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Meet the Board

Courtney Cook
President
Contact Courtney 
Term Ends: June 2024

Courtney Cook (President) serves as PK-12 Principal and Supervisor of School Counseling for the Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School District. Beyond her role as principal, she is also a certified trainer of Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. Before working at Ruthven-Ayrshire, she served as the SEBH Coordinator and School Counselor Support Lead for Prairie Lakes AEA, 6-12 School Counselor for Graettinger-Terril CSD, and was a Secondary English teacher in Colorado Springs prior to that. Courtney is a graduate of Adams State University (MA-School Counseling) and University of Iowa (MA-Educational Policy & Leadership Studies, BA - Communication Studies). She is a passionate advocate for school counselors becoming school leaders as more districts continue to prioritize and value social/emotional development as part of students becoming "future ready". In her free time, Courtney enjoys being at home with her family of six and five pets. Chances are she's either playing a board game or binge-watching something from Magnolia Network, Disney+, or Netflix.

Becky Lins
President Elect
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Term Ends: June 2024

Becky Lins (President) is in her 16th year as a school counselor, serving the last twelve at Peet Jr. High in Cedar Falls. Her previous experience includes working for Waterloo Community Schools at the middle school level and with Des Moines Public Schools as an elementary school counselor. Becky was born and raised in Cedar Falls and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an undergrad in Psychology and a masters in School Counseling and has recently joined Upper Iowa’s staff as an adjunct professor for their School Counseling graduate program. Some career highs include presenting at ISCA's conference 5 times, being named Middle Level School Counselor of the Year (2015), representing Iowa for ASCA’s 2017 School Counselor of the Year and earning RAMP designation for Peet (2019)! Becky is passionate about all things leadership, collaborating with students and helping other counselors embrace and thrive in the ASCA National Model. She enjoys running, traveling and spending time with her husband and children.


Allison Graham
President Elect- Elect
Contact Allison
Term Ends: June 2024

Allison Graham (President Elect-Elect) is in her 3rd year as an Elementary School Counselor at Emerson Hough Elementary with the Newton Community School District. Her favorite part of being a School Counselor is all the relationships she gets to build with students. Allison was raised in Toledo, Iowa where she currently resides with her husband, Darvin, and two adopted dogs Remi and June. She graduated from South Tama County High School in 2001 then earned her B.A. in Religion from Central College. She earned her Masters in Professional School Counseling from Buena Vista University in 2021. Before becoming a School Counselor Allison worked as a Sports Editor and Co-Editor of a local newspaper. Her favorite sounds are laughter and a crowd singing together. She loves to read and is a HUGE Swifty! Allison lives by the Sophia Bush quote “You are allowed to be a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”


Jaclyn Lussenhop
Past President
Contact Jaclyn
Term Ends: June 2024

Jaclyn Lussenhop (Past President) is a school counselor at Prairie Creek in the College Community School District, and has previously worked as a counselor at Springville Elementary and Davis Elementary. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with an undergrad in psychology and a masters in school counseling. Jaclyn is very passionate about the field of school counseling and enjoys helping other school counselors with their school counseling programs and empowering them to be advocates by the use of data in school counseling.

Nyla Mowery
Des Moines Public Schools
Contact Nyla
Term Ends: June 2024

Nyla Mowery (Vice President - Elementary Level) is an elementary school counselor at Studebaker Elementary in the Des Moines Public Schools district.  Nyla completed her undergraduate in elementary education in 2005 from the University of Iowa.   Prior to being a school counselor, she taught upper elementary for three years and preschool for five years.  Nyla completed her masters in school counseling in 2013 from Drake University and has been working as a school counselor for the Des Moines Public Schools since graduating.  In her free time, Nyla enjoys reading, playing video games, going for walks with her dog, Bandit and cuddling with her cats.  Nyla has a daughter, Angel, who is a senior in high school this year.


Lacey Cherniss
Vice President - Middle School Level
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Term Ends: June 2026

Lacey Cherniss (Middle School Level VP) ...

Jessica Gambrel
Vice President - Secondary Level
Contact Jessica
Term Ends: June 2025

Jessica Gambrel (Secondary Level VP) received her Masters in School Counseling from Emporia State University - Kansas City in 2016 and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Art and Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She is a member of the American School Counseling Association (ASCA), the Iowa School Counseling Association (ISCA) and was a member of several honor societies. Jessica feels lucky to have had experience in rural, urban and suburban school settings and to have witnessed differences in culture, socioeconomic status, and general perception. She began her career at Lovejoy Elementary as a K-5 school counselor with Des Moines Public Schools and is currently working with high school students (9-12) at Norwalk High School. Though there are differences in age and maturity, Jessica feels that the similarities between her “little babies” and “big babies” continues to surprise her. She is currently working to help students prepare themselves emotionally and academically for a post-pandemic world.


Maria Sulentic
Vice President - K12 Level
Contact Maria
Term Ends: June 2026

Maria Sulentic (K12 VP) has been the K-12 School Counselor for the West Bend-Mallard School District since 2012.  She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Iowa and her graduate degree from The University of Northern Iowa.  Her previous experiences include working with elementary students as a classroom paraprofessional, with college students at the UNI Study Abroad Center, and as an undergraduate teaching assistant.  Maria believes these experiences have better prepared her for the variety of situations that come with working as a K-12 School Counselor and help her better serve the students in her rural school district.  She is particularly interested in the on-going process of building a school counseling program that develops students’ skills year after year and working to prepare students for their post-secondary goals. Outside of school, Maria enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and traveling just about anywhere.



Vice President - Counselor Coordinator/Director


Erin Lane
Vice President - Counselor Educator
Contact Erin
Term Ends: June 2024

Erin Lane (VP Counselor Educator) is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa and feels honored to serve on the ISCA Board. Erin has worked in public and private education in Iowa for over two decades. Prior to her position as a counselor educator, she was employed as a teacher and administrator; however, she found the most fulfillment as a school counselor. She received her bachelor's degree from Beloit College, and her Master’s in School Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Iowa. Her professional passions consist of helping school counselors strengthen advocacy skills, enhance professional identity, and better incorporate data-driven programming. Erin lives in Iowa City with her husband and three daughters. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, listening to podcasts, and attending as many Hawkeye events as possible.




Tracy Vannausdle
Secretary
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Term Ends: June 2026

Tracy Vannausdle (Secretary)



Vacant Position (Treasurer)

Lauren Cerqueira
Iowa City School District
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Lauren Cerqueira (Advocacy Chair) is currently the elementary school counselor at Hills and Weber Elementary schools in the Iowa City Community School District. Previously she was a 6-12 School Counselor at Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This experience helped to provide insight into the needs of students functioning within a virtual setting, as well as during the pandemic and derecho.  She was a Middle School (6th-8th) school counselor for eight years at McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Prior to that she worked as a school counselor in Minnesota. Lauren is a graduate of Minnesota State University Mankato (MA-School Counseling and BA-Psychology). While at MSU- Mankato, she played soccer and also continued to stay in touch with her love of the game by coaching middle school soccer for both boys and girls.  Lauren believes it is important that as school counselors we use our voice to improve and advocate for all students, but especially for those whose voice is not always heard. As the advocacy chair she believes she can help lift the voices of school counselors throughout the state to bring change and resources to all districts in Iowa. Lauren's passion lies in social emotional learning, trauma informed care, restorative practices, social justice and helping students explore their many post secondary options. Lauren lives with her husband and three children. In her free time Lauren spends time with her family doing outdoor activities, crafts and playing soccer. When she gets a moment to herself she enjoys reading, grilling and traveling.

Trina Roos
Springville Elementary
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Trina Roos (Conference Chair) is Springville's Elementary School Counselor (K-6). Trina earned her BA in psychology and family services from the University of Northern Iowa. She worked in various roles at Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Iowa supporting mentoring relationships. Trina then returned to school to earn her MA in School Counseling from Concordia University Wisconsin. She is a member of the American School Counselor Association, in addition to the Iowa School Counselor Association. Her interests include camping, movies, and bargain shopping. She spends much of her time attending her children's activities and playing with her two dogs.


Jenna Hardersen
Membership Chair
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Jenna Hardersen (Membership Chair) is a counselor in Anamosa. She has been at the middle school for nine years and will be moving to the high school in Anamosa this year. She also coaches middle school volleyball and track and teaches as an adjunct professor for Buena Vista University in the Professional School Counseling Program. She received her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Child Adult and Family Services her master’s in professional school counseling from the University of Northern Iowa and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Drake University. Her doctoral research focused on growth mindsets specifically in teaching students how to preserve through challenges and focusing on personal growth. She has a passion for connecting counselors with resources and strategies to help in their day to day jobs and hopes to help ISCA in supporting new members thrive in their roles as the Membership Chair. Jenna and her husband Lee welcomed their first child Thea on March 15 and are loving every minute of watching her grow and learn. She also enjoys volunteering with the local 4-H program reading baking riding horses and spending time with her family on their farm.

Shelly Adams
Awards and Recognition Chair
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Shelly Adams (Awards and Recognition Chair)  is a Program Administrator/Communications Specialist with ISL Education Lending in West Des Moines. Her primary responsibility is managing a free email service called SP3 – Student Planning Pointers for Parents, which delivers college and career information twice-monthly to parents of eighth through 12th grade students via articles that include tips, resources and helpful prods to trigger conversations between parents and students.

Shelly was previously a financial aid administrator at both Loras College and the University of Iowa and is very active in the Iowa Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators – an organization that’s very similar to ISCA. She has a BA in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication Leadership at Drake University. This is her first time on the ISCA Board, and she is looking forward to getting to know school counselors across the state and recognizing the work they do with students.

When not working, Shelly enjoys gardening and home renovation projects, along with binge-watching Netflix and DIY shows with her new husband, Gary. They both enjoy spending time with their combined five adult children and spouses, along with Gary’s two grandchildren.

Sheila Kinyon-Johnson
Muscatine Community School District
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Sheila Kinyon-Johnson (Communications/Marketing & Newsletter Chair) is a school counselor with the Muscatine Community School District. Prior to her current occupation as a school counselor I was a high school AP Language and Literature instructor as well as a Speech and Debate coach.  Her educational background consists of attending the University of Northern Colorado where she received her B.A. in both Journalism Mass Communication and Secondary Education in Speech Communication. From there, she attended the University of Alabama for a M.A. in Human Communication (Rhetoric) and the U of Iowa for a M.A. in Counselor Education. Sheila looks forward to collaborating with ASCA and ISCA board members to deliver up-to-date information both educational and informative information for school counselors through the quarterly newsletter.

Brett Steelman
Graduate Student - Drake University
Contact Brett

Term Ends: June 2024

Brett Steelman (School Counseling Student Co-Chair) 
Brett Steelman currently serves South Hamilton Community Schools as its Elementary School Counselor. A devout believer in public education, he has worked for Iowa’s public schools for nearly 10 years in roles such as student mentor, associate, and substitute teacher. A graduate of Drake University (M.S. in School Counseling) and Luther College (B.A. in English), going hand-in-hand are his affinity for & love of equity-based practices & books. Professionally, he aims to establish and sustain healthy relationships with all stakeholders, as well as design and implement systems to facilitate stakeholder successes. 

Emily Kolsrud
Graduate Student

Term Ends: June 2025

Emily (School Counseling Student Co-Chair) Emily Kolsrud is in her first year as an elementary school counselor at Southeast Valley Community School District in Dayton, Iowa. She obtained her masters in professional school counseling through Buena Vista University ('24) and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Psychology. ('22) Emily is passionate about cultivating a complete and data-driven school counseling program with a positive academic and emotional culture.


Scotti Hagensick
Keystone AEA
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Scotti Hagensick (Ex-Officio) is a School Improvement Facilitator for SEBH and a Crisis Response Team member at Keystone AEA. Scotti earned her Master of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa and holds a Professional School Counselor K-12 license. She has served as a school counselor in Iowa at both the elementary and middle school level and is currently involved in the AEA Statewide Well-Being Task Force. Scotti lives in Waukon, IA with her husband Michael, and their twin boys, Heath and Oliver, and their twin girls, Ruth and Stella.

Brittania Morey
ICAN
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Brittania Morey (Ex-Officio) is the Vice President, Marketing and Communications for ICAN where she spends her days creating programs to help students make informed decisions about life after high school, and assisting school counselors in their role in the Career and College process through resource and curriculum development, and professional development training opportunities. As an ICAN representative she works between the two organizations on various partnership programs including the school counselor professional development webinar series and the School Counselor Resource Guide, and has previously chaired the ISCA Communications Committee. Brittania holds a Bachelor's degree in Art and Journalism from the University of Northern Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from Marylhurst College, and has worked in education for more than15 years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, movies, gardening, reading, cooking, attending concerts, and traveling to new and exciting places.


Erica Woods-Schmitz
Iowa Department of Education

Erica Woods-Schmitz (Interim Ex-Officio) joined the Iowa Department of Education in June of 2022 as an Educational Consultant within the CTE and Community College Division working with career and academic planning. Within her career in education, she has worked in K-12 as a high school counselor and teacher as well as in postsecondary education supporting internship experiences through a university career center and as part of a team supporting career academies at the community college level.

Danielle Sampson
Bureau of Iowa College Aid
Contact Danielle

Danielle Sampson (Ex-Officio) is a Community Engagement Consultant with the Bureau of Iowa College Aid. She co-coordinates the statewide Course to College program. Course to College is an all-encompassing program to support high schools in creating a college-going culture through five steps: prepare, apply, finance, decide, and go. Previously, Danielle was a high school counselor at Camanche High School in Camanche, IA, as well as a College and Career Transition Counselor with Eastern Iowa Community College serving Camanche and Northeast high schools. Danielle's passion has always been connected to the work that school counselors in Iowa do, and she hopes that she can continue to support Iowa's growth in these areas. Danielle is compassionate about supporting students' post-secondary intentions, holding true to the understanding that "College Changes Everything".  Danielle holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Master's degrees in Instructional Strategist 1 from the Morningside College and Professional School Counseling from Concordia University of Wisconsin. In her free time, you can catch Danielle taxiing her children around to their many activities such as football, basketball, gymnastics, tennis, theater, and singing. She enjoys traveling with her family, listening to crime junkie podcasts, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, and relaxing on the couch watching her favorite television shows!

Contact  Us
Phone: (515) 282-8192
Email: info@iaschoolcounselor.org
Address:
6919 Vista Drive
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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