Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (NJ)
How did you get your start as a counselor?
I used to work in television news and after a time realized I hated that industry. I taught for a few years and found the only way to increase my pay was to get more graduate credits. Given that I was fortunate to have the best experience with my counselor, I decided this was the area. I always strive to be at least half the counselor Pete Cross was to honor him.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The kids. I walk in the door in the morning with a plan, but I am never quite sure what the day will actually hold. These kids are unpredictable, mostly in a good way. I learn something new from them every day.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
Being involved in NACAC has led me to incredible relationships: with people, with institutions, and with my profession. Without NACAC, I would not have gone to conferences and been invited on fly-ins where I have met some wonderful people on both sides of the desk. I can confidently say that NACAC also played a large role in getting me my current job. I met my boss years ago at an New Jersey ACAC conference and always interacted with her at various conferences and meetings.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
I think this is different depending on the side of the desk you are on. For me, I think that the perception versus reality of the students and their parents is certainly a huge issue. The pressure to get into “a good school” is often so great, whether perceived or real, that it leads to anxiety and mental health issues for the students.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Luckily, my wife and two daughters occupy most of my time. We are fortunate to live three miles from the Atlantic Ocean, so we spend a great deal of time at the beach. My oldest is a sophomore in high school and is teaching me that after almost 20 years of doing this, I know very little about the college process. I also referee high school boys’ lacrosse in New Jersey.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Toby Ziegler from The West Wing. He had a way with words and wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind regardless if the president agreed with him or not.
Describe yourself in five words.
Stubborn, adaptable, open, loyal, and reasonable.
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