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K-State Today

April 12, 2018

Activist, ALICE training headline annual school counseling camp

By Patrice L. Scott

Building the Future in the Little Apple camp for school counselors.

Registration is open and nationally recognized keynote speakers are scheduled for the fifth annual camp for school counselors May 29-30 at Manhattan's Hilton Garden Inn. 

The theme for this year's conference is "Building the Future in the Little Apple." The camp was established in 2014 and attracts more than 350 school counselors from across Kansas and neighboring states. This year's conference includes school safety ALICE training, an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, breakout sessions and speakers Erin Merryn, Rich Feller and guest presenter Jill Cook, associate director of American School Counselor Association, or ASCA. A select number of rooms are available at special pricing until April 28 or until they are sold out and registration details are available online. This conference is open to any educator and discounted rates are available for future teachers. 

Keynote speaker includes Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor who broke her silence at the age of 13, championed the self-titled Erin's Law that has been adopted in 31 states as of July 2017. It is the nation's first child sexual abuse prevention education law requiring children be educated in schools, and President Barack Obama signed the federal version in December 2015 that provided federal funding for schools to use. Release of those funds is still pending. 

Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs and conference organizer, believes this professional development event provides unprecedented value for participants while demonstrating the importance of passion and advocacy. 

"We are excited about the opportunity to hear Erin, a dynamic and incredibly brave activist who has made it her personal and professional crusade to protect and save children from trauma — specifically sexual abuse. Her voice has been heard loud and clear throughout our nation promoting and advocating for the first sexual abuse prevention education law." 

Rich Feller, University of Colorado distinguished professor, international consultant and author, also will present. Feller is a licensed professional counselor, certified career counselor and job transition and career development coach.

His expansive body of work includes three books, four-film series, the Career Decision Making System — print, internet and career assessment program used by more than 14 million people — stemcareer.com, and board game "Who You Are Matters." A fellow with the National Career Development Association, or NCDA, and recipient of the association's Eminent Career Award, Feller has served on numerous editorial boards. He is currently a thought leader for AARP's Life Reimagined, chief scientist for YouScience, co-owner of Valer Productions and One Life Tools, and President of Rich Feller & Associates.

"We look forward to having Dr. Rich Feller present a keynote at the school counseling camp," Hughey said. "He is an engaging and inspiring keynote speaker who is internationally recognized for his unique expertise in career development and career transitions." 

Randy Watson, Kansas commissioner of education, also will address conference attendees. As the state's chief education officer, Watson provides leadership to the Kansas State Department of Education in carrying out the policies and programs prescribed by the Kansas State Board of Education and in ensuring that oversight and support are provided to assist Kansas schools, educators, and students in achieving their goals.

For more information, please visit the website for details.

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