Guidance & Counseling
Senior Guidance Clerk - Pat Grant
I graduated from Classical High School and I’ve been working as a Secretary for 41 years, in different capacities,10 of them here at Renaissance. I've lived in Springfield all my life, except for3 years in Chesapeake, VA. Being in Chesapeake was a pleasant experience, but Springfield is home. I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. I am fortunate to be working for the Springfield Renaissance School because I like to inspire young people to be their very best and to try to demonstrate good manners at all time.
Expressing gratitude. Teach your children to say thank you, not just with words but with genuine appreciation. A grateful spirit has been called a building block of humility.
Guidance Counselor (8th & 9th) - Falynne Correia
I have been working in the Springfield Public schools since my Internship in 2005. While attending Springfield College for my Master's Degree, I worked with Mike Ellis at the SAGE School. After graduating in 2007 I began working in the Alternative schools. I have also been a district graduation coach at the High School Completion Program. This is my fourth year at Renaissance and my third year on the Guidance and Counseling team as the 8th and 9th grade counselor. I attended Jacksonville University in Florida for my undergraduate degree in Psychology and am originally from Nantucket, Massachusetts. I love working with students to help them realize their greatest potential and the importance of a higher education. I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter, Madison, whom I hope becomes a STEM superstar in the future.
Guidance Counselor (11th & 12th)- Katelyn Chirekos (Dept. Chair)
I was born and raised in New York, and moved out to Massachusetts when I attended Assumption College in Worcester, where I obtained my BA in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies. I later moved to Western Massachusetts where I attended Springfield College for my Master's in Guidance & Adjustment Counseling K-12. I am a firm believer that every child is bound for greatness and success with some support and encouragement. In my free time I enjoy bringing my dog, Bauer for walks, and training for long-distance races.
Springfield Promise Administrator (Financial Aid Advisor) - Apelila Joseph
I am entering my 5th school year as Renaissance’s Financial Aid Advisor. In addition to advising at Renaissance, I also supervise Springfield Public Schools College Financial Aid Advising Team and am also the District Naviance Coordinator. I graduated from the High School of Science and Technology and went on to attend Smith College where I studied Environmental Science and Policy. I received by MBA from Bay Path University and somehow all that schooling has brought me to college access work. As an SPS student, my family received support navigating the college financial aid process. Financial aid forms and requirements change from year to year. I know firsthand how difficult this process can be and strive to be flexible to meet the needs of students and parents. I am looking forward to another wonderful school year.
School Adjustment Counselor (6th & 7th) - Verba Fanolis
I am a founding staff member of Renaissance. I grew up in the Hungry Hill section of Springfield and attended Glenwood Elementary School, Van Sickle Junior High School and graduated from Classical High School. I received a BA in Sociology from Western New England College and a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut. As the School Adjustment Counselor, I support students to reach their full potential in academics and as contributing members of the school community. In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening and walking my dogs.
Guidance Counselor (10th & 12th) - Alison Stoddard
I grew up with my family in Connecticut before attending Assumption College in Worcester, MA to earn my Bachelor's degree in Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, with minors in Education and Psychology. While at Assumption, I was a member of the women’s basketball team for four years. Prior to graduation, I earned my Master's degree in Education with a focus in school counseling at Springfield College this past May. As a graduate student at Springfield I was also an assistant coach with the women’s basketball team. I was fortunate to complete my school counseling practicum at Renaissance this past year and am grateful that I am able to begin my career here as well!
Graduation Job Coach - La-Toya Wilson
I am a native of Jamaica and grew up in Springfield attending Springfield Public Schools. As a double major, I graduated from Westfield State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Science and I’ve also earned a Master of Education degree from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a concentration in School Counseling. Since 2003, I have served Springfield Public Schools as a Special Education Teacher and School Counselor respectively. To further enhance my knowledge, I’ve attained experience in higher education working in both Admissions and Academic Counseling. I earnestly believe that all students can become successful with support, guidance, and encouragement.
Restorative Justice (RC) Barbara Egan -Cromwell
Joining the Renaissance staff in the fall of 2014 was truly a great decision. I have worn many hats during my 40+ years in education. After earning a Biology degree from Our Lady of the Elms college in 1977 and a long-term substitute assignment at the former Technical High School in Springfield, I landed a permanent assignment at Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, Connecticut where I taught 7th and 8th grade Physical Science and Biology for 35 years.
Retirement in 2013 didn’t suit me well so in January 2014, I was able to use my Master’s degree earned at UMass in Special Education in 1986 at South Hadley High School for the rest of the school year. Servicing students in SPED proved very rewarding so I interviewed in the summer of 2014 in several towns. Renaissance stood out above the rest as dynamic and innovating. I have not been disappointed. Spending 3 years working as a grade 7 and 8 SPED ELA teacher has enabled me to work closely with several small groups of students and enjoy expeditionary learning firsthand.
Since 2017 I have been extremely fortunate to serve in RC as the Restorative Justice Facilitator. Having earned an additional MA in 2002 at AIC as a School Guidance Counselor, this position allows me to service students across the spectrum. It is challenging, exciting and propels me to participate in a vast selection of Professional Development opportunities in order to employ cutting edge strategies in RC. Renaissance has become my new home.