Executive Director Update: Organizational Values, National School Counseling Week, & Partnerships

As we enter mid-February, and despite the challenging weather, it never stops amazing me how fast the days seem to pass. CIESC continues to dedicate itself to serving and supporting Indiana educators and students.

Organizational Values

Recently, the CIESC team had the opportunity to complete an important activity to identify our organizational values.  This process, which was very rewarding, identified the following values:

  • Acting with Integrity
  • Serving and Respecting All
  • Supporting Authenticity
  • Focusing on Quality
  • Innovating to Meet Needs

These organizational values are critical in our decision-making and in guiding how we serve and support Indiana educators and students.

National School Counseling Week

The week of February 7-11 was National School Counseling Week.  As a former school counselor, I truly understand the value school counselors provide to students, their families, and their schools.  Honoring and supporting our student service professionals is the reason CIESC created Counselor Connect over a year ago.  

Counselor Connect provides professional development and networking opportunities for all Indiana student service professionals.  The initiative is led by Amanda Culhan, who spent 11 years as the school counseling specialist for the Indiana Department of Education.  Under Amanda’s leadership, four tactic teams have been created with nearly 90 Indiana student service professionals involved and providing input and feedback on how Counselor Connect can best serve and support Indiana’s student service professionals.  Some tactic team members are also contributors to Counselor Connect and/or recommend Indiana’s best practitioners who can contribute to Counselor Connect.

Counselor Connect Tactic Teams and Chairs

  • Comprehensive School Counseling 
    • Rachel Bauer – Indiana Online Program Specialist – CIESC
    • Lizette Bauman – School Counselor – Fishers High School
    • Sam Vidal – School Counselor – Zionsville Middle School
  • Post-Secondary Options
    • Andy Melin – Executive Director – CIESC
    • Allen Hill – Executive Director – Indiana School Counselor Association
  • Social-Emotional Learning
    • Amanda Culhan – Counselor Connect Coordinator
    • Kim Kile – Director of Counseling – Greenfield-Central
    • Brooke Lawson – Mental Health and School Counselor Coordinator – Hamilton Southeastern
  • Student and Family Advocacy
    • Dawn Meadows – Program Specialist – Indiana Online – CIESC
    • Lisa Laug – Director of Counseling – Greenwood High School

If you are not already connected, please visit our Counselor Connect website to see the resources and professional learning opportunities available.  You can also sign-up for our monthly Counselor Connect newsletter.  Please let us know if you would like to participate as a tactic team member by emailing Amanda Culhan.   Understanding how busy student service professionals are, tactic team members are engaged only about six-10 hours per year.  

Counselor Connect is proud to partner with both the Indiana School Counselor Association and the Indiana School Social Work Association.


CIESC recently created a Partnerships’ Department led by Dr. Christy Hilton. Christy is currently providing partnership support to the Wilson Education Center, the four school districts in Ripley County, and coordinating vendor partnerships on behalf of the Educational Service Centers of Indiana (ESC of I).  

In her role coordinating vendor partnerships for ESC of I, Christy facilitates regular meetings of a Partnerships’ team that includes representatives from all of Indiana’s educational service centers and is responsible for vetting potential partners.

Currently, 13 statewide partnerships have been finalized with many more in the pipeline. All statewide vendor partnerships bring Indiana school districts discounted pricing. If a district is considering a software or curriculum solution, they should contact Christy so she can advise and assure the district gets the best possible pricing. Please take a moment to visit the ESC of I Partnerships web page to see how your district may be able to benefit.  

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