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Our mission is to graduate 100 percent of our students, college and career ready.


The Union Public Schools Comprehensive Counseling Program forms strong collaborative relationships to deliver Hope-centered, data-informed, inclusive, and equitable services that foster the academic, social/emotional, and college/career readiness of every student. In a safe and supportive learning environment, students become self-empowered, empathic leaders, working independently and interdependently, to pursue pathways toward overall wellbeing. Together, students, families, school counselors, staff, teachers, administrators, and community partners, work to achieve the goal of 100 percent graduation, college and career ready. 

The Science of Hope

Union Public Schools believes in the importance of being proactive in our efforts – providing counseling and guidance to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students.

Union is becoming a Hope-centered district using the Science of Hope.  Hope will be the lens we look through for all we do in the Hope-Guidance-SEL Department.

Union teachers continue to do amazing work in providing dynamic learning experiences for our students. “It is now time for us to articulate a tiered approach to addressing unwanted student behaviors and student trauma – at all grade levels – while also fostering greater hope and confidence in our students’ lives,” Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler said. “The idea is that we will be more proactive in our efforts, providing counseling and guidance to address the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. I firmly believe this will make a positive difference in our students’ lives and in the learning culture of our buildings.”


Union Hope Logo
Logo With Words 'Your Children will become who are; so be who you want them to be.


Union Public Schools is committed to partnering with Dr. Chan Hellman to become a hope-centered school district.  It is our belief that integrating the tenets of hope (goals, pathways, and agency) will advance Union’s strategic core components of literacy, cognitive capacity, engagement, and social-emotional learning.  The “Science of Hope” provides the framework to create a positive learning environment where every child can successfully pursue their goals and well-being. 

About Dr. Chan Hellman

Chan M. Hellman is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center. He has written more than 100 scientific publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences worldwide. Chan’s research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity. Chan just published a new book “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life” with his co-author Casey Gwinn published by Morgan James.

Dr. Dr. Chan Hellman

Chan M. Hellman, PhD

University of Oklahoma

  • Professor – Anne & Henry Zarrow School of Social Work
  • Adjunct Professor
    -Depts. of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics – School of Community Medicine
    -Dept. of Health Promotion Science – College of Public Health
  • Director – The Hope Research Center 4502 East 41st Street Tulsa, OK 74135 918-660-3484

What Is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. Learn more.

People with strong social-emotional skills are better able to cope with everyday challenges and benefit academically, professionally, and socially. From effective problem-solving to self-discipline, from impulse control to emotion management and more, SEL provides a foundation for positive, long-term effects on kids, adults, and communities.

Children thrive. Schools win. Workplaces benefit. Society strengthens. All due to social-emotional learning.


The Hope – Guidance – Social and Emotional Learning, is a major part of the district’s five-year district strategic plan. One of the elements of this plan is Union’s Learning Model that focuses on literacy, cognitive capacity, engagement, and social and emotional learning.

As we continuously evaluate our data, and hear from teachers and our site leaders, there continues to be a dominant narrative that more must be done to address the social and emotional development of our students.

Virtual Calming Room

The Virtual Calming Room is a social and emotional library for Union students, families, and employees to help regulate emotions and feelings. It contains links to everything from visual relaxation, creative and imaginative activities, quick meditations, live animal cameras around the world, SEL books and more. It also has a compiled list of applicable community resources and Union resources. 

Visit the Virtual Calming Room


Scott Pennington
Director of Hope-Guidance-Social and Emotional Learning 

Jessica Hogaboom
Coordinator of Counseling Services

Directory of Union Counselors & Advisors