COUNSELOR ASSIGNMENTS 2019-2020

 Counseling Office: 301.284.4600 FAX: 3012844702

 

 White Counselor 

 (A – Bam) (LFI & SCB Programs)  Ms. Bernadette White  Resource Counselor    I have been a school counselor for 26 years.  This is my 16th year in MCPS and my 4th year at GHS. I was initially hired as the Resource Counselor at Blake High School.  Prior to coming to MCPS, I worked in DC Public Schools as a High School Counselor and College/Scholarship Coordinator/Academy Coordinator at Eastern High School.  I hold a BS in Criminology and Corrections from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX and a Master’s in Education, with a concentration in School Counseling, from Howard University in Washington, DC.  I grew up in Dallas, TX, but currently live in Washington, DC.   I moved to DC (from Atlanta, GA) in 1989, after visiting the city while attending my Sorority’s—Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.—National Convention.   I was hired as a parole officer in the criminal justice field right out of college.  I decided that my skills and talents would be better suited in working with individuals to prevent them from being placed into the criminal justice system.  I realized that I have a particular talent for coaching and counseling and wanted to utilize those skills for the betterment of man instead of visiting them in jail.  When I made the switch to education, I know I would make a difference.   

 

  At Eastern High School in DC, I was responsible for working with students to make college possible.  Many of my students never thought they would go to college but after I worked with them, we were able to create a college going culture at the high school.  Students begin to apply to “college” and it became the norm.  Scholarships were plentiful and students applied to everything that was sent their way.  We raised millions of dollars in scholarships for students.  I am still in contact with my students from DCPS and MCPS; several of them have become school counselors.  I am proud of the work I have done on behalf of students and families and believe that my legacy speaks for itself.  I have witnessed the students I worked with become professionals in education, law, allied health, finance and a myriad of other occupations.  Every time I see them, they always remember me as their counselor and how I helped them find their place in the world!  It’s been a great journey.     


  Dikeweb(Ban – Cord)   Ms. Kelly Dike  This is my second year in MCPS and first year working at GHS. I grew up in Gaithersburg and am actually a GHS alum. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree at West Virginia University in Sport and Exercise Psychology with a Minor in Human Services. After undergrad I went straight to Boston, Massachusetts to earn my Master’s Degree in School Counseling at Boston College. Once I graduated, I decided to move to Raleigh, North Carolina to try out living in the south. I lasted a total of six months before realizing the south was not for me and moved back to my home state. I truly love working as a counselor and am excited to be working at my old stomping grounds. 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 nikkijcounselor 

 

 

  (Core – Fam) (METs / ESOL 1 & 2 K - Z)   Dr. Nikki Jarquin  

 

 

 

 

I have been a professional school counselor since 2011. I worked at Wheaton High School for six years prior to coming to Gaithersburg High School. Although I grew up in Gaithersburg, I attended Magruder HS. My family is from El Salvador, but I was born in Canada. I moved to Gaithersburg when I was 6 months old. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from UMBC (transferred from Montgomery College) and a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from McDaniel College. In 2017 I earned a Doctor of Education Degree from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Education. I also work at Johns Hopkins University supporting their Doctor of Education program. I absolutely love being a high school counselor, which I truly believe is the best job ever!!

 

 

 

 


 (Fan– Herm)     Mr. Jorge Ramirez  

 

 
 

 

   

 

 

 


 

  Ben Counselor  

 

 (Hern – Lin)     Dr. Ben OuYang     

 

 

 

 

 

This is my 26th year with MCPS and my 2nd year at GHS.  I grew up in upstate New York.  I came to the state of Maryland for my Master’s Degree program.  I have also earned my PhD while in Maryland.  My initial job with MCPS was a counselor.  I have always enjoyed talking to kids and really trying to listen to them.  I thoroughly love my job, as there is no greater rush in education when you know you truly helped a kid. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Thores Counselor 

 (Lio– Mene) (METs / ESOL 1 & 2 A-J)    Ms. Thania Torres  

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

  Walker Counselor   

 

 

 

 ( Menf – Perey)  Mrs. Holly Walker     

 

This is my 20th year in MCPS and my first year at GHS.  I grew up in Germantown, MD.  I have earned a Bachelor’s in Education and a Masters in Counseling and Administration.  My initial job in MCPS was a 1st grade teacher. As a classroom teacher, I always took the time meet with my students to figure out what was preventing them from learning what I was teaching.  I later became the regular ed. teacher in a co-taught classroom. It was then that I knew I wanted to work with students outside of the classroom to ensure that they were socially and emotionally ready to learn. Something unique about me is that I am a MCPS product, attended Fox Chapel ES, Neelsville MS, and Watkins Mill HS.  I have worked in the Gaithersburg cluster for 15 of my 20 years in the county. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 Ritchie Counselor 

 

 

 

  (Perez – Rio)  Mrs. Natalie Ritchie     

 

 

 

 

This is my 13th year with MCPS and my 3rd year at GHS. I grew up in Rockville, MD and attended Wooton HS.  I attended Elon University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary and Special Education, then George Washington University, where I earned a Master Degree in the Art In Education and Human Development.  I started my career in education by teaching 4th grade.  I soon realized that in order to really teach and engage students, their mental health needs had to be addressed first. I eventually decided to work with high school students because I really enjoyed exposing students to college opportunities. Students have a lot to say and I love to listen!

 

 

 


 Polard Counsleor 

 

 

 

 (Rip – Sos)   Mrs. Jessica Pollard   

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 


 

  Colatrella Counselor  

 

 

 

 

 (Sot – Z)   Ms. Julie Colatrella   

 

 This is my first year with MCPS and my first year at GHS.  I got to Maryland through a series of moves – first from NY to Massachusetts for college and then to DC to get my Master’s degree.  I have been in the DC area now for 6 years.  I have earned Bachelors in Psychology & Women’s Studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from University of Maryland College Park.  I have a dog named “Rufio” and a cat named “Little Edie.”  I am in a hip-hop dance group called the Work It! Studio Divas in DC. Something unique about me is that I have “grapheme-color synesthesia,” which means I read in color! I love arts and crafts and can usually be caught doodling in the margins of my notebook.  I went into counseling after having a bad experience in high school.  Honestly, I did not like my counselor in high school because he only ever focused on my shortcomings and things I would not be able to do in the future. So initially, I was not wild about school counselors; but I took AP Psychology in my senior year and loved it, so I knew I wanted to do something related to mental health. Then, in college, I was the Residential Director of a summer program for high school girls interested in science, and I basically just got to hang out with 100 super cool kids all summer. That solidified my interest in youth work, and I spent the next few years working with teens in a bunch of different settings before realizing that I could be the counselor I never had in high school. I have a fun office full of toys, art, and soothing sounds & smells, and I try to create a space where students leave feeling better than they did when they first came in.  

 

 

 


 

 Sliffman 

 

 

 

 

 College & Career Counselor   Ms. Geri Sliffman    

 

 

This is my 24th year with MCPS and my 12th year at GHS.  I grew up on Long Island, NY, but came to the DC area for college; my parents moved to Maryland while I was in college.  I have earned a BS in Business Admin and a M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education, both from American University. I have also completed post-grad courses in Counseling from several schools at the Universities at Shady Grove.  I have been working in the counseling field since 1975, from admissions at American University, to owning my own college advising firm, to joining GHS.  I have been the College Advisor for the Montgomery County NACAC College Fair for the past nine years and previously served with the Education Committee of the Maryland State Real Estate Licensing Commission. I thoroughly enjoy working with students to help them find their path to the future.  

 

  

 

 

 

 


 

 Christina Bridge 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Bridge Program)   Mr. Tom Christina, Resource Teacher for Bridge Program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Garcia Counselor 

 School Based ESOL Counselor    Mrs. Maria Garcia 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 Services Offered   

  • School counselors help students make appropriate personal, career, and educational decisions. In either individual or in group sessions, the counselors: 
  • help students to achieve increased selfawareness and feeling of selfworth 
  • provide opportunities for students to discuss personal and/or social problems that may affect learning, motivation, and personal development 
  • assist students in acquiring decisionmaking skills to make appropriate educational, career, and personal decisions 
  • provide testing and test interpretation to help students analyze their interests, abilities and values with respect to career awareness. 
  • meet annually with each student to plan an educational program consistent with his/her needs (FourYear Plan). 
  • provide information to students and parents about colleges, careers, and vocational schools 
  • take an active role in working with the administration to inform students and parents of guidance programs. 
  • act as student advocates in any reasonable cause. 
  • collect and interpret information needed for student conferences, e.g., Educational Management Team (EMT) meetings. 
  • work with teachers and parents to help students achieve their potential in school 

 Procedures To See Your Counselor      

 Although counselor assignments are made for administrative purposes, an "open door" policy exists. Students may make an appointment to see a counselor of their preference. Counselors are available to see students on a dropin basis before school, during lunch, and after school. 


 

 Procedure for Parents   

 

 In order to see your child's counselor, please call 3012844600 make an appointment. Counselors are more likely to be able to meet with you by calling ahead.   

 


 

 Course & Schedule Changes   

 

 Because staff members spend a great deal of time and energy developing an individual student's schedule during the registration and scheduling processes, they expect students to stay with their assigned schedules. Students requesting a change from AP or Honors to Regular class, MUST complete the appropriate form. Forms are obtained in the Counseling Services Department. Changes will only be made with approval from administration, counselor, teachers, and parents.   

 


 Counseling Services Secretary   

 The Counseling Services Secretary is the receptionist for all counseling services. He or she makes all the appointments for counseling conferences, contacts teachers for homework when a student is ill, and assists the home instruction teachers. Students who have changes of address or phone number should notify the Counseling Office.   

 Ms. Johanny Perez School Counseling Secretary email  

Mrs. Lisa Koenick School Counseling Secretary/Transcript Coordinator email

 


 

 Online Courses 

 COSA Process