NHSCA Board Meeting

The Common Man, Concord

Thursday, May 12, 2011

4 – 6:30


Meeting Minutes



Present: Robin Hogan, Holly Vieten, Charles Langille, Alicia Langille, Bill Hughen, Ashley Shuffleton, Esther Asbell, Lynn Merlone, Kathryn Sheridan, Melinda Avellino, Stephanie Collins, Kathy Hoppa, Mary Schoewer, Beth Harrington, Lynn Lavoie, Marianne Gfroerer, Celia Slason, Annette Blake, Sean Peschel


Holly Vieten, President: Welcome and introductions. New interested Board members include Kathy Hoppa, who has agreed to be the Merrimack Valley Regional Chair and Mary Schoewer of St. Mary’s Academy in Dover.


Secretary, Beth Harrington: Secretary’s minutes: Lynn motioned, Esther seconded. The minutes were approved with the correction that Robin Hogan was present during the meeting.


President-Elect, Lynn Merlone:

·         On the conference: are people interested in having an evening before meeting, $25 charge for dinner and meeting with preconference interested people for training on advocacy with Brian Law, ASCA president? The hours would be from 5-8pm on Thursday evening. The Board agreed that was a good idea. Several presenters had committed, but they still need middle school and elementary school workshop presenters.

·         The summer board meeting was decided to be held on Monday, August 15 from 10-3 at NHHEAF or NHTI. Lynn will let us know where it will be.


Past-President, Kathryn Sheridan: Archiving summary: Kathryn has sorted and sifted through the contents of all the archives. There are now 5 bins that need to go to someone else’s house. Some information that was archived was listed on the website.

·         She is stepping down from the board after 5-6 years. Many thanks for all of your hard work, Kathryn!

·         Kathryn mentioned that she does have the bill for the Liability Insurance and will give it to Holly.


President, Holly Vieten: Introductions for new people and titles. Melinda will stay as the professional development chair but is stepping down from Middle level VP. Ethics is also still vacant. Regional vacancies: Capital region, Dartmouth/Sunapee; Alicia is stepping down, so the Monadnock area will be vacant too. Professional Recognition is vacant after Robin steps down. Melinda will co-chair professional recognition with Ashley. Robin will plan the conference for next year, as the incoming president-elect.

·         Celia, Robin, and Lynn will go to the ASCA conference in the Seattle. Lynn and Robin will go to Georgia in July for LDI training.

·         Liability insurance: We already have $800 for Board liability. The Lakes Region has asked us for our own general liability, which is another $1000. It was decided that we will keep what we have and not add the additional insurance.


Administrative Assistant’s Report, Mel Shokal: Not present. This was electronically sent: There are 454 members. A question was brought up: do we need a PO Box instead of Mel’s home address? The drawbacks are that we have to pay for the PO Box, and she has to go and get it. It was decided to keep the address as it was listed already. If Mel receives any future solicitations or confusing mail then she will forward it to the current president to handle.

Elementary V.P., Celia Slason: She sent out her report electronically about the Advocacy training. She did some simple research to follow-up from the Advocacy Training that she forwarded onto Lynn Merlone, to help prepare the background for the advocacy efforts at the Statehouse.

Middle V.P.: Vacant


Secondary V.P., Charles Langille: The superintendent brought up ideas from the College Board for counselors. Should we consider having a counselor representative on the College Board? Lynn says there is a National Office of School Counselor Advocacy Office and will bring that up at the summer meeting.


Post-Secondary Report, Susan Theberge:  Not present, but the report was sent electronically: An excerpt follows: Alicia Langille and I hosted our Spring Regional Meeting at Keene State College, Working with Students and Families Who Are Homeless with Terri Herzog, Outreach Coordinator for the Keene School District.


Advocacy and Bylaws, Kim Lavoie:

·         The Bylaws are done and have been sent to ASCA and we are waiting for final approval.  We had a membership vote at the Advocacy Training at which they were approved. 

·         Our advocacy meeting was well attended and we decided to work on the house bill 429 which moves the dropout age back to 16.  Holly and Bill did us proud at the senate hearing but it is still in committee. 

·         NHSCA was back in the news when NHPR asked me to be a representative to speak about the possible changes to the bullying law.  I was a little surprised to learn that what was being put out to the public was not what the actual bill supported.  There are changes in the bill that would not hold the schools accountable for what happens outside of school but it is still up in the air. 

·         NH CAN has been working hard on the budget issues in the state but all budget items are up in the air including the state’s portion of monies for schools.  Many schools are in a holding pattern due to the budget issues at the state and we may not know any info until after June 30th

Kathryn also mentioned thanking Kim Lavoie for her hard work on the Bylaws.


Ethics, vacant: Kim will ask if Janet Thompson is interested.


Membership, Ashley Shuffleton: Nothing to report.

Professional Development, Melinda Avellino: She interviewed Dr. Gary Goodnough for the newsletter on best practices for supervising interns.


Professional  Recognition, Ashley Shuffleton: Congrats to Bill Hughen, Corrine Lajoie, Shirley Jacob. Edies on June 4. Beth, Holly, Ashley, Robin will be attending.


Public Relations, Annette Belanger: Not present and no report.

Scholarship, Lynn Merlone: Nothing to report.


Technology, Mitch Taranow: The new website is up and running. We anticipate some growing pains, and board members are asked to ‘exercise’ the site with an eye towards troubleshooting and information checking. The site is set up so that authorized members can make changes to the site, and all members can update their own personal information. Mitch feels the look and feel of the site could be more polished compared to the old one. The old home page briefly appears when www.nhschoolcounselor is entered before automatically redirecting the user to the new home page. Eventually, Mitch wants to look at developing webinars. There is no chat technology yet, but hopefully we can incorporate that in the future as well.

·         How does Groupsites fit? Mitch is exploring the possibility of dropping Groupsites if its functionality can be replicated through Wildapricot and our other resources. Groupsites allows all members to upload the files – a key feature that Wildapricot cannot duplicate. We’re paying for both right now. All changes go to Mitch. Annette will take calendar stuff to upload.

·         Mitch wants to keep this Groupsite going and keep a webmaster, like Omnisourceit, on hand.


Treasurer Report, Annette Blake: The finance committee met recently. One question is when do we receive Paypal monies? Mitch said he will connect her and give her password access after the meeting.

·         No dues came in for April. Usually get a lot of Memberships in May for the next year.

·         She can bill monthly, annually: rolling deal joining ASCA and us at the same time. Discussion about payments.

·         Did we take in $4000 in newsletter advertising? The budget has increased this next year. We paid for Mel’s services, executive services, and commission. We have to vote on the budget tonight. Did we budget enough for technology? Three people to ASCA and LDI this year instead of two, price of gas, etc.  Kathryn moved to accept, Esther seconded.  The budget was accepted.

·         Are the necessary forms on our website: mileage report?


Newsletter, Beth Harrington: Most feedback about the newsletter has been positive. Beth brought up concerns that Mel had mentioned about the newsletter ads regarding the sizes and the quantity. How many ads do we want for each newsletter? Beth said the ads are difficult to work with because she has been trying to fit them in differently for each issue so that they aren’t repetitive. Mel would like more direction about soliciting ads specifically, about what kind of ads we want in the newsletter. Beth will follow up at dinner with a discussion with Tara Payne from NHHEAF about how to improve the ad situation. Beth and Mel will meet to discuss the ads this summer. Please continue to send in articles because there are times that there aren’t enough articles. We need regional articles. Mitch suggested putting something on the website to solicit articles.

·         The next one is due August 15.


Liaisons: Esther Asbell: No report


D.O.E. Liaison, Marianne Gfroerer:

·         The testimony given by the school counselors at the Hearing for the “Age of Education Bill” was impressive. It influenced the thinking of the policy makers and was well done!

·         A new initiative that you will be hearing about is Next Generation Learning. It is comprised of 6 principles, one of which is Comprehensive Systems of Support. Most states are interpreting this to mean the supports for students. We should advocate for that meaning in NH also. Comprehensive support is aligned with the national school counseling model and is necessary for students to succeed.

·         The state Office of Guidance and Psychology would like to do more to support counselor training and professional development through the Association: maybe add another conference, a planning meeting, give a survey of needs, etc. Please use her as a support. She wants to be more involved so she knows what counselors need. She thinks that the idea of giving out scholarships for the conferences is good because that brings in new counselors. 


Guidance Director’s Liaison, Bill Hughen: About the Senate Hearing: Duncan McNeish was instrumental and helpful as far as where, why, etc. the process if worthwhile. They had to think on their feet because the senators were speaking first.  The new bullying harassment amendment/bill failed. We should use the website to inform people. The press was good. Holly spoke about the kids. It was a small room packed with people.

·         GD’s last meeting is next week. Administrative assistants are looking at tech based things, privacy issues: Best practices on competencies from school to school and other K-12 issues.

·         He appreciates the triage of the counselors, DOE, and GD working together and that is what made their presentation successful.



Capital Region, Vacant.

Dartmouth/Sunapee, Vacant.

Greater Monadnock, Alicia Langille: On Monday, May 2, 14 people showed up for the homelessness seminar that was previously mentioned in Susan Theberge’s report.

Greater North Woods, Adrienne Backer: Not present, no report.

Lakes Region, Stephanie Collins: Thanks to Mitch, the email invitation for a Lakes Region Get Together went out this week. It is our first one and we hope to have many counselors participate.

Merrimack, Kathy Hoppa: Kathy has volunteered to be the Chair for the Merrimack Region.

Seacoast, Sean Peschel: No report.

White Mountains, Paula Frank: Not present, no report.


Holly motioned to adjourn at 5:30.



Dinner was served.




·         On behalf of NHSCA, Lynn Merlone gave Holly a gift thanking her for her help and service as president this year.

Holly handed out gifts of gratitude to:

·         Marianne Gfroerer, from the D.O.E. for her help and support.

·         Tori Berube and Tara Payne from NHHEAF were invited to the dinner for their support of NHSCA, and were each given an appreciation gift.

·         Kathryn Sheridan and Alicia Langille each for their time and Board contributions as both are stepping down.



Summer meeting ideas:

·         College Board ideas re: Representatives to the College Board tests, Charles.

·         National Office of School Counselor Advocacy Office: Lynn

·         Technology continued: webmaster, Groupsites, Wild Apricot: Mitch

·         Conference preparations: Lynn

·         Newsletter: Ads issues: cost of newsletters; regional reports, need more articles. Put on website to solicit articles: Beth

·         Next step on Advocacy? Focus on more training for our next move: Lynn.  

·         Need to clean up the governing policies for the bylaws: Kim.