Serendipity Teacher-Counselor of the Year

Each year, one or more outstanding staff members who embrace the spirit of RE-Education are nominated by their peers and celebrated as Serendipity’s Teacher-Counselors of the Year! As a RE-Education program, Serendipity honors its staff members, all of whom are Teacher-Counselors.

A Teacher-Counselor is:

  • a decent adult
  • educated and well trained
  • able to give and receive affection, to live relaxed, and be firm
  • a person with private resources for the nourishment and refreshment of his/her own life.
  • not an itinerant worker but a professional through and through
  • a person with a sense of the significance of time, of the usefulness of today and the promise of tomorrow
  • a person of hope, quiet confidence, and joy
  • one who has committed him/herself to children and to the proposition that children can be helped by the process of RE-Education

Watch a brief video on Serendipity’s Teacher/Counselors:

Teacher-Counselor of the Year, 2019 Recipient:

Brian T.

Brian, better known as “Chef Brian,” brings joy to everyone at Serendipity. He is so accommodating to both students and staff alike. He is an amazing staff member who is recognized for his compassion, thoughtfulness, and an ability to work with students of all ages. Brian’s dedication to the welfare of Serendipity students and coworkers knows no limits. He sees the positive in everyone. He brings joy with his smiles and has an uncanny calming effect on those around him. He is an example of goodness that students are exposed to on a daily basis. He is a Teacher/Counselor through and through.

Staff members pictured below were named Serendipity’s Teacher-Counselor of the Year in previous years. Each of them embodies the principles of RE-Education and represented Serendipity at national conferences for the American RE-Education Association.

Jon C. (2018)

Jon’s calm and persistent presence is invaluable to the students of Serendipity Center. His ability to empathize with kids is bar none. He understands that small successes can grow into large accomplishments and that in the long run it is the small victories that build confidence and grow into larger triumphs. In the most non-judgmental way, Jon helps students reflect on their behaviors and struggles, and in doing so he gains their trust. Jon is introspective with his approach and values and implements all the 12 principles Re-ED in the most meaningful and thoughtful way. It only makes sense to all who know him that he would be the 2018 Teacher/Counselor of the year!

Brian F. (2018)

Brian is the ultimate Teacher/Counselor. He always meets the students where they are, giving them words for their feelings, honoring their reality with empathy and gently guiding them toward self-control. It is magical to watch him recognize and foster competence in each student he interacts with. His patience and belief that students can do better is inspiring. Students are drawn to Brian and his welcoming attitude. He has a calming effect on both students and staff. He embodies the tenants and principles of Re-Ed, in such a way that allows students to gain more awareness of their own actions which leads them to better utilize and develop skills. He is a shining light and excellent example and recipient for Teacher/Counselor of the year!

Je’ K. (2017)

The word ‘attunement’ is defined as, “being in, or bringing into harmony: a feeling of being at one with another human being.” This definition best describes the manner in which Je’ interacts with our students. He has an emotional sense about others. He offers empathy in such a way that creates an unbroken feeling of consecutiveness. Je’ is highly skilled in his ability to help students regulate their emotions. He does this by having a keen awareness of their emotional state, consistently adjusting his expectations, and unconditionally accepting the outcomes. He is humble, kind, and balanced.

Jen R. (2016)

Jen is one of the most heart centered people at Serendipity. She truly embodies the principles of Re-Education and is a master at collaborating with kids and understanding the importance of today. She is fully present, loving and positive. She in not only aware of the children’s needs but very aware of her shared responsibilities in developing strong teams. Her gentle disposition and professional mannerism is bar none. She never looks at children in need as problems, but as individuals with potential to share if given the opportunity. She is a true Teacher/Counselor and deserving of this recognition.

David S. (2016)

David, or better known as the “Child Whisperer” is an exceptional Teacher/Counselor. He is steady, professional, hopeful, confident, competent and devoted to helping students. His words and actions reveal him to be someone who truly believes Children will do well if they can. David understands that children from difficult circumstances often need someone to throw them a lifeline, and he does this on a daily basis. He is always willing to do anything that is asked of him and his efforts often go unnoticed. He starts everyday as a new day and spreads joy throughout the program.

Erik M (2015)

Erik is by all measurable standards the ideal Teacher/Counselor. His calm demeanor, commitment, and passion have helped him build positive relationships and respect among the students and his peers at Serendipity Center. He is a person who truly embodies the principles of Re-Education. Erik believes time is an ally; he recognizes the daily progress children make that often goes unnoticed. He is also able to nurture the feelings of students and share his own, earning him a well-deserved reputation of trustworthiness and kindness. His knowledge of children and their needs has made him an invaluable resource at Serendipity Center.

Nick V. (2014)

Nick has often been recognized as a “saint.” In this case, “saint” is a succinct way of saying Nick is patient, kind, committed, and absolutely radiates calm. He is intelligent, resourceful, and stable. Students are reassured by his consistency. Nick is Nick…. the same today, as yesterday and tomorrow. He understands that changes take time. Nick doesn’t give up on kids. He is a person of hope, truly believing students can make progress and learn self-management skills. He is empathetic and nurtures feelings. He is, without a doubt, an amazing Serendipity Teacher/Counselor.

Mike B. (2013)

Mike demonstrates the twelve principles of Re-ED on a daily basis with a positive attitude and contagious smile. Mike practices these principles with students and staff, building trust, bringing joy, and developing competence. He has demonstrated great skill, knowledge and wisdom in responding quickly to behaviors, and working through them to teach students with hope and planning. He is always friendly, but knows when he needs to be firm. His joy permeates the room and without a doubt he has made a difference working with the students at Serendipity.

Alex K. (2013)

Alex is a true professional. He is dedicated to his own growth and strives to internalize the Re-Ed principles in order to display them in the milieu. He has developed many trusting relationships and works hard at developing plans that teach positive skills so students have a greater chance of success. The joy that Alex brings to kids at this school is significant. He places total importance on every game and interaction, allowing students to become attuned to his ability to genuinely care about them.

Lisa S. (2012)

Lisa demonstrates the characteristics of a Teacher/Counselor and actively employs the RE-ED principles. She firmly believes competence and self-control can be taught. She nurtures feelings and understands that time is an ally. Lisa strives to develop trusting relationships with her students and has proven herself to be predictable, fair and flexible. She values the classroom community and is committed to having her students know joy each day. Lisa’s attitude is one of hope about student growth and joy in the learning process.

Brenda L. (2011)

Brenda is the consummate Teacher/Counselor. She seamlessly incorporates the principles of RE-Ed. She is intent in making a difference in everything she does and makes the TTIP Program a magical place for kids who have known despair and frustration. She uses her full value contract on a consistent basis because she believes in it and knows it is good practice in order to be a member of the team. Brenda is positive, funny and reflective.  She embraces Collaborative Problem Solving and is always willing to look past the behavior to find that spark hidden deep within her students.

Earvie (2010)

As one reads through the list of Teacher/Counselor qualities, a check mark could be placed next to each one, indicating Earvie meets every criterion. He has a quiet presence that speaks volumes. He interacts easily with students and freely gives praise and encouragement. Earvie comes to work each day looking refreshed and is able to devote himself to serving and teaching students throughout the school day. He exudes joy and strives to create a happy, positive and safe atmosphere where students not only grow, but also thrive. Earvie believes children can change and his hope is contagious.

La’Verne (2009)

La’Verne embodies the definition of the Teacher/Counselor. She sees the positives and strengths in all students. Students trust her and feel safe with her. She is a resource for others for strategies and effective responses. La’Verne’s enthusiasm and good humor make coming to work each day a pleasure. She is well respected by staff and students alike and is always willing to go above and beyond to influence a student’s life. La’Verne has an uncanny ability to balance nurturance and strength in an unconditional way that never hinders, but only promotes growth and change.