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Meredith Gerckens
Director of School Counseling

The School Counseling Program in the Nutley School District is dedicated to the success and well-being of every member of our school community.  Our school counselors demonstrate this by providing a comprehensive counseling program in partnership with educators, parents/guardians, students, and the community.   The professional counseling staff promotes the academic, career, and personal/social development of our students and assists them in acquiring competencies for lifelong learning and success in a changing world. Currenlty there are three full-time school counselors supporting the five elementary schools, two school counselors and a Student Assistance Coordinator at the John H. Walker Middle School and five school counselors, a school counselor in charge of special programs and a Student Assitance Coordinator at Nutley High School.

The counselors for our five elementary schools respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Our elementary school counselors do not work in isolation; rather they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve school success.  Whether they are presenting classroom lessons or working in groups or one-on-one with students, they open up avenues of communication from school to home, support the efforts of our classroom teachers and provide students with an invaluable service.

The counselors at John H. Walker Middle School work as team members with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success.  Our middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, the middle school counselors encourage their counselees to explore their interests, help them achieve optimal personal growth and acquire positive social skills and values, and work to guide students in setting appropriate career goals.

High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and explore and define their independence.   The school counseling team at Nutley High School aims to support its students as they are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate.  Our school counselors assist students in evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities and guide them as they make concrete and compounded decisions. The professional counselors at NHS support their students as they deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid application process and entrance into a competitive job market.  The Nutley High School counseling staff, in collaboration with staff, its families and the community, strives to assist each student in attaining his/her maximum potential.



In 2007, Naviance was introduced to Nutley High School.  Naviance Family Connection continues to offer innovative, easy-to-use web applications for high school students and their parents.  Family Connection helps guide students' academic and career choices, as well as provides them with opportunities for self-exploration.  Using the programs in Family Connection, students are able to link useful websites, surveys, and many relevant career and college topics.  This resource empowers them to learn about who they are, what they want to be, and how to get there.  In 2013, this internet based program was introduced to the John H. Walker Middle School staff, students, and families.  We believe it is important to provide our middle school students and families with the same tools and knowledge as our high school population when it comes to opportunities for self-exploration and college and career readiness.  


To access the NHS Naviance site use the link below:

To access the JHWMS Naviance site use the link below: 



If you need to register for Naviance Family Connection, please call:
the NHS Counseling Office at 973-661-8847 
the JHWMS Counseling Office at 973-661-8874


 Nutley High School
School Counselors
Ms. Persis Aviles
Mrs. Lauren Birnbaum
Ms. Nicole Iannota
Miss Victoria Paino
Mrs. Sherrie Tolve

Mrs. Carrie-Anne Vos
SAC and Anti-Bullying Specialist
Mrs. Lisa Cassilli

John H. Walker Middle School
SAC and District Anti-Bullying Coordinator
Mr. Joseph Cappello
School Counselor
Mrs. Jill Divilio
School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist
Mrs. Alisa Gennace


Lincoln School & Spring Garden School
School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist

Mrs. Nancy Thunell

Radcliffe School and Yantacaw School
School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist

Ms. Lauren Alfaro

Washington School
School Counselor and Anti-Bullying Specialist

Mrs. Kelli Cerniglia