The first week in February, PA Leadership Charter School (PALCS) helped celebrate National School Counseling Week 2019. The theme of this year’s NSCW is “School Counselors: Providing Lessons for Life”. As a community, we hope to bring public attention to the unique contribution of school counselors within our school systems.

National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, “highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career”.

To start the week-long celebration at PALCS, our Guidance Team sponsored “Power of Parents”, a virtual educational session with a PALCS parent and community organizer with Communities Care, Loretta Cohen, MSW. PALCS wrapped up the festivities on, Friday, February 8th, with “College-Wear Day.” All faculty and students were encouraged to represent their college pride in an effort to get students thinking about their options for the future.

We recently asked our PALCS Guidance Counselors what their favorite part about their job is. Let’s see what some of them are saying about why they chose their career paths:

Ms. Mary Beth Stefanski, USP Guidance Counselor – “I became a counselor because I wanted to try and make a positive difference in my students lives! My favorite part about my job is building positive relationships with my students, getting to know them, and seeing how wonderful and truly amazing they are! I believe that school counselors can really make a difference with a good team surrounding them (teachers, coworkers, staff, principals). I am so grateful for my great team at USP and PALCS, and I hope we can continue to try and impact our students lives!”

Ms. Erica Titlow, High School Guidance Counselor (Grade 12) – “I’ve always been the person people sought out when going through a difficult time and I wanted to hone in on those skills professionally. I also like the unique position being a School Counselor gives me in the school; I’m able to talk with students and parents as well as collaborate with teachers to work towards a common goal.” Ms. Titlow’s favorite part about her job is building relationships with her students.

Mrs. Lauren DiFerdinando, Middle School Guidance Counselor (Grades 7-8) – “I have worked with kids in all kinds of capacities, but once I graduated from college and began working closely with students who needed a little extra support, both academically and emotionally, I really enjoyed working with, talking to, and helping these kids. It became clear to me that becoming a School Counselor was the right fit for me. My favorite part of the job is connecting with students! We all have a unique journey and I truly love leaning about who my students are and who they want to become!”

Ms. Andrea Malvestuto, Elementary & Middle School Guidance Counselor (Grades 4-6) – “I knew when I was in high school that I wanted to be a counselor. I chose school counseling because I am passionate about building relationships with students and helping them succeed. I enjoy building trust with my students and helping them learn to enjoy school again.”

Ms. Heather Priar, High School Guidance Counselor (Grade 11) – “I went into counseling because I wanted to be able to help students and make a difference. My favorite part of my job is helping students achieve their goals.”

Mrs. Jessica Bergmaier, Elementary Guidance Counselor (Grades K-3) – “I always loved school! I was the kid that cried on the last day of school because I didn’t want it to end. As I was completing my psychology degree, I had to think about the path I wanted to go into for a career. When I came across the school counseling program, I thought…hmmm I love school, I love talking to people, I love helping people, I think I found my place in the world! My favorite part about your job is helping students realize that they all have gifts and talents to share with the world! The fun part is helping them find out what they are! My students and their families are extremely important to me. I feel privileged to be part of their lives!”

Ms. Kathleen DeLussa, Guidance Support Specialist – “I always had an interest in psychology and education and knew that I wanted to work with children. I decided that becoming a school counselor was the best way to blend my two interests. I spent 10 years in the field helping children from grades K-8. Now that I have re-entered the work force, I love my position as a guidance counselor assistant. I enjoy working with wonderful and extremely dedicated counselors and teachers in this awesome cyber-setting!”

Mrs. Christine Marks, Guidance Counselor and 504 Coordinator – “Being available to students on so many different planes is gratifying. It is challenging and rewarding to strive to make an enriched environment that supports students in their time of self-discovery. Everyday I’m helping students overcome obstacles to learning. The opportunity to be part of a child’s life in such a powerful way is very meaningful part of my job.”

PALCS would like to take this time to thank all of our wonderful Guidance Department for all that they do! Thank you for understanding our students, building relationships with them, and ensuring that they are getting the best support and education that they deserve! Keep up the hard work!