, 2019 for a full-day workshop. We also anticipate having a 4th edition ASCA model training highlighting the changes and how those changes impact your counseling practices.  We are looking to finalize details, so please be on the lookout for targeted workshop emails and be sure to sign-up on the registration portal, located on the ISCA website when these become available (by 9/1/2019).  We believe strongly in professional development as the school climate and the work you do continues to evolve. We want you to be refreshed and invigorated to do important work.

I celebrate your great work and the exciting work ahead this school year.  We are stronger together, and your impact on student’s trajectories is immeasurable.  Have a wonderful year, and please take part in the fabulous professional development we have planned for YOU!

Don’t hesitate to reach out to connect or get involved with ISCA.  Social media is an important tool through which to document, promote and share your great work.  Consider following ISCA Twitter - @MyISCA


Warmest Regards,

Dr. Matt Liberatore, LCPC

Twitter - @DrLiberatore




More Exciting News!


I am super excited to introduce an initiative on which various ISCA Board and Members have been contributing members.  The School Counselor Postsecondary Advising Competencies working group began because of a need to have postsecondary counselor preparation programs and high school districts come together to increase articulation and seamless transition when preparing counselors.  With the increased focus on Career Pathways, College Persistence and multiple postsecondary options, there is an increasing need to equip counselors to support students within these new options. This has been a collaborative effort among community and grant work funders, regional partners, postsecondary institutions, school administrators and school counselors.


It is of special interest to school counselors as it defines the attitudes, beliefs and mindsets that ensure successful implementation of the PaCE Framework.  In alignment with the ASCA model, we continue to evolve as a profession; it is our moral obligation to be advocates and champions for the work we do and active participants in how that work is defined.  My passion is for ISCA and school counselors to be connected with school counselor initiatives and collaborations so that WE define the profession!


Feel free to visit the project site and download the PDF Report.  It is our hope that it will drive modification of postsecondary counselor preparation programs, inspire new internship competencies and evaluations, and increase intentional district professional development for veteran counselors.  Review the competencies and self reflect on how you as a professional can increase or embed these within your practice. I know many of you are well-versed in these competencies, and I celebrate the great work all of you do! 



I’d like to give a special shoutout to Leslie Goines for her service as ISCA president during the 2018-2019 school year. Words

cannot express my sincere gratitude for her leadership and continued mentorship. She will serve in a very active role as the association Past President role during the 2019-2020 school year.  Thank you, Leslie! 


Leslie Goines and I attended ASCA Leadership Development Institute at the end of June and were two voting members for the State of Illinois.  This was a content-packed two days of leadership training and professional organization planning. We were proud to see Brian Coleman (School Counselor of the Year, 2019) give the thought leadership keynote at the closing of the training.  Brian has had and is having an exciting time representing ASCA SCOYA and representing Illinois School Counselors.