2022 Board Nominees

  Diego Castro
Diego Castro is an elementary school counselor, RAMP recipient, and adjunct instructor. He is the CASC Central California Regional Representative and former CASC Emerging Leader. He serves as a member of GLSEN Merced and Merced LGBTQ+ Network. He earned his MA in Counselor Education, PPS Credential, and School Administration Studies.

Please view my candidate video.
My name is Diego Castro and it is with great interest to serve on the CASC’s Board of Directors to advocate, support, and empower our school counselors. I have been involved in CASC since 2018, through experiences as a CASC Emerging Leader and current CASC Central California Regional Representative. Each role has given me the opportunity to take a collective approach to promote excellence in our profession. I have experience networking with other regional counselors to develop articles for the quarterly newsletter, promote CASC events, design social media materials, co-presented the Elementary School Counseling Forum at the CASC 2019 Conference, and created a Mental Health Lesson for the covid19k12counseling.org website. If elected, I would continue to advocate for our profession and bring opportunities that empower our school counselors. My goal is to increase resources that support school counselors in closing the achievement gaps, bring equity into their school counseling programs, and drive our profession forward. 

I have been an elementary school counselor for Livingston Union School District for 7 years and had the opportunity to lead my school in becoming a Recognized ASCA Model program. Through my experience in developing a data-driven comprehensive school counseling program, I believe it is important to implement a program that aligns with the ASCA Model.  Establishing a comprehensive school counseling program can support all students in having equitable access to academic, social-emotional, and college/career development. If elected, I would advocate for school counselors to receive the appropriate knowledge, skills, and resources to build or enhance a school counseling program that emphasizes the importance to be equitable to all students.  

As we know, mental health and social justice have brought much attention to the social-emotional needs of our students. I proudly represent the Latinx & LGBTQ+ communities and promote the importance of diversity and inclusion in our schools. With my experience as an adjunct instructor at CSU Stanislaus and committee member for Merced LGBTQ+ Network and GLSEN Merced, I have promoted the importance of creating a space of inclusivity in our school systems. CASC has done a phenomenal job in providing access to resources that support our diverse communities. If elected, I would advocate for more professional development on ethical decision-making, social justice, and mental health. It would be an honor to serve on the CASC Board of Directors to represent you and give back to an organization that has given so much to me.

Jordan Blevins
Jordan Blevins is a school counselor in Stockton, CA where her school received RAMP School of Distinction in 2021. She was named Stockton Unified’s School Counselor of the Year for 2022. She is the Chair for CASC’s Outreach and Engagement Committee, and teaches at CSU Stanislaus and University of LaVerne.

Please view my candidate video.
If chosen to serve on the Board of Directors, I will do my best to contribute to CASC’s mission and purpose through my leadership and advocacy for school counselors across the state. I want to help promote excellence in the profession by contributing to professional development and resources for California school counselors in order to help our students have equitable access to high-quality education, services, and resources in our ever changing world, no matter what part of California in which they live. I want to contribute to the legislative aspect of encouraging our state to hire more school counselors in order to lower our ratios and arm us with tools, practices, and professional developments necessary to help close achievement gaps for our students, helping them to become the best versions of themselves and reach their untapped potential. I plan to participate in the advancement of our roles as the mental health professionals at our schools, meeting the needs of our times and preparing for the future while highlighting the importance of mental wellness for our students and staff. As a school counselor in Central California, I see the importance of standing collectively as a state full of professionals advocating for the needs of our students. We have come together and collaborated to continue to expand the reach in the Central Valley and Northern California regions, as well as other rural districts in our state, ensuring cohesive influence throughout all of our regions and better representing the 11,000 California School Counselors. I am a leader looking to spread my wings, as well as to help other school counselors spread their wings to be leaders in their schools, regions, state, and nationally.

Patricia Calkins
My name is Trisha Calkins. I have been a member of CASC for 6 years and an ASCA member for 8 years. In 2012 I received my MA degree in educational counseling and PPS credential. I worked in Capistrano Unified for six years. I've achieved RAMP in 2019.

Please view my candidate video.
As a school counselor I strive to promote excellence in my school counselor position.  The students and families I serve deserve no less.  I lead in advancing the profession of school counseling at the sites I have worked for.  I have done this at my previous site, Ambuehl Elementary, by achieving RAMP.  The work I completed with the team there will continue when I am not there.  The staff that I worked with has a clear understanding of what a comprehensive counseling program is and will continue to advocate for this at every site they work at.  At my current site we are working towards being a comprehensive counseling program.  I received the Orange County K-8 counselor of the year by having a comprehensive counseling program and by advocating for the profession of school counselors.  At my current district I am working towards having a comprehensive counseling program.  In addition,  I am mentoring new school counselors in my district.  I am empowering them with knowledge on how to advocate for themselves and their counseling program.  I’m giving them resources and skills on how to run data, promote equity and help their students to gain access to a high quality education.  I want to help school counselors throughout California to gain these skills to help students across California to have access to a quality education.

Nichole Harris
Nichole Harris is School Counselor, with 9 years of experience in elementary, middle and high school. She is passionate about advocacy and enjoys presenting about the impact of School Counselors. She is currently an ASCA RAMP Reviewer and was a member of the CASC Social Justice, Equity and Anti-Racism Committee.

Please view my candidate video.
Hello California School Counselors,
 

My name is Nichole Harris, and I am excited for the opportunity to seek election to the CASC Board of Directors. In my 9 years as a School Counselor, I have served at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Currently, I work as High School Counselor in Pomona Unified School District, where I am also a proud product. One of my greatest accomplishments as a professional is the ability to give back to my community, while showing students that they can achieve success, no matter the obstacles. My efforts and desire to serve as a leader in ensuring equity in access to resources and post-secondary options is what has led me to seeking out this opportunity. 

In my time as a school counselor, I have developed a passion for advocacy work, specifically in the area of utilizing data to develop intentional school counseling programs and interventions. In my most recent work as an Elementary School Counselor, I was able to share my data in order to advocate for the addition of another school counselor at the school site. Since then, I continue my efforts by sharing the results and accomplishments of our district school counseling program at conferences, in order to inspire and empower others in the field. Additionally, I value my work in service leadership by serving as a member of our District School Counselor Leadership team, supporting a cohort of School Counselors in implementing Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, and mentoring new and aspiring School Counselors. Other related experiences include membership on the following committees and teams: ASCA RAMP Reviewer, CASC Social Justice, Equity, and Anti-Racism Committee, Los Angeles County Office of Education School Counseling Academy Advisory, and PUSD MTSS Collaboration. 


I recognize that much of what we do as School Counselors is through collaboration with others. I believe that a strength that I possess is the ability to listen to the needs of others and use that knowledge of differing perspectives, to build a team to support students. If given the opportunity to serve on the CASC Board of Directors, I intend to continue my work of finding ways to ensure that more School Counselors voices are heard, and that the work that we all are doing is valued and supported in our efforts to advocate for our students.