Arizona School Counselors Association
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    P.O. Box 30776
    Mesa, AZ 85275-0776

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2024 Election Results

Ballot Item 1: Board of Directors Elections

Tyra Ortiz and Erin Sinnema will take office in June 2023. Learn more about our incoming directors below.
Tyra Ortiz
School Counselor
Chandler High School


As a school counselor, I believe...
To provide a universal approach to counseling that inspires and supports all individuals and to help them achieve success in life. Additionally, I believe it is my job to promote and facilitate opportunities to gain an understanding of self, others, and to prepare students to function and thrive in an ever changing society through education and career planning within an environment that is safe, caring, and encouraging to become global citizens.

Why do you want to be an AzSCA Director?
I am passionate about systematic change, helping others, promoting success, and helping to create positive environments for all. By becoming a director, I then would have a seat at the table to help foster an inclusive community, help fellow counselors grow through supported collaboration, and contribute to educational growth within my profession.

What will you add to the Board of Directors if you are elected?
If elected, I would be able to contribute unique and positive perspectives, a vast skillset, and an overall positive approach at looking at change if/when change is needed. I am passionate about the profession of School Counseling and can offer clear communication, collaboration, and dedication to advancing the organization's goals.

Associate in fine arts – Chandler Gilbert Community College

Arizona State University
-Graduated in Interdisciplinary Studies: Dance and Education
-Graduated Cum Laude

Ottawa University
-Graduated with a Masters in Education: School Counseling
-Graduated with a 4.0 GPA

Grand Canyon University
2017- present
-Working towards Doctorate in Mental Health: Trauma

Professional Experience
Chandler High School 2021 – present
Teach and Lead Social Skills Program throughout Campus, Crisis Team Member, 504 Team Lead, Group Counseling, Individual Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Schedule Changes, NCAA coordinator.

Arizona College Prep – Oakland Campus 2019 - 2021
Teach and Lead Social Skills Program throughout Campus, Crisis Team Member, 504 Team Lead, Group Counseling, Individual Counseling, Crisis Counseling, Schedule Changes, LBGTQ Club Sponsor.

Curry Elementary School / District Crisis Lead Member 2014 - 2019
Teach and Lead Social Skills Program throughout Campus, Lead Crisis Team Member, DCS Site Coordinator, Intervention Team Member, 504 Team Lead, Group Counseling, Individual Counseling, Crisis Counseling.

East Valley High School 2009 - 2014
School Counselor – Scheduling, Scholarships, Grants, Military; Registrar, Dance and Cheer Coach, Club Sponsor, Behavior Interventionist for grades 7th through 12th grade.

Leadership Experience
PTO Board Member
HOA Board Member
Team Lead - Crisis
Department Chair
Lead Internship Trainer

What else would you like us to know about you? I am a dedicated and passionate individual who ideally wants to make the world a better place. I understand that this can not be done all at once, but know that everything takes time, passion, collaboration, effort, and above all kindness.
Erin Sinnema
School Counselor
Tempe Elementary School District


As a school counselor, I believe...
As a school counselor, I strongly believe in equal and inclusive education for all students. Regardless of their background or circumstances, every student deserves an environment where they can thrive academically. Mental health support is also crucial for their overall success. In creating a conducive learning atmosphere, it's important to have empathetic teachers who understand and address each student's unique needs. By embracing diversity and prioritizing mental health, we create a school community that values every student's strengths and challenges. My goal is to champion a holistic approach to education that focuses on academic achievement and student well-being. By upholding equal education, mental health support, and a supportive school community, we empower students to reach their full potential and make positive contributions to society.

Why do you want to be an AzSCA Director?
I am thrilled about the chance to join the board of the Arizona School Counselor Association (AzSCA) as a board member because I am fully dedicated to pushing forward the field of school counseling in our state. With my experience as a school counselor, I have personally seen how powerful leadership and advocacy can positively influence the lives of students. By becoming a part of the AzSCA board, I will have the opportunity to share my knowledge and ideas, working together to create policies and projects that foster the happiness and achievements of students throughout Arizona.

What will you add to the Board of Directors if you are elected?
I am excited about the chance to join the AzSCA board and advance school counseling in Arizona. As a counselor, I've seen how leadership and advocacy can transform students' lives. I want to contribute my experiences to shape policies that support student success. I'm dedicated to fostering collaboration among educators and stakeholders to address our diverse student population's needs. By advocating for resources and professional development, I aim to empower counselors to excel in their roles. Joining the board is an opportunity to make a lasting impact on school counseling in Arizona, and I'm eager to contribute my skills and dedication to the AzSCA mission.

Bachelor of Science – Human Development and Family Studies
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
August 2003

Masters of Science in Counseling
University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ
April 2008

Certified School Counselor 7/2016
Certified Child Life Specialist 10/2005

Professional Experience
I have a diverse background in education and counseling, currently serving as an elementary school counselor for eight years. In this role, I provide one-on-one, small group, and whole class lessons for grades kindergarten through 5th grade. I am trained in Capturing Kids' Hearts and actively contribute to the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team at my school.

Additionally, I hold the position of the chair of the TD3 counseling department, where I assist the coach with professional development, provide training to new staff, and offer support for daily questions from district counselors. Before my counseling role, I worked as a Child Life Specialist for 12 years, focusing on supporting children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, as well as those whose parents faced life-threatening illnesses. I facilitated the Child Life internship program and the bereavement program at the hospital. Providing valuable education to staff and students.

Leadership Experience
I currently serve as the Counselor Chair at TD3, where I play a key leadership role in supporting the counseling department. In this capacity, I assist with the training of new counselors, coordinate professional development opportunities, and provide valuable guidance to counselors on a day-to-day basis, addressing questions related to programming and other aspects of their roles.
In addition to my role as the Counselor Chair at TD3, I served as the Child Life Internship Coordinator at a hospital. In this position, I took on a leadership role in onboarding all new interns. My responsibilities included working with both the university and the hospital to establish and manage partnerships, showcasing my ability to coordinate and facilitate collaborations between different entities. I also facilitated the bereavement program providing education to staff and students on how to work with families whose loved one is dying. I continue to hold my Child Life Certification.

Ballot Item 2: Mission and Vision Statement

AzSCA members voted to approve the proposed changes to the association mission and vision statements. The new statements are:

Mission Statement 
The Arizona School Counselors Association promotes our profession, supports school counselors through resources and professional networking, and through demonstrating our ethical practices, professional partnerships with parents, staff and community while developing evidence-based national model implementation in all schools, and to assist/support students in their academic experiences, college/career preparation, and social/emotional development. 

Vision Statement
It is our hope that all students will have access to skilled school counselors through their education experience.