Meet the Board
Sheryl Cline (President) is a 9-10 School Counselor at Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. She was a K-12 school counselor for 3 years before moving to the high school level. Sheryl is a graduate of the University of Iowa (MA-School Counseling) and Mt. Mercy College (BA-Psychology). She is passionate about college and career readiness, especially ways to introduce students to careers requiring less than a 4-year degree. Sheryl is the ICAP lead in her district, serves as an advisory committee member of the Marion Economic Development Corporation's Community Promise Initiative, and is working with the 5 other counselors to RAMP at LMHS. She believes that school counselors play a key role in advocating for school counseling at all levels, which happens day-to-day in the work we do in our buildings and in collaborating with all stakeholders. In her free time, Sheryl enjoys spending time with her Brittany (Bear), running, reading, and doing yoga.
Cory Graven (President Elect) is currently in his 5th year as a middle school counselor with Center Point-Urbana Schools in Center Point, Iowa. Cory has been involved in education as a teacher and school counselor for more than ten years. Prior to his current role as President Elect-Elect, Cory began his ISCA Board experience as Secretary – from 2014-2017. Along with working on the role in this capacity, he has enjoyed working with fellow school counselors as an active member of both the ISCA conference and advocacy committees. Cory values the ability for school counselors around the state to be able to connect and learn from each other – sharing their diverse experiences and unique elements of their own school counseling programs – so that the profession can continue to grow and make a difference in the lives of students. He currently resides in Urbana, Iowa with his wife Kim and two kids. When away from the daily excitement of working with middle school kids, Cory spends time traveling, camping, bike riding, reading, cheering on the Red Sox, and playing with his son and daughter.
Natalie Wilson (President Elect-Elect) is currently an elementary counselor at Willowbrook Elementary in the Southeast Polk School District. Natalie began her role with ISCA by serving as Treasurer and volunteered on the Awards & Recognition Committee. Prior to becoming a school counselor, she worked in the journalism and communication field for 12 years. She considers herself fortunate to live in a state where she had access to a high quality masters program that allowed her to change paths in her career while working and raising a family. Being on ISCA allows her to give back and continue to grow a profession she cares about deeply. She is passionate about advocating for student voice, building on her leadership skills, and helping other counselors grow professionally. She has presented at the state’s annual conference and is a member of ASCA. She enjoys listening to a good education podcast and spending time with her husband, Adam, and their two children, Jasper and Avery.
Aimee Hospodarsky (Past President) is an elementary school counselor in Monticello Iowa. Her 18 years of experience as a school counselor has included work at the middle school level as well as both larger and smaller districts. Aimee is a graduate of Drake University (MS – School Counseling) and the University of Northern Iowa (Elementary and Early Childhood Education). Prior to her role on the ISCA Executive Committee, she served as Elementary Vice-President. Aimee is the School Counselor Lead in her district, and has represented school counselors in various state level groups, including Future Ready Iowa Alliance, Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning Advisory Board, and the State SEL Advisory Team. Along with her K-12 School Counseling Team in Monticello, she is a proud recipient of the ISCA District of Distinction Award, which recognizes exemplary K-12 school counseling programs. Aimee sees school counselors as a critical factor in the junction of students’ academic, career, and personal-social success. Aimee has two children and lives in Monticello with her husband, who is also in education.
Brandon Drew MSW (Elementary School Vice President) is currently the 3rd through 6th grade Counselor at West Elementary in Independence CSD. He has three degrees; his first from UNI a B.A. in Social Studies Teaching, second from Aurora University with a Masters of Social Work, and most recently a Masters in School Counseling from Buena Vista University. Brandon is supported by his wife, April, and their third grade daughter, Isabel. In his spare he enjoys running and travel.
Amber Urbain (Vice President - Middle Level) received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa and her Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Iowa. She is currently an 8th grade counselor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at College Community Schools where she works side by side with her therapy dog, Addie. Prior to school counseling Amber was a social worker in the Cedar Rapids area for six years. Amber is proud to be part of such a dedicated and passionate group of professionals! ISCA is here to help school counselors advocate for their counseling programs, network with other professionals and provide innovative opportunities for professional development, among many other things. When not at school, Amber is usually spending time with her husband, son and two dogs - the family love sboating, spending time outside and watching sports…Go Cubs!
Alyssa Cobie-Nuss (K12 VP) is a K-12 School Counselor entering her third year serving the Central Community School District in Elkader, lowa. She grew up on a farm near Ackley, lowa and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Central College in Pella in 2012. After that she worked for a short while in schools as a paraeducator before earning her Master of Arts degree in School Counseling from the University of Northern lowa in 2016. She is passionate about mental health and trauma informed care in our schools. In addition to her counseling duties, she is the NHS advisor and assistant large group speech coach. She lives with her husband, Tracy, who teaches high school science at North Fayette Valley, and their cat Bert. She enjoys being outside and exploring Northeast lowa with her husband, reading, and spending time at the gym.
Paul Hayes (VP Counseling Coordinator/Director) is the Future Ready Learning and School Counseling Lead for Cedar Rapids Community Schools. He has 28 years of experience as a teacher, school counselor, and district-level administrator. Paul holds a BA in Secondary English Education and an MA in K-12 School Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa. He also holds an endorsement in K-12 Administration from Drake University. Paul has been able to create the conditions for school counselors to implement quality, research-based and innovative practices. These efforts have been possible largely because of his participation in state and national conferences, engaging in conversations with colleagues throughout the state/nation and contributing to various professional publications. Paul has two children, Bryton and Brylie, and lives in Cedar Rapids with his wife, Bryn, who is also an educator.
Derek Cornett (Treasurer) is currently the school counselor at Longfellow Elementary School in the Iowa City School District. This is his first year with the ISCA board. He graduated from Winona State University with his degree in Counselor Education. He has served as a K-12, 6-12, and K-6 school counselor. Derek is looking forward to his time on ISCA to learn from the other school counselors and promote the field within education. He is looking for opportunities for school counselors to support one another throughout the state and help with new ideas and techniques that are successful in various programs. He is passionate about relationships with students and how important those relationships can be in overall educational development. Derek is excited to get more involved with ISCA and learn about more opportunities to help the school counseling field and promote our importance towards student development.
Melissa Murphy (Advocacy Chair) is the school counselor at Springville Secondary School, where she serves approximately 200 students in seventh through twelfth grades. She is fortunate to work with students, families, faculty, and staff who value the work of school counselors and what they do to support students. Melissa has earned her M.A. in school counseling from The University of Iowa, an M.A. in English from Western Illinois University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Iowa Wesleyan College. Prior to becoming a school counselor, she taught English/language arts to middle and high school students.
Melissa shares a home with her husband, son, and critters in rural North Liberty. Being on the cusp on an empty nest allows more time to for Melissa to pursue her own interests: bicycling, canoeing, tromping through the woods with the dog when weather allows, and reading, completing crossword puzzles, and cooking when it doesn’t.
Sandy Thomson (Membership Chair) is a PK-2 Elementary School Counselor in the Charles City School District. Sandy obtained a M.Ed. with a Specialization in K-12 School Counseling from Iowa State University. During her time in Charles City she has served on various leadership teams including the district's trauma informed committee and her building’s PBIS team, on which she serves as an internal coach, and is a Nurtured Hearth Approach Advanced Trainer. I am blessed to be working in such a great position with wonderful staff and students. I am passionate about my students, their families, and cultivating student success. I appreciate the opportunity to pour into my students lives daily and enjoy the opportunity to pour into Iowa's School Counselors as part of the ISCA board.
Sarah Majoros (Awards and Recognition Chair) is honored to serve on the ISCA board as the Chair for Awards and Recognition. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Drake University, and her MSEd in School Counseling from Iowa State University. Sarah is currently an elementary school counselor at Madison Elementary School in Des Moines. Sarah enjoys being an elementary school counselor and the opportunity to work with students on so many aspects of their lives and help them to reach their full potential. Being a school counselor can be the most difficult and most rewarding career…and she loves it!
In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Kelli Johnson (Newsletter Chair) is her sixth year of school counseling as the K-2 Counselor at Starry Elementary in the Marion Independent School District. She attended the University of Dubuque for her undergraduate degree with a double major in psychology and criminal justice. and the University of Northern Iowa for her Masters in Counseling. Prior to her current position Kelli worked as the K-6 Counselor at Jacobson Elementary in the Belmond-Klemme Community School District. Kelli looks forward to collaborating with ISCA board members as well as with ASCA to provide relevant, helpful information for school counselors through the quarterly newsletter.
Justin Moody (School Counseling Student Chair) is in his second year of his master's program at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, advocating for the future of the profession of counseling, being outdoors, and being a lifelong learner. During his studies, he has developed a passion for the career of school counseling along with his cohort. Justin especially enjoys learning about the developmental ages of students and finding new and creative ways to assist students in social/emotional, career, and academic development. He is excited to network with students from all over the state through this position.
Sue Schirmer (AD-HOC - AEA) works for Heartland AEA and is the school counseling consultant, post-secondary lead and adult learning lead. Much of her time is devoted to professional learning for school counselors on a statewide scale, regional scale and local district work. She loves her job and believes it is a privilege to be able to work with so many talented and excited professionals!! She also teaches as an adjunct for Drake University.
Brittania Morey (AD-HOC - ICAN and Communications/Marketing Chair) is the Director of Communications for ICAN where she spends her days creating programs to help students make informed decisions about life after high school, and assisting school counselors in their role in the Career and College process through resource and curriculum development, and professional development training opportunities. As an ICAN representative she works between the two organizations on various partnership programs including the school counselor professional development webinar series and the School Counselor Resource Guide, and chairs the Communications/Marketing committee. Brittania holds a Bachelor's degree in Art and Journalism from the University of Northern Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from Marylhurst College, and has worked in education for nearly 15 years.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, movies, gardening, reading, cooking, attending concerts, and traveling to new and exciting places.
Cindy Swanson (AD-HOC - ISEA) is the Teaching and Learning Specialist for Iowa State Education Association (ISEA). She oversees over 500 trainings and courses each year for educators as they build capacity to support their students in a safe and supportive learning environment. (Course Catalog)
Cindy’s education background spans 30 years. During the time she was Head of Professional Development for Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA 9), the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recognized her leadership and coaching abilities with professional school counselors in 22 districts to successfully implement the ASCA/Iowa program model. She also held positions as Head of AEA Autism Resource Team and as a School Improvement Consultant.
Cindy is a trainer in Fierce Conversations, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Second Step, Professional Learning Communities, PBIS, Owning UP, ASSETS (SEARCH Institute), and ELL: Culture, Equity & Language Training (NEA).
She holds Master’s degrees in Social Work (MSW) and in Education (M.Ed), with an emphasis in Human Performance Improvement.