Erica Germani, M.S., 2019 PSCA Elementary School Counselor of the Year
I am currently finishing my eighth year as a professional school counselor at R.D. Wilson Elementary, part of the Western Wayne School District in Waymart, PA. Over the years I’ve built a comprehensive school counseling program, using the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model as a template. I am blessed to be a part of so many school-wide programs, including our Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and 339 College and Career Readiness programs. I conduct classroom lessons for 300 students in grades K-12, run support groups, and provide individual counseling, consultations, and referrals. My school counseling program was recently certified as a Recognized ASCA-Model Program, a distinction shared with only a dozen other schools across Pennsylvania. I was also named Pennsylvania’s 2020 school counselor of the year and celebrated this in Washington, D.C. with the other 49 state SCOYs. Using these accolades as a talking point, I’ve met with several local legislators to educate them on the modern-day school counselor, and how decreased student-to-counselor ratios can benefit the students of Pennsylvania. I am also active in our local organization, The School Counselors of NEPA, where I currently serve as president-elect. I’ve maintained a strong connection with Marywood, serving both as a site supervisor and adjunct instructor for graduate school counseling courses. I also serve on the Advisory Council and several discussion panels. My time at Marywood University has impacted my professional character in immeasurable ways. Most importantly, as students, we were always encouraged to hold ourselves to the highest of standards. I see this reflected in the continued evolvement of the programming at Marywood, and I see this in my own core values as a school counselor. I continue to maintain professional relationships with some of my Marywood Professors, especially Dr. Barna. It’s been eight years since I graduated, but she will offer me her sage consult whenever it is needed. The continued symbiotic relationship between my professional life and Marywood speaks to the deep roots that the educational programs have with their students.
Matthew Nice, Ph.D.
As a Tenure-track Assistant Professor in the department of counseling at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) I have the pleasure of providing research, instruction, and leadership to the field of professional counseling. My road to becoming a professor began at Marywood University’s counselor education program. I learned the skills to not only become a clinician but a professional. I would highly recommend the counseling program at Marywood for the meaningful curriculum and faculty who are behind you every step of the way. My experience at Marywood helped shape me both as a professional and a person. Marywood’s counseling faculty challenged me and provided me with all the tools to succeed as a professional counselor and into my doctoral studies. One of my favorite parts of my time at Marywood was being a leader in Marywood’s Chi Sigma Iota counseling honor society. CSI provided me with leadership experience, volunteer opportunities, and social comradery with fellow students .
Amanda Rosemergy, M.S.
I am a College & Career Counselor at Wallenpaupack Area High School. As one member of what I like to call the Career Team, myself, my fellow College & Career Counselors and our district's Transition Coordinator work together to bring meaningful career and post-secondary education experiences to our students. This year we've arranged college/university "Instant Decision Days", one-on-one job shadows, educational field trips, college and technical school visits, on-campus speakers, college/post-secondary fairs, and job fairs. As a College & Career Counselor, my goal is to ensure that every student has at least one meaningful career-related experience before they graduate from our high school. The College & Career Counselor is a brand new position this year, and we have been working as a team with our fellow school counselors, the transition coordinator, and our administration to develop a vibrant career and post-secondary program for our students. We are currently searching for ways to engage with our students virtually, and to continue to bring them information that will benefit them as they continue to plan for life after high school. My hope is that next year we will be able to run our full calendar of events without any major disruptions! One of my favorite aspects of the School Counseling program at Marywood is that my school counseling professors allowed me to play to my strengths while also challenging me to get outside of my comfort zone. While getting my Master's degree, I worked as an Admissions Counselor at Marywood and found that my favorite part of school counseling was discussing post-secondary planning and careers with high school students. In my school counseling classes, my professors allowed me the opportunity to create lessons and activities centered around careers and post-secondary planning, but also encouraged me to move away from my narrow focus on careers when creating lessons and activities. This broadening of my horizons was very helpful when, shortly after graduation, I was hired to work as a counselor in a K-8 charter school, a job which I held for 2.5 years before starting my current position!
Matt Adelfio, M.S.
I am an elementary school counselor at the Delaware Valley Elementary School in Matamoras PA. This school year is my second year as a school counselor. I was a long term sub last year at DVES and am now the full-time counselor at DVES. School counselors have many different hats and this is definitely the case being at an elementary school. I am the SAP coordinator for the school, liaison between community resources and families, teaching guidance lessons, individual and group counseling, crisis counseling and support, and the list could go on. I love the position I am in because I can connect to the students on a much more personal level and make a huge difference in a child that is suffering from any type of issue. In the short amount of time I have been a counselor, I have watched a lot of students make positive gains and develop into better students and people. This is why I love the job. Currently, I am the elementary representative on the comprehensive school counseling plan committee, which allows me to make an impact district wide instead of just in my singular building. Marywood taught me a lot about myself and what being a counselor is all about. The staff worked hard to mold us into positive role models for students and allowed us to use our autonomy to become the best of the best. Prospective counseling students at Marywood have so much to look forward to because you are in one of the best programs this state has to offer. You are basically guaranteed a job once you have graduated just because you survived a rigorous program. Biggest piece of advice I have to offer is to grind through the program, embrace the challenge, and give it your best shot because not only will you be an amazing counselor in the end, but you will become a better person.
MaKenzie Rupert, M.S.
I am currently in my second year at Manassas Park Elementary (3rd to 5th grade) in Manassas Park, VA. We are located about 40 minutes from Washington, D.C. My district consists of 68% of students who are low SES and 66% Hispanic we are also a title I school. Unlike other schools in Virginia, we are not a county school and only consist of 4 schools! I love how small our district is. I work primarily with the 4th graders and half of the 5th grader. Luckily, I have a co-counselor and we both have a caseload of about 400 students. I truly love my job since I am able to be active in many different areas within my school. Every day, I am in at least two classrooms teaching classroom guidance (I am in a rotation as a special). Prior to March 13th and being closed for the 2019-2020 school year, I completed 7 small lunch bunch groups on self-control, mindfulness, leadership, and self-esteem. Of course, I love actively working individually with students. I assist in coordinating Nourishing Ninjas (weekend backpack program for 100 students), Cougars 4 Christmas (staff adopting students for Christmas) and various school-wide programs (Olweus Bullying Prevention, The Great Kindness Challenge, and Pawsitive Paws). Of course, there is more that Manassas Park Elementary School's counseling department does! I also continue my love for professional development! I am currently taking more graduate classes at George Mason University to complete coursework to prepare myself for my ESOL certification and continue to work on my Spanish! Up to COVID-19, I had received a scholarship to attend ASCA2020 in Seattle, WA but to stay safe I am (probably) going to postpone attending till 2021. I love that every day I go into my job and it is something new! I love when kiddos come into my office and say "I really haven't needed to talk since I've been solving my problems myself." When they have the light bulb moment and I say "that's my main goal kiddo, is for you not to need me" is what I love about my job. School counseling is not an easy job, but it sure is rewarding! The connections and relationships that you make with students, families, staff make all the difficult times COMPLETELY worth it. I'm so grateful for my Marywood family for evolving me into the professional school counselor I am today.