Presidents Message


Hello Montana School Counselors and Friends of our Association!
Welcome to the MSCA website.  We hope you will find this a place that you will visit often to find resources, get in contact with your fellow school counselors, and to find out what is happening in our state.  In short, we want this to be your home.  The picture above was taken from my parents' front yard, where I grew up at the base of the beautiful Bridger mountains. Ross Peak became the symbol of home to me and whenever I've been away, the sight of that majestic view gives me a sense of security, peace, and renewal.  I hope that MSCA will be that for you.  A professional home that will offer you support, encouragement, and the resources you need to do your job with confidence and passion.

Our commitment to you as an Executive Board is to provide exciting professional development opportunities, consultation when you have a question about a sticky situation, and inspiration to do your work with excellence.   We know that the challenges you face every day can be daunting and that it is easy to feel isolated in that work, especially in rural Montana.  We have an amazing board right now, and we stand on the shoulders of those have come before us.  Dozens of people have worked diligently to make this association what it is today. 

?Tina Boone and I attended the ASCA Delegate Assembly in Denver this past July.  This assembly included representatives from all over the country.  We received leadership training and updates on current issues in school counseling.  
Montana was honored for our 35th Anniversary as an ASCA Division! In addition, we attended the national conference and we were happy to have about twenty Montanans in attendance.  Among them were MSCA Treasurer, Amy Griffin and Elementary VP, Lee Starck.  We shared many learning opportunities, laughs, and heartfelt conversations about our profession.  The highlight of the conference was the RAMP Awards dinner.  Skyview High School, represented by Tina Boone, received the RAMP Award.  This is a FIRST for the state of Montana!  We hope to see many more schools in our state achieve this status and MSCA  will do what we can to support this endeavor.  The 2018 Conference will be in Los Angeles.  Consider attending - it is very worthwhile professional development.

?Our next conference will be in conjunction with MEA-MFT in Missoula on October 19th and 20th.  We will have a general membership meeting luncheon on the 19th and I would like to encourage you all to attend.  We have Dr. Deborah Hardy, founder of School Counselor Central, as our keynote.  She was a favorite at our spring conference and we had feedback that people would like to hear from her again.  She will be sharing three sessions with us: Data Tells a Story; Emotions to Emotional Intelligence; and Response to Intervention (MTSS) and your school counseling program.  There will be many more sectionals of interest to you, including one by Tina Boone, who will be sharing information about her experience with RAMP.

?We will have a changing of the guard in October.  New Executive Board members will be Kara Berg of Alberton and Carly Swingley of Great Falls.    Kara was elected in April to replace the lovely Lisa Held as the K-12 VP.  We have appreciated all of Lisa's hard work and the grounded perspective she brought to our organization.  In addition, we welcome Carly Swingley, who will take the place of Sheila Rutherford.  Carly will be the Middle School VP and works at East Middle School.  MSCA thanks Sheila for her years of service on the board!  In addition, we would like to give a shout out to Deborah Ostertag.  Deb took a position in Utah this fall and so is unable to continue in her role as Past President this year.  It is not too early for YOU to be thinking of joining the board.  Elections happen in April and the open positions in 2018 will be for Elementary VP, High School VP, and President Elect.

It is an honor to serve as the President of this association.  Thank you for your vote of confidence.  There is no other group I would rather represent and advocate for.  School counselors are making a difference in the lives of students every day!


Dr. Renee' Schoening