Kim Chandler, Director of School Counseling
The ConVal school counselors partner with teachers, administrators, parents, and the community to help all students become lifelong learners and problem solvers. School counselors play an integral part in supporting students in their academic, career, and personal/social development.
The counselors implement the American School Counseling Association (ASCA) National Model to incorporate the themes of leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. The ASCA Model is explained in this video about the model at ConVal.
ConVal school counselors adhere to expectations set forth by the New Hampshire Department of Education, ASCA competencies, ASCA ethical standards, and ConVal School District performance expectations. All can be accessed in the ConVal School Counseling Framework.
All ConVal school counselors maintain certification and participate in required professional development to stay current. Counselor’s effectiveness and knowledge is also supplemented by membership in professional associations.
The ConVal school counselor’s mission is to provide all students with a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes student achievement through maximum growth in academic, career, and personal/social domains.
ConVal school counselors will help all students realize their potential, find purpose, and become engaged participants in their community.
In conjunction with the ConVal District vision statement, school counselors will create and cultivate these conditions in the lives of our students:
- Sense of belonging
- Access to heroes and caring role models
- Sense of accomplishment
- Fun and excitement
- Curiosity and creativity
- Spirit of adventure
- Leadership and responsibility
- Confidence to set goals and take action to reach those goals
- School counselors believe all students can achieve and reach post-secondary success.
- The school counseling program is planned, managed, delivered and evaluated by a team of certified professional school counselors using evidence-based practices.
- School counselors believe the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program is the best way to meet the developmental needs of all students.
- School counselors serve as advocates for all students.
- School counselors cultivate opportunities for self-directed growth in academic, personal/social and career areas.
- School counselors collect and analyze data in relationship to student achievement to implement change and guide program management.
- School counselors believe and implement with fidelity ASCA Ethical Standards.
ConVal School Counselors
|Jennifer Ahlquist, M.Ed.||School Counselor||Peterborough Elementary School|
|Kim Chandler, MA||Director||ConVal High School|
|Keira Christian, M.Ed.||School Counselor||South Meadow School|
|Rebecca Dunn, M.Ed.||School Counselor||ConVal High School|
|JoAnn Fletcher, MA||School Counselor||ConVal High School|
|Jennifer Geaumont, MS||Transition Coordinator||ConVal High School|
|Laura Gourlay, M.Ed.||School Counselor||Great Brook School|
|Robin Gregg, MSW, Ph.D.||School Counselor||Antrim and Pierce Elementary Schools|
|Betsy Hinkle, M.Ed.||Student Assistance Counselor||ConVal High School|
|Kristin Ingram, M.Ed.||School Counselor||ConVal High School|
|Shawn King, M.Ed. CAGS||Student Assistance Counselor||ConVal High School|
|Eric Kostecki, MA||School Counselor||ConVal High School|
|Melissa Mucha, M.Ed.||School Counselor||Dublin and Temple Elementary Schools|
|Stephanie Smart, M.Ed.||School Counselor||South Meadow School|
|Jen Swasey, MS||School Counselor||Francestown, Hancock, and Greenfield
School Counselor, Peterborough Elementary School
Jenny Ahlquist is a Keene State College alumna, having earned a B.A. in Social Studies in 2014, and an M.Ed. in School Counseling in 2016. As a Keene State student, Jenny completed both her elementary and high school counseling internships in the Winchendon School District. Jenny enjoys being part of the PBIS team and being the contact person for of the End 68 Hour of Hunger program at PES. Prior to living and working in the Monadnock Region, Jenny grew up in Reading, Massachusetts, with her family. There, Jenny worked for 7 summers as an overnight camp counselor for boys and girls ages 7-15, which led her to pursue a career in counseling. In her spare time, Jenny likes to visit the Humane Society and read. This is her second year at ConVal.
Keira Christian earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire, and M.Ed. in School Counseling from UNH-Manchester. She earned honors distinction in her Master’s program, awarded to just 5% of the graduating class.
Prior to her role as counselor at South Meadow School, Keira was a substitute teacher in the district, and acted as temporary school counselor at Milford High School. She has a background working with students with emotional and behavioral needs at Crotched Mountain School in Greenfield, Conant High School in Jaffrey, and Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, NH. At Conant, Keira was a member of a grant team integrating educational technologies into the classroom for students with special needs, and developed a School-to-Work curriculum to prepare behaviorally challenging students for life after high school. In addition, she has three years’ experience as the Advertising and Social Media Marketing Director for a small company in Massachusetts.
Director of School Counseling
Kim Varney Chandler has a B.S. degree in Business Administration and an M.A. degree in Counseling, both from the University of New Hampshire. After six years as a school counselor at Timberlane High School in Plaistow, New Hampshire, Kim relocated to Virginia where she worked as a school counselor and director at Gloucester High School. She was selected as the Virginia School Counseling Supervisor of the Year in 2010 and served as president of the Peninsula Counselor Association. She received the Outstanding Youth Advocate Award in 2004. Kim has been the School Counseling Director at ConVal since 2012. She is a trained RENEW facilitator and leads ConVal High School in suicide prevention and assessment. Kim is a member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force and is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Kim has been a Rotarian since 2012 and has served as president and treasurer. She has been an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution since 2007 and serves as a chapter officer, state chairman, and National vice chairman. She served on the Board of the ConVal Community Scholarship Dollars for Scholars from 2012-2014 and has been a Board member of Monadnock at Home since 2015. She is a member of both the American School Counselor Association and the New Hampshire School Counselor Association.
School Counselor, ConVal High School
Rebecca has a B.A. from Stonehill College, M.Ed. in School Counseling and post-masters certificate in Educational Leadership from Keene State College. Rebecca has been a school counselor in the ConVal school district at several of the elementary schools. After leaving for a year to complete an administrative internship, Rebecca is thrilled to return to the ConVal district to be school counselor at the high school. Prior to becoming a school counselor, Rebecca worked as a counselor in residential placement, coordinator of an after-school program, and case manager for a court diversion program. Rebecca considers herself a lifelong learner and enjoys adopting new hobbies and connecting with students over shared interests.
School Counselor, ConVal High School
JoAnn Fletcher as a B.A. in Psychology from the University at Albany and a Master’s degree is Student Personnel Administration from Bowling Green State University. She has worked in every level of education from pre-schools to colleges. Prior to joining the staff of CVHS, JoAnn worked as a college instructor and Dean of Students. She is the advisor to the ConVal Interact Club, is a trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid and is a member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force. She is a member of both the American School Counselor Association and the New Hampshire School Counselor Association. This is her twelfth year at ConVal.
Transition Coordinator, ConVal High School
Jennifer earned a B.A. in Communication from Keene State College, and an M.A. in Community Mental Health Counseling from Springfield College. She also is a certified K-12 Guidance Counselor for the State of New Hampshire. Before working at ConVal, Jennifer spent over ten years working with youth and adolescents for the Department of Education as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and as a counselor for the Department of Children Youth and Families. She is a trained RENEW facilitator, leader of the Check In/Check Out program at ConVal, and a member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force. Jen is in her tenth year at CVHS.
School Counselor, Great Brook School
Laura Gourlay has a B.A. in English from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, and an M.Ed. in School Counseling from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. This is Laura’s third year as a member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force.
Prior to coming to ConVal seven years ago, Laura and her family lived in Stratford, Connecticut, for 12 years. She worked in the business consultancy field as a marketing manager, planning events and conferences, for 19 years. Laura started as the School Counselor at Great Brook School (GBS) in 2011, and supports a middle school population of approximately 250 students. Laura serves/has served on various committees in the district, including Career Education, Scheduling, and GBS Leadership. She also worked on the committees that helped get GBS awarded Middle School of the Year in 2014, and the designation as a NELMS Spotlight School in 2015.
Laura’s areas of focus include 504 plan coordination, PBIS interventions, being a member of the Instructional Support Team (IST), delivering Social Thinking curriculum to all grade levels, elementary to middle/middle to high school transition processes, and LSCI. Laura is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid and is a member of the New Hampshire School Counselor Association.
Before coming to work at the ConVal School District, Robin Gregg held a variety of positions in human services and education and lived in a number of different states. She attended public school in Morristown, New Jersey, where she was exposed to political activism at an early age and co-founded her Morristown High School’s Social Action Committee. For her first professional job after graduating from college (Drew University, where she helped to create a women’s studies minor), she worked as a social worker in a women’s prison (Clinton Correctional Institution in New Jersey.) She then earned a MSW at the University of Kentucky, worked as a rural, medical social worker in West Virginia; at the Highlander Center for Research and Education in New Market, Tennessee for four years as an adult educator/community health organizer in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, western North Carolina and southwestern Virginia; and then for four years as a faculty member at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia (teaching Social Work). She then returned to graduate school, earning a Ph. D (in social welfare ) from Brandeis University.
After Brandeis, she worked at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in Massachusetts as a social science researcher for four years. and then as a free-lance social science researcher/writer. After volunteering in her daughter’s preschool and elementary school, she returned (again!) to graduate school, this time to earn a post-Master’s certificate in School Counseling at Keene State College. As part of that program, she completed internships at Peterborough Elementary School and South Meadow School and worked part-time at Hancock Elementary School, Antrim Elementary School. and Greenfield Elementary School. She then applied for her current position and was delighted when she was chosen to become the School Counselor at Antrim Elementary School, Dublin Consolidated School and the Pierce School. After thirteen years in that position, she now continues to work as the School Counselor at Antrim Elementary School and Pierce School. Robin is a member of the New Hampshire School Counselor Association Board and the district’s Substance Abuse Task Force.
Student Assistance Counselor, ConVal High School
Betsy Hinkle has a B.A. in Physical Education from Plymouth State University and an M. Ed. in School Counseling from Keene State College. She began her career as a Physical Education teacher at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire, and found herself drawn to the area of school counseling. For the past two years she has worked at Wediko Children’s Services, a residential school for boys with complex psychiatric disorders. Betsy looks forward to bringing what she learned there to the work she will do with the students and families of the ConVal School District.
Career Counselor, ConVal High School
Kristin Ingram has a B.S. in Psychology, an A.S. in Chemical Dependency and a M. Ed. in School Counseling, all through Keene State College. She serves on the New Hampshire Council for Developmental Disabilities. She is an advisor to the Student Leadership Team, member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force, and a trained RENEW facilitator. She is a member the New Hampshire School Counselor Association and is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Kristin will transition to a career counselor position in 2017. Ms. Ingram will focus on internships, extended learning opportunities, independent studies, career assessments, and career planning for all students at ConVal. Kristin’s fifteen years of experience at ConVal will be a great asset to her new role. She is looking forward to fostering our relationships in the community and supporting students in their pursuit of future careers.
Student Assistance Counselor, ConVal High School
Shawn King earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston. Following more than a decade in the corporate sector, she earned a M.Ed. in School Counseling at Rivier College. In 2017, Shawn completed her CAGS in Mental Health Counseling through Rivier University. After fifteen years as a school counselor, Shawn has taken on the role of student assistance counselor at ConVal. She will be working toward earning a license in mental health counseling through her work at ConVal and as a part-time clinician at Monadnock Family Services in Peterborough. Shawn will be the new facilitator of the Substance Abuse Task Force.
Shawn is the RENEW Coach for ConVal and a trained facilitator. She has presented nationally about RENEW and it’s success at ConVal. Shawn is the advisor for the Student Leadership Team, a member the New Hampshire School Counselor Association, and is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Eric Kostecki has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and an M.Ed in Counseling from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He is in his thirteenth year as a school counselor and his eighth year at ConVal. Prior to ConVal, Eric worked as a school counselor in the North Carolina school system. He is an advisor for the Class of 2019, Director of the Adult Diploma Program, member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force, and a trained RENEW facilitator. Eric is leading the Check In/Check Out intervention program at ConVal and also is the coordinator for all Naviance career and college activities. He is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid and is a member of the New Hampshire School Counselor Association.
School Counselor, Dublin and Temple Elementary Schools
Born and raised in Keene, Melissa Mucha has traveled extensively throughout Central and South America, living for almost two years in Ecuador. She first graduated from Keene State College in 2005 with a B.A. in Social Science and a B.A. in Spanish, whereupon she moved to the Boston area and began working in the mental health and substance abuse department for a major health insurance company. The responsibilities associated with her role as the senior business analyst within that department included things such as facilitating corporate program development, staff training, legal compliance and monitoring the specialty eating disorder case management of health plan members.
After several years, Melissa left her position in the corporate world to become a stay-at-home parent to her son Connor and daughter Nora. She and her family relocated back to Keene in 2012, a move which afforded Melissa the opportunity to pursue her M.Ed. at Keene State College and focus in school counseling. She graduated in the spring of 2016 and accepted an elementary school counseling position within the ConVal District in 2016. She currently works at both Dublin Consolidated and Temple Elementary Schools. She is a member the New Hampshire School Counselor Association and is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
School Counselor, South Meadow School
Stephanie Smart earned a B.S. in Business-Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University, and her M.Ed. in School Counseling from Rivier University. Stephanie is a new member of the Substance Abuse Task Force, as well as a new Advisory Council Member. She is a member the New Hampshire School Counselor Association and is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Prior to joining South Meadow School, Stephanie worked at Fidelity Investments for 8 years. In August of 2009, she took a leap of faith to pursue the field of School Counseling. After completing her Masters program, Stephanie worked off and on, from 2012-2015, in both the Nashua School District and the Bedford School District. In 2012 and 2014, she had two daughters, with whom she was fortunate enough to stay with at home. During her employment at Nashua High School South, Stephanie was Lead Advisor for the SADD program and a member of the scholarship committee. Stephanie also completed her internship and worked at Fairgrounds Middle School in Nashua, where she had the opportunity to collaborate with outside agencies to bring in new curriculum and resources for their students. This is her second year in the ConVal School District.
School Counselor, Greenfield, Bennington and Francestown Elementary Schools
Jennifer Swasey earned a B.A. in Business Administration Management from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources/Development and School Counseling from South Dakota State University. Jen is in her 16th year as a school counselor and 4th year at ConVal School District.
Prior to coming to ConVal Jen was a K-12 school counselor in South Dakota and an elementary school counselor in Vermont. She also spent time away from her career to raise her two daughters and support her husband Mark’s collegiate coaching career.
Jen is a trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid and is a member of the ConVal Substance Abuse Task Force. She currently serves the community schools as Elementary School Counselor in Francestown, Greenfield, and Hancock.