RANDOLPH, NJ - Over the past few years, the Randolph Guidance Department recognized the need to change their name to better reflect their role in providing services to all students from kindergarten to grade 12.

While the Board of Education did approve the name change back in November, the newly-renamed School Counseling Department provided a thorough presentation on their responsibilities at the January 16 meeting.

“The title, Guidance Department, and the perception that comes with that title… stands in our way,” said Director of School Counseling, Charles Dimiceli. “We implement a program that’s comprehensive in K-12: it’s a program that builds upon itself and is based on the students’ needs.”

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According to the Randolph Township statement, “school counselors work with students and their families to balance their learning, academics and attendance with their emotional wellness and stability.”

Board member, Tammy MacKay spoke in support of the name change saying, “They take your kids from day one until graduation. They help with scheduling, emotional well being, health and wellness. Every aspect or issue that a kid has, they end up in your offices, and [the counselors] end up as part of [the student's] team.”

Dimiceli explained that the name change represents their efforts to be at the “cutting edge of what we do in our field.”

In addition to one-on-one counseling, the school counselors co-teach with classroom teachers in areas of need and hold counseling groups at elementary, middle school and high school levels. Their goal is to “increase student contact time and develop programs and presentations that support student growth and success in all buildings,” Dimiceli continued.

“What we may have thought of as our guidance counselors when we were in school,” said Superintendent Jenn Fano, “it has since changed, and our counselors are phenomenal.”

Senior Class President Nate Pangaro spoke in support of the counseling department saying they have been “very flexible and kindhearted" in academic situations and other areas of his life.

Randolph Township will recognize National School Counseling Week from February 5-9, celebrating the efforts of the department.