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2023 Conference Summary

The 2023 ISCA Conference was held in Des Moines from November 5-7.

The theme of the conference was
"Lighting the Future"

The 2024 Iowa School Counselor Conference will be held November 3-5, 2024.


Three dynamic pre-conference sessions were offered:

We Can PROSPER Resilience Training

Presented by: Jean Sullivan, Learning & Development Specialist, Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute, Iowa State University

School Counselors as Change Agents

Presented by: Dr. Clay Cook, University of Minnesota & CharacterStrong

New Counselor Session

Presented by: Aimee Hospodarsky, K-5 School Counselor Consultant, Grant Wood AEA


Monday Keynote

I Need a LARGE Re-charge! – Boosting Mental Wellness

According to the World Health Organization, the definition of mental wellness is living in a state of well-being in which people realize their own abilities, are capable of coping with the stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make contributions to their community. When you work in the kid-building world…this is a tall order to maintain! In this interactive, fun-filled talk, Julia Cook identifies the key ingredients of mental wellness. She will also offer effective strategies on building and maintaining well-being.  Walk away with tools that you can use for a lifetime of healthy!

About Julia Cook

Julia Cook, M.S. is a national award-winning children’s author, counselor, and parenting expert. She has presented in thousands of schools nationally and internationally, regularly speaks at education and counseling conferences, and has published almost one hundred children’s books on a wide range of character and social development topics. The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home. Cook has the innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”

Tuesday Keynote
Deep Kindness

In a world filled with division and anxiety, Houston will talk about practical ways to infuse compassion into the schools we serve and our daily personal routines. From his experience speaking in over 600 schools and working with over 6,000 schools as co-founder of CharacterStrong, he will share powerful insights and exercises to help create more kind communities and make us #StrongerTogether.

As part of this year's partnership with CharacterStrong, each attendee will receive a complimentary copy of Houston's Book, "Deep Kindness: A Revolutionary Guide for the Way We Think, Talk, and Act in Kindness."

About Houston Kraft & CharacterStrong

Houston is a speaker, author, and kindness advocate who has spoken at over 600 schools or events internationally. In 2016, he co-founded CharacterStrong - curriculum and trainings that help teach social and emotional skills. To date, they have worked with over 6,000 schools globally serving over 2.5 million students. In 2019, his face was featured on Lays BBQ chip bags as someone who helps "spread smiles.” In 2020, his first book, Deep Kindness (Simon & Schuster) was released. His mom is his hero and her best life lesson is to “hug like you mean it.”

Sponsors & Exhibitors
A big thank you goes out to all our Sponsors and Exhibitors for helping make the 2022 Conference the best yet.

Contact  Us
Phone: (515) 282-8192

6919 Vista Drive
West Des Moines, IA

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