School counselors play a critical role in ensuring schools provide a safe, caring environment and that students have the necessary mindsets and behaviors to advance academic achievement outcomes. School counselors deliver programs that have an impact on student growth in three domain areas: academic development, career development, and social / emotional development. Read the American School Counselor Association position statements on the role of the school counselor.
School Counselor Network NEwsletter
Every month get the latest best practices, state and federal news, professional learning opportunities, and encouragement from one school counselor to another with the popular San Diego County School Counselor Network Newsletter.
San Diego county Race to SUbmit Dashboard
Track how your school is doing in the San Diego County race. Information is updated as FAFSA/CADAA completion rates are uploaded through the California Student Aid Commission database. Updated school and district categories better reflect senior class enrollment.
Programs and EventS
- Professional Learning Opportunities
- Fall Frenzy
- School Counselor Leadership Awards
- Professional Organizations, Ethics, and Standards
- College / Career Domain
- Personal / Social Domain
- Webinar Recordings Library
- Newsletter Archive
2023-24 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING CALENDAR
Register for professional learning opportunities that are available for school counselors throughout the county and state on the 2023-24 Professional Learning Calendar for School Counselors. This calendar is updated regularly.
School counselors at all levels will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and practices as they relate to college and career readiness using the new Fall Frenzy: Professional Learning Series for School Counselors calendar and guidebook.
This guide will includes resources for school counselors to support the efforts around Assembly Bill 469, which outlines the efforts to insure that all seniors graduate with an understanding of financial aid to support post-secondary options. Topics and resources include: templates and forms; understanding how to use the CSAC web portal; best practices for tracking student completion rates; school-wide campaign ideas; creating equitable practices; setting a school and district goal; and more.
The work you do each day is critical to the success of our students today and in the future.
Fall Frenzy Calendar
Honoring Excellence in School Counseling Leadership is an event to recognize and celebrate school counselors who are leaders in our profession. Over 400 participants attended the in-person awards program on May 12, 2023 at the Paradise Point Resort on Mission Bay. Attendees had the opportunity to network and collaborate with colleagues and friends, and be inspired by our 2023 San Diego County School Counseling award recipients, and our Race to Submit category leaders. We also recognized our School Counselor Advocate of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Community-Based Organization of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
2023 School Counselor Honorees
Monte Vista Elementary School
Heidi Saupe is the lead elementary school counselor in the Vista Unified School District. She has been a school counselor for 17 years and is currently at Monte Vista Elementary. Her superintendent of schools, Dr. Matthew J. Doyle, says, “Mrs. Saupe is first and foremost a dedicated counselor. She prides herself on her ability to work side by side with educators to design individual, small- and large-group lessons that engage students in activities and discussions to strengthen their behavioral and social and emotional capacity.”
Feaster Charter School
Karena Haro-Esparza has been a school counselor for eight years. She has been with Feaster Charter School for the last four years and has served as the lead school counselor for the last two. “Karena is the kind of counselor that goes above and beyond what is expected of her to connect the students and do her job as effectively as possible,” said her nominator, Feaster Charter School Principal Jimmy Gordilllo. “Oftentimes, I see her working after school to seek new ways to reach out to students and families and provide the best support possible.”
San Pasqual Academy
Christopher Toomey started his journey as a school counselor in Hawaii. In 2005, he came to San Diego where he found his passion working with students in SDCOE’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools at San Pasqual Academy. His nominator, Bruce Petersen, says, “Chris is a highly skilled counselor with the ability to immediately connect with students. Working for many years in Juvenile Court and Community Schools, Chris understands the trauma and adverse conditions many of our students have experienced.”
San Marcos Unified
Leyza Weglarz has been a counselor since 2018, and is currently a counselor on special assignment, coordinating the districtwide Multi-Tiered System of Support rollout as well as supporting the districtwide school climate initiatives. “Lezya has been instrumental in coordinating and championing the work of counselors throughout SMUSD, and bringing this important work to new heights,” said Andy Johnsen, superintendent of San Marcos Unified. “Through our programs here in San Marcos, her leadership and advocacy at the State level, and in her daily interactions with staff and students, her leadership and passion shine.”
The San Marcos Promise
North County San Diego
The San Marcos Promise has supported all schools in the San Marcos Unified School District for almost 10 years, especially those at the secondary level. The group’s executive director and programs coordinator are former district school counselors who have great relationships and partnerships with school site employees. Because of their counseling background, they are acutely aware of the academic, social, college, and career needs of students. The group created Future Centers onsite at the three district high schools to assist with college and career readiness support. These Future Centers empower students to graduate college and be career-ready with foundational job skills, self-confidence, and a clearer idea about their career path.
Poway Unified School District
Greg Mizel, assistant superintendent at Poway Unified School District, has overseen school counselors in the district and has invested time and money into professional growth, hiring more school counselors at all levels, adding social workers to middle and high school sites, and putting the work of school counselors in front of the board and all stakeholders. Fran Hjalmarson, school counselor at Los Penasquitos, and 2022 Elementary School Counselor of the Year, writes, “Greg has been a strong advocate for our district’s school counseling program. He has promoted and advocated for school counseling and mental health from day one since accepting the position as the associate superintendent for Student Support Services.”
Dr. Lonnie Rowell
Retired Professor, University of San Diego
Dr. Lonnie Rowell has been an educator for more than 50 years. He is a retired professor at the University of San Diego, where he directed the counseling program and the school counseling emphasis. The collaborative action research model he created for school counseling has been widely cited in school counseling literature. Dr. Rowell is a co-founder of the Action Research Network of the Americas and was program chair for the Action Research Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association from 2012 to 2014. He was founding chair of the research network’s Coordinating Group from 2013 to 2015 and served as coordinator of knowledge mobilization from 2015 to 2017. Dr. Rowell has received numerous awards, including the Eduardo Flores Leadership Award from the Action Research Network of the Americas, the H.B. McDaniel Foundation Individual Award for Outstanding Contributions to the field of Counseling, and the Advocate of the Year award from the California Association of School Counselors.
Recognized ASCA Model Programs (RAMP)
RAMP recognizes schools committed to delivering comprehensive, data-informed school counseling programs aligned with the ASCA National Model framework. The RAMP designation demonstrates to administrators, school boards, families and the community at large that the schools are committed to supporting the mission of the school and district. To date, approximately 1,200 schools have earned the RAMP designation.
2022 RAMP Recipients
- Greenfield Middle School, Cajon Valley Union School District
- Patrick Henry High School, San Diego Unified School District
2022-23 Race to Submit Champions
Race to Submit is a statewide campaign that aims to increase the number of financial aid applications for California high school seniors who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application. Filling out these financial aid applications is the first step towards college success and helps students qualify for federal and state aid to help pay for college. In 2019, San Diego County started their first Race to Submit campaign countywide to encourage schools to monitor and support students through these efforts.
Categories are based on 12th grade (Class of 2023) enrollment:
CATEGORY I — Enrollment of 49 Seniors (Class of 2023) or Less
- 100% Completion - Options Secondary, SUHSD
- 100% Completion - East Village Middle College High, SDUSD
- 100% Completion - Monarch School, SDCOE
Highest Growth in FAFSA/CADAA Completions: Borrego Springs High, BSUSD - 31% to 79%
CATEGORY II — (50-99 Seniors)
95.8% Completion - High Tech High, North County
Highest Growth in FAFSA/CADAA Completions: Ivy High (Continuation), FUHSD - 17% to 61%
CATEGORY III — (100-299 Seniors)
100% Completion - The Preuss School UCSD
Highest Growth in FAFSA/CADAA Completions: Health Sciences High & Middle College, 0% to 46%
Category IV — (300-499)
84.7% Completion - Mission Vista High, VUSD
Highest Growth in FAFSA/CADAA Completions: Fallbrook High School, FUHSD - 43% to 67%
CATEGORY V — (500-699 Seniors)
80.6% Completion - Mission Hills High, SMUSD
Highest Growth in FAFSA/CADAA Completions: Valhalla High School, GUHSD - 51% to 68%
Category VI — (700+)
80.9% Completion - San Marcos High, SMUSD
Small District — Enrollment of 500 Seniors or Less
59.6% Completion - Coronado Unified School District
Medium District — Enrollment of 501-1,999 Seniors
72.9% Completion - San Marcos Unified School District
Large District — Enrollment of 2,000+ Seniors
63.7% Completion - San Dieguito Union High School District
Previous Award Honorees
San Diego County, High School Counselors of the Year
- 2022 Christine Araki, Launch Virtual Academy, Sweetwater Union High School District
- 2021 Cherryl Baker, Mission Hills High, San Marcos Unified School District
- 2020 Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia, Sweetwater High, Sweetwater Union High School District
San Diego County, Middle School Counselors of the Year
- 2022 Nicole Roman, Twin Peaks Middle, Poway Unified School District
- 2021 Bonnie Hayman, La Mesa Arts Academy, La Mesa Spring Valley School District
- 2020 Edward Gigliotti, Pepper Drive, Santee School District
San Diego County, Elementary School Counselors of the Year
- 2022 Fran Hjalmarson, Los Penasquitos, Poway Unified School District
- 2021 Ann Pierce, Campo Elementary, Mountain Empire Unified School District
San Diego County Advocate of the Year
- 2022 Tami Johnson, School Counselor Coordinator, Cajon Valley Union School District
San Diego County Administrator of the Year
- 2022 Tracy Wilson, Director II, College and Career Readiness, Grossmont Union High School District
San Diego County Lifetime Achievement Award in School Counseling Leadership
- 2022 Dr. Trish Hatch, Professor Emeritus, SDSU, CEO & President, Hatching Results
- American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- California Association of School Counselors (CASC)
- Western Association of College Admission Counseling
Explore this curated list of resources that school counselors and others can use to aid and support students in preparation for their post-secondary options.
SDCOE College Planning Guides and Resources
- Choosing the Right College: This report looked at postsecondary enrollment and completion rates for San Diego’s college going students with a special focus on areas that contribute to higher retention and completion rates in our most commonly attended colleges and universities (May 2021).
- College Checklists: Individual checklists for all local community colleges, UCs, and most applied to California State Universities (CSU), to ensure that students are aware of important deadlines.
- Financial Aid Resources for School Counselors: List of resources, contacts, and trainings for school counselors
- Is a 4-year College Right for Me?: Brochure that educators can use with students to support them through the college application and decision process.
- Make it Easier Guide: From College Applications to Summer Melt: A K-12 Field Guide for Supporting Low-Income Students through the College Enrollment Process.
- Scholarship Database (coming soon)
SDCOE Career Planning Guides and Resources
Career Technical Education (CTE): Resources for school counselors on implementing successful career pathways.
College and Career Readiness Indicators (CCI) Chart: Infographic of the seven components to indicate that students are prepared for post-secondary options.
Other College and Career Resources
- ASCA High School Career Conversation Starters
- ASCA Middle School Career Conversation Starters
- ASCA Elementary School Career Conversation Starters
- California Career Resource Network (CalNRN)
- California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI)
- California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Student Resources
- Foster Youth / Homeless Financial Aid Resources
- San Diego Workforce Partnership
- Ten Things You Need to Know About the California Dream Act Application
Explore this curated list of resources that school counselors and others can use to aid and support students in personal and social, and mental health issues.
SDCOE Health and Well-Being Resources
- Bullying Prevention
- Human Trafficking of Children
- Mental Health Supports
- Suicide Prevention
- Virtual Wellness Center
SDCOE Special Populations Resources
SDCOE Systems of Support
- Multi-Tiered System of Support
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
- Restorative Practices
- School Social Work
- Social and Emotional Learning
CASC Personal/Social Lesson Plans by Level
SDCOE WEBINAR RECORDINGS AND PROGRAM MATERIALS
- 2022 Spring Refresh: Professional Learning Series for School Counselors (Webinars)
- 2021 Kickoff to College and Career Readiness (General Session, Student Panel, Webinars)
- 2021 Spring Refresh: Professional Learning Series for School Counselors (Webinars)
- San Diego School Counselor Con: Reboot 2021 (General Sessions, Keynote, Webinars)