The Best and Brightest in Texas School Counseling

Posted by Communications Coordinator Rose Frezza on Nov 26, 2019 10:10:11 AM

We’re loving the *slightly* cooler temperatures and slow slide into the holiday season. Before we all say farewell for Thanksgiving break, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on all we’re thankful for at Texas OnCourse:

  • The amazing Texas middle and high school students, parents, and guardians we serve
  • The tireless educators doing invaluable work – including teachers, counselors, librarians, school support staff, and more
  • The internal team at Texas OnCourse, united in providing college and career readiness resources for all Texas students
  • Our leader fellows, who serve as statewide support in helping us achieve our vision: to ensure that every Texas student, no matter where they come from or where they’re going, has a plan for what’s next after high school

We’d like you to meet a few members of our newest cohort of leader fellows who make an impact in their educational communities.

These counselors, advisers, and teachers support their colleagues – like you – on college and career readiness advising. Looking for ways to connect and collaborate with like-minded colleagues all over the state? Join the Texas College and Career Planning Source Facebook group!

Join the Texas College and Career Planning Source

Sherce Hampton is a school counselor in the Killeen ISD. She represents Region 12.


TXOC: What’s your favorite thing about your role?

SH: I love empowering students. I love helping students realize they can accomplish anything they put their mind to.

Crystal Castañeda is a college and career adviser in the Harlingen CISD. She represents Region 1.


TXOC: What drew you to working in education?

CC: After college, I began working with Advise TX, a program that works to increase the number of first-generation, low-income, and/or underrepresented students who apply to, enter, and complete college. I fell in love with college advising and advocating for students through Advise TX. When I was in high school, we didn't have the support at my school or help with completing college applications. It’s very exciting that school districts are creating a college culture and postsecondary goals for students.

Jason Byrd is a professional counselor in the Denton ISD. He represents Region 11.


TXOC: What do you like to do in your free time?

JB: I spend as much time as I can with my wife and two boys. We can usually be found outside – either in our backyard, venturing on hikes around the area, or traveling to our national parks. When possible, I also enjoy woodworking and BBQ.

Trisha Fiene-Spain is a counselor in the Coppell ISD. She represents Region 10.


TXOC: What’s your favorite book?

TFS: Now this is a hard one, for a girl who really enjoys reading. I would have to say Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is close to the top of the list. I also really enjoyed The Hate U Give and 5 Feet Apart.

Our leader fellows connect colleagues to our resources, including the Texas OnCourse Academy, a free online professional development resource for college and career advising.

You can see our current leader fellows here and our alumni leader fellows here. Want to connect with our leader fellows? Email them at

Topics: Professional Development, Educators