The CharacterStrong Podcast: Weekly conversations for anyone in education. CharacterStrong is an organization that provides curricula and trainings for schools internationally. Our trainings help educators infuse character and social-emotional learning into the daily fabric of any classroom or campus. Our curricula focus on character development in order to help students cultivate social-emotional skills, their emotional intelligence, and help them develop a stronger identity and purpose in school and in the world. For more information visit our website: characterstrong.com
Identifying & Intentionally Supporting Students Who Are Often Unseen - Kelly Mountjoy
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18:34Today our guest is Kelly Mountjoy, Professional School Counselor at Parkhill Junior High in Richardson ISD in TX. And Kelly is also the 2023 Lone Star School Counselor of the Year. We talk to Kelly about a collaborative system they have implemented to identify and support underrepresented student populations to take advanced level classes. Kelly explains the heart behind the program, some of the roadblocks that students were experiencing, and how they help to support students to overcome these roadblocks. She shares how this has impacted student confidence, and the culture across the district. Kelly also talks about how the program has increased advance class sign ups overall and advanced science class participation by 1800%. Learn More About CharacterStrong: Visit the CharacterStrong Website Access FREE Curriculum Samples Attend our next live product preview Kelly Mountjoy is a school counselor at Parkhill Junior High in Richardson ISD. She has 20 years of experience in education, 10 of which have been spent as a school counselor. Inspired by her high school math teacher, Kelly attended Texas A&M University where she received her degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Mathematics. Kelly began her teaching career at Parkhill Junior High as a mathematics teacher/coach and then taught mathematics at Berkner High School where she was also a softball coach and Bell Guard sponsor. In 2011, Kelly was awarded the Innovations in STEM Teaching Award from Texas Instruments Foundation. Passionate about helping students academically, socially and emotionally, Kelly attended Lamar University and received her master’s degree in School Counseling. Kelly returned to Parkhill Junior High where she has been a school counselor to 7th and 8th grade students for the past 10 years. She was named the Secondary School Counselor of the Year for Richardson ISD in 2022 and Texas School Counselor of the Year in 2023. Kelly attended Kindergarten through high school in Richardson ISD schools. She has been married to her husband, Bart, for 11 years and they have four children together, Sloane (7), Reese (5), Bear (3), and Sawyer (1).
Leading With Empathy - Greg Moffitt
21:05Today our guest is Greg Moffitt, the Director of Principal Development for the District of Columbia Public Schools. We talk to Greg about leading with empathy and how empathy connects to the greater work of education. He talks about why empathy matters, and how we need to be curious about people, who they are, and the place that they are coming from. Greg shares that empathy is a skill that can be practiced and developed daily, and that we need to build on this skill before problems arise. He also shares that as leaders it’s hard to truly support people or hold them accountable without empathy. Learn More About CharacterStrong: Visit the CharacterStrong Website Access FREE Curriculum Samples Attend our next live product preview Greg Moffitt is a dad, husband, school leader, and all-around education geek. A former school principal, assistant principal, student activities director, classroom teacher, and educational aide, Greg believes that schools can help change the world and make it a better place. Greg is currently the Director of Principal Development for the District of Columbia Public Schools where he works with school leaders to foster equity-centered leadership and practices. A graduate of Brown University with degrees in Education, History and Policy and a Master of Arts in Teaching, Greg lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, their teenage daughter, and the family dog. When not outside exploring National Parks, Greg enjoys good food and movie marathons.
What Is Needed For A Full Tier 3 Solution? - Dr. Clay Cook
17:10Today we talk with CharacterStrong's Chief Development Officer Dr. Clay Cook about what’s needed for a full Tier 3 Solution. He lays out 4 critical parts when it comes to tier 3: a process, personalized interventions, good data tools, and professional development. Dr. Cook explains that Tier 3 isn’t just interventions but it’s a system of personalized, data-driven supports that are activated based on the student needs. He also emphasizes the need for strong, effective, professional development that support our teams and help them become confident as they work to provide Tier 3 supports. Learn More: Register for our next Tier 3 Product Preview Get the latest updates about CharacterStrong's Tier 3 Solution Register for our FREE Webinar: Why Schools Struggle with Tier 3 Supports
NSCW 2024: Get Others’ KNOWS In Your Business - Jason Thompson
16:00Today our guest is Jason Thompson, a school counselor and school counseling coordinator. He also serves as an adjunct professor for several local universities and won the “Adjunct of the Year” award in 2019. We talk with Jason about how schools can collaborate with their communities to better serve students while also recognizing the work school counselors do as they connect students and families to different community resources. He also shares specific ways his school has utilized data and intentionally built in community circle time to support the whole child and check in with students. Learn More: Join us for a live preview of the new CharacterStrong Tier 3 Solution Get FREE School Counseling Week Resources Visit the CharacterStrong Website
NSCW 2024: Breaking Up Tasks To Build Up Whole School Systemic Change - Scott Miyagi
13:39Today our guest is Scott Miyagi who currently serves as a Student Services Coordinator in Hawaii after serving as a school counselor for several years. We talk with Scott about the value of having different minds and perspectives at the table and how he works collaboratively with school counselors and teachers to ensure the learning environment is conducive to supporting all students. He shares how he communicates with teachers and parents to create an effective teaming process to bring in student voice and break up pieces of the support to include multiple members of the students’ community. He explains how working collaboratively to support with whole school systemic change supports students with generalizing the behaviors they are learning. Scott also discusses the importance of maintaining joy in the midst of the work and the importance of connection. Learn More: Join us for a live preview of the new CharacterStrong Tier 3 Solution Get FREE School Counseling Week Resources Visit the CharacterStrong Website
NSCW 2024: Keep It Simple - John Burnett
12:49We are joined by John Burnett who explains whole child advocacy and creative steps he has taken to support the whole child. He shares how he created a social media poll to gather data and how he used the data to create a school-wide mental health fair that involved teachers, families, and other community partners. He walks through the steps he took to put the fair together and encourages school counselors to find simple, creative solutions to support students as you continue to plant seeds that will make a lifelong impact. Learn More: Join us for a live preview of the new CharacterStrong Tier 3 Solution Get FREE School Counseling Week Resources Visit the CharacterStrong Website
NSCW 2024 - School Counselors: Adaptable, Impactful, And Uniquely Positioned - Dr. Yuri Nava & Dr. Dawn Mann
32:40Dr. Yuri Nava and Dr. Dawn Mann kick off National School Counseling Week by diving into a discussion about the powerful and important work of school counselors. They explain some of the shifts that have surfaced in the school counseling profession as a result of the changes that have happened within our students these past few years. They also share the need to measure the effectiveness of our newer interventions and highlight the importance of acknowledging the generational characteristics of our students. They describe the way Gen Z accesses information as social learners. Dr. Nava and Dr. Mann break down the need to push the school counseling program outside of the counseling walls and acknowledge the strength that lies within the ASCA National Model as well as within school counselors. Learn More: Get FREE School Counseling Week Resources Sign up for the School Counseling Summit Join us for a live preview of the new CharacterStrong Tier 3 Solution
Why Schools Struggle With Tier 3 Supports - Dr. Clay Cook
20:07Today we talk with CharacterStrong's Chief Development Officer Dr. Clay Cook about why Schools Struggle with Tier 3 Supports. He outlines 3 basic reasons that schools and districts encounter roadblocks as they implement Tier 3. Dr. Cook dives into solutions to help overcome them such as increasing educator confidence, shifting the internal locus of control, and quality professional development. He also shares about the importance of teams coming together to consistently providing proactive, preventative Tier 3 supports, and how being proactive can positively impact a school system. Learn More: Register for our next Tier 3 Product Preview Get the latest updates about CharacterStrong's Tier 3 Solution Register for our FREE Webinar: Why Schools Struggle with Tier 3 Supports
What happens When Tier 1 And 2 Supports Aren’t Enough? - Dr. Clay Cook
19:34Today we talk with CharacterStrong's Chief Development Officer, Dr. Clay Cook about what needs to happen when Tier 1 and 2 Supports aren’t enough. He explains that when Tier 1 & 2 supports are lacking, a lot of students can look like they are in need of Tier 3 supports. As schools begin to work towards implementing Tier 3 supports, Dr. Cook emphasizes the need for clear responsibilities and streamlined decision making. He also stresses the importance of providing staff with low burden, high impact resources and quality professional development to effectively help students with greater needs. Learn More About CharacterStrong: Get the latest updates about CharacterStrong's Tier 3 Solution Register for our FREE Webinar: Why Schools Struggle with Tier 3 Supports Visit the CharacterStrong Website
Infusing CharacterStrong Into Your School District - Liz Ritz
27:31Today our guest is Liz Ritz the Director of Teaching and Learning, at Oak Harbor Public Schools. We talk to Liz about her experience infusing CharacterStrong throughout the Oak Harbor district, and she shares difference between implementing with fidelity and integrity. Liz highlights the importance of building relationships in meetings, professional development, and one-on-one sessions with staff.. She also explains how having a Tier 1 program has laid a strong foundation as they proactively support students and how this foundation has helped as they begin to roll out Tier 2 supports. Learn More About CharacterStrong: Visit the CharacterStrong Website Access Curriculum Samples Attend a live product preview Liz Ritz is the Director of Teaching & Learning in Oak Harbor Public Schools located on beautiful Whidbey Island in Washington State. This is Liz's fifth year in this role and her twenty-fourth year in education. Prior to working in Oak Harbor, Liz served in the Bellevue School District as a paraeducator, teacher, instructional coach, principal, and Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Liz recently earned her Superintendent credential and is actively working on completing the last two chapters of her Doctoral Dissertation. Outside of her educational role, Liz is actively involved in the rugby community and enjoys spending time with her family, specifically watching both daughters, ages 17 and 12, compete on the rugby pitch.