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What Do School Leaders Need to Know About Crisis Management?

Teen suicide, school violence, the opioid epidemic, and many other societal crises are influencing schools in new and devastating ways. School principals are required to become first responders in a multitude of emergency situations. Please join us Wednesday, May 16, 3:00-3:45 p.m. EDT for a free AACTE webinar on principal leadership sponsored by The Wallace Foundation.

Panelists for this webinar, Leveraging Community Resources to Strengthen Clinical Practice for New Principals: Crisis Management, will discuss critical response protocols and potential communication pitfalls for new administrators. Topics will include –

  • Crisis planning
  • Helping students and staff cope with stress
  • Guarding against violence
  • Responding to tragedy

We are excited to be organizing and moderating this webinar series and proudly introduce the following presenters:

cassie-poncelow Cassie Poncelow is a school counselor at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has been named a 2018 School Counselor of the Year finalist by the American School Counselor Association. Poncelow, a graduate of Colorado State University, has been a school counselor for 7 years and has been at Poudre High School since 2013. After a series of tragedies affected schools in the Fort Collins area, Poncelow and Poudre’s counseling team organized events to help students and staff manage their emotions. Mental Health Matters, an evening event featuring 30 sessions led by community mental health professionals, focused on topics such as stress management, LGBTQ support, depression and anxiety, social media, self-harm, and eating disorders. The event attracted more than 400 attendees from Fort Collins, Denver, Greeley, and Boulder as well as several state legislators who support mental health funding.


melanie-voegeli-morris Melanie Voegeli-Morris is mental health and prevention coordinator for Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she manages mental health and risk assessment teams, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed trainings. A licensed clinical social worker with extensive work experience supporting children, youth, and families, Voegeli-Morris is an EMDR Level ll Therapist and specializes in trauma, crisis response, and recovery. Her work experience also includes private practice, community mental health, adolescent inpatient hospitalization, and therapeutic foster care. Voegeli-Morris is a lead responder on the district’s crisis response team and completed her principal licensure program in 2010.


On our previous webinar of the series held April 18 (archived in the AACTE Resource Library), “Leveraging Community Resources to Strengthen Clinical Practice for New Principals: Mental Health Support for New Leaders,” presenters Tarrell Awe Agahe Portman, Barb Fisher, and Samantha Haviland shared the importance of developing early communication patterns with students and staff to recognize changes in behavior. They also encouraged new principals to take time for their own physical and mental health. This webinar would work well as a discussion tool in principal preparation programs.

To register for the May 16 webinar, click here. For recordings of our complete series of webinars, click here.

Register Now

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Donna Cooner

Colorado State University

Wendy Fothergill

Colorado State University

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So mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting week to come!

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