Welcome! Tell us a little about your role at GSB.
I will be working with students of all ages, although my office will be in the Upper School. I hope to be a resource for students to develop healthy coping skills and get the support they need emotionally and socially in order to be successful in school. This includes individual counseling, small and large group instruction on topics in mental health and collaboration with parents and faculty.
Tell us a little about yourself! Where did you grow up, where did you go to college?
I am from the Philly area and went to the University of Maryland where I majored in elementary education. I taught sixth grade for a few years in Philadelphia and then taught fifth grade in Brooklyn for a while. I loved teaching, but I realized that the time of the day I enjoyed the most was “circle time” when I got together with the students and spoke about what was going on in their lives and how they were feeling. So, I decided to go back to school and I got my master’s in social work from Columbia University. I first served as a guidance counselor in a K-8 charter school in Brooklyn and then worked at the Brearley School in Manhattan. So I have a good amount of experience of working with all ages and all different backgrounds.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I try to spend most of it with two-year-old son. He likes to pretend he’s a dinosaur, so I spend a lot of my time running from him as “T-Rex.” My husband and I and our son just moved to Millburn, New Jersey, so we are spending time learning the neighborhood and the town. I am also a huge Eagles fan, and I love reading and staying active!
Why do you like working in a school setting and working with students?
I think schools are probably the best place to make a positive difference because schools are where kids are every day and you get to see their strengths. Whether it is a subject area, athletics or drama, you get to see them shine, but it is also where they encounter conflict and challenges so to be able to be there for both of those things is the most rewarding for a mental health professional. I love being able to establish relationships in a more fun and informal way, so if there is an issue in a students’ life the relationship is always there to get support that they need.
What made this job at Gill appealing to you?
Walking around the campus and learning about the school, I love the emphasis on balance. To me it really is an important value to have, and it was something that really drew me in. I also loved being at a K-12 school so I am really happy to be somewhere that I can be with students for many years and see their growth over time.
What have you enjoyed about Gill so far?
The people here are very warm and welcoming, and it has been really nice that everyone has instantly offered to help or given support. which is a nice environment to be in.
What would you want your main goal to be while you are at Gill?
I would like to help build some comprehensive programming around mental health and wellness, including more proactive measures for education around mental health awareness. This could include classes in positive psychology or small groups gatherings. And of course, my main goal is to just always be there to meet and support the students and families at Gill.