January 23-25, 2020

Embassy Suites Resort & Convention Center
9800 Queensway Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572


South Carolina Student Loan

Empathy is a Verb: Lessons for Learning Real Success in the Digital Age

Michele Borba

Friday, January 24 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


SPEAKER BIO:  Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, and parenting, child and bullying expert recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s empathy, social-emotional intelligence and character, and reduce peer cruelty. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has presented keynotes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, South Pacific and served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations, including the Pentagon and 18 US Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific. Her proposal: “Ending School Violence and Bullying” (SB1667) was signed into California law in 2002. She offers realistic, research-based advice culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

Dr. Borba is a frequent NBC contributor who has appeared 140 times live on the TODAY show and countless other shows including: three Dateline specials, Dr. Phil, and many others. She has also been featured in TIME, Washington Post, Newsweek, People, U.S. News & World Report, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Globe and Mail. She’s a media spokesperson for numerous corporations, and a consultant to McDonalds and Disney.

Borba is the award-winning author of 24 books translated into 14 languages including Nobody Likes Me, No More Misbehavin,’ Don’t Give Me that Attitude!, Building Moral Intelligence, 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, The 6 Rs of Bullying Prevention, and UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About Me World.

She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Educator Award (presented by the National Council of Self-Esteem) and the National Child Safety Award of 2016 by Child Safety Network.

Dr. Borba is a former classroom teacher with a wide range of teaching experience, including work in a private practice with children with learning, and emotional disabilities She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities and B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, and earned a Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and has three grown sons.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Empathy is often sidelined as a “soft skill.” In Dr. Borba’s presentation, Empathy is a Verb, she will offer hard evidence that empathy is one of the most important skills that 21st Century learners will need to thrive in a complex, global, and digitally-driven world, and why it must become an educational and societal priority. She will share ways that educators around the globe have weaved empathy-building practices into existing lessons and helped students to develop emphatic mindsets in a test-driven culture. Dr. Borba will provide practical ways to create positive outcomes by cultivating empathy in your school. She will share her decade long journey to discover how to optimize human potential. Surprisingly, it was children from Canada to Rwanda (and numerous places in between) who offered the best ideas to cultivate empathy. The best news: if applying these simple strategies together we can revolutionize not only our schools and homes, but also society…and build the best investment for our future: human capital.

Thursday, January 23 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Pre-Conference Learning Sessions include additional opportunities for more professional development and CEU contact hours. The sessions generally cover more in-depth information and allow more opportunity for discussion. These sessions are not included in the conference registration fee. Sessions are at a minimal fee. Space is limited for all sessions. Interested participants are encouraged to register early.

All Pre-Conference sessions are being held at the same time, so you may only choose one session to attend.

Data Boot Camp for School Counselors

Dr. Russell Sabella

Thursday, January 23 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


SPEAKER BIO: Dr. Russell Sabella is currently a Professor of Counseling in the College of Health Professions & Social Work, Florida Gulf Coast University and President of Sabella & Associates. He is well known for his Technology Boot Camp for Counselors workshops conducted throughout the country. Dr. Sabella is Past President (2003-2004) of the American School Counselor Association. He has trained and consulted with thousands of school counselors, educators, parents, and organizational leaders throughout the country. Russ is the co-author of two books entitled Confronting Sexual Harassment Learning Activities for Teens and Counseling in the 21st Century: Using Technology to Improve Practice. He is also the author of the popular, A Friendly and Practical Guide to the World Wide Web, as well as, A Practical Guide to Keeping Kids Out of High Tech Trouble.

ABOUT THE SESSION: Join Russ for Data Boot Camp for School Counselors. The Data Boot Camp for School Counselors is designed to advance technological literacy among counselors in a useful and practical manner. Particular attention is given to using Microsoft Excel™ to make data an important part of your comprehensive school counseling program. From data-driven decision making, to monitoring progress, to reporting the positive impact you’re having on kids — this workshop will demystify how it’s done. Workshop content is pre-planned although flexible enough to meet individuals’ specific technological training needs. Participants bring their own laptop so they can gain valuable hands-on practice. All participants will receive a 90 day pass to the online version of this training.

15-Minute Counseling Techniques that Work: What You Didn’t Learn in Grad School

Allison Edwards

Thursday, January 23 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


SPEAKER BIO:  Allison Edwards LPC, RPT is an affiliate professor in the Human Development Counseling department at Vanderbilt University, the author of Why Smart Kids Worry and Worry Says What? and the creator of Anxiety Tracker an iPhone app that helps track anxiety. Allison received her graduate degree in Counseling from Vanderbilt University and is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Registered Play Therapist. Allison has over 20 years experience working as a school teacher, school counselor, child/adolescent psychotherapist, and educational consultant to schools throughout the country.

Allison travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of empowering anxious children in the classroom, managing the emotional needs of students, recognizing the social/emotional needs of gifted students, and sharing how educators can talk to parents about student anxiety. Allison helps school leaders understand how social/emotional differences can be supported in their neurologically diverse student populations, and provides consultation and staff development on how to effectively improve emotion regulation in the classroom.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Allison as she presents 15-Minute Counseling Techniques that Work. Feel like you don’t have enough time to do counseling? Participants will learn 15 counseling techniques that can be implemented in less than 15 minutes from when a student walks into your office. The program can be suited to elementary, middle, or high school counselors (or a combination of all) and participants will not only learn the strategies but will be doing them alongside Allison as she teaches how to implement them. Get out your Play-Doh! This hands-on, experiential program will revolutionize your counseling department and help kids leave feeling empowered.

Griffith, Karen

Academic Support Groups

Dr. Karen Griffith

Thursday, January 23 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


SPEAKER BIO: Karen Griffith, PhD, LPC, worked in public education for 35 years, 27 as a school counselor, earning multiple state and national recognitions. Now retired, she works at the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor (Term-Limited) in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, and with ASCA as a trainer on the national model, Lead RAMP Reviewer, and Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Counseling and Development. She has authored three books and several articles, and speaks at state and national conferences on a variety of topics. Her primary area of research is around resiliency.

ABOUT THE SESSION: Join Karen for Academic Support Groups. Meeting the needs of students who are struggling with academic performance can be challenging. It is important to discover the unique needs of the underperforming students and then deliver the best possible counselor intervention. Dr. Griffith offers four main approaches to academic support: Goal Work, Enhancing Personal Motivation, Focus on Future, and Study Skills. Groups are offered around each of these approaches. This presentation offers ideas on how to assess underperforming students, place each in the best academic support group, and deliver a worthwhile group experience around the primary topic.

The Clinical Chain of Care: Suicide Screening and Collaborative Safety Planning

Jessica Barnes

Thursday, January 23 | 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.


SPEAKER BIO: Jessica Barnes LPC-A, is the lead suicide prevention counselor at Columbia Area Mental Health Center (CAMHC). Upon graduating from Western Carolina University in 2018 she has been working with adults who have suicide ideation. She is a part of the Zero Suicide Task Force at CAMHC, and is advocating for better policies and awareness for how suicide is assessed and treated in Richland County. She has been trained in Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk. Currently she is running the Suicide Prevention Program at CAMHC, which is a ten week program involving individual and group therapy to assist in building positive coping skills, and reducing suicide ideation. She also currently assists with the DBT, women’s, and anxiety groups.

ABOUT THE SESSION: Join Alex as she presents The Clinical Chain of Care: Suicide Screening and Collaborative Safety Planning . As the 2nd-leading cause of death in South Carolina for ages 10 to 24 in 2017, and the 10th-leading cause of death for all ages in 2016, suicide challenges the entire human services spectrum of clinical resources and the services they perform.
The responsibility of the clinician to assess, intervene, and monitor suicidal behavior presents a significant opportunity to save lives. Such a burden becomes especially daunting if clinicians are ill-prepared for such a situation or in a school environment. It has been well documented that clinicians from a wide range of professions will encounter individuals at risk for suicide. Many do not have confidence in dealing with such challenges, and the majority of clinicians, in various settings, have minimal to no training to competently deal with a clinical situation to prevent suicide.

The goal of this session is to ensure that the clinical workforce is trained and prepared for suicide risk assessment, intervention, monitoring, and follow-up by accomplishing the following:

  • The participant will be provided with current suicide rates and how they relate to our current culture. They will also be challenged to examine the language they use when discussing suicide. Using the appropriate language builds a protective environment for conversations about suicide.
  • Participants will become familiar with the continuum of suicide risk and learn how to identify warning signs in youth ages 8 to 18. They will develop an understanding of what protective factors within a community and school are, and be asked to generate some ideas of what current protective factors exist within their environment.
  • Participants will be taught how to use the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), conduct a suicide risk assessment, and develop a collaborative safety plan. Answers to C-SSRS questions help users determine if someone is at risk for suicide, assess the severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that the person needs.

Please note that Jessica Barnes has replaced Alex Karydi as the speaker for “The Clinical Chain of Care.”

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, January 23, 2020

1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Registration Open

1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Exhibits Open

2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference Learning Session

7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

PSSCA Board Dinner and Meeting

Friday, January 24, 2020

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Registration Open

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Graduate Student Orientation

7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Exhibits Open

8:30 a.m to 9:00 a.m.

Opening Kickoff Session

9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Breakout (Program) Session One

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Two

11:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch and Keynote Speaker – Michele Borba

1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Three

2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Four

4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Five

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

President’s Reception (Coastal Grill – Hotel Lobby)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Exhibits Open

8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Six

9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Breakout (Program) Session Seven

10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Break – Final Chance to Visit Exhibitors

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Final Closing Celebration – Awards Ceremony, Annual Meeting, Closing PowerPoint Show & Door Prizes!

Supervisor Approval Letter

Do you need help justifying this conference to your Supervisor? Vying for a good funding source can be challenging sometimes. We have created a letter for you (Modeled from ASCA) to customize according to your needs to support your efforts to attend the 2020 PSSCA Conference!

(January 24-25, 2020)

(by November 22, 2019)

Professional Member*: $119
Student  or Retiree Member*: $79
Non-Member: $169

(after November 22, 2019)

Professional Member*: $139
Student  or Retiree Member*: $99
Non-Member: $189

Pre-Conference Learning Sessions
(January 23, 2020)

(by November 22, 2019)

Member*: $45
Non-Member: $85

(after November 22, 2019)

Member*: $60
Non-Member: $95

*You must be a current PSSCA Member to receive the member price.
**To qualify for the Early Registration Rate, your registration form AND payment (copy of your purchase order, check, or credit card) must be received or postmarked by the Early Registration cutoff date.

Online Registration Closed

The online registration portal is now closed, but we will be accepting on-site registration at the event. Please bring the Registration Form (see below to download) with your method of payment to the conference.

Please make your check or purchase order payable to:
National Center for Youth
PO Box 22185
Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185

QUESTIONS?? Contact NCYI at 866.318.6294 or email or

Please Note: There will be no refunds after January 10, 2020. All cancellations before January 10, 2020 will be refunded less a $25 handling fee. There will be no refunds if you register as a non-member and then later become a member. Please become a member or renew your membership before registering for the conference. The association is not responsible for and cannot give refunds due to problems beyond its control, such as weather and school closings.

While attending the PSSCA Conference, stay at the beautiful Kingston Plantation properties, both adjacent to where the conference will be held!

Make Hotel Reservations Early! Limited Availability!


Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort

9800 Queensway Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29572


All events of the Conference will be located in the Convention Center, which is adjacent to the Embassy Suites. Standard rooms at the hotel may be reserved at the special conference rate of $92 per night (plus tax and resort fee of $15.99).  This rate is good on reservations made by January 8, 2020. Rooms are limited, and may fill up before January 8th cutoff. The conference rate includes a full, cooked-to-order breakfast and an evening Manager’s Reception.


  • CALL: (800) 876-0010, Option 1 and reference that you are with the “2020 Palmetto State School Counselors“, along with code PSS
  • REGISTER ONLINE: Link to the Embassy Suites website.
PSSCA 2018 Embassy Suites


Kingston Plantation Condos, Villas and Lodges

9800 Queensway Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29572


All events of the Conference will be located in the Convention Center, which is adjacent to the Kingston Plantation. Standard rooms at the hotel may be reserved at the special conference rate of $92 per night (plus tax and resort fee of $15.99). This rate is good on reservations made by January 8, 2020. Rooms are limited, and may fill up before January 8th cutoff. The conference rate includes a full, cooked-to-order breakfast and an evening Manager’s Reception.


  • CALL: (800) 876-0010, Option 2 and reference that you are with the “2020 Palmetto State School Counselors“, along with code SSP
  • REGISTER ONLINE: Link to the Kingston Plantation website.
PSSCA 2018 Kingston Plantation

In the evening, make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the surrounding area. Click the images to see the things to do around the beautiful Embassy Suites.

Visit the Tanger Outlets, close to the Embassy Suites!

You can sit back and relax at the many restaurants at the Tanger Outlets, such as Chesapeake House, Chuck’s Steak House, Amicis Brick Oven Pizza, along with others.

Near the Embassy Suites you will find an AMC movie theater with recliners, so you can finally watch that movie you have been wanting to see.

At the Tanger Outlet Mall, enjoy shopping at the Loft, Yankee Candle, White House Black Market, Ann Taylor, and many more!

We hope this conference will educate and equip you to do your job well, and we also hope you will take advantage of the wonderful ways you can relax and be refreshed!

Click here to visit the Tanger Outlets.

Click here to visit local restaurants.