School Counselor Spotlight:

Vanessa Adams, School Counselor at John Rex Elementary

Vanessa Adams is the spook-tacular elementary school counselor for John Rex Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Vanessa joined John Rex last year via the Oklahoma School Counselor Corps Grant and brought with her over 17 years of experience. Prior to her arrival, there was no school counselor, so for the past several months, she has worked to establish a comprehensive school counseling program that benefits all students! 

What is the most rewarding aspect of your position?
The most rewarding part of being a school counselor is witnessing the growth and success of students as they overcome challenges and develop into confident, resilient individuals. Seeing students' faces light up during that "AHA moment," and using the strategies that they have learned during classroom guidance, small groups, or individual guidance is everything!

Why is creating a comprehensive school counseling program important to you?
Creating a comprehensive school counseling program is crucial because it ensures that students receive holistic support in their academic, personal, and social development. Such a program promotes equity, helps students navigate challenges, improves mental health, enhances academic performance, and prepares students for success in school and beyond.

What is a quote that inspires you?
"There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind, the second way is to be kind, the third way is to be kind" -Mr. Rogers

What do you do when you need inspiration to tackle another day working on behalf of students?
When seeking inspiration for another day working on behalf of students and families, I often reflect on the positive impact I can make in their lives. Remembering the moments of growth, learning, and connection helps reignite my passion and motivation to continue making a difference.

What do you do to decompress and refuel for the next day?
To decompress and refuel, I engage in activities that bring me joy and relaxation. This might include spending time with my husband and adult children, practicing mindfulness, walking our Corgi pup, or simply taking a moment to unwind with a good book. It's important to find what works best for you to recharge and approach the next day with renewed energy.






Training Opportunities

The Oklahoma State Department of Education Office of Student Support provides various training opportunities for school counselors.  Platforms such as annual conferences, seminars, webinars, videos, and on-site training can provide you with the skills and resources necessary to serve Oklahoma students with care. 

OSDE Connect Platform: Oklahoma Comprehensive School Counseling Framework

This asynchronous training platform includes webinars, discussions, and technical assistance as you work towards implementing the Oklahoma Comprehensive School Counseling Framework. This platform is for new school counselors and those with established school counseling programs. It was created to help you wherever you are on your journey towards comprehensive school counseling!

The platform includes self-paced modules. You can earn 20 professional development hours through the modules. While the modules are asynchronous, synchronous support will be provided along the way.   

Note: This is the same course that was published last year, but it is now in Canvas. If you started this course on the previous platform, you will need to create a new account, however, you are able to begin where you left off.  

To sign up for the OSDE Connect: Oklahoma Comprehensive School Counseling Framework Platform, see the detailed instructions here.


Upcoming Events 

Coffee with Counselors

Please join us for "Coffee with Counselors!" This is an informal time for school counselors from across our great state to come together for celebration, collaboration, and continued growth. We look forward to you joining us!

Register for upcoming dates:
Each session will be held 9am - 10am

Oklahoma School Counselor Association Conference

SAVE THE DATEOSCA Conference: October 1-2 in Norman, OK 

Don't miss the premier conference for school counselors!

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Last updated on September 29, 2023