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School Counseling


Staff Contact Information


Coordinator of School Counseling:

Mrs. Meredith Gerckens | 973-661-8837


Nutley High School:

Mrs. Lisa Cassilli (Student Assistance Coordinator, Anti-Bullying Specialist)  | 973-661-8997


Mrs. Persis Aviles (District Testing Coordinator, I&RS Coordinator) | 973-661-8992


Mrs. Lauren Birnbaum (School Counselor) | 973-661-8843


Mr. Alec Johnson (School Counselor) | 973-661-8838


Ms. Victoria Paino (School Counselor) | 973-661-8453


Mrs. Sherrie Tolve (School Counselor) | 973-661-8839 


Mrs. Carrie-Anne Vos (School Counselor) | 973-661-8841


***If you have a transcript request, health record request, or education verification request, please email NHS School Counseling Department Secretary, Mariel Pasquale at 


John H. Walker Middle School: 

Mr. Joseph Cappello (Student Assistance Coordinator, District Anti-Bullying Coordinator) | 973-661-8989


Mrs. Jill Divilio (School Counselor) | 973-661-8874


Mrs. Alisa Gennace (School Counselor, Anti-Bullying Specialist) | 973-661-8875


Lincoln & Spring Garden Elementary Schools:

Mrs. Nancy Thunell (School Counselor, Anti-Bullying Specialist) | 973-320-8384 (Spring Garden) 973-661-8502 (Lincoln) 


Radcliffe & Yantacaw Elementary Schools: 

Ms. Lauren Alfaro (School Counselor, Anti-Bullying Specialist) | 973-320-8378 (Yantacaw) 973-320-8483 (Radcliffe) 


Washington Elementary School:

Mrs. Kelli Cerniglia (School Counselor, Anti-Bullying Specialist) | 973-320-8383 



School Counseling Philosophy

The School Counseling Program in the Nutley Public School District is dedicated to the success and well-being of every member of our school community.  Our counselors demonstrate this by providing a comprehensive school counseling program in partnership with educators, parent/guardian(s), 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. 

Our Elementary School Counselors respond to the challenges presented by today's diverse student population.  They 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.  Counselors provide consistent proactive classroom lessons to students in all grade levels, as well as provide individual and group counseling, and work with families as needed.  Elementary School Counselors work to open up avenues of communication between home and the school, and to support the efforts of our classroom teachers and building administrators. 

The School 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, counselors encourage students to explore their interests, help them to achieve optimal personal growth and acquire positive social skills and values, and work to guide students in setting future goals. 

High School Counselors work with students at a transitional time as they prepare for adulthood and post-secondary plans.  The School Counseling team at Nutley High School aims to support its students as they explore who they are as individuals, what they do well, and what they want to do when they graduate.  The counselors assist students in evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities and guide them as they made decisions.  The professional counselors at NHS support their students in all of their academic, college/career, and social/emotional needs.  The NHS counselors, in collaboration with staff and administration, families and the community, strive to assist each student in attaining their maximum potential. 
Naviance Logo

Naviance Family Connection offers 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.  High School Counselors and Seniors also utilize Naviance to submit college application materials.  Naviance is also utilized at John H. Walker Middle School. 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 973-661-8848
the JHWMS Counseling Office at 973-661-8879 




The Nutley School District serves approximately 4,100 students in Kindergarten through grade 12. The five elementary schools serve students K-6 and include Lincoln School, Radcliffe School, Spring Garden School, Washington School and Yantacaw School. John H. Walker Middle School serves students in grades 7-8 while Nutley High School addresses the needs of students in grades 9-12.