New Paltz Central School District Welcomes New Supervisor of School Guidance
The New Paltz Central School District (NPCSD) has hired a new supervisor to oversee the High School Guidance department. In addition to serving in this role, Molly Messina will be handling caseloads at every grade level.
Messina’s responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, serving as a testing coordinator/administrator for ACT, PSAT/SAT, assisting with Regents exams and Regents testing accommodations, working on the District Counseling Plan, and providing oversight of National Collegiate Athletic Association course compliance. She began her new role in July.
Messina comes to the District as a former elementary school counselor at Harvey Elementary School in Parrish, Florida, where she was one of two counselors responsible for assisting 1,100 students. Prior to that, Messina held positions in New York, serving as an elementary school counselor in the Monticello Central School District, and a school counselor/director of guidance in the Liberty Central School District. She also led drug and alcohol prevention efforts in her role as a school intervention counselor for the Archdiocese of New York.
Messina said that she was drawn to the NPCSD because, having lived in New Paltz for 14 years, she knows how much community members care about their children. She describes New Paltz as a “close-knit community with a small-town feeling.”
Messina earned her Master of Science degree in School Counseling from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. She attended the University of Maryland University College (now known as the University of Maryland Global Campus), where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She also attended Independence Community College in Kansas, where she earned her Associate of Arts degree in Pre-Law.
Messina said that she believes in treating each student like she wants to be treated—with genuine respect. “I work to be kind, genuine, and empathetic when working with students,” she said. “There is no ‘bad kid'; only bad situations that a child may be coming from. I try to be sensitive to my students and where they come from.” Leading the High School Guidance Department will require teamwork, she notes. “Being a united front helps in all aspects of the School Counseling office,” she explained. “We all learn from each other in ways to help our students.”
As she assumes her new duties, Messina has set a number of goals for herself. Among those goals are “fine-tuning” the High School Counseling Plan to ensure compliance with State regulations. She is also looking forward to addressing and improving overall school attendance rates.
Messina has been married for 23 years and is a mother to three children, ages 20, 18, and 12. She said that she enjoys relaxing at the beach, spending time with her family, and watching her children’s sporting activities.
“We are excited to have someone with Ms. Messina’s experience and passion for children dedicated to improving our School Counseling Plan and attendance,” said High School Principal Dr. Samuelle Simms. “We are looking forward to working with her.”