Guidance & Counseling
Senior Guidance Clerk - Pat Grant
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.
Americorps Guidance Intern - Marcelino Diaz
I am a Springfield College senior entering my first year in the BS/MSW program. I was born and raised in Hartford, CT and graduated high school from Classical Magnet where I played baseball, basketball, and soccer. During my time at Springfield College, I have been an active member of the campus community. On top of being an AmeriCorps member, I am also the President of the Men of Excellence club on campus, the Vice President of Inclusion and Community Engagement for the Student Government Association, and a Cultural Connections Coordinator for the office of Multicultural Affairs. I hope to be able to use this experience as a guide towards figuring out what I wish to do with my Social Work degree upon graduation. I am thrilled to be a part of the wonderful community here at Renaissance, and I look forward to being of service to the students.
Guidance Intern - Grace Wong
I am a Guidance Intern at Renaissance for the 2019-2020 school year. I was born and raised in New York City, where I attended the High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York. I received my BA in Religion from Vassar College and am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Social Work at the Smith College School for Social Work. I have worked in human services in New York for many years, including with young people experiencing homelessness as well as women survivors of human trafficking. After living in many different places around the world including Germany, India, and Malaysia, I have now landed in Western MA.
In my spare time I enjoy reading fiction and histories of people of color, writing, cooking good meals, listening to music, and hanging out with my rabbit. I am excited to walk alongside students at Renaissance as they identify and work toward their goals as budding young adults. I truly believe that "another world is possible" and that it takes a little imagination and a lot of working together to make it so.
Guidance Intern - Tenzin Dhekyong
I am a proud outgoing Tibetan-American born in Dharmsala in northern India. I lived in a Tibetan refugee community before immigrating to the United States. Having lived in a marginalized community over the years, I’ve developed a strong passion for advocating and serving underrepresented students, as I believe that with proper and timely support these students too can be very successful and become contributing members of our community.
I received my B.S. in Psychology Cum Laude at Southern Vermont College. Currently, I am in my final year of graduate school at UMass-Amherst, studying for my M.Ed & Ed.S in School Counseling.
In my spare time, I volunteer as a teacher assistant at the local weekend Tibetan language and cultural classes. I enjoy photography, hiking and solo traveling. I am looking forward to being part of the Renaissance Guidance team.
I am excited to be working with Renaissance as a Guidance Intern for the year. I received my B.S in Psychology from College of the Holy Cross, and I'm currently pursuing my Masters in Education at UMass-Amherst. I grew up in Holyoke, with my energetic Dominican family. In Holyoke, I worked for the Boys and Girls Club for several years after graduation. I currently work as a part-time therapeutic mentor for Gandara CSA, in addition to this internship.
Whenever I have free time, (which is usually never), I enjoy testing my skills at tennis and video games. I'm also really good Mario Kart.
Here's to a great year with the students and staff at Renaissance.
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.
Guidance Intern - Kyle Berry
I am excited to be joining the Renaissance community as a guidance intern from Smith College School for Social Work, where I’m currently working toward my MSW. I was born and raised in Western Massachusetts before heading off to Japan to attend Temple University in Tokyo, where I earned my B.A. in Asian Studies. I consider Japan to be my second home, where I lived and worked in education and copywriting for more than eight years. Outside of Tokyo, I volunteered with the youth and growing elderly populations across rural Japan before returning to the US to embark on my journey as a Social Worker.
In my free time, I enjoy making and mixing music on my computer, reading fiction, cycling, and exploring peaceful nature spots to walk my beloved dog. I greatly look forward to becoming a member of the Renaissance community.
Guidance Intern - Kody Crawford
I am currently a graduate student at UMass- Amherst, studying School Counseling. For my final year of study, I am undergoing my internship through the Counseling department at Renaissance. I graduated from the honors program at Ithaca College with a B.S. in Recreation Management, concentrating in Outdoor Adventure through my undergraduate studies. I then briefly worked as a wilderness therapy guide and outdoor educator. For the past several years I have also been working as camp director focusing on experiential educational opportunities. These experiences allow me to build social emotional competencies into the EL model that Renaissance supports.
In my spare time I enjoy the great outdoors, board games, breakdancing, travel, and general adventures! Any time I have the chance to try something new, I love to do so. I look forward to being an incredible support for Renaissance students in these important and formative years.
Guidance Intern - Carina LaBonte
I am very pleased to be working at Renaissance as a Guidance intern. I am outgoing, personable and eager to help others be their best selves. I am a senior at Springfield College in the Psychology department and plan to get my Masters Degree in Counseling.
I am passionate about working out and maintain a health life-style, but of course, treat myself to dark chocolate or chips (my favorite snacks!) quite often. I spend time reading certain short books and articles in regard to mental, physical and emotional health as I would like to educate myself on this important topic. I am eager to promote ideas that encourage individuals to live a healthy and happy life!
Let's have a great school year!