2023-2024 Candidates

GSCA is pleased to announce the nominees for GSCA Officers and Directors for the 2023-2024 year. Information regarding each nominee follows. GSCA Members are encouraged to read the candidates' information, watch their candidate video, and vote for the future of GSCA from November 9 until 5 pm on December 1, 2022

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President-Elect

ROBIN ZORN, GWINNETT COUNTY SCHOOLS

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is an organization that empowers school counselors to be the very best SCHOOL COUNSELORS they can be by providing strong leadership and direction, relevant professional development, an impactful voice at the state and national levels, meaningful collaborative opportunities, and the tools needed to support student success.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

There is a quote from Marc Anthony, “If you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” This is school counseling for me!

My name is Robin Zorn and I am running for GSCA President-Elect. Currently, I am in my 29th year as an elementary school counselor in Gwinnett County, and a day doesn’t go by that I don’t wake up excited to go to school and do what I do! Having been a member of GSCA for over 25 years, I have had the opportunity to grow as a leader and advocate for school counselors by meeting with State Superintendents, presenting to the Georgia Legislative House Committee, serving on DOE Committees, and addressing the House Floor. My first GSCA leadership position was Professional Recognition Co-Chair in 2005 and then Professional Recognition Chair in 2006. I was then the Career Development Chair and the RAMP Initiative Chair. In 2013, I served on the State Counselor Performance Evaluation Committee creating the Counselor KEYS. I then became the CKES Chair for GSCA from 2014-2016 and again in 2018. I served on the Executive Board twice during these years as the 2nd Vice President responsible for the Beacon in 2008 and then again as the Administrative Liaison in 2020. In 2016, I was the Professional Development Chair and in 2019 and 2021, I served on two GSCA Conference Teams. Today, I continue to train counselors and administrators throughout Georgia on the Counselor KEYS as well as the ASCA Model.

My greatest honor in my career was representing all of you as the 2014 ASCA National School Counselor of the Year! In that same year I received the “Spirit of Good Living Award” from the City of Duluth, the “Champion of Peer Helping Award” from the National Association of Peer Program Professionals, and the House Resolution number 1242 from the Georgia House of Representatives. And in 2015, I was named GSCA Writer of the Year. Earlier, I was named the Gwinnett County Elementary Counselor of the Year, Region II Counselor of the Year, GSCA Elementary Counselor of the Year, and GSCA State Counselor of the Year. And one award that I am very proud of is the ASCA RAMP Award. This year, our school is Re-RAMPing for the FOURTH time!

Another area that supports my qualifications is professional development. I can remember my very first GSCA Conference I attended in 1993 as an intern from Georgia State University. I was in awe of all the presenters as well as the wealth of knowledge I gained from each session. It was then that I decided to jump in and pay it forward by presenting on “Team-Building Activities” in 1994 as a first year school counselor. Since then I have presented at fall conference pretty much every year on topics such as “Fresh Ideas for School Counselors,” “Legislative Issues in School Counseling,” “An Essential Piece to RTI,” “The ASCA Model,” “STEP-UP to Better Grades” (two books I published), “Advocacy: Keeping Everyone in the Know,” and more. I have also had the opportunity of presenting at the ASCA National Conference on “STEP-UP to Better Grades” in 2008, “Positive Peer Programs” with my husband (who is a middle school counselor) in 2014, “Tools for Academic, Social Emotional, and Career Domains” in 2018, and “Collaborative Relationships to Build Student Success” with my principal and counseling partner in 2022.

I would not be the school counselor I am today without the support and guidance of the Georgia School Counselor Association. It is my hope to be the best servant leader I can be by advocating for each and every one of you and providing you with the same support and guidance that has been given to me. It would be my honor to be your 2024-2025 GSCA President."

If elected, what two goals would you like to accomplish during your term?

As well as continue the amazing work done by previous presidents, I’d like to increase the percentage of schools using CKES as an evaluation tool. This focuses on the ASCA Model and it supports appropriate counseling activities. Second, I’d like to concentrate on relevant professional development to support student success.

Experience

In addition to GSCA, I implemented and coordinated a County-wide ES Peer Leadership Conference for 10 years. At times, we had over 65 schools represented with almost 1300 in attendance. All these experiences allowed me to hone my skills as a leader and serve the counselors and students of Georgia.

Why should GSCA members vote for you?

With the years of school counseling leadership experience I bring to the profession, I feel this positions me to advocate for and lead the members of GSCA. School counseling is forever changing and I am committed to serving you… so you can serve and support the children of Georgia.

President-Elect

MYESHA DAVIS, HILLGROVE HIGH SCHOOL 

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is to continue to provide meaningful and impactful professional learning opportunities for School Counselors statewide. I also envision a GSCA where all School Counselors are members, thus bridging the gap between rural and urban School Counselors. Every School Counseling program should feel that they are ready to meet the needs of their students and the communities in which they live.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

I am Myesha Davis and I am running for the position of GSCA President-Elect. I have been a member of ASCA and GSCA since 2012. I currently serve as a Lead RAMP Reviewer for ASCA. For the last four years, I have served GSCA as the Professional Recognition Chair, Secondary Director, and Secretary. This is my 20th year in education and 10th year as a School Counselor having earned my Master of Science in School Counseling degree from Mississippi State University. My dedication to my students, their families, and my school community is the reason why I want to serve GSCA in this capacity. Not only am I a strong leader, but I am just as strong of a team member. The work that we do as School Counselors is thankless to so many, but my intention is always to let my peers know that the work that they do will impact generations to come. Every day I advocate in some capacity for my students and our profession. Allow me the opportunity to expand my advocacy statewide.

If elected, what two goals would you like to accomplish during your term?

During my term, two of my goals would be to:
1. Enhance our opportunities for leadership throughout the state for School Counselors on all levels, and
2. Continue to provide professional learning opportunities in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice

Experience

I have served on Executive Boards and Leadership Teams for several years: GSCA (5), CSCA (8), and my local chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (15). Through these positions, I have honed my communication skills, self-awareness, and focus on helping others develop into leaders.

Why should GSCA members vote for you?

I have the best interest of School Counselors and the children of the State of Georgia at the forefront of all my work. I am action-oriented and as a team player, I welcome the ideas of my peers to help me make our organization the model for others to follow.


Secretary

Dr. DEMARIS D CULLEN, MARY LEE CLARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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Vision for GSCA

GSCA will lead the the nation in school counseling professional development, advocay and social justice for our profession, our collegues and our students.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

I am Demaris Cullen and I am running for GSCA Secretary. I have been a member of GSCA for at least 20 years. Without a doubt, GSCA has been a driving force behind state and national reform for our profession for many years. My past positions include Region Chair (twice) and Southern Director and I wish to continue to be a part of this organization's legacy. As a servant leader with roots firmly planted in rural school counseling, I will advocate for both my colleagues and our students. I want GSCA to continue our tradition of excellence in leadership, advocacy and social justice and ask for your vote.


Finance Committee (Past President)

MARIA GROVNER, ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT 

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Vision for GSCA

To continue providing 5 star service for school counselors across the state and to increase awareness with administrators and other stakeholders about the need to implement a comprehensive school counseling program.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

Having served as GSCA Treasurer/Finance Committee Chair for multiple years, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to serve the association again on the Finance Committee. My goal is that through our funding practices that we are able to become a strong financial organization that will be able to offer members innovative programs and initiatives to enhance the profession.


Finance Committee (General Member)

LAKISHA BONNER, FAYETTE COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is to be a resource for school counseling professionals, providing networking opportunities, continuing education, professional development, and policy making in an effort to advance the profession of school counseling.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

I am Lakisha Bonner, the Coordinator of Counseling and Career Development for Fayette County Public Schools. A committed, resourceful professional with proven ability to set and maintain high expectations for all students; who utilizes data for decision making, manages organizational processes, collaborates with leadership team, and is self-reflective in an effort to continually improvement. I’ve built and maintained a successful career as a result of my ability to work enthusiastically with school staff and school counselors in an effort to ensure students are college and career ready. I will bring those skills to the finance committee as I assist in providing financial oversight for the association.

Finance Committee (General Member)

cRYSTAL HOLT, CAIRO HIGH SCHOOL 

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is to continue offering a safe space for all school counselors, counselor educators, and school counseling students to grow professionally and expand their knowledge. I want GSCA to continue being the voice of GA counselors, providing quality professional development, networking opportunities, and advocacy for the profession in order to continue to promote social justice and systemic change efforts.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

My name is Crystal Holt and I am running for the position of finance committee general member. I have been a part of GSCA for the past 7 years and have been active in leadership roles since 2018. I have also been a member of ASCA for the past 12 years. As a 13 year school counselor, I have served at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision and plan to be done with this in December 2023. As the finance committee member, it is my goal to ensure that the organization continues to uphold its vision by implementing funding in areas necessary to advance the school counseling profession in our state. As the finance committee member, I will work with other members of the executive committee to ensure that funding is being allocated to the most effective areas to propel our organization and members forward.


Secondary Director

Dr. CEDRIC COOKS, GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is to support its continued growth in membership and to provide evidence-based resources that will help facilitate the professional growth and development of counselors across the state.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

Dr. Cedric Cooks is a school counselor at Norcross High School in Gwinnett County Public Schools. He joined the team in August of 2016 after relocating from Mississippi. Cedric received his doctorate in professional counseling from Mississippi College in Clinton, MS. He also is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Mississippi and Georgia, National Certified Counselor (NCC), and National Certified School Counselor (NCSC). He has 22 years of experience in the field of education, 14 years as a school counselor. He also serves as an adjunct
instructor in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation, and Psychometric Services at his alma mater, Jackson State University.

Since transitioning to Georgia, Cedric has wasted no time with getting involved in local and state organizations. Cedric has served on GSCA Leadership Team since 2018. He has served as the Secondary Liaison for two years, providing resources that are relevant and useful for secondary counselors throughout the state. Currently, he has served as GSCA Mentoring Chair, and is currently serving on the Executive Board as Secondary Director. Additionally, Cedric has served on the Gwinnett County Public Schools High School Steering Committee as the chair. This
committee is composed of high school counselors throughout the county who work collaboratively to provide their colleagues with professional development opportunities that will support them in their work with students.

In an effort to stay abreast of the current trends in the counseling profession, Cedric is involved in many professional organizations: American Counseling Association, American Counseling Association of Georgia, American School Counseling Association, Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development, Chi Sigma Iota, and Georgia School Counseling Association.

These professional affiliations support him in his personal and professional development as well as prepare him to support others in their own professional development. He also delivers local and state presentations and attends local, state and national conferences, both virtually and face-to-face.


Metro Director

Laura Spencer, Ivy Creek Elementary School 

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Vision for GSCA

My vision for GSCA is to continue to support School Counselors across the state of Georgia. In supporting counselors, I believe it is important to be a servant leader, and to empower and equip counselors to be change agents in their schools and profession. I believe that when we synergize, we are able to support all students in Georgia by implementing developmental, data driven school counseling programs.

Statement on Goals and Qualifications

Hi, I am Laura Spencer, proud School Counselor at Ivy Creek Elementary since 2005 and began my journey as a school counselor in Gwinnett county in 2002. Prior to becoming a school counselor, I worked in the mental health field for four years serving the addicted population. I earned my LPC in 2002 and have worked in private practice some throughout my career. I am passionate about school counseling and feel that we have an amazing opportunity to help change the trajectory of students lives. I have served both at the local and state level to ensure that school counselors have a voice. I joined GSCA in 2007 and have served as Metro Director, Secretary and Finance Committee General Member. I am passionate about being a bridge for schools and the community and have successfully implemented various mentor programs including the Suwanee Police Department, Gwinnett County Fire Department and most recently Kids Hope USA. I was honored to receive the 2016 Outstanding 21C3 Program Award in Gwinnett County, named the 2020 Gwinnett County Elementary School Counselor of the Year and the 2020 GSCA School Counselor of the Year 1st Runner up.


Elementary Director

No Nomination Received


Central Director

No Nomination Received


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