Computer Science · inspiration · K-12 Influencers · School Counselors · STEM · tech tools · Technology

K-12 Influencers: Russ Sabella

“You can act your way to a new way of thinking. And, you can think your way to a new way of acting.”


Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I have been a school counselor and school counseling professor for the last 28 years. My areas of focus include school counseling and technology, technological literacy, sexual harassment risk reduction, cyberbullying/digital reputation, solution focused brief counseling/conferences, and “datability.”

Fun fact: The first two college courses I ever took were General Psychology and BASIC computer programming, two early indicators of my future focus.


Favorite website / app:
I love the entire Google Suite of applications and use them quite often. I also enjoy PowerPoint to help me tell digital stories that help others to learn and be inspired.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
As a teenager, I started training in the art of Judo which taught me much more than just a martial art. Thanks to my Sensei, I also learned a great deal of self-discipline, developed confidence, and was inspired to help others. He emphasized five principles: “Seek perfection of character, be faithful, endeavor, respect others, and refrain from violence.” Before every class, we had to report on two ways that we helped others that week.

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If you could do it over again, what would you do?
Buy more Facebook stock.

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
As the first born of Sicilian immigrants, I was challenged to help the family operate at a very young age. I remember paying bills, screening calls, and reading insurance policies, for example, starting in elementary school. As a first generation college student, I also had to navigate the process with little guidance. I am grateful for the experience as it helped me to develop drive and grit.


Describe what it means for you to be a K-12 Influencer in STEM.
As I reflect on my career and wonder, “How did I get here?,” I realize most of my experiences and chosen areas of scholarship relate to empowerment — helping others to be more free and go beyond what they believed they could accomplish. STEM provides the knowledge, skills, and tools to just that, especially as it relates to being a positive influence in the lives of others.

What knowledge would you impart to other K-12 Influencers in STEM?
You always get more of whatever you focus on .. focus on your strengths, resources, supports, and goals.

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Russ Sabella is a leader in the school counseling profession, and he has been at the forefront of inspiring and empowering school counselors to use data and technology to be more efficient, effective, and engaging.

He has received the following awards:
Florida School Counselor Association Robert D. Myrick Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)
Florida Gulf Coast University Team Service Excellence Award (2011, 2012)
Florida Gulf Coast University Senior Faculty Service Excellence Award (2010)
Florida Gulf Coast University Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2004)

Learn more about Russ Sabella and follow him:
Recommended Videos:
Digital Reputation Blog:
My Data Boot Camp 2.0 Training:

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