Meet Mrs. Garcia: Schreiber’s Newest Guidance Counselor

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Sadie Poulsen, Contributing Writer

Vanessa Garcia is a new guidance counselor at Schreiber, occupying a position that was added just this year, and she will be working primarily with the ninth and tenth grade students.

 “My goals for this school year are to get to know the students and the community.  I want to offer all my support and help students as much as possible,” said Mrs. Garcia.

 

During the week of the 20th, Mrs. Garcia will teach all ninth and tenth graders about stress management, and throughout the year she will teach them about even more valuable skills.

 

Ms.  Garcia was born and raised in Mineola, a town about seven miles south of Port Washington.  Like many students at Schreiber, her high school experience changed the course of her life and gave her the clarity to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.

 

“While I was in high school, my guidance counselor was a very important person to me because he gave me a lot of support.  The positive impact he had in my life is something that I wanted to give back to other students,” said Garcia.

 

She learned a lot from her guidance counselor, and after high school she realized that kids in school nowadays have a very different and much more stressful experience than she did.

“High school is stressful for all generations, but I do believe that high schoolers now deal with a lot more pressure and stress than years before.  When I was in high school, there was no social media.  Not many students had cell phones.  If they did, it was only for phone calls.  Technology is a great thing, but sadly social media can also have negative effects on teenagers.  Students now also have a lot more things to juggle such as sports, clubs, extracurriculars, etc.  It can be a lot to take on,” said Garcia. 

 

By the end of her high school career, Mrs. Garcia was set on becoming a teacher.  However, her college experience made her realize what she really wanted to be was a guidance counselor.  She majored in Psychology,  which is something she’d been interested in since high school, and from there she realized that she didn’t want to work as a teacher but a psychologist. She received her undergraduate degree at Adelphi University and then went on to obtain her master’s degree at CW Post.  After leaving school, Mrs. Garcia did not go straight to Schrieber.  

 

“I was a counselor at another district in Nassau County for 5 years.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot.  However, it was time for a change and Port Washington aligned with my vision and philosophy,” said Mrs. Garcia. 

 

When asked what drew her to Schreiber, Ms. Garcia responded, “The diverse student body.  It’s a big school with a little bit of everything.  There are a lot of different students with a lot of different backgrounds.”  

She was a frequent visitor to Port Washington for various reasons while growing up, so she knew the community was great and the area was beautiful, and she had a really positive first impression of the school. 

 

 “Everyone seemed really friendly and happy to be here which is a good sign.  I pretty much liked everything about it. It seemed like a school that really cares about its students, and all the teachers seemed to care a lot, and that’s really important to me.  Ultimately our goal is for the student to be happy and be successful, so when they move on to college or the next step they have those skills they learned in high school,” said Garcia, emphasizing how much she cares about her students and truly appreciates being a counselor. 

 

 Finally, she concluded by highlighting that aside from her personal, career questioning, she still saw, “Schreiber as a great place to be, whether you are a teacher or a counselor,” yet reaffirming her confidence in her choice by explaining that, “as a counselor, you get to know your students for a longer time frame since you follow them throughout their high school journey.  The strong sense of community is part of what makes Schreiber special.”