7.28.2015

Starbound Author Interview & Giveaway

Today I'm doubly delighted because first of all, I got to spend a glorious morning with the staff at Mossman Elementary. You've gotta love a faculty who will not only give up a day in July to learn and grow, but who will all-out Bunny Hop with me. I'm talking soul-train. Whoot, whoot. A special thanks to their school counselor Brenda for inviting me to dance with them. 

Secondly, I'm jazzed because my friend and counseling colleague Carol Miller has written an empowerment book for girls, and she has generously donated 
a copy for one of you. Yay!

Click book cover for more information.

From the YouthLight website: 




I recently chatted with Carol and she graciously answered these questions 
about getting this gem published.


You're a school counselor. When did you first realize you wanted to author a book? Was this your first idea?

I have wanted to author a book for as long as I can remember. I have started hundreds over the years, but have never finished most of the projects I start. This one was different, because it culminates the work I have been doing as a middle school counselor and the best of the activities I have used with my girls. The first book I ever wrote was published only for the local school counselors in our nearby districts. It is a guidebook to the NYS Graduation requirements. While it wasn't the most exciting of books, it contained much needed information.

How did you go about getting your manuscript published?

I sent my manuscript to two different publishers, both recommended to me by another school counselor author. One publisher was not interested because they said it was too much like another girls' curriculum they published and they did not want it to be in competition with that work. The second publisher, YouthLight, actually published my book. It was a lot of waiting for answers, but definitely worth the experience.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your book?

The most surprising thing I learned about writing was that anything is really possible if you keep your mind opened to it. I mean, this is what I teach the girls who I have in groups, and it is a motto I believe in. However, there are always things that seem bigger than humanly possible. Mindset is important.

Tell us about your first book signing. What are some special memories about that event? 

My first book signing wasn't that exciting.  I had 2 people that showed up and I wasn't sure what to do with my free time. My second book signing was at this summer's ASCA conference in Phoenix. It was very exciting. YouthLight had the first booth as you walked in to the exhibit center and the first thing you would see when you walked in was a picture of me receiving my NY School Counselor of the Year Award on a poster to indicate I would be having a book signing. 



I had several friends who entered the exhibit hall ahead of me and they kept texting me, "Did you see it yet?" I had no idea what they were talking about until I walked in.  Needless to say, it brought a few tears of joy to my eyes.  The book signing went well, and I had many more than just 2 books to sign.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I don't think anyone says as a child, I want to be a school counselor when I grow up. I personally did not like my middle school counselor, and, while I did really like my high school counselor, I thought he was a bit goofy.  When I was younger I really wanted to become a physician. I loved science, did well in school, and had a huge desire to help other people. It wasn't until college, and I had to give up sleep for the ambulance squad, that I thought I was looking into the wrong profession. My desire to help others was still there, and then I met an adviser on campus who I thought had an incredibly fun job. When I asked what she went to school for, she told me school counseling. I changed my major the next day and have been happy ever since.


I understand you're working on your next book. Can you give us a little intel? 

I just proofed it over the final version last night. It is called Building Champions, and is a small group curriculum designed to help boys build trust, respect and peer connections while reducing classroom conflicts, discipline issues and anxiety. It uses many active learning activities and experiential learning models. If you are looking for a boys' curriculum, I think you will love this. I had a few friends try it out with their groups and it was a hit for their students as well as mine.

Congratulations and thank you, Carol. The title of your next book reminds me of Rita Pierson's inspirational TED talk and this Sylvia Sketchnote. 



If you'd like a chance to win an author-signed copy of Starbound, simply leave a comment telling us who your favorite champion {teacher, mentor, school counselor, coach, etc.} is or was. We'll draw a name from all the comments on Friday, July 31st, at noon {CST}, so come on back and see if you're our lucky winner.

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congrats Amy M!




33 comments:

  1. My favorite champion is my partner who supported me through my master's degree and now my new job as a school counselor! I am both excited and scared for this new adventure, but love the resources on this blog! Thank you!

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  2. My favorite champions are the middle and high school counselors I worked with during my internship hours. Their passion and dedication to their students increased my own passion and showed me what a true school counselor was. Best experience. I strive to be as awesome as them!

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  3. I think back to grade school, Jr high, and high school and can't think of anyone teacher, or school staff who really stands oit. My mentor was my TRIO advisor when I was at Jr college. She was by my side and helped me through school and life trials and tribulations all 3 years I was there. She helped me in transitioning to a university..I'm still in touch with her today.

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  4. My favorite champion was my HS counselor. Not bc he was inspirational but instead bc he told me all the things I COULDN'T do. When I earned my MSEd and became a school counselor myself, I knew I would never be that type of counselor. I would love this book...to help students believe in and reach their own highest potential.

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  5. I am a school counselor and my favorite champion is a fellow educator who prides herself on advocating for the students she services no matter what professional or personal obstacles come her way. She keeps it about the kids. When I was coming into the field the one thing she said to me that resonated the most was "keep it about the children and you will be fine". I appreciated these words of wisdom and for that she is my favorite champion.

    Thanks for all the work you do,
    Timisha

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  6. My champion was my mom. She taught me to set my goals high and be ready to work for them. I'm hoping to instill these same qualities in my daughter. Thank you for your blog and to Carol for writing such an important book.

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  7. My champions are my parents, who have always supported me through everything! Our school kids don't always have a champion for them at home, so we must be there for them at school. I would love to win this for "my kids" at school, since I don't have children of my own.

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  8. I learn from others all the time. My father inspires me greatly. He raised 5 kids, of which 3 were adopted. He is 76 and still taking care of people as a Internal Medicine Doctor. He really struggles to get around, sometimes falls, and has a lot of pain. But he doesn't let that get in the way of his volunteering at a free medical clinic on top of his private practice. I learned so much from him in how I treat others in my job as a school counselor.

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  9. My forever hero and champion was a special lady whose name was Amy Gilmore. She was one of the most genuine and loving educators I have ever worked with. She made school a safe place and gave her children experiences that made them want to come to school every day. Her room was warm and inviting, her love was unconditional, and her love of teaching led to love of learning by her students. She came to work even through chemotherapy and fought her cancer til the bitter end. She was an educational warrior, and she was one of my best friends. She is in heaven now, and forever in the hearts of many students, teachers, and me!!! She was and still is, a hero and an inspiration <3

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  10. My favorite is Barbara Greuner! I stumbled upon her website several years ago and it started a great friendship and mentor ship. She shared her lessons and ideas with me and helped guide us to become a Wisconsin State School of Character. She has been a sounding. Lard and friend ever since. I am blessed by her firnedship

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  11. Thinking back to my later elementary years, my champion was an inspiring coach named Coach Snyder. Not only did she push our limits and build our physical strength but she also built our emotional strength. She taught us about perserverece and courage. One word we would yell as a team before every practice and game was simply, "Believe!" One word...so powerful. Thank you so much and congratulations to Carol Miller!!!

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  12. My inspiration has been my dad. I can remember him sitting with me day after day working on assignments that I didn't understand, especially mtiplication facts. Math was my worst subject and he was an electrical engineer so you know that was hard for him working with me repeatedly on the same skills.

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  13. My favorite champion has been one of my best friends since the fourth grade. We became friends when she asked if I wanted to sit next to her on the bus, and she has been my inspiration and muse ever since. She's introduced me to new experiences, taught me the values of social justice, and has continuously encouraged me to try new things, be open-minded and be a critical thinker. She connected me with an organization in which I worked with for 7 years, and her husband also connected me to the principal of my school where I will be the founding guidance counselor!

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  14. My champion is my mom who encourages and supports me through my journey through the program and now finding a permanent job in this field I love so much!

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  15. My champion is my four-year-old daughter Madison who has been diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia. Childhood Apraxia is a motor-speech disorder where the brain has trouble planning the movement of body parts essential to speech. At three and half, she was only able to say ten words and was about 10 percent intelligible when speaking. Today she knows hundreds if not thousands of words, is speaking in sentences, and is almost 70 percent intelligible. She has worked so hard to get to wear she is, has tried countlessly to express herself without giving up, and has never let it damper her bright little spirit. She has taught me so much understanding, patience, and gratitude for the little things in life. Above all else, she has taught me that my role as a counselor is to give a voice and an ear to those who really need it.

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    1. Wow Katie! I would agree that your young lady is quite the champion! Thanks for sharing such an inspiration! :)

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  16. My champion was my dad. Always pushing me further & encouraging me to achieve higher. The confidence he had in me led me to never doubt myself! I hope I can instill that same confidence in my children.

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  17. My champion is my intro to psychology professor. She allowed me many learning experiences that have shaped me into the counselor that I am today.

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  18. My favorite champion was my grandmother, who always encouraged me to "reach for the stars" in every way! I wish she were alive today, as she would certainly be celebrating with me as I just accepted my very first school counseling position!

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  19. I am honored to announce my Junior high school Language Arts teacher Mrs. Geneva Millender Bell as my champion because she was able to see beyond my negative behavior and envision the champion in me. Mrs. Bell was able to understand and see that I was going through something very tramatic in my life as a young girl growing up without me every expressing it verbally. Despite the daily abuse I exhibited to her and the rest of the staff in my junior high school she always remained diligent and treated me with much respect, love and care no matter what my behavior looked like. When all my other teachers and staff from my Junior high school gave up on me Mrs. Bell never did. She will always be my champion and will always hold a special place in my heart as long as I live. She is the reason I am the successful educator I am today and soon to be school counselor. I try to instill all attributes of character that have been instilled in me by Mrs. Bell to every student I work with. That is to show respect, be responsible, preserverence by sticking with goals and never giving up no matter how hard things my get and always being honest and having self control. Mrs. Bell is my champion because she has helped me she that there is meaning to life despite how bad thing might get or seem.

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  20. My favorite champion was my mom---she was such a great role model for me and encouraged me to become who I am today. She always believed in me! Miss her dearly but feel the impact she made on me carries through today and hopefully I can pass that on to others.

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  21. My favorite champion teacher was Mr. Schmidt! He was inspiring and kind.

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  22. It is very hard for me to name just one champion! One of my top teachers was my Spanish teacher Miss Marquart. I only had her for two years, but she really impacted my life. She inspired me to go on and teach Spanish for 19 years. (She only taught Spanish for 4 years and then she quickly moved up the administrative ladder). She was young. fun, yet held high expectations for us. We loved her! :)

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  23. Dr. Michael Sajda, my HS counselor and soccer coach. I can only hope to make a difference in a child's life the way he did in mine. He listened, was nonjudgemental...truly cared.

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  24. My champion was my high school science teacher. I was never a big fan of science but her passion was contagious. Better than that, when she found out that I was pregnant she went out of her way to make sure I knew she was in my comer and always supported me. I'll never forget her for that.

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  25. In high school I had a teacher, Chapman, who taught me to believe in myself, learn from mistakes, accept help from others, and never judge harshly. I've carried these life lessons with me for years. I am a school counselor so that I can be someone else's Chapman champion and teach valuable life skills.

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  26. My favorite champion was Mrs. Williams from 7th grade. Middle school was tuff for me and transitioning wasn't easy. Ms. Williams was always smiling, encouraging me to do my best. I remember meeting with her and other students weekly to and receiving support we needed. She didn't stop just there in the classroom, my father passed away that summer and she came to my home to visit and attended the funeral services.

    I am a school counselor today because of her going beyond which has shaped me into the person I'm today.

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  27. My favorite champion is my mother! She retired as a school counselor with 40 years of experience! She has a wealth of knowledge and my favorite go to persona!

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  28. My champions have always been my parents. Since a young child they lifted me up, encouraged me to try everything and anything, and taught me responsibility and how to be a leader. They taught me how to work for everything I have, and that dedication pays off. Everything I know about being a good counselor I learned from my parents. They never cared what grades I got, "as long as you tried your best, did you try your best?" knowing I'd earn good grades if I tried my best, but didn't have to have straight As. I was lucky. My mom told me every single day "I'm proud of you for..." so I grew up with HUGE confidence, which I know is a big part of how I'm able to stand up in front of my entire school of 700 people and be the leader that I want to be. I feel like I'm OK. Champions are awesome. I wish all kids have them!

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  29. My champion is my husband who is always encouraging and supporting me as I pursue my dream of being a school counselor! I hope I can be that encouraging to my own children and students as they pursue their goals.

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  30. My champion is & always will be my mom. Through every hill or valley I've passed through, she's been my personal coach, cheerleader, & shoulder while gently reminding me I'm only human :)

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  31. My favorite champion is my brother Tom. He is the most positive person I know and always manages to give his time to those whom others tend to neglect. In all my life, I have never heard a person speak ill of him - only compliments of how awesome he is!

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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