Nominations and Elections
The PSCA Governing Board Announces 8 Vacancies for the Term Beginning July 1, 2021.
The Election will be held March 7-13. Regional Ballots will be delivered electronically to the email address on your member profile.
The PSCA Governing Board consists of two regionally elected representatives from each of 8 regions of Pennsylvania. The function of the Governing Board shall be to determine the major goals (Ends) of the Association, to approve the policies and procedures for implementation of such goals (Ends), and to review and approve the operating budget of the Association.
Candidates for regionally elected representatives will be accepted from professional members* who have completed a minimum of three consecutive and current years of PSCA professional membership prior to assuming the position. Candidates must be employed in the region in which they wish to run. The Nominations and Elections Committee shall, from among those petitions submitted, establish the ballot which will be distributed to PSCA members within each region.
For the 2021 - 2024 term beginning July 1, 2021, there will be 8 vacancies on the board. Each of the regions will have one vacancy. The region nominees are as follows: (If you click on their names or their picture, it will link to a brief biography.)
Northwest - IUs 4, 5, 6, 28
Michelle Strasser (Encumbent)
Nominee Statement: I am interested in serving on the Governing Board because I would like to continue to work on the committees I am currently serving on within the board. I have had the opportunity to be a member of the SEL/MH Committee, Career Committee and Organization Committee this year. I am excited about the work we are accomplishing in each of these areas and would like to continue these efforts.
During my time on the board I have also served as an instrumental member of the bylaws committee which made major revisions of the bylaws of the organization. PSCA has been a tremendous resource and advocate for counselors in PA during these challenging times and I would like to continue to serve in a leadership role in supporting the role of school counselors.
Southwest - IUs 1, 2, 3, 7, 27
Sima Misquitta (Encumbent)
Nominee Statement: As a current member of the PSCA governing board, I have taken pride in representing the southwest region of PA in a state level organization. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work on behalf of school counselors and our profession and I wish to continue serving.
Nominee Statement: I've spent the first twenty years of my career engaged in a rigorous process of professional development. This has required me to carefully balance my personal responsibilities to my family, the professional responsibilities of my job, and my extra-curricular activities such as my own schooling and my involvement in various organizations. It has taken countless hours, but it’s enabled me to learn a great deal about myself, about my community and theworld, and about how I could be the best school counselor I could possibly be.
While the process of self-development should be continuous, I’d like to spend the next 20 years of my career utilizing these skills that I’ve developed to the betterment of my school, community, and the world at large. I believe that PSCA can be a significant part of this endeavor. Now that I have the ability to meet the time commitment needed to do so, my hope is to expand my ability to positively affect the profession of school counselor by representing my Southwest entire region of PSCA. I am hoping those school counselors able to vote in this region believe so as well.
Central - IUs 8, 10, 11
Nominee Statement: Writing this personal statement for the PSCA Governing Board takes me back to writing my personal statement as part of my graduate school application. At that time, I had an idea of what being a school counselor would be like, but I didn’t really know. The past 2.5 years of my career have rewarded me in more ways that I could have imagined. Every day, I am still excited to work with my students, peers, superiors, and community members. Two and half years is not a very long time in this field, but I have grown to know and befriend fellow school counselors and have become a mentor for future school counselors.
I always feel like I have support from the PSCA Central Region community and would be honored to take on a bigger role in the community that has always treated me so well. I believe that I can take on this additional role as a member of the PSCA Governing Board with the same drive and passion that I bring to my job every day. I am closing on my first home in the Central Region, so you know I am in this for the long haul! I look forward to working with a larger group of school counselors to learn and grow from. Thank you for your consideration
North Central - IUs 9, 16, 17
Regina Edgerton (Encumbent)
For the duration of my current term and the remainder of my predicessor's term, I have been working as a part of the governing board and a few related committees. The association serves an incredible purpose and has turned a corner to increase its impact exponentially. Watching the efforts move from ideas, to efforts, and rejoicing in the reactions has brought me great joy and pride is the profession of school counseling.
Serving as a team member on the board has provided me with skills, confidence, and tools to be a stronger advocate locally. The networking opportunities have provided me with counseling ideas, advocacy inspiration, leadership awareness, and a greater understanding of the efforts required and pay off involved in creating change. For all the governing board has given me, I feel I am finally in a position of contributing back to the board and the association.
I am interested in serving on the governing board because I feel that I have insight to the role of the school counselor in a rural setting. I often feel that when you work in a more rural area it is more difficult to collaborate with colleagues and obtain up to date information about what is happening at the state and national level. When I was previously on the board I worked hard to share this information with my rural area by having counselor meetings and sending updates via email.
I enjoy networking and collaborating with my colleagues across the state to improve the role oftheschoolcounselor. Ibelievethatthegoverningboardwouldallowmetohaveabigger impact on our profession.
Southcentral - IUs 12, 13, 15
Adam Oldham (Encumbent)
Nominee Statement: I want to be a Regional Representative for PSCA because I am passionately committed to the service school counselors provide to students. Having engaged with state and local lawmakers, the need for school counseling advocacy is more urgent than ever – with increased attention on college and career readiness, school counselors need to be equipped not only with the traditional counseling skills, but with real-time, relevant workforce information and the ability to communicate it effectively to students and parents. With COVID-19 impacting student mental health, school counselors serve as vital resource brokers and service providers for students and families. PSCA serves as a vehicle for meaningful professional development – for school counselors and for legislators – and I want to be a part of that mission. In our current environment, the demand for high quality service from our professional association is greater than ever.
I have a proven record of school counseling leadership, serving as department chair for my district, serving PSCA as a Governing Board member, chairing the PSCA Government Relations and Organizational Transition Committees, and recently publishing the first school counselor staffing report in Pennsylvania history. I look forward to serving the school counselors in the South Central region of Pennsylvania!
Nominee Statement: It has always been important for me to attend the PSCA annual conference to stay up to date with what is new and innovative in our field. It is the best professional development I receive the entire school year. I feel empowered and energized from the conference and from being around like minded school counselors. I have recently felt called to become more involved in our association.
I want to be more than just a member of our organization and want to be actively involved in empowering and energizing school counselors across Pennsylvania. My IU (IU 12) has begun School Counselor Networking Meetings. The meetings are run by IU employees who are not school counselors and who are not involved with PSCA. As a governing board member, I would like to be able to develop a relationship with the IUs in our region and serve as a liaison between PSCA and the IUs. As that liaison, I would be able to share updates from PSCA keeping the counselors in our region up to date about our profession.
Northeast - IUs 18, 19
Nominee Statement: I decided to pursue school counseling because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. As I progressed through my coursework, I realized just how big the scope of that impact could be. I was willing to take on a caseload of 750+ students because I knew that if I did my job well, I could positively impact each student I served. Eventually, I would love to teach at the postsecondary level; to have a hand in molding generations of school counselors so that a positive impact can be felt by even more. Before I get there, I believe I need to feel a bit of mastery over the school counseling profession.
Serving as a Governing Board Member for PSCA would be an incredibly humbling way to work towards both of those goals: impacting lives behind the scenes, and learning even more about what makes this profession beautiful. I hope to serve so that I can make a difference. That is why I am a school counselor, and is what gets me up each morning. I would be so lucky to be able to take on this role, and am incredibly grateful for your consideration.
Cara Jean Dougherty
Nominee Statement: I am interested in serving on the Governing Board of PSCA in order to support and promote our profession. As a school counselor for the past fifteen years, I have had the privilege to work with other outstanding school counselors in my building, district, and region. It is through working with others that I have grown as a professional and an individual.
It is my hope that I have supported others as much as they have supported me, and it is my goal to continue to do so. School counselors exist within a unique paradigm. They straddle the gap between the world of mental health and that of education. Through strong professional organizations such as the PSCA, school counselors have a foundation through which they can identify their professional identity, gain new knowledge, and be supported in making wise and ethical decisions.
Central East - IUs 14, 20, 21, 29
Stephanie Steigerwalt (Encumbent)
Nominee Statement: I have served as a regionally elected representative for the Central Eastern region for the past three years. I have enjoyed serving the members of PSCA and hope to continue to do so. I believe that our organization is moving in new and exciting directions and hope to be a part of that growth and change.
Nominee Statement: I am interested in serving on the Governing Board of PSCA as a regional representative because I continue to ask myself "How can I promote change?" While we work at the building and ground level with students, families and educators each and every day, the over arching faults of the system still impact how our time and resources are allocated. By becoming more informed, more knowledgeable and more involved, I hope it provides me with the opportunity to further advocate for and impact changes that are necessary for our profession.
Nominee Statement: I am very interested in serving on the Governing Board of PSCA for a variety of reasons. Having had numerous opportunities to play a vital role in developing and executing new initiatives at my school, I truly enjoy reviewing changes to regulations and guidelines then taking the lead in creating needs-based and data-driven programming to support/inform all students, families, and staff. For that reason, I continued my professional development by obtaining an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University, which included an informative elective on Educational Policy. When asked why I didn’t simultaneously pursue an administrative certification, my response is always the same: “I love leadership, but want to lead as a school counselor!”
I feel that I have exhausted opportunities within my district to take on leadership roles and am excited to venture on to a leadership position at the state level. I believe I possess the capability and passion to be an asset to PSCA and look forward to having the opportunity to foster valuable connections, stay abreast of the ever-evolving field of school counseling, and utilize my leadership skills to help advance the profession through education and implementation of state policy.
Nominee Statement: After accepting my current position, I recognized the previous counselor’s efforts in paving the way for other counselors by spearheading initiatives and serving on the PSCA governing board. Inspired and building off this foundation, I began advocating for the profession at the ground level. These past few years have been filled with responding to needs, revitalizing existing programs, and creating new school initiatives by building a data-driven counseling program to support all stakeholders, as evidenced by becoming a Recognized ASCA Model Program.
Finessing fiery passion with firsthand experience, I have become more confident in seeking and fulfilling leadership roles within the district and learned how to creatively advocate simultaneously for students and for counselors. Personally evolving educationally, I continue to sharpen my skills by working towards a M.Ed. in mindfulness, obtaining certification in bullying prevention and inclusive practices, and receiving counseling supervision for licensure. Serving on the Governing Board of PSCA will fulfill this personal passion and desire to represent and lead at the state level. By staying informed on the ever-changing profession, this position will encourage opportunities for me to utilize my skills to continue to advocate, work effectively, and collaborate alongside other like-minded individuals across the state.
Southeast -IUs 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
na'Khia Washington (Encumbent)
Nominee Statement: As a School Counselor in one of the most under represented school settings (charter schools), I want to continue to be an advocate for students who attend charter schools, to help bring more awareness and learning opportunities to the counselors of charter schools as we (traditional public, charter, private, cyber) collectively work together to serve the students across this great state. I also want to have the opportunity to continue to work in the great Southeast Region.
Nominee Statement: I am interested in serving on the Governing Board of PSCA because I believe in the mission to expand the image and influence of professional school counselors, to promote professional and ethical practice and to advocate for equity and access for all students. I am particularly interested in advocating for equity in funding for Pennsylvania schools. Widespread systemic and educational inequality throughout our state has far reaching consequences for all of our students.
I believe that all students deserve a high quality education, regardless of their zip code. School counselors are uniquely situated to advocate for equity for their students in so many different areas. School counselors have impact in our offices with students and families, in classrooms, with the teaching staff, with administrators, with our school boards and in our communities. I work in the Pottstown School District. My district is underfunded by $13 million annually. My students go without resources neighboring district students benefit from. I feel that school counselors are integral in the fight for equity in education.
Kelly Lynn O'Shura
Nominee Statement: As a K-12 Certified School Counselor, and a member of my local PSEA, I feel as though it is my obligation to continue learning both personally as well as professionally. Collaboration and communication with fellow school counselors, I believe is a pathway to further supporting our students and families in the most productive and progressive ways possible. I am excited to work along side with, and contribute to forward thinking approaches to school counseling in both the in-person and online formats.
Contact Beth Stem, Past President, Chairman of Nominations and Elections, at email@example.com with any questions.
* According to PSCA Bylaws (adopted December, 2020)
III-2a. Professional Member. A Professional Member must be certified as a school counselor and employed in Pennsylvania as one of the following: 1. A certified school counselor, 2. An educator in a graduate program that prepares individuals for certification as a school counselor, 3. A supervisor of school counselors in a K - 12 setting. A Professional Member who retires while completing the term(s) of elected office shall be granted professional membership status until the term(s) completion.