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2019 Conference Summary

The 2019 ISCA Conference was held November 3-5 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center.

The theme of the conference was "All In for Student Success"

The 2020 Iowa School Counseling Conference will be held November 1-3.

Pre-Conference Sessions

Four dynamic pre-conference sessions were offered.

Learn more.

Keynote Presenters

Monday - Dr. Michele Borba

(Keynote) Teaching Empathy: Why “the Other Side of the Report Card” is a Must for Student Success

Empathy is often sidelined as a “soft skill.” Dr. Borba offers hard evidence that it must become an educational and societal priority. In this game-changing presentation, you’ll learn why creating empathetic, inclusive climates as the foundation for learning is the smartest strategy for ending the cycle of youth violence. You’ll also learn why empathy is one of the most important skills that 21st century learners will need to thrive in a complex, global, digitally-driven world. Dr. Borba shares how educators around the globe weave empathy-building practices into existing lessons and help students to develop empathic mindsets in a test-driven culture (that doesn’t always value it.) This inspiring session is guaranteed to be informative and filled with practical ways to create positive outcomes by cultivating empathy in your classroom and school. Best yet, every idea can be woven into your existing content.

(Breakout Session) How to Teach Students the 9 Essential Habits of Empathy

Empathy activates conscience, curbs bullying, reduces prejudice and promotes moral courage, the foundation to trust, the benchmark of humanity and core to everything that makes a society civilized. But empathy is also diminishing in our students: a 40 percent drop in the last 30 years. For students to be truly “successful,” they also need to be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and think “WE” not “ME.” This inspiring address offers ways to teach students vital habits that will increase empathy and reduce bullying while improving their academic performance and character. You’ll learn cutting-edge science that proves those gains, and you’ll leave with dozens of simple, practical strategies can be easily applied to any subject or grade level and make a difference on our students’ lives.

About Dr. Michele Borba

Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, and parenting, child and bullying expert recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s empathy and social-emotional intelligence and character, and reduce peer cruelty. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has spoken on 19 countries, five continents, and served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations including the Pentagon and 18 US Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific. Her proposal: “Ending School Violence and Bullying” (SB1667) was signed into California law in 2002. She offers realistic, research-based advice culled from a career working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared 150 times live on the TODAY show and countless shows including: three Dateline specials, Dr. Phil, The View, NBC Nightly News, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, TD Jakes, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, Countdown, 3 NBC Education Nation specials, Inside Edition, Fox, The Early Show, CNN and Dr. Drew. Her work is featured in TIME, Washington Post, Newsweek, People, Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times. Reader’s Digest, Globe and Mail. She’s a media spokesperson for corporations including RC2 Learning Curve, Florida OJ, 3M, Ragu, Dixie Cup, Office Depot, Unilever, Splenda, Similac, General Mills, Mastercard, All, Galderma, V-Tech, Cetaphil, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and consultant to McDonalds and Disney. Speaking clients include U.S. Air Force Academy, Sesame Street, Army Bases, Learning and the Brain, Harvard, H.H. the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and a TEDx Talk: “Empathy Is a Verb.”

Borba is the award-winning author of 24 books translated into 19 languages including Nobody Likes Me, No More Misbehavin’, Don’t Give Me that Attitude!, Building Moral Intelligence, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy, and UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. She was a 2016 SHORTY nominee for “Best Social Media Influencer in Parenting.”

Her awards include the National Educator Award (presented by the National Council of Self-Esteem), National Child Safety Award of 2106 by Child Safety Network, Santa Clara University’s Outstanding Alumna Award and Outstanding Contribution to the Educational Profession by the Bureau of Education and Research. She was named Honorary Chairperson for Self-Esteem in Hong Kong, consultant for the Character Education and Civic Engagement for the U.S. Dept of Education, Disney Influencer, and Goodwill Ambassador for M.I.T.’s One Laptop per Child project. Board memberships include Parents,, Child Safety Network, Boys & Girls Club of America, USTA Sportsmanship Committee.

Dr. Borba is a former classroom and special education teacher with a wide range of teaching experience, including work in a private practice with children with learning and emotional disabilities. She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities and B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, and Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and has three grown sons.

Tuesday - Lisa Koenecke

(Keynote) ALL IN For Even Better Student Success

Let’s go “All In” as we Define, Deliver, Manage and Assess your school counseling programs for even better student success. This lively keynote will not be filled with music, humor and some cards.  ISCA states, “School counselors intentionally employ leadership, advocacy, and collaboration skills as a part of a comprehensive school counseling program, acting as change agents to create an environment promoting and supporting success for ALL students.” Ready to dip your toe into your student’s future success?

(Breakout Session) Equitable Treatment of ALL Iowa’s Students…In Three Steps!

From ISCA’s position statement to practical take home suggestions, join us for this energetic and memorable session. School counselors address culture and climate issues that may factor into students feeling unsafe or unwelcome at school and work with administrators, teachers, and students to address these issues. We will explore and explain how feeling safe in schools leads to more effective learning environments for ALL!  We will also define and explain how some marginalized students find schools to be their safe space. Are you ready to save even more lives?  

About Lisa Koenecke

Lisa Koenecke (Ken ah key) is a collaborative leader advocating for systemic change. As a former camp director for the YMCA and the Girl Scouts, team building is in her DNA. She has put her leadership skills to use as a former President of the Wisconsin School Counselor Association and as a member of the American School Counselor Association Board of Directors. She continues to provide leadership as a board member for the Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Educators. After ten years as a high school and middle school counselor; she has moved into the world of counselor education. Training the next generation of school counselors at Lakeland University is a dream come true! She will energize you to continue your "ALL IN" work with students, staff and families in your community!   

Conference Program

Download the Conference Program

Presenter Handouts

Click here for presenter handouts.

Sponsors & Exhibitors

A big thank you goes out to all our Sponsors and Exhibitors for helping make the 2019 Conference the best yet.

Contact  Us
Phone: (515) 282-8192

6919 Vista Drive
West Des Moines, IA

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