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PASAP Webinar - SAP Maintenance Day

  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024
  • 6 sessions
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 9:00 AM 10:00 AM (EDT)
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 10:00 AM 11:00 AM (EDT)
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 11:00 AM 12:00 PM (EDT)
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 12:00 PM 1:00 PM (EDT)
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 1:00 PM 2:00 PM (EDT)
  • Wednesday, May 08, 2024, 2:00 PM 3:00 PM (EDT)
  • PASAP - Zoom


  • Active PASAP Member

Registration is closed

Session 1 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Creating a Positive Culture for SAP in Your School, featuring Dr Susan Tarasevich, Education Specialist, UPMC- Addiction Medicine of WPH.

Webinar Description: 

Unlock the potential of Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) by participating in this engaging training! This workshop will empower educators, counselors, and support staff with the knowledge and strategies needed to establish a nurturing environment that fosters the success of all students. Join us for this transformative training and become a catalyst for positive change within your school community. Don't miss this opportunity to make a lasting impact!

Speaker Bio:  

For nearly 30 years, Susan has empowered educators with the understanding and skills needed to make positive changes in the lives of students and families.  Susan believes deeply in building systems to support staff, practices to support students and using data appropriately to drive change.  These together create safer schools and more supportive learning environments. Working with a variety of schools, pre-K through higher education, Dr. Tarasevich focuses on designing, implementing, and evaluating sustainable, equitable and effective multi-tiered frameworks for mental health promotion and substance use prevention. 

Session 2 - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Vicarious Trauma and Self Care Strategies for School Professionals, featuring Megan Marciano, School Psychologist, Montgomery County IU and Bridget Abrams, School Counselor/Project AWARE Liason, Montgomery County IU.

Webinar Description: 

Exploring the effects of vicarious trauma on those working in the educational setting and support participants in building self-care strategies

Speaker Bio:  

Megan has been with the MCIU since 2015, conducting evaluations with the Office of Student Services. In addition, Megan is a trainer for the MCIU presenting on topics such as PREPaRE, Threat Assessment, Risk Assessment, SAP, and Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care Strategies for School Professionals. 

Bridget is a school counselor for nonpublic schools at Montgomery County IU #23. Bridget took on additional role this year as a Project AWARE Liaison. She also contributes to the training team by leading trainings in Risk Assessment, Threat Assessment, PREPaRE, and Self-Care and Vicarious Trauma. 

Session 3 - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Postvention Strategies for Students, featuring Dr. Paula McCommons, Director of STAR Center Outreach/SAP Supervisor,  STAR Center/UPMC Western Behavioral Health.

Webinar Description: 

This training overviews the rationale and recommendations for conducting postvention in schools after a tragic loss, underscoring how postvention planning is a key component of comprehensive school-based suicide prevention efforts. Attendees will learn the essential components of a postvention response and the various responsibilities of postvention team members and how they may overlap with the roles and responsibilities of SAP team members. In addition, national, state, and local resources related to postvention will be shared.

Speaker Bio:  

Dr. Paula McCommons received her B.A. in psychology from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  She studied in London for six months and interned in a psychiatric day hospital there. While at Seton Hill she served as a Freshmen Studies Advisor, Resident Assistance, and Dorm Coordinator. She received her M.Ed. in Educational Counseling from the University of Pittsburgh where she later received her Ed.D. in Educational Administration.  Dr. McCommons is a nationally certified counselor with specialties in school and career counseling.  She is also a PA-certified school counselor and post-secondary student personnel specialist.

Session 4 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Exploring Necessary Systems to Integrate SAP and MTSS Initiatives, featuring Dr. Leanna Lawson, Program Director - Training and Consultation, Allegheny Intermediate Unit

Webinar Description: 

As schools consider addressing the development of advanced tiers (Tiers 2 and 3 of the framework) PBIS/MTSS-B a decision surrounding the integration of SAP is necessary. Integrating the two frameworks is crucial to seamless planning specific to necessary interventions and strategies to support the whole child. Pivotal systems that support the integration of the work will be addressed.

Speaker Bio:  

Dr. Leanna Lawson is a dedicated and compassionate leader focused on helping schools ensure that all students have access to learning, experience a sense of belonging, and are prepared to move from school to young adulthood.  With a passion for ensuring that educators consider the “whole child”, Dr. Lawson has committed her entire career to students who are underrepresented and the educators supporting these young people.  Dr. Lawson has extensive experience in behavior, social emotional learning, mental health, MTSS frameworks, and special education.

Dr. Lawson spent 18 years with Pressley Ridge Schools in Pittsburgh, PA, in a variety of roles.  Although she began her career as a special education teacher working with students with significant emotional and behavioral needs from 52 local school districts, she is most proud of the leadership she provided specific to a specialized program devoted to students across PA who were deaf and had emotional and behavioral needs.  Leading a residential and day school prepared Dr. Lawson to spend the second half of her career working directly with public school educators.  She joined the AIU 17 years ago, initially supporting schools in developing an effective MTTS framework for behavior and social emotional needs.  Currently, she is the Program Director for Training and Consultation, leading a team who assist schools in transforming their approaches to contribute to the successful inclusion of all students. 

Session 5 - 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Addressing Diversity Equity & Inclusion in SAP,  featuring Coley Alston, Program Director, Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation

Webinar Description: 

Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in school settings encompasses a multifaceted approach aimed at fostering an environment where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered. It involves implementing inclusive curricula that reflect diverse perspectives and histories, providing resources and support for students from marginalized backgrounds, and actively promoting anti-bias education and cultural competency among staff and students alike.

Speaker Bio:  

Coley Alston, MPH (they/them) is the Program Director of the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation. Coley is a national expert in supporting lGBTQ+ youth and has led innovative youth initiatives in various roles over the past 10 years. Coley supervises evidence-based programs for youth, caregivers, and the professionals that serve them.

Session 6 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Brain Injury 101,  featuring Jean Miksch, School Psychologist, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

Webinar Description: 

What is a brain injury? How do they occur? How frequently are students impacted by brain injury? Come join us for an hour introduction to learn the basics about one of the most common childhood injuries that can impact learning. Jean Miksch, Certified Brain Injury Specialist and BrainSTEPS team leader, will share all this information and answer your questions!

Speaker Bio:  

A school psychologist who trained at Kent State University, graduating in 1995, Jean has 27 years of experience working in the field in Ohio, Connecticut and in Pennsylvania. She has worked in both preschool and school-age settings, as well as public schools, nonpublic schools, and agencies that serve children. Her experience includes suburban and urban settings, and she loves to share her knowledge with others.

Jean began training in a variety of programs right from the beginning of her career starting with the Myers Briggs personality trainings with school staff and gathering additional information as she explored integration of students with autism into general education settings in the late 1990’s during her time in Connecticut. She has always worked with schools to integrate various initiatives into their programs.

While working in Chester-Upland in the early 2000’s she explored utilizing positive beahvior supports in their high school and found that this was highly effective at reducing disciplinary issues and increasing engagement of students. She moved on to the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit in 2005 and has been there ever since, becoming the lead trainer in the Student Assistance Program, helping to develop the County-Wide Crisis Support teams and implementing NASP’s PREPaRE Crisis Prevention and Intervention model across Montgomery County, as well as helping to develop the MCIU’s PA K-12 Threat Assessment Training program.

Jean has a Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees from Kent State University, is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP), holds a PDE Certificate in School Psychology, an Advanced Student Assistance Program Professional Development Certificate (from PASAP), a Certificate in Bullying Prevention, Diversity, and Inclusion from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies of Delaware Valley College, as well as a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) certificate. She presently is the lead trainer for the MCIU’s Student Assistance Program and is the team leader for the MCIU’s BrainSTEPS program.

Jean understands that schools have many responsibilities and initiatives and is committed to helping schools develop models to be more efficient and effective in their use of the wide variety of supports that are available, helping schools to determine what is needed in their setting, and building positive and effective communication systems to promote student health, wellness and advance their learning opportunities.

Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistant Professionals

P.O. Box 1254

State College, PA 16804

PASAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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