By Edith Bachmann
The thing most likely to strike you about Ms. Levenbrook, our new guidance counselor, is her enthusiasm for her work and her positive attitude. Even through Google Meets, her excitement is contagious. She would use the words, “caring, bubbly, and reliable” to describe herself, and when you meet her, it would be hard to disagree.
Before coming to Byram Hills, she was a school counselor at a large high school in New Jersey for two years, and before that she was a school counselor at Briarcliff Middle School for a year. She loves her occupation. As a high school student, she was interested in what her counselor did and enjoyed the college search/application process more than many of her friends. She tried working in TV production and event planning but ultimately realized that she loved to work with children and wanted to be a guidance counselor.
Her favorite part of her job is the students. She loves talking with them and helping them solve problems. This year she is excited to get to know everybody at BHHS, to work with students, and to attend student activities whether virtual or in-person. Students may be interested to know that she is always listening to or watching something, whether it be The Office, Selling Sunset, or Tiger King. She loves listening to Kwik Brain by Jim Kwik and The Office Ladies podcast. She also has a rescue dog named Zeke who she is “obsessed” with.
Some students and parents may be surprised to see how young and technologically-savvy she is. She was fairly recently in the same shoes as the BHHS Seniors. As a guidance counselor, the three most important components of her job are in the realms of college, social-emotional, and academic life. She wants to help all of her students be successful and says that “Every student situation is unique. I work hard to do what’s right for the individual.”
She notes that the best piece of advice she has received in life is to be true to yourself. It’s all about understanding yourself and what you need. You need to listen to the clues in life and think about where you feel happy. As for advice to students thinking about the college process, she says, “Let go of pressures coming from your community and think about what you want as a person.” She thinks one of the biggest misconceptions about the college process is that there is only one perfect school for a person, but she reminds us, “The truth is, you create your own happiness and success, no matter where you end up. Yes, it’s nice to get into your top choice, but it will not make or break your success in the future. It’s all up to you!”
The last thing she thinks students at BHHS should know about her is that she is extremely happy to be here and so excited to get to know everyone. She wants you to know that her door is always open, so feel free to come by any time.