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LSSSCA Board Elections- Fall 2019

The Lone Star State School Counselor Association is pleased to announce the LSSSCA Board nominees for the 2020-2021 year. Members are encouraged to read the candidates' information and vote for the future leaders of LSSSCA.  The LSSSCA Board Election will take place from October 22, 2019 to November 5th (last day of the Fall conference). LSSSCA members will receive an email with a link for easy online voting. 


VP Secondary (Middle/Junior & High School)

Samuel Hernandez                                         

Professional School Counselor

Lubbock ISD

I have been an educator for over twenty years and of those twenty plus years I have served in the counseling profession since 2006. I began as a High School Counselor in Roswell, New Mexico and then took a leap into supporting the Middle School Counselors' role as a College and Career Readiness Specialist in Houston ISD. Soon after moved into the position of Director of Counseling for Houston ISD and supported the largest district in Texas as the best counselors I could serve. After two years I moved to University of Texas at Austin to support the profession on a larger scale to lead a dynamic team in the design and original architecture of Texas OnCourse. I then returned to Houston ISD and began serving as a counselor for the Elementary level. I continue in that role here at Lubbock ISD and playing my favorite role of a lifetime as a first time grandpa! I hope you can see that this profession is very important to me and I continue to find ways to serve and support it.

LaShanda Lewis

District Coordinator of Counseling Services

Round Rock ISD

From a young age I recognized that I was the person that people would come to when things got tough; being there for people and supporting them in their time of need came natural to me. As an adult, my work has always surrounding supporting the emotional and social well-being of others. As a middle school counselor for 10 years and now as the district counseling services coordinator, the focus of the work that I do is to help individuals understand their personal strengths to help them create their next steps in life. I’ve recently been accepted for the Teen Mental Health First Aid pilot program as a trainer. I will be utilizing this program to train a grade-level of students at one of our high schools where my hope is that the students can become advocates for mental health wellness amongst their peers. As the VP of Secondary for LSSSCA I hope to further develop the talent of counselors across the state so that they too can continue their efforts in supporting the holistic wellness of all the students they serve.

Amber Moffitt

School Counselor/Behavior Specialist

Grand Prairie ISD

Greetings. This is my 14th year in education. I have a heart for helping others, which began in 7th grade. By the time I graduated high school I had obtained over 750 hours of community service. My service to my community helped me become a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which is through Bill Gates and UNCF. I have served as a counselor at all three levels (elementary, middle, & high school), and was awarded Middle School Counselor of the Year in 2013. As a result, I was nominated for American School Counselor of the Year and attended the ASCA ceremony at the White House in 2015 as a semi-finalist. Serving on the LSSSCA Board in the VP Secondary position will give me an opportunity to continue to serve others. Serving others is so important, because it places you in a position to initiate systemic change where needed and be a voice to those that I serve. I also want to serve in this position to continue building professional relationships with my colleagues who also advocate for school counselors, the counseling profession, and the hard work that we do. My motto has always been that I am saved to serve!

Laura Zimmer

Counselor Facilitator

Garland ISD

As a third generation educator, I have spent the last 17 years striving to create opportunities for students to discover their best self. My journey has led me through small, rural districts to larger urban ones and include students from various socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. I believe in school counselors as leaders in education. I’m passionate identifying student needs to ensure they are prepared to accomplish any academic, personal, and professional goals through the development of knowledge, a sense of responsibility and self-reliance, and a connection to their community. As a Counselor Facilitator in Garland ISD, my strength in collaboration and implementation of processes and procedures by the use of technology and data gives me the chance to support counselors through providing high quality professional development. I strive to advocate for school counselors so that our programs are more accessible to kids by ensuring that stakeholders understand the role of the school counselor and the importance of implementing a quality comprehensive school counseling program. Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my wife and 3 kids. My two first graders (TWINS) and two and a half year old keep me on my toes and smiling.

VP Small District

Stephanie Davis

School Counselor

Grandview ISD

I have had the privilege of being a small school counselor for almost 20 years. I am married and I have 3 grown sons. I completely understand the layers of hats small school counselors have to wear that are attached and not attached to the counseling model. I had to learn to advocate for my position as well as assist the administrative team to help students and teachers be successful. I firmly believe that school counselors are the heart beat of the school. I would like the opportunity to work with LSSSCA to advocate and be a voice for counselors from small schools. I have a unique perspective because I have also sat in the administration seat at a small school. I think I can bring insight and value to the LSSSCA board. It would be an honor to be able to represent small school counselors.

Shelia Lashley

District Intervention Counselor

Aledo ISD

As a counselor from a small district, challenges that students and their families face can be of a different nature than large urban/suburban areas and resources are at times limited or in short supply. I would like to be the voice for the small school districts as we work together to identify common issues, find answers to legislative questions, create opportunities for valuable training and locate valuable resources for our students and families.

Jennifer O’Donnell

School Counselor

Ballinger ISD

I am an elementary school counselor in west Texas currently serving 400+ students, and I am passionate about school counseling. Serving the elementary student population in a small district is a unique opportunity that provides a foundation built with the collaboration of students, teachers and parents to foster social, emotional and academic growth for lifelong success. Serving as VP for Small Schools is an opportunity to guide, advocate and represent the small schools in Texas. I ask for your vote to serve as VP Small Schools and to represent you on the LSSSCA Board.

Jenny Patrick

School Counselor

Bangs ISD

In my twelve years of counseling, I have spent all but one in a rural, small school district. Some may see it as a burden, but I have learned so much wearing the multiple hats that small school counselors do. As a result, I have a passion to reach out to other small school counselors as a resource. Luckily, I have had the opportunity to present twice at LSSSCA on behalf of small school counselors and multiple times at ESC 15 advoacting for this small school role. Currently, I have the priviledge of serving as a Leader Fellow for Texas OnCourse and enjoy sharing these resources as well. I feel that my duty on the LSSSCA Board would be to continue to advocate for small school counselors by raising awareness about this intricate role that we play with limited resources and little funding. With all of the roles we juggle, we are still able to aide in paving the paths for the future.

Director – Leadership of Training and Development

Nakia Alford-Sunday

School Counselor

Keller ISD

My educational career spans 20 years, and have enjoyed serving as a special education teacher, school counselor, and special education coordinator. I've had the privilege to serve in Dallas ISD, Uplift Education, and Keller ISD. I believe knowledge is power. In this position, I hope to advocate for school counselors' development across Texas by forming partners with Institutions of Higher Education and Regional Educational Centers to create diverse opportunities for learning. It is my goal to spearhead our efforts to be the most knowledge/prepared counselor leaders in the United States.

Stephanie Cook

Managing Director of Guidance and Counseling Services

Frisco ISD

I am currently serving in a role that supports over 130 practitioners for 62,000 students. I am highly committed to developing a program in our district that is ASCA aligned and replicable across the state. I hope to be able to support counselor and program development for counselors across the state in order for ALL students to have equitable and quality programming.

Jim Deeken

School Counselor

Belton ISD

After more than 15 years as a school counselor and 29 in education, sharing what I learned is important to me. There have been so many individuals who helped me along my path. It is time to return the favor. That’s why I started my podcast “A Few Minutes with the Counselor” and why I’m running for this position. I enjoy serving and this is a great opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. By combining technology with a counselor’s natural helping traits, I want to help develop the next generation on Professional School Counselors.

Denise Zimmermann, PhD

Director of Mental Health

Spring ISD

My professional experience includes the development of trainings and workshops for faculty and counselors at various academic institutions throughout the State of Texas from elementary schools to college campuses. I have presented workshops at conferences for the larger Texas community, including LSSSCA, TCA, Center for Behavioral Health, and Education Support Centers. I have developed and implemented diverse professional trainings for over 20 years. Currently, a Certified Trauma Practitioner for the National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) as well as one of their trainers the trainings I have developed for TLC is in the areas of substance abuse and trauma, social media and trauma, and non-suicidal self-injury. My expertise is in program development, creating systematic structures, and research. I would like to serve on the LSSSCA board because I subscribe to a mindset of empowering school counselors in order that they may provide for the best interest of the students. I believe that LSSSCA provides that opportunity and I would like to be a part of the process to support the counselors.

Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) of Texas is a proud division of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA).

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