Where did you grow up? Where did you attend college?
I grew up going to Fairfax County Public Schools and graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School. My parents still live in the LBSS community so we’re very close and I usually get to see them every week. Growing up and even right after college I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for a career. I graduated from UVA with a BA in Sociology and after college I started off working for the American Foreign Service Association in Washington, DC. I then switched over to a law firm in DC where I had worked during breaks in high school and college. While working at the law firm I realized that I wanted a career that would allow me to give me back and would be more personally rewarding. I explored graduate programs and found the school counseling program through GWU.
Where have you worked before Stuart? What is your favorite part of being a school counselor?
My final internship in graduate school was at West Potomac High School and I secured a school counselor job there for the following school year. I remained at WP for five years and had a blast getting involved with the school community. In addition to counseling, I also coached swimming and was an advisor to the National Honor Society. I then worked at McLean High School for over four years, up until I arrived here at Stuart HS. At McLean, I focused a lot on student wellness and was an advisor to our Active Minds/Stress Less, Laugh More club. We brought in therapy dogs earlier this year and I think that was my favorite day! Second to that was when we gave out free sno-cones to over 1,500 students. I hope to bring some of those fun types of activities to Stuart.
What made you choose to become a counselor?
I came into the school counseling field with a crisis response perspective in mind. Whenever there was a tragedy like Columbine or 9/11, I remember wondering how those situations were being handled in schools. As the Director of Student Services, I hope to help the Student Services department streamline their programs and processes to help address the needs of all of our students. That way we can try to curb some of the crises our kids face and be more proactive when crises do occur. I’ve been so impressed with the work that the school counselors are doing here to help our students. I’ve also been amazed by our students who have been so welcoming and have openly shared with me some of the challenges they are facing. I can already see that our students are caring, creative, and resilient young men and women. I’m excited to be a part of such a supportive school community like JEB Stuart HS!