NHSCA Board Meeting

Lakes Region Community College

August 11, 2009


Meeting Minutes

Present:  Kathryn Sheridan, Kim Lavoie, Charles Langille, Beth Harrington, Annette Blake, Lynn Merlone, Annette Belanger, Lisa LaBella, Holly Vieten

Meeting was called to order at 9:20 a.m.

Approval of the Agenda introduced by President Kathryn Sheridan.  Agenda approved. Thank you’s all around for former president Kim Lavoie for a great job the past two years.

President’s Introduction , Kathryn Sheridan:

·         Meetings to follow the  ASCA model of separating the what’s from the how’s to keep them timely and focused; ground rules of “be brief, don’t repeat,” looking for more work within the committees to answer the “hows”; report on the “whats”

·         Where are we going? Continue to focus on One Vision/One Voice especially when speaking about NHSCA

·         Looking to keep the technology updates on the web site

·         Goal this year to find new emerging leaders

Secretary’s Report: Meeting minutes from May presented by Kathryn Sheridan. Annette Blake voting to accept minutes as presented. Annette Belanger seconded. Kim Lavoie called for a vote to accept. All accepted. Minutes approved.

Treasurer’s Report, Annette Blake: No changes from last meeting. Small expense from July. More formal report to be given in September. No taxes yet. Process observation being done.

Kim Lavoie calls to accept Treasurer’s report. Annette Belanger seconds. All vote to accept report. Report accepted as presented.

Past President’s Report, Kim Lavoie: Presented on discussions in the professional community with regard to the title of “professional school counselor”. Interested in the Board’s feelings on the title, emphasizing a need to have the title is consistent across the board. No chatter on the ASCA scene regarding the topic. Discussion of the redundancy of the word “professional”. All agree that it needs to be consistent.

Kim introduced current issues with regard to Mental Health Counseling in the schools. Recent push to have ASCA connect with Mental Health agencies to support students. Issues with certification and how they differ with regard to confidentiality. Discussion on the lessened cost to have LMHC in the schools and their positive connection with community partnerships.

Board agrees that both School Counselors and LMHC are ideal for school support. Kim reporting that ASCA was asked to create a position statement for LMHC’s in schools. Still in process.

Kim reporting on the ASCA Conference in July. National Model pushed. Many of the good workshops were difficult to get into because of high interest.  Discussion of key notes.

Conference emphasizing  the next annual conference on July 3-6 2010 in Boston. Deadline to present, September 1, 2009.

President’s Report, Kathryn Sheridan: Report on LDI. Great feedback from the Web site. Report on the importance of the governance and history. Responding to media presentation. Presentation of the RAMP School. Discussion of how schools become RAMP Schools. Application often very tedious to be recognized.

Discussion of the need for Insurance for the Board. Kim Lavoie explaining the difference between professional liability and building liability. Board looking for D&O (Directors and Officer’s Liability) which covers mis-speaking or slander as well as any cases of reported discrimination. Kim reported that the fees, in her research, are based on the size of the organization. Kim researched three companies with similar pricing, $800.00 for one million dollars in coverage, and $1300.00 for two million in coverage. Discussion followed on benefits and needs of NHSCA and amount that was appropriate. If wanting to change the budgeted, $1000.00, needed one more board member to be present. Issue tabled.

Kathryn presented information on the North Atlantic Regional Meeting to take place in Norwood, Ma. before Thanksgiving. In the past, both the President and the President Elect attend the meeting. Request for one more attendee based on the open position of President Elect.

Discussion on the focus of the meeting. In the past, meetings have been a collegial time to share information and exchange ideas as they relate to the region. Agreed they are an opportunity for good professional development and networking.

VP Reports

Elementary, Lynn Merlone: Nothing to report

Kim leading a discussion regarding the goals and directions of the VP positions to assist the current the VP’s.  Members discussing the focus to be more on communicating the needs of each level and issues to be addressed as they relate to each level. Look to the September meeting to discuss with the Tech Committee ways to have the web site updated to streamline communication at the various levels.

Middle School, Vacant: No report

High School: Accept Charles Langille as High School VP. Discussion on incoming student placement. Question asked by Annette Blake on where to place students when parents demand certain classes but testing not supporting placement. Discussion followed. Charles offering the idea of signed releases, letting parents know decision not a school one but a parental request.

Discussion on ELO’s (Extended Learning Opportunities).

Post Secondary VP, Susan Theberge: Not present, No Report.


Member Holly Vieten now present. Discussion on Insurance re-introduced. Discussion on need and the appropriate amount of coverage necessary to meet the needs of the NHSCA Board. Would need to take a vote if wanting the larger coverage due to its $300.00 increase in funds already budgeted.

Kathryn opening the topic for more discussion. Continue to verify the difference between personal and professional needs of the organization. Research conducted by Kim demonstrates the the POR of ASCA is one million dollars in coverage. Discussion that the NHSCA board should not need more than ASCA resulting in the agreement that the smaller coverage is more appropriate. No vote is necessary due to its cost being less than originally budgeted. All agreed to go ahead with the policy for the one million in coverage at a cost of $800.00. Kim stating that once the president signs off on the policy and the company receives the check, coverage begins within 24 hours.

Discussion on the need to continue to research what we are covered for when we book conferences in order not to duplicate the coverage purchased. Personal Liability tabled while more information is obtained.  

Committee Chair Updates

Professional Recognition, Holly Vieten: Reported that HS nominations are low. Stated that UNH wants to continue but needs direction on wording in order to increase advertising. Discussion on the elimination of the MA requirement as long as certification is valid (0040, 0r 0041). Holly stating that the deadline for nominations is Dec 31 and information is posted on the web site as well as in the September newsletter and in the October Principal’s mailings.

Discussion on ideas to generate more applicants. Ideas include getting info out to PTA’s and principal packages, superintendant mailings, SAU office mailings. A letter from principals to colleagues on the importance of the recognition also encouraged.


Scholarship, Lynn Melone: Applications down. Lynn to resubmit article to increase the number of applicants. Idea to share information at the Fall Conference, getting the information to the interns and students present.  Idea to get a folder to advertise on the table.


Summer Institute

Kathryn reporting on the canceled Summer Institute. Reporting only 23 applications, needing 50 to keep the cost efficient.  Discussion on the issues relating to its need to be canceled including districts not paying and the difficult economy.

Kathryn reporting that since this is the second time the Summer Institute has been canceled, its feasibility has been called into question. Discussion on going beyond the state of NH to something more regional. Discussion that the Summer Institute in Mass is so successful because they only hold one conference per year. NHSCA to look to the Fall and Spring Conference to increase attendance.

Student Intern Report: Not present, No report

Public Relations, Annette Belanger:  No current report. Annette reporting that focus of PR will be on the Fall Conference. Sharing current ways it will be advertised.

Discussion of the School Counselor Week getting the Governor’s Proclamation. Discussion of its PR objectives. Discussion of how the regional meetings need to increase the attention to this week and in the ways to make it more visual. Board feeling the advertisement should come from the DOE to help promote the week across the state. Board also feeling that a reminder letter to principals would also be effective.

Professional Development, Beth Harrington: Beth reporting much has been put out onto the web. Looking to set up web link for both members only and a general link for people to access information, particularly for committee members to update current info. Reporting an issue with things getting posted on the site in a timely manner. Kathryn to follow up with technology.

Research, Lynne Merlone: Reporting that the team submitted a current article but not yet accepted. Team looking to possible shift focus, questioning the current role and task of the committee. Stating that current goal of promoting research by school counselors needs to be further developed to create a common direction. Lynne stating that it may require a look to other states to see if any similar committees exist and their goals.

Ethics,  Not in attendance. No report.

Technology,  Not in Attendance. No Report.

Newsletter,  Kathryn Sheridan: Deadline for articles, September 4, 2009.  Annette Belanger to write about who we are and what we do as school counselors. Promote school counselor week as well as writing about resources to increase effectiveness of school counseling. Holly Vieten to write about professional recognition. Charles Langille to write about the recent issues with ELO’s and where that may be headed. Kathryn Sheridan to write up an article about the Fall Conference. Kim Lavoie to write about new membership opportunities and the current vacancy openings on the board.

Membership, Kathryn Sheridan: Current numbers are approx. 200 for the 09/10 school year. A follow up with mailings will go out after school starts. Looking to get membership sign up online through the web site. The annual directory pricing the same as last year. Look to past advertisers, mailing going out in July for ads.

Need to vote in Sept to reduce the newsletters from 5 to 4 because it would be a change in the current governing policy. Need to add into minutes the votes from the last year that would add to the governing policies. Updates have not been done since 2007.

Advocacy, Kim Lavoie: Reporting that there is a need to gain a focus. More accurate report to bring in September.

Administration Liaison, Not in Attendance. No report.

Additional Board Discussion (Current topics and past discussion follow up)


Fall Conference: Scheduled for the Holiday Inn in Concord. Lynne Merlone reporting that currently scheduled to speak are Lynn Lyons in the morning on the topic of anxiety and Martha Strauss in the afternoon on the topic of Attachment Disorder. Schedule as follows:

7:45-8:30 Registration with breakfast

8:30-11:30 Lynn

11:30-12:15 Break for Lunch

12:15-3:15 Martha

Charles Langille to develop the brochure. Door prizes to be available. Current cost for food to be $37.93 per person totaling $15, 250. Develop a contract if the speakers request it otherwise maintain current schedule. Kathryn Sheridan to contact Susan on the availability of credits for the conference.

Discussion on packets and informational advertising for the conference.

Strategic Plan Review,  Kathryn Sheridan: Current strategic plan runs out the end of this school year. Possible focus for the overnight meeting at the start of the new year. Focus to be on what is no longer relevant and what goals were not met in current plan. Legislative policy to be examined, making sure goals are more measurable and that they can be achieved in the five year time span.

Realigning Regional Meetings, Charles Langille: Updated NH map and spreadsheet. Map/regions now broken up by school districts instead of by towns. Present breakdown for review to gain feedback. Discussion on utilizing map for data distribution. Currently, Seacoast Representation is vacant. Bring region map to September meeting for a vote.


New Business

Calendar for 09/10 review.

November 12, 2009 Web conference available. Free for up to 20 members. Kathryn Sheridan to get specific information and give more feedback at next meeting.

Discussion of overnight and ways to bring new members onto the board. Discussion of conferences and how many are needed for best participation. Discussion of Spring Conference and the refunds necessary. Kathryn to get in touch with scheduled speaker to discuss the cancellation and required reimbursement.

Kathryn Sheridan then provided feedback on the meeting. Annette Belanger making a motion to adjourn. Holly Vieten seconded the motion. All in agreement. Meeting adjourned at 1:55 pm.