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Fall School Counselor's Conference

Wellness in a Post-Pandemic Environment: Nov. 17, 2023


  • Nov. 17, 2023
  • 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Memorial Union, Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas
Brandi Heather


Brandi Heather, B.E.d., MA

The Transformative Power of Returning To Play: Restoring and Reigniting Our School Counselors. Brandi’s book will be available for sale the day of the conference.

In this transformative keynote, led by dynamic and award-winning educator, Brandi Heather, we will delve into the science of play and its remarkable ability to reshape our approach to personal and professional mental wellness, capability, and connection. Through engaging anecdotes, research-backed insights, and practical tools, this keynote will unveil the transformative power of play for enhancing personal and professional mental wellness, resilience, and creative drive Brandi will demonstrate how play is the superfood for coping and resilience, but one of the first things we let go of when we are overwhelmed.

Breakout Session to follow in the afternoon session.

Unstructured Play Strategies for Building Resilience, Readiness & Reconnection at Any Age

In this high-energy, interactive breakout session, Therapeutic Play Specialist Brandi Heather demonstrates the untapped power of unstructured play for children and adults. Uncover practical strategies for reducing predictability and structure (without chaos) to foster curiosity, resilience, and preparedness in students and staff.

Discover how to incorporate unstructured play in daily routines and planning to generate new ideas that help students practice skills for changing direction, and dealing with change and uncertainty. Recognize how your play style and nature affect how students play and explore and find playFULL ways to utilize your play strengths in your practice. Empower students and staff to embrace risk, chance, and the unfamiliar to ignite problem-solving, self-regulation, and motivation.

10 + breakout sessions

Presented by keynote speaker, school counselors, counselor educators, and KSDE consultants

  • KSDE Suicide Prevention Response, Transition & Prevention Toolkit
  • Addressing Social, Emotional & Character Development When There is Pushback
  • ESU Art Therapy Faculty
  • Two Cool Cat Counselors
  • KSCA Q&A And Emerging Leaders
  • Support & Strategies for Educator Wellness
  • How Do I Teach When I’m Not a Teacher
  • The GED & Compulsory Attendance – How Does It All Work?
  • Navigating The Competitive College Admissions Process

Conference sponsored by

  • Emporia State University
  • Kansas State Department of Education
  • Kansas School Counselor Association

Additional information

Conference Agenda
  • Registration table opens at 7:30 a.m., east entrance of Memorial Union.
  • Parking Passes and parking instructions are available on the East side of the Memorial Union
  • In Albert Taylor Hall (Plumb Hall) - Welcome and Opening Remarks: 8:40 a.m.; Keynote follows approximately 9 – 10:30 a.m.
  • The conference moves back to Memorial Union 2nd Floor - Break
  • Breakout Sessions 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
  • Lunch 12-1 p.m.
  • Breakout Sessions 1:15– 2:15 p.m.
  • The conference concludes 2:30 p.m.


Registration is online only. Please bring a copy of the confirmation for check-in. Early Registration is $95 if received on or before Oct. 17. After Oct. 17: $110 until November 3rd. Late or on-site registration (does not include luncheon) $95. After Nov. 3: luncheon only $22. Must be received by Nov. 3.

Note: No refunds after Oct. 17. If you are unable to attend you may identify for us an alternate to attend as replacement.

Register here


Please note that all campus parking regulations will be enforced. A parking permit is required to park on campus and is included in your registration fees. A campus map with Conference parking highlighted and directions for picking-up your parking permit when you arrive will be provided in your registration materials. The Conference will not be responsible for the resolution of parking violations.

More information + questions

Contact Dr. Alice Hinck -