289 episodes

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

The CharacterStrong Podcast CharacterStrong

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 409 Ratings

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

    Focusing On The Whole Child

    Focusing On The Whole Child

    CharacterStrong Co-Founder John Norlin shares an experience from a past training, and talks about why we can't wait to infuse social & emotional learning and character development into the daily fabric of our schools.

    • 9 min
    School Counselors: Impacting Student Achievement Within Our Schools - Angela Shanahan & Karen Devine

    School Counselors: Impacting Student Achievement Within Our Schools - Angela Shanahan & Karen Devine

    Today our guests are Angela Shanahan & Karen Devine, School Counselors in Chicago Public Schools. We talk about the impact that comprehensive, data-informed school counseling programs have with students at their schools and across the district. They also share what they have learned leading schools thru the Recognized ASCA Model Program process, and the impact and benefits of becoming RAMP recognized.
    Angela Shanahan is a school counselor in a neighborhood high school in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with experience at the middle school, high school and district level. It was during her CPS internship in 2011 that she was first introduced to the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) application process, with the high school receiving the award. Then after transitioning to a middle school and getting a few years under her belt, she decided to RAMP again. Through these experiences, Angela was able to network with counselors from other schools and better understand the impact we can make at a district level. 
    Angela has been an ASCA RAMP reviewer for over four years and works as a Co-RAMP Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools with Karen Devine. In their second year as coordinators, they streamlined the supports for schools in their RAMP pipeline. Angela is also an adjunct professor at her alma-mata, Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches Foundations of School Counseling to first year graduate students. During her spare time, she enjoys being active and spending time with her husband and three young children.
    Today our guests are Angela Shanahan & Karen Devine, School Counselors in Chicago Public Schools. We talk about the impact that comprehensive, data-informed school counseling programs have with students at their schools and across the district. They also share what they have learned leading schools thru the Recognized ASCA Model Program process, and the impact and benefits of becoming RAMP recognized.
    Karen Devine has been a passionate teacher, counselor, coach, and district leader in the Chicago Public Schools for 30 years. She leads with the mantra, “be gentle with your children, for they will teach their children”, which she has written on a cloth embroidered by her Grandmother. While working as a high school counselor in the second most-populated school in the district, Karen has been able to transform the school counseling program to provide equitable access for students with long-term, successful results.
    In addition to being a practicing high school counselor, and leading her school through its fourth RAMP application, Karen also serves as the District’s Co-RAMP Coordinator with Angela Shanahan. Through innovative Tier 1, 2, and 3 practices, along with a cultivated resource guide, Karen has helped the District revitalize counseling programs at both the elementary and high school levels. Karen and Angela have presented about their work at the district, state, and national levels.
    As a running coach and yoga instructor, Karen emphasizes the mind/body connection within her counseling philosophy. Through creative drills, movement, walk-and-talk, and art therapy, students learn to be a proactive partner in realizing their potential.

    • 17 min
    The Impact Of Middle School & High School Activities - Petra Davis-Johnson

    The Impact Of Middle School & High School Activities - Petra Davis-Johnson

    Today our guest is Petra Davis, Activities Director for Tesoro High school in Las Flores, CA. We talk to Petra about the lessons that she has learned going from being an advisor at a middle school to being at a high school, while also at the same time walking alongside students during COVID. Petra also shares some of the realities of where students are at today and the intentionality that is needed in project based learning to best serve

    Petra Davis-Johnson, has been an educator for 31 years.  She taught middle school science for 29 years before moving into her current administrative position, serving as the Activities Director for Tesoro High school in Las Flores, CA for the past two years.   At the middle school level, Petra spent 23 years as the activities director for Las Flores Middle School.  Her middle school students fed into the same high school where she is now, providing both Petra and the students some familiarity as they embarked on their new high school adventure in the time of COVID.   During her transition from middle to high school, she was named the 2021 Warren E. Shull Middle Level Advisor of the year for her work in fostering student leadership development.

    • 17 min
    Culturally Sustaining Connections - Laura Ross

    Culturally Sustaining Connections - Laura Ross

    Today our guest is Laura Ross, Middle School Counselor & 2020 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) School Counselor of the Year. We talk to Laura about the importance of authentic, culturally sustaining connections with students and that it starts with building awareness first and then taking the intentional action steps needed to build true authentic connection.


    Laura Ross is the lead counselor at Five Forks Middle School in Lawrenceville, Georgia where her focus is connecting with students to connect them to their education. She has been a school counselor for almost 16 years. Laura was an elementary school counselor for 8 years and is in her 8th year as a middle school counselor. She has presented at district, state, and national levels on creating school wide teacher-student connections, integrating academics into counseling lessons, using technology and data in school counseling, creating counseling lessons with a social justice and equity lens, and more. Laura’s school counseling blog about creating connections with students at www.theconnectingcounselor.com, will be back from hiatus in 2022 along with a brand new YouTube channel. Laura was the 2020 American School Counselor Association (ASCA) School Counselor of the Year. She serves on the Georgia School Counselor Association (GSCA) Executive Board as President-Elect and is a leader in her school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, collaborating on committees with focuses on middle school counselor professional development, civic engagement, social-emotional learning, teen lures curriculum, student discipline, and equity. She is also a Counselors for Computing consultant and Girl Talk DEI Committee member. Connect with Laura on Twitter: @LRossSchCnslr

    • 17 min
    The Power Of School Connectedness: Bringing All Students, Staff, And Parents Together To Achieve Goals - Ashley Wright

    The Power Of School Connectedness: Bringing All Students, Staff, And Parents Together To Achieve Goals - Ashley Wright

    Today our guest is Ashley Wright an Elementary School Counselor at Lucille J. Bradley Elementary, in Spring Texas. We talk to Ashley about school connectedness and the transformation that it can have in our schools when we all work together. Ashley talks about the importance of relationships and shares that even though we have differences when we come to the table with families it can have a huge impact in the lives of the students we serve.
     
    Born and raised in Houston, TX, Ashley Wright went through undergraduate studies as an Education Major at Sam Houston State University as well graduate studies as a Professional School Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. She currently serves as an elementary school counselor in Conroe ISD at Lucille J. Bradley Elementary. She has been an educator for the past 13 years and a school counselor for the past 4 years. Ashley was recently awarded as a 2022 American School Counselor Association School Counselor of the Year Finalist. Ashley Wright teaches students to accept diversity, increase their self-esteem, build character, and maintain resilience. Ashley continues to implement a diverse comprehensive counseling program that is dedicated to meeting the needs of her students, staff, and the community. From weekly counseling lessons, student leadership opportunities, parent education shows, and student achievement awards, Ashley brings enthusiasm and campus engagement throughout the entire school year. As an advocate for the school counseling profession, Ashley has also presented several national webinars with the national WhyTry program and Region Education Centers with counseling program implementation ideas, tools, and strategies to increase student attendance and engagement, and school counselor self-care. Overall, Ashley continues to influence other professional school counselors in their role and strives to create change in our education system

    • 20 min
    Meeting Students Right Where They Are At - Hillary Craw

    Meeting Students Right Where They Are At - Hillary Craw

    We talk to Hillary about blended learning programs and how this hybrid classroom helps to meet the different needs of students. She talks about some of the struggles that students are facing in this season and gives a few ways that they are helping students re-engage in relationships. Hillary also shares how teachers are creatively using CharacterStrong lessons during shorter one-on-one check-ins with students.

    Hilary Craw has been a school counselor with Redlands eAcademy in Redlands Unified School District for the past six and a half years. Before that, she worked as a school counselor for Redlands High school in Redlands Unified from 2008-2010, as an Admissions Counselor for University of Redlands from 2011-2013, and as the Hospital Outreach Manager for The Painted Turtle, a camp for kids with serious medical conditions, from 2013-2015. Through her work as a school counselor and also her volunteer work as a camp counselor with The Painted Turtle and Camp Good Grief, Hilary has cemented her belief that each child matters, is important and has the ability to contribute, no matter what challenges, setbacks, diagnoses, or struggles they face. But in order to do this, they need to be seen and heard by their peers and the important adults in their lives. She also believes wholeheartedly in the power of laughter and humor to heal and to connect with others. Hilary’s favorite day is when a student seeks her out to share a pun or a joke with her. In fact, Hilary means cheerful and she always tries to live up to that.

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
409 Ratings

409 Ratings

JoelleLD ,

Great resource!

Thank you for bringing both research based and practical information to us to support us and our students!

Steph J @SW ,

May 7th 2021 episode

So thankful for the work that is being done at Character Strong. I listen to each episode on my way to work in the mornings, and the episode today is just so relevant for our school. We are absolutely trying to prepare students for jobs that have yet to be created. Thank you for providing such useful content!

PreK33 ,

Thank you!

Thank you to Character Strong for inviting me to be a guest on this podcast. I has been a honor and privilege! It is my hope and prayer that through my story others will share theirs.

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