September 13-15, 2020

Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center
1200 Conference Center Blvd

Murfreesboro, TN 37129


Click here if you are interested in attending the Tennessee School Counselor and Administrator Leadership Institute virtually.

Virtual sessions will be available through October 31st. You can register to attend TNSCALI Online through October 24th.



Foundation Sponsors


Helping Students with Trauma and Emotional Dysregulation

Allison Edwards

Sunday, September 13, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 


SPEAKER BIO: Allison Edwards LPC, RPT is an affiliate professor in the Human Development Counseling department at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Why Smart Kids Worry, Worry Says What?, and Marcy Is Having All the Feels. 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 Helping Students with Trauma and Emotional Dysregulation. Counselors work daily with students who are unable to regulate their emotions. Trauma and ACE’s are a large part of this epidemic and based on brain research, this workshop will help counselors learn how to identify triggers, teach effective coping strategies, and help students go from debilitated to empowered.

Williams, Deirdra

ASCA National Model: 4th Edition

Deirdra Williams

Sunday, September 13, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 


SPEAKER BIO:  Deirdra has earned a Master’s degree in School Counseling and School Administration. She also is a National Board Certified Teacher in K-12 School Counseling. She applies her knowledge each day maintaining a comprehensive school counseling program, and serving as a certified trainer for the American School Counselor Association. She enjoys working at the secondary level, ensuring her students position themselves well to have a positive transition to meet their chosen college and career goals. She believes all students can learn and educators must meet them where they are to get them moving.

Deirdra has been a school counselor for over 22 years. She uses advocacy, collaboration, and leadership to influence systemic changes that support achievement for all students. Using the framework of the ASCA National Model has strengthened her abilities and created even more positive outcomes for students. During her tenure she has led two separate counseling teams to RAMP status, one in the school’s second year of existence. She has been a RAMP Reviewer, a lead RAMP Reviewer and now serves as a RAMP team captain. She enjoys supporting counselors in documenting the work of their school counseling program as well as helping counselors and administrators to strengthen their partnerships for the sake of student achievement.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Dierdra as she presents ASCA National Model: 4th Edition. The 4th edition of the ASCA National Model is now in circulation. The intent of the new edition is to continue to streamline the process and the language to make implementation easier. Whether you are new to the ASCA national model or a RAMPed school, you will learn about the changes and how it impacts how you document your work in maintaining your comprehensive school counseling program.

Mindful Practices to Help Troubled Teens: Behavioral Interventions to Help Students Succeed

Dr. Natalie Spencer Gwyn

Sunday, September 13, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 


SPEAKER BIO: Dr. Natalie Spencer is an Assistant Professor at North Carolina A&T State University. She was previously a high school counselor and student assistance counselor (SAP) for many years before moving into higher education. Dr. Spencer received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later earned a doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from North Carolina State University. Dr. Spencer is the author of Mindful Practices for Helping Troubled Teens. She is also a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of North Carolina, and owns her own private practice, Natalie Spencer Counseling and Consulting. Dr. Spencer has presented her research on the local, state, and national level.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Dr. Spencer as she presents Mindful Practices to Help Troubled Teens: Behavioral Interventions to Help Students Succeed. School counselors often encounter students with a variety of behavioral and mental health concerns throughout a day. Mindfulness and mindful interventions have been shown to help students by introducing a variety of skills, such as guided imagery, mindful breathing, and gentle yoga. This presentation is designed to give school counselors tools to implement mindful techniques and help empower students discover their true potential. It will be an exciting and hands on presentation that will introduce counselors to mindfulness techniques and strategies to help all students succeed.

Scheduled to Appear

Dr. Penny Schwinn

Monday, September 14, 2020 | Opening Keynote Session


Dr. Penny Schwinn will bring greetings and an update from the Tennessee Department of Education.

SPEAKER BIO: Dr. Penny Schwinn was sworn in as Tennessee’s Education Commissioner on February 1, 2019. As commissioner, Dr. Schwinn is committed to building on Tennessee’s momentum over the last decade, and plans to continue to accelerate growth through excellence in achievement, empowerment of students and teachers, and engagement of all stakeholders. Prior to joining the Tennessee Department of Education, Commissioner Schwinn served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner of Academics at the Texas Education Agency.

Got Hope? NOPE!: Understanding the Importance of Hopefulness

Julia Cook

Monday, September 14, 2020 | During the 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Luncheon Session


SPEAKER BIO:  Julia is a national award winning children’s author, counselor and parenting expert. She has presented in thousands of schools across the country and abroad, regularly speaks at national education and counseling conferences, and has published children’s books on a wide range of character and social development topics. The goal behind Cook’s work is to actively involve young people in fun, memorable stories and teach them to become lifelong problem solvers. Inspiration for her books comes from working with children and carefully listening to counselors, parents, and teachers, in order to stay on top of needs in the classroom and at home. Cook has the innate ability to enter the worldview of a child through storybooks, giving children both the “what to say” and the “how to say it.”

ABOUT THIS SESSION:  Join Julia as she presents Got Hope? NOPE!: Understanding the Importance of Hopefulness. The most tragic thing a person can lose is their hope. Without hope, despair takes over. Without hope…a child becomes hopeless. Hopeless children don’t try, have poor relationships with others, and feel helpless. In terms of resilience and well being, hope is a critically important predictor of success. Research tells us that by the time children are 10 years old, they have maximized the amount of hope instilled in their minds. This poses two very unique challenges for parents, teachers, and counselors…How do we help children increase their amount of hope prior to the age of 10, and how do we help them maximize their hope potential after the age of 10. In this research-based, humor infused keynote, Julia Cook explores the components of hope, discusses the results of the Hope Scale for Children, defines the differences between hope and optimism, and presents a blueprint for maximizing hope growth and potential in children, teens and adults.

“Hope is our children’s window for a better tomorrow!” Ready…Get “MIND SET”…GROW!

Personal Climate and Culture – It’s Your Choice

Gerry Brooks

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | During the 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Luncheon Session


SPEAKER BIO: Gerry Brooks is the principal at an elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky. His educational experience includes six years in the classroom, two years as an intervention specialist, and 12 years as an administrator. He is a passionate public speaker whose focus is on encouraging and helping teachers improve their instructional abilities. He also has a desire to help administrators successfully lead their staff.
An encouraging speaker, he has spoken to educational groups all around the nation. His focus is on encouraging teachers to improve their instruction through personal climate and culture strategies. He desires to help administrators focus on how to lead all staff in a positive and constructive manner. His following on social media has developed through humorous videos that focus on real-world educational experiences.  He is currently followed on these social media sites by over 500,000 people.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Gerry as he presents Personal Climate and Culture – It’s Your Choice. This session will focus on the importance of positive climate and culture for all educators.  Through a combination of humor and encouragement, you will be challenged to grow in all areas of your job.

Tentative Schedule

Sunday, September 13, 2020

2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Registration Opens

2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Exhibits Open

3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Pre-Institute Session

Monday, September 14, 2020

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

Registration and Information Center Open

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

Exhibits Open

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

Opening Ceremonies

9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Lunch and Keynote Speaker – Julia Cook

1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

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

Break – Visit Exhibitors

2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Exhibits Open

8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

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

Break – Visit Exhibitors

9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Break – Visit Exhibitors

11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

General Session & Lunch, Keynote Speaker – Gerry Brooks, Closing & Door Prizes

For the 2020 Tennessee School Counselor & Administrator Leadership Institute we will be offering TASL credits for administrators. A Professional Development Points (PDP) form will also be available

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 TN School Counselor and Leadership Institute!



(Includes a Pre-Institute Learning Session)


Paying with a Credit Card?

Choose one of these options:

  • Scan and EMAIL Registration Form(s)
  • FAX Registration Form(s)
  • MAIL Registration Form(s)

Paying with a Purchase Order?

Choose one of these options:

  • Scan and EMAIL PO with the Registration Form(s)
  • FAX PO with the Registration Form(s)
  • MAIL PO with the Registration Form(s)

*Purchase orders must be made payable to National Center for Youth Issues.

Paying with a Check?

  • MAIL check with the Registration Form(s)

*Checks must be made payable to National Center for Youth Issues.


FAX: (423) 899-4547

PHONE: (866) 318-6294

MAIL: National Center for Youth Issues
 P.O. Box 22185
 Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185

The Attendee will receive an email confirmation to the email address provided when their registration is processed. (Make sure to check Junk/Spam folders.) Please allow ample time for processing.

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.

Click here if you are interested in attending the Tennessee School Counselor and Administrator Leadership Institute virtually.

Virtual sessions will be available through October 31st. You can register to attend TNSCALI Online through October 24th.

PLEASE NOTE: If we are forced to cancel the Institute because of a “force majeure” event, such as a government restriction on large gatherings that cover the intended size of the Institute, then we will issue full refunds of the registrations. Otherwise, our normal cancellation policy will be upheld: There will be no refunds after August 27, 2020. All cancellations before August 27, 2020 will be refunded less a $25 handling fee. The Institute is not responsible for and cannot give refunds due to problems beyond its control such as weather or school closings.

On social distancing and other health and safety measures, the regulations/guidelines that apply to hotels and conference centers are still unfolding and being developed. The Institute will conform to all necessary regulations/guidelines that are in place as of the date of the Institute.

Make Hotel Reservations Early! Limited Availability!


Embassy Suites Murfreesboro Hotel and Convention Center

1200 Conference Center Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

The Embassy Suites, the Institute’s host hotel, has a conference rate of $146 per night, plus tax, which remains valid for reservations made by September 8, 2020, while rooms are available. The price includes full, cook-to-order breakfast and evening Manager’s Reception. 


  • CALL:  (615) 890-4464 or (800) 362-2779. Please be sure to tell the hotel that you are with the “TN SCALI Conference 2020” and that your group / convention code if “SCA“.
  • REGISTER ONLINE:  Go to the Embassy Suites website

Please Note: A refundable, one-night deposit will be required when making a reservation.

Come Learn and Play!

In the evening, make sure you take time to relax and enjoy the surrounding area. Visit The Avenue, just minutes away and in walking distance from the Embassy Suites! You can sit back and relax at the many restaurants at The Avenue, such as Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Longhorn Steakhouse and Chili’s Bar and Grill, along with others. Enjoy shopping at the Ann Taylor Loft, White House / Black Market, Off Broadway Shoes, Forever 21, and many more!

Click here to see all the fun you can have at the The Avenue.

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!