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Following National School Counseling Week...Do You Know OUR School Counselors?

Between them is more than a century of school counseling experience and a cadre of advanced degrees. If you have a problem. If there's a particular school you want to get into. If you just want to talk. Maybe you should get to know the eight members of our amazing School Counseling team!

Feb. 5 - 8 was National School Counseling Week, a period that focuses public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. Here at Iona Prep, students are first introduced to our comprehensive and developmental counseling program by being assigned a school counselor that will remain with them throughout their four-year Upper School journey. In their junior year, each Gael receives a college counselor to aid in the college application process.

The results speak for themselves. A 100 percent graduation rate. Over the last three years, 76 percent of graduates are earning academic scholarships and 55 percent of those are in excess of the four-year Iona Prep tuition. This means that an Iona Prep education pays dividends for a lifetime of learning that continues at colleges and universities such as Brown, Cornell, MIT, Notre Dame and Stanford.

But beyond the statistics and accolades, there are eight individuals who make sure our boys are cared for--mind, body and spirit--as they grow to become Iona men:

PATRICIA ALBANESE, Administrative Assistant for School Counseling
23 years at Iona Prep
“The role of the school counseling program has grown over the years and school counselors are so much more noticeable. The size of the department has almost doubled and the necessary services provided to students have expanded as well.”

TERENCE J. HOULIHAN '88, Director of School Counseling
21 years at Iona Prep
BA, Manhattan College
MS Ed., City University of New York, Lehman College
“Many stakeholders have experienced my insistence that our title is school counselor and not guidance counselors. The term, guidance, implies that we know better than students and their families...our role is to collaborate with families, administrators and teachers to help students achieve academic, personal and social success in school and sometimes that may involve a counseling role. Also, psychologists and social workers in schools are not called guidance psychologists or guidance social workers, the same should apply to school counselors. This week celebrates and acknowledges the professional and supportive role that school counselors play at Iona Prep.”

PHIL TREGLIA '94, School Counselor
16 years at Iona Prep
BS Suny Cortland, MS Mercy College
“Our school counseling program is professional and we are often the first point of contact for students and families. I became a school counselor because I wanted to connect with students and because I wanted to help them and make a difference in their lives. The collaboration and team approach of our school counseling program is what makes us so strong as a department.”

MICHAEL P. KIERS '95, College Counselor
15 years
MS School Counseling, MS School Building Leadership
“The school counseling program offers students wonderful opportunities throughout the four years including a comprehensive plan including social, emotional, career, and college planning. All counselors are very involved with their students, and go the extra mile to be an advocate.”

NANCY KESSLER, LCSW, School Social Worker
15 years at Iona Prep
MSW from Fordham University, Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC)
Selected by Westchester Magazine as an "Unsung Hero" in 2016
“School counselors have the capacity to shape students, help them be more resilient and have them see the bigger picture. It also affords the opportunity to have students interact with an adult other than their parents and a teacher who has an automatic relationship of standards and expectations. Iona Prep’s school counseling department is highly professional, also looking for innovative ways to help student grow and cope and it has a wonderful sense of cohesiveness.”

KATHERINE B. REILLY, College Counselor
4 years at Iona Prep, 22 years College Admissions at Iona College
Bachelors of Business Administration, Marymount College
“Joining the Iona Prep School Counseling Team has given me the opportunity to observe and work with our young men and see them go through different developmental stages. Sharing in their growth process and helping to navigate their future has been very rewarding and fulfilling.”

1st year at Iona Prep, 7 years as a counselor in schools
Undergraduate at Hellenic College/Holy Cross - Human Development
MS Ed., Fordham University - Pupil and Personnel Services
“What I like about the school counseling program at Iona is the collaboration and support we have with/for each other as counselors, with our teachers, but mostly the open communication and support with our students and families.”

FRANK SAMBULA, JR., School Counselor
1st year at Iona Prep
B.A., M.S Ed (cand, 2018) City University of New York, Lehman College
“We have a dynamic school counseling team here at Iona. The collaboration and cohesiveness we have among each other propels us to develop a comprehensive school program to ensure we meet the needs of all our students.”

Source: School Counseling Department