September 14, 2023

Professor Heather Hadraba Elected to Oregon School Counseling Leadership Role

The Oregon School Counselors Association (OSCA) serves the needs of Oregon’s school counselors by providing resources and training; advocating for equity, ethical practices, and professional identity; focusing public attention on legislation impacting school counseling work; and promoting development and implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs.

Professor Heather Hadraba Professor Heather HadrabaThe Oregon School Counselors Association (OSCA) has announced the results of their 2023 leadership elections, and Professor Heather Hadraba, School Counseling Professor and Program Director at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, has won her seat on the board. Hadraba will serve as Director from 2023-2026.

“I am proud to call myself a Professional School Counselor and I am humbled to have been elected to serve,” says Hadraba in her election statement. “I listen deeply to others and engage in open dialogue when approaching any new project or adventure. I will bring enthusiasm to my work with the board.”

OSCA’s mission is to serve the needs of Oregon School Counselors by providing professional school counselors with resources and training; collaborating with all stakeholders to advocate for equity, ethical practices, and professional identity regarding the role of school counseling; disseminating information and focusing public attention on legislation impacting school counseling work; and promoting development and implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs. The organization is run by all volunteer-leaders who are working professionals in the field of school counseling.

Hadraba is joined on the board by eight other members, each of whom is either a practicing school counselor or a counselor educator. A counselor educator herself, Hadraba notes that it is beneficial to have a counselor educator on the OSCA Board as training programs are an integral part of the foundation of the profession.

“My personhood and professional identity are deeply connected and influence the way I build relationships, and advocate for the school counseling profession,” says Hadraba. “As a counselor educator with a background in the school counseling profession, I appreciate the joy of the work, while recognizing the overwhelming challenges that school counselors’ encounter.”

Hadraba is an advocate for collaboration, emphasizing that not much can be accomplished if work is done in isolation.

We must push and pull each other as we navigate the challenges that operate in K-12 schools. As we know, schools are a microcosm of the larger society which makes our work so complicated. We need support programs, action-oriented clear agendas, and regular opportunities to engage in networking and collaboration.

As a counselor educator at Lewis & Clark, Hadraba is deeply connected to state initiatives, training requirements, state level decisions that impact the school counseling profession, and gaps in the existing training for school counselors. She will bring this knowledge to the board, and plans to lean on her relationships with school counselors across the state of Oregon in order to strengthen OSCA’s connections within the school counseling community.

Describing school counselors as a “strong and powerful bunch” who are “committed to affirming supporting students and school communities,” Hadraba also emphasizes that school counselors are creative, other-oriented, and dedicated to their work. Importantly, school counselors are also poised to lead.

“We must listen and come from a place of intellectual and cultural humility in order to work together to move forward and continue to create affirming school communities for students, families, and ALL school staff,” she explains. “I believe anything is possible if we work together in a real collective space of understanding, humility, and service to our communities.”

The School Counseling Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School will begin accepting applications for 2024 on October 1, 2023. Learn more about the program online, attend an info session, or schedule an appointment with an admissions representative.

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