School Counseling Team
Back Row: Anne Irwin, Justin LaBerge, Cathy Maguire, Julie Phylis, Meghan Sousa, Amber Miller, Paula Keymont Front Row: Traci Small, Anne Herzberg Eden, Melanie Banks, Melanie Kessler, Elly Mullins Not Pictured: Jeremy Rischall, Simone Braga
Ms. Banks is our College and Career Counselor serving students whose last names begin between the letters A-LE. Melanie is originally from Connecticut. She holds a BA in History from Marist College and recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with a M.A. in Educational Psychology and concentration in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. This is Melanie’s first 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 events happening in the community.
Ms. Eden has been the ELL (English Language Learner) 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 now is the volunteer coordinator at SHS – matching adult volunteers with individual students for tutoring as well as for classroom support. In her free time, Ms. Eden loves to read, knits and crochets, enjoys a wide variety of watersports (in the summer), and volunteers regularly with Boston Cares. She is also working on learning two more languages.
Ms. Kessler is the Director of College and Career Readiness for Somerville Public Schools. Melanie is originally from New Jersey. She holds a BA in Elementary Education and Human Development from Boston College and a 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 5 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.
Ms. Keymont is the School Counselor for Highland House serving students whose last names begin between the letters LF-PI. She has worked for Somerville Public Schools since 1994 where she was originally hired to work at SCALE as the educational support counselor in the HiSet program formally known as the GED. Ms. Keymont has worked in city high schools since graduating from the University of Lowell (now known as UMASS/Lowell) in 1984 with a B.A. in Spanish in different positions involving dropout prevention and school-to-career readiness programs. Upon completing her Master’s Degree in Counseling Education in 1991, Ms. Keymont was thrilled at the opportunity to move into a counselor position at Somerville High when one became available in 1996. Over the years Ms. Keymont has been a Class Advisor, an Advisor to the GSA, and most recently, after successfully completing a 200 hour course to become a certified Yoga instructor in 2013, has taught yoga to interested students after school as part of the Yoga Club and has worked with the boys and girls track teams. She also holds a certification in Therapeutic Yoga.
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 Masters 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 loves to hike, backpack, play sports, workout and travel.
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 5 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 dogs.
Mr. Rischall has a B.A in Psychology with a minor in education from Curry College and a Masters of Science in Applied Ed Psychology with a specialization in school counseling and a Masters 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 an 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 the CVTE School Counselor for Somerville High and works with all 9th grade Exploratory students. As a New Orleans native, Meghan graduated with her B.A. at Loyola University New Orleans in psychology/pre-medical studies. After 2005, Meghan transitioned full time to Massachusetts and started pursuing further education in the Education field by completing a certification program at Northeastern and attaining her Biology and Special education licensure in order to begin a career in public schools. Meghan then began her career in Somerville working as a Teacher/Counselor at Full Circle while going to Northeastern full time for a Masters in School Counseling. Meghan is now in her fourth year as a school counselor and her eighth year in the district.
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 work 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.
[On leave for the School Year 2020] Ms. Alter is the school counselor for the Redirect Program, serving students who can benefit from additional social, emotional and organizational support during the school day. Zanny is originally from Cambridge, where she graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. She earned her BA in Sociology and Education from Bryn Mawr College, and her Ed.M. in School Counseling from Harvard University. Before becoming a counselor, Zanny coordinated a partnership between Bryn Mawr College and the Parkway West High School in Philadelphia, which aimed to improve college access and persistence. As a part of her graduate work, Zanny interned at both the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and the O’Bryant School of Mathematics & Science in Boston, MA. Zanny began working in the Redirect classroom in 2013, where she is continually impressed by the wisdom and generosity of her students.