School Counseling Team
Back Row: Anne Irwin, Justin LaBerge, Cathy Maguire, Julie Phylis, Meghan Sousa, (Amber Miller, replaced by Elly Mullins), Paula Keymont (retired)
Front Row: Traci Small, Anne Herzberg Eden, Melanie Banks, Melanie Kessler, Elly Mullins
Not Pictured: Jeremy Rischall, Simone Braga, Kelly Albrecht, Natalia Ruiz Toro
About Our School Counseling Team
Ms. Albrecht completed her undergraduate studies at Saint Anselm College. She holds an Ed.M. in Community Education Leadership from Boston University and a M.A. in Bilingual School Counseling from New York University. She has over a decade of professional experience which ranges from higher education admissions and recruitment, family engagement, program management and student services. In her free time you will find Ms. Albrecht exploring New England, cooking yummy recipes, and spending quality time with her family.
Ms. Banks is our College and Career Counselor. Melanie is originally from Connecticut. She holds a B.A. in History from Marist College and recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with an M.A. in Educational Psychology and concentration in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. This is Melanie’s second year with Somerville Public Schools, and she is excited to help students navigate the college and career process. Outside of school, you can find Melanie exploring local community events.
Ms. Eden has been the MLE (Multilingual Learner Education) School Counselor at Somerville High School since 2007 and speaks Spanish and Russian. She received her bachelor’s degree in Science from McGill University and her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from University of Arizona. Ms. Eden helped start the Community Service Club at Somerville High School in 2009 and then was the volunteer coordinator at SHS. She is now the only school counselor in SHS's first specialized community - Elm - focusing on meeting the needs of recently-arrived immigrant students and their families. In her free time, Ms. Eden loves to read, volunteer, knit, and crochet, and spends most of her time with her two young sons. Follow her on social media: @school_counselor_eden (Instagram) and @ELLCounselor (Twitter).
Ms. Kessler is the Director of College and Career Readiness for Somerville Public Schools. Melanie is originally from New Jersey. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and Human Development from Boston College and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Suffolk University. Melanie began her career in Boston Public Schools as an elementary school teacher. After that, she spent five years at a non-profit organization in Boston that helped underserved students access and succeed in higher education. Melanie came to Somerville Public Schools in 2014 and is thrilled to be able to help Somerville High School students succeed in a variety of post secondary paths. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.
Mr. LaBerge has been a High School Counselor since 2007 and has been at Somerville High School since 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the University of Connecticut in 2003 and his Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado at Denver in 2006. Mr. LaBerge is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). He is the Beacon House counselor and works with students with the last name A–DOQ. In his free time, Mr. LaBerge enjoys spending time with his two children and being outside in nature.
Ms. Maguire joined Somerville High School as the School Counselor for Broadway House in 2007. She holds a B.A. in Human Services with a minor in Spanish from Simmons College, a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University, and an Ed.M. in School Counseling from Boston University. Prior to her work in Somerville, Ms. Maguire worked in a Boston public high school for five years doing college preparatory and post-secondary planning with students. Ms. Maguire is the recipient of a Coca-Cola Scholars Educator of Distinction Award, a Yale Educator Award, she was named a Margaret Addis Memorial Scholar by the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, and she received the Elizabeth B. Rawlins Award for Excellence in Human Services. Outside of school, Ms. Maguire enjoys running, spending time at the beach, and playing with her dog.
Ms. Mullins is the Redirect teacher at Somerville High School. Ms. Mullins holds an undergraduate degree from Hampshire College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Simmons College. She has worked in educational settings as a tutor, mentor, and English teacher since 2006. After many years of teaching literature and writing to middle and high school students, she decided to earn a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University. Outside of school, Ms. Mullins can be found hiking, building and making stuff, or running around Somerville with her son.
Mr. Rischall has a B.A. in psychology with a minor in education from Curry College and a Master's of Science in Applied Ed Psychology with a specialization in school counseling, and a Master's of Education with a concentration in learning instruction and assessment from Northeastern University. Jeremy Rischall started his career at SHS in Elm House in 2016. Over Jeremy's career he has worked as a college counselor/school counselor in both the Boston and Newton Public schools. Most recently, Jeremy worked in higher education at Northeastern in advising/admissions with international students entering the university. Jeremy loves fishing, kayaking, cooking (mainly using a grill or smoker), and watching the Pats and all other Boston sports.
Ms. Sousa is one of the Beacon Community Counselors. As a New Orleans native, Meghan graduated with her B.A. from Loyola University New Orleans in psychology/pre-medical studies with a minor in Chemistry and Philosophy. After 2005, Meghan transitioned full time to Massachusetts and started pursuing further education in the education field by attaining a post-bacclaurate in Special Education at Northeastern. Meghan then began her career in Somerville working as a Teacher/Counselor at Full Circle while going to Northeastern full time for a Master's in School Counseling. Meghan then transitioned to Somerville High School in 2013 as the school counselor in the CVTE program for 9th grade Exploratory students. In her free time, Meghan loves to bake, spend time with her children and family, and root for the Saints during football season.
Ms. Small currently serves as the School Counseling Director at Somerville High School. She started her professional career working in a variety of settings including as the Assistant Director at South Bay Early Intervention. She has also worked in a variety of elementary/middle and high schools as a counselor. Ms. Small graduated from Northeastern University in 1996 with her Master's of Science degree in Educational Psychology specializing in School Counseling. She has taken a number of Educational Leadership courses and currently holds her School/Guidance Director license from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Ms. Small has served in a variety of leadership roles throughout her career including serving on the board of the Maine Counseling Association as the president-elect, president, and past president. Throughout her career, Ms. Small has chaired and been an active member of a variety of committees including Student Intervention Teams, Dropout Prevention, Crisis Response, and School Improvement Planning. Ms. Small loves spending time with her husband and two daughters. They especially love to boat, fish, swim, and hike at their “camp” in Maine.