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Inspiring School Counselors

Education Podcasts

Inspire Success hosts this biweekly podcast of practical resources and encouraging stories from school counselors about school counseling.


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Inspire Success hosts this biweekly podcast of practical resources and encouraging stories from school counselors about school counseling.






Kick-Starting Your School Counselor Summer Plans (#114)

If you need a boost of positive energy as you wrap up a long school year, you’ll love another engaging conversation with New Jersey High School Counselor - and last year’s New Jersey School Counselor of the Year - Indra Owens. Check it out for some great resources and lots of laughter to kick-start your summer.


Successful School Counseling = Continued Learning (#113)

The commonwealth of Virginia’s School Counselor of the Year Christina Tillery is not only going back to college to earn her PhD, she’s also learning how to be a successful school counselor through everyday lessons as a high school counselor. Hear why she says learning is sometimes a “pleasant slap in the face.”


Sensory Rooms, TBRI, and Working Like the Flash (#112)

The title of this week’s podcast summarizes the content of a robust conversation with Elementary School Counselor Josh Nelson about several practical resources that can help ANY student succeed. Listen in on this chat with one of the 2023 ASCA National School Counselor of the Year finalists.


Advocating with Data Works (#111)

Illinois School Counselor of the Year Nancy Fernandez is a living example of how using data can produce benefits for students AND school counseling programs.


A Small But Mighty Force for Tiny Humans (#110)

The term “small but mighty” could apply to K-2 school counselor Layla Green Touchet who at 5’0” stands tall as the 2022 Louisiana School Counselor of the Year. Layla is a go-getter currently working on her PhD in Counseling while connecting in unique ways with her students, especially those with ADHD and Autism, and even one or two who bite.


Mission-Driven in Mississippi (#109)

Magnolia State School Counselor of the Year Dr. Ebonee Magee-Dorsey grew up in the small town of Monticello, Mississippi and returned to the community nine years ago to expand and transform the school counseling program there. Listen in as she discusses with Inspire Success’ Aimee Portteus her passion, her favorite resources, and her recent frustration with the NFL.


What To Do When You Can’t Do It All (#108)

If you need some school counseling time saving tips, scheduling suggestions, and escapism resources to relax after a long day at school, you’ll want to listen in to this engaging podcast with Tennessee School Counselor of the Year Emily Fain Lynch.


Plan to Be Surprised (#107)

For most school counselors, few days go as smoothly as planned. But making the most of the unexpected, including finding a cat in a backpack and learning that a Diet Coke can set off a jail cell alarm, are just a few of the stories Middle School Counselor Danielle Schultz shares with us this week. It’s just another day in the life of a school counselor!


School Counselor of the Year Secrets (#106)

What does it take to be recognized as school counselor of the year? For School Counselor and College and Career Coordinator Lydia McNeiley, it’s a mixture of continual improvement, student advocacy, and de-processing at the end of the day by singing your favorite songs in the car on the way home, as loud as you can. Listen in as Lydia shares more on these and other ways she promotes student success.


Experience & School Counseling Success (#105)

Each of us brings a mix of ourselves to the work we do and love, which is why there isn’t one recipe for being a successful school counselor. In this week’s podcast, Illinois School Counselor Bernard Starks shares how baking, photography, breathing exercises, and even McGruff the Crime Dog have all contributed to his experiences as a professional school counselor.


Triton Gives Back (#104)

Enjoy a lively conversation with three school counselors from Indiana whose corporation-wide service learning program for students at ALL grade levels– called Triton Gives Back – has become quite successful. You’ll also learn what role Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr. played in the program’s success!


The School Counselor Wishlist (#103)

For something different, we asked school counselors to tell us what resources they felt no school counselor should do without, and to have a little fun with it. The resulting answers make for an enjoyable podcast and a wonderful Christmas list for the hard-to-shop-for-school counselor (but good luck finding THESE items!).


Affinity Groups Help Connect & Support School Counselors (#102)

Affinity is defined as a “similarity of characteristics suggesting a relationship.” Using this definition, the American School Counselor Association has formed “affinity groups” for new school counselors, rural school counselors, and many more, including a school counselors of color affinity group. Aimee Portteus shares a conversation this week with high school counselor Lukas Mendoza to learn more about his involvement in ASCA’s School Counselors of Color Affinity Group.


Balancing the Passion for Both Work & Play (#101)

Every day when you return home from school, wouldn’t it be great if you were engaged in an activity that you love, keeps you fit, AND continues to benefit students? Michigan School Counselor Kelsey Smith has managed that unique balance, and shares the secret sauce of her success this week with Aimee Portteus. About Kelsey Smith Kelsey Smith is in her 12th year as a school counselor, formerly serving nine years at the middle school level but currently serving at the high school level. She is the Local Club Leader and coach for FYR (Forging Youth Resilience) Detroit. Kelsey says…


Embracing Fun & Connectedness as a School Counselor (#100)

With only five years under her belt as school counselor in Texas, Ashley Wright has already been recognized as an outstanding school counselor. Listen in this week to discover the two resources Ashley says are key to her success, her practical tips on working with teachers and community partners, and why her students lovingly refer to her as Counselor DJ Ash-Bash!


Practical Practices in Trauma-Informed Care (#99)

When you have worked as a teacher, coach, and administrator for almost 20 years you learn what works and what doesn’t. This week, our guest Alisa Kaczorowski shares the practical tips she has learned about what works with trauma-informed care.


Lezlie DelVecchio-Marks (#98)

With much enthusiasm, guest school counselor Lezlie DelVecchio-Marks shares with us how the growth mindset has not only helped her students but herself, the challenges of achieving RAMP, and the many practical ways she fosters “connections” with her students.


Marianne Matt (#97)

Guest School Counselor Marianne Matt describes why her high school students love the Accuplacer (yes, really), a favorite time-saving trick, and her rediscovered habit of journaling.


Summer Break (#96)

Join us for a brief message as we take a summer break after a long school year and share a few upcoming changes to the podcast, including how YOU can be a part of the new Inspire School Counselors podcast coming this fall.


A Graduation Story You Can Dance To (#95)

More than a decade ago, in an effort to help a struggling student stay engaged with and eventually graduate from high school, counselor Aimee Portteus and her student Hannah developed a friendship and a fundraising effort that dramatically shows the power of what school counseling can do for students and communities.