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Dear school counseling colleagues –

I am thrilled to be entering my fifth year the Executive Director of MASCA.  As a 30 year school counselor, counseling director and MASCA member, I continue to be excited to help lead this great organization.  Having been a school counseling leader at the local, state, regional and national levels now for more than 25 years, I want to build upon the work from the past three years and provide more opportunities and benefits to our members which will ultimately benefit our students and their families. 

The past three academic years were very challenging for all educators and the students with whom we work, without a doubt some of the most challenging we have ever seen.  This coming year no doubt will continue to provide new challenges, but rest assured MASCA is here to fill your professional development, advocacy and networking needs both in-person and virtually.

Some accomplishments of the 2022-23 school year include:

  • Established the Ad Hoc Committee on School Counselor Gaps
  • Launched our pilot program evaluation program for schools and school districts.  Our first evaluation was conducted in May/June 2023.
  • Will host our first annual MASCA School Counselor Summer Camp July 18-20 at Endicott College.  We expect over 65 participants.
  • Continuation of the mentoring program for new school counseling professionals.  Went from 7 to 24 mentees in year two.
  • Granted approval from BESE to update the Subject Matter Knowledge (SMKs)  requirements for initial school counselor licensure.
  • Working closely with the MA DESE to address the school counselor pipeline gap, specifically targeting aspiring school counselors of color
  • Strong membership push to break the 1800 member mark (we hit 1857 on October 21, 2022).  This represents a 114% increase in membership since June 2019.
  • Continue to support our nine Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which will allow for various groups (i.e.: elementary, urban, secondary, middle level, retirees, school adjustment counselors/school social workers, and directors) to meet and support each other.  New this year were Multilingual Language Learners and Vocational/Technical School Counselors
  • Continue to provide a diverse range of in-person and online professional development opportunities despite the challenges in the COVID-19 era
  • Hosted a sold out in-person annual conference which led to over 600 in person and virtual attendees in April.  This is the largest conference ever in MASCA history.
  • Executed a very successful second year school counselor leadership development specialist weekend program as part of the MSAA's Leadership Licensure Preparation (LLP) Program
  • Continue to partner with DESE to better leverage school counselor voices
  • Continuation of the MASCA Podcast

Goals for the 2023-24 school year include:

  • Investigate the feasibility of offering CEUs for our professional development offerings
  • Continue to grow the MASCA membership
  • Explore the launch of a member only listserv to share ideas and resources and seek support from fellow counselors
  • Create Affinity groups for our BIPOC and LGBTQ colleagues
  • Support the creation of additional SIGs, possibly for rural and charter school counselors

I thank you for your service and dedication to the school counseling profession.  If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

To read my 2019-20 entry plan, please click here.


Bob Bardwell
MASCA Executive Director

Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc.  
All Right Reserved.

MASCA deeply values its diverse membership and is fully committed to creating an organization where each individual is welcomed, included, respected and empowered.  No person will be excluded from MASCA on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or military status, or for any other discriminatory reason. These activities include, but are not limited to, appointment of its Governing Board, hiring or firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and the providing of services.  This policy is fundamental to the effective functioning of MASCA as an organization that supports counselors and promotes equity in our schools, districts and the Commonwealth.

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