UMS Bulletins
CONTACT: Rita Sullivan, UMS External Affairs
207-973-3245 or


MESCA 2004 Annual Conference Set for November 4-5 in Portland

PORTLAND – "Blazing New Trails—Reaching New Heights: A K-16 Approach" is the theme for the Maine School Counselor Association (MESCA) 2004 annual conference. MESCA is offering the conference, with support from the University of Maine System, to address a K-16 approach to guidance and counseling. The conference will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 4-5 at The Eastland Park Hotel, located at 157 High Street in Portland.

"School counselors play a pivotal role in addressing the academic, personal, social, and career development of all students through implementation of a comprehensive developmental guidance program," said Erin Flynn, MESCA President Elect and 2004 conference chair. "MESCA is thrilled to be working with the University System on behalf of school counselors across the State. It is a win-win partnership that benefits the youth of Maine and enhances the profession of school counseling."

The goal of the 2004 MESCA conference is to promote and support the professional development of school counselors in the State of Maine. The agenda will explore ways that school counselors and Maine’s public universities can work together to create opportunities for all Maine students by encouraging them to explore and experience postsecondary education.

"More than ever, our universities and K-12 schools must collaborate to address the educational needs of our citizens and our state," said University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal, one of the keynote speakers at the MESCA conference. "School counselors play an integral role in the aspirations of students as well as in their social, organizational, and motivational preparedness.

"With Maine committed to creating a seamless educational transition process – from pre-Kindergarten all the way through post-secondary education – Maine needs the perspectives and active participation of school counselors in that effort," Westphal stated. "This conference is one step in that effort."

This year's conference will be a celebration of best practices focused on a comprehensive approach to guidance and school counseling. Working together, school counselors and the University System will examine best practices regarding the development of a K-16 approach to guidance and school counseling in order to help more Maine students aspire to and attend college.

In addition to Westphal, keynote speakers will include Maine Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron, and founder and President Doug Manning, whose career spans 20 years as a teacher, counselor, and district administrator of career development.

As part of the conference agenda, MESCA will be presenting the School Counselor of the Year Award and School Administrator of the Year Award. The presentations will be made during the 25th Anniversary Dinner Celebration and Awards Presentation on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the State’s largest educational institution, with more than 34,000 students enrolled. It features seven universities – some with multiple campuses – located across the State, as well as 11 University College outreach centers and more than 100 interactive distance education sites.

The Maine School Counselor Association is a state division of the American School Counselor Association, chartered in 1979. The purpose of the association is to foster personal and professional relationships among Maine school counselors, to advance the spirit and academic discipline of school guidance and counseling, and to promote high standards of school counseling in Maine. MESCA assumes an active role in helping the people of Maine to understand the nature and importance of school guidance and counseling services. In addition, MESCA works to promote and support the professional growth of school counselors and to strengthen State legislation and policy that is in the best interest of school counselors and the students and children of Maine.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A brief overview of the conference agenda follows. Complete information, as well as registration forms, may be found at



Maine School Counselor Association Annual Conference
Sponsored in part by the University of Maine System

The Eastland Park Hotel
157 High Street, Portland

7:30 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Address: "K-16 Collaborations and Initiatives"
Susan A. Gendron, Maine Commissioner of Education
Joseph W. Westphal, UMS Chancellor
10:20 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Session A workshops
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Session B workshops
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Keynote Address: "Proactive Living: Where Achievement Begins"
Doug Manning, founder and President of
2:50 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Session C workshops
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. "Maine Model of Comprehensive School Counseling Program"
Shelley Reed, Maine Department of Education
6:30 p.m. 25th Anniversary Dinner Celebration and Awards Presentation
MESCA School Counselor of the Year and School Administrator of the Year awards presentation

7:30 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Session D workshops
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Grade Level Networking: Elementary, Middle, High School, College level
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lunch/Panel Presentation: "College WAS a Realistic Goal for Me!"
Students for whom college was not an "automatic expectation" will
discuss the transition from high school to college.
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Session E workshops
3:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony