MEET THE CANDIDATES

COLLEGE, CAREER, AND MILITARY READINESS, VICE PRESIDENT

 



CHRISTINA GALANIS
Coordinator of Secondary Counseling • Keller ISD

I am currently the Coordinator of Secondary Counseling in Keller ISD, and have served in various levels of counseling across North Texas. In each of my respective roles, I have worked to improve the CCMR outcomes of all students, working specifically to close opportunity and achievement gaps for underrepresented students so that they can reach the best possible post-secondary outcomes for themselves. In my time in counseling, I implemented a registration system that utilized data such as the AP Potential Report to increase students taking advanced coursework. Additionally, I created a campus counseling advisory board which gave input to our program and directly led to the creation of a Two-Year College and Trade Schools Fair and intentional guidance for students not planning to pursue a post-secondary pathway that includes 4-year college. I am a passionate believer in the ability of all students to succeed in a future that they create after high school, be that college, career, or military, and that we as counselors are integral to this work. I hope that by serving on the LSSSCA board I can continue to serve students in the best way possible, while also empowering counselors around the state to do the same.


 



ALEXIA McCLENNON
School Counselor • Grand Prairie ISD

I have been a long-time fan of the school counselors. As a high school student, teen parent, and trouble maker; I found focus and support with my school counselor. When I started my post-secondary education at a community college it was my academic advisor (school counselor) who mentored me, initiated those tough conversations, and lifted me while I tumbled through life as a single mother with a whole lot of passion (aka big mouth) for all things empowerment. While working on my undergraduate as a social worker; I was surrounded by advisors/mentors/counselors that increased my passion for girl empowerment, motherhood empowerment, disability empowerment, domestic violence empowerment, and childhood protection empowerment. I have always wanted to advocate and fight for equity before equity was even a word used in education. Today, after 11 years as a school counselor I have finally found a true voice and outlet to support those of us who serve. Yes, we are servants to a bigger cause beyond our limited powers. We proudly give all that we know and continue to learn and grow ourselves just to provide even more. I believe in the work that LSSSCA does on our behalf and would be honored to be part of your advocacy team.


 



JENNY PATRICK
School Counselor • Llano ISD

Among the various hats that I have learned to wear during my 14 years as a rural school counselor, CCMR coordinator is one that I have grown to love. From designing data reports for the school board to judging Cupcake Wars in Culinary Arts, my drive to see students succeed in an ever-changing world continues to fuel my learning for CCMR. In addition to my time as a school counselor, I have had the privilege to serve as a Texas OnCourse Leader Fellow and current Alumni. Another opportunity that helped expand my secondary toolbox was the Tri-Agency Education to Workforce Summit which fused together essential counterparts across the state when developing Programs of Study. Lastly, I have enjoyed getting to speak several times at ESC 15's College and Career Symposium about my experience in CCMR. As a current LSSSCA Emerging Leader, I am excited about the potential to keep serving with this amazing group!


COUNSELOR EDUCATOR, VICE PRESIDENT


 

MELANIE ACKER
Director of 504 & Intervention Services • Rockwall ISD

School counseling is something I am passionate about. School counseling isn't a profession but an agent of change. How we advocate for counseling, the impact it has on students, and speaking the language of other stakeholders is vital. I would love to serve on the LSSSCA board because I want to support counseling professionals and the work they do. Inspiring others and providing support in the counseling profession is something I find great joy in. I enjoy keeping up to date with current legislation, collaborating with professions outside of counseling to bring about awareness of the role of the counselor and the impact they make!


 

BRANDI BATES
School Counselor • Mansfield ISD

My name is Brandi Bates and I currently serve the 7th and 8th-grade students of McKinzey Middle School in Mansfield ISD. I began my career in education, as a paraprofessional, in 2004. Since then, I have taught and counseled in Fort Worth ISD, Duncanville ISD, and Mansfield ISD. This is my 10th year as a school counselor, and it has been one of my best years yet! I welcome the opportunity to serve on and support the goals of the LSSSCA board. In doing so, I plan to support the desired education and growth of my fellow school counselors; as well as continuing my own professional development journey through collaboration, learning, and leading.


 

ABBIE HARRIMAN
Doctoral Candidate • Texas Tech University

Long ago, I learned that vocation is when our deepest passions meet the world’s greatest needs. My passion is to advocate for children, and one of the world’s greatest needs is fair access to mental health, especially for children in the developmental stages of their lives. I served fourteen years in public education as a teacher, counselor, and social-emotional learning coordinator. This year, I started my journey as a doctoral candidate at Texas Tech University. I am as passionate as ever about the positive impact public education can have on our hurting world. As a school counselor, I was able to implement a LSSSCA, gold-level, comprehensive school counseling program through the support and advocacy of my administration and school community. This August, two colleagues and I published a book to advocate for the importance of social-emotional learning in schools. I believe there is nothing more important for an effective school than the counseling program and want to serve as an advocate for those who do this most important work. My current research is rooted in expanding equity and access to mental health measures for all students. I seek to live my vocation and spread my passion and knowledge through efforts that advocate for school counselors.


 

SHANNON JENKINS
Coordinator of Elementary Counseling • Keller ISD

As the current Director of Communications and Technology for LSSSCA, it has been my honor and privilege to serve the AMAZING Professional School Counselors in Texas! If you know me, you know that I love all things about being a school counselor. But growing new leaders in our profession holds a special place in my heart! It is critical that we create networks for all prospective Counselors in each of our geographic areas throughout Texas. For me, this begins with a strong connection with our Counselor Educators and programs across the state. In my current role as Coordinator of Elementary Counseling in Keller ISD, I present at local colleges and universities regularly and am energized each time I am able to learn from our newest Counselor leaders! As the VP of Counselor Education, I will work tirelessly to improve our connections and create opportunities for growth and networking among Counselor Education programs. I am excited and ready to serve you!


 

LINDA METCALF, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Professor, Graduate Counseling Programs • Texas Wesleyan University

As a former school counselor and Professor, teaching in the School Counseling Program at Texas Wesleyan University, I am aware of the demands and expectations of school counselors today in the State of Texas. I’m also aware that new ideas are needed to address a variety of situations that are evolving in our schools. As a board member, I hope to work alongside LSSSCA colleagues and address these needs so that the students, teachers, and parents are provided with the engagement that they each need to succeed. Today's students and teachers are recovering from months of altered learning environments. Students need confidence that they are safe and capable. Teachers need information about mental health so they can engage students differently. Too often, however, school districts do not provide enough flexibility for school counselors to engage students or professional development for teachers on mental health. It would be a priority for me to help school counselors address these needs. My hope is to bring another viewpoint to the Board so that school counselors can use their skills to -make a difference for the school community. It’s time for us to evolve again, and I would like to be part of that evolution.


 

NWAKAEGO E. ORIJI
Counselor Facilitator • Garland ISD

I am grateful for the privilege of being considered as a candidate for the office of Counselor Educator Vice President. With 20 years of combined experience in education, I currently serve as a Counselor Facilitator in Garland ISD where I provide support for campus counselors in the implementation of their comprehensive school counseling programs. In my years of experience as a school counselor, my passion has always been to contribute to the professional development and growth of counselors new to the field. Serving in the capacity of Counselor Educator VP would provide an excellent opportunity to utilize my mentorship experience in assisting with program development that supports new counselors as they embark on their school counseling career. Additionally, I am eager to invest in LSSSCA and give back to an amazing organization that is instrumental in advocating for school counselors across our great state!


 

FRANKLIN D. SAMPSON
Director of Guidance and Counseling • Cypress Fairbanks ISD

This would be an awesome opportunity and would give me a chance to continue to give back to others. I have made it part of my daily goal to do everything that I can on everyday to make an impact on someone's life. Serving in this capacity will help our organization grow to higher heights. I have the unique position of supervising almost three hundred school counselors, nineteen social workers, four mental health intervention counselors, and one substance use counselor. I will use my influence to continue to feed into this awesome association!


DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATION & TECHNOLOGY

 

ASHLEY WRIGHT
School Counselor • Conroe ISD

I am currently an elementary school counselor in Conroe ISD at Lucille J. Bradley Elementary. I have been an educator for the past 13 years and a school counselor for the past 4 years. I am extremely passionate about our diverse comprehensive counseling program that is dedicated to meeting the needs of our students, staff, and the community. I firmly believe in the importance and the saying “ALL means ALL” in that we all work together as a cohesive unit providing endless opportunities for student success. Technology has greatly provided numerous opportunities for school counselors and stakeholders to connect, collaborate, and learn with transparency the ins and outs of our school system. In order for school counselors to grow and advocate for our role, I believe that it is critical and imperative that our organization provides and communicates tips, tools, strategies, and acknowledgments centralized to the profession. As Director of Communication and Technology, I believe that every tweet, message, and video sent out should intentionally inspire school counselors and stakeholders to make positive changes in their districts and communities.



Copyright © 2021 Lone Star State School Counselor Association

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software