Meet Ms. Monica, the Renaissance School Counselor!
Out of the many lessons learned about what’s important over the last few years we can all agree that advocating for and providing mental health resources for all of our children is at the top of the list. Luckily for the Renaissance community we have Ms. Monica, our School Counselor, to jump in and help lead the charge to see to it that all children are cared for! Ms. Monica’s story is fascinating in how (like so many staff members at REMS) her path to Renaissance included a variety of journeys.
Monica is a Colorado native-born and raised in the Rocky Mountains as the oldest of two. While Monica’s dad served in the US Marine Corps and was an airline pilot, Monica’s mom continues to run a family power monitoring manufacturing business that has been in their family for over 45 years, which Monica has worked for on and off over the years.
Ms. Monica didn’t start her career as an educator but her childhood experiences eventually led her to our school. “For my undergraduate degree, I attended the University of Denver and earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing and a minor in Music. I actually started at DU as a Vocal Performance Major on scholarship but quickly realized that while music is very important to my life, I didn't want to be an opera singer! I decided to minor in Music and had wanted to get into hotel sales and events. So Marketing was the perfect fit. For my graduate degree, I attended St. Bonaventure University in New York State and earned my Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling. While the majority of the program was online, I did get to visit campus during my graduate career. After nearly four years in television sales and marketing at 9NEWS and CBS4 Denver, I followed my heart to work in education. I worked in private school admissions, student life, and academic/college advising before realizing my desire to further my education. I wanted to work one on one with students and be a resource as well as their biggest cheerleader to find success in all things academic, college, career, and social/emotional. That was the true motivation for going to grad school and earning this degree.” Monica credits her own grade school teachers who impacted her profoundly and influenced her love of education. “My first grade teacher instilled a love of reading in me and told me she always knew she could find me either in the library or in the bookstore. My eighth grade English teacher was my absolute favorite teacher. She made learning fun, drilled home the importance of good writing and grammar, and taught me the preposition song that I still remember to this day!”
Ms. Monica has been in education for over seven years and has worked in a variety of roles with students of all ages. Monica was drawn to DCSD for the work they do in and for school counseling and mental health and is continually excited to be working with such great mental health professionals. While interning in the district last year, Monica heard about Renaissance and was impressed with our expeditionary learning. “The ability to learn the academic basics of reading, writing, mathematics, etc. and to do so with opportunities for expeditionary learning is so beneficial to our students. The community size is perfect as well: not too big, not too small, just right!”
When Ms. Monica isn’t at REMS supporting our students, you can find her enjoying time with her numerous nieces and nephews-spoiling them, cheering them on at soccer games, and supporting them as they grow up. Traveling to California, Hawaii, and around the state of Colorado is a favorite pastime for Monica, especially anything Disney! Ms. Monica might also be found cheering on the Denver Broncos or being glued to the NCAA basketball tournament during March Madness. In case you’re wondering, Duke is her favorite college team and she loves Coach K’s coaching philosophy! While she’s a fan of athletics, Ms. Monica found her true passion in music and theater growing up. “While I come from a family full of athletes, I am not athletically gifted whatsoever. Growing up, I played basketball and soccer, but my true love was music and theater. I performed in many musicals throughout high school and was even cast as Snow White during my senior year of high school. I have performed at many events around town including shows at the now-gone Country Dinner Playhouse, the National Anthem at the Colorado Broadcasters Association Awards Banquet, and the National Anthem at a Colorado Rockies game. I continue to take voice lessons from the same teacher I had in high school...I've been with him for over 20 years! Singing is such a great way to cheer up your mood, and music is a language we ALL speak...even if it's in different dialects or genres. Music has so much meaning for all of us.” What an amazing example for our students to show them what it means to be a “lifelong learner!”
We are so fortunate to have a School Counselor that brings so much talent and unique experiences to enrich our Renaissance community. The greatest gift that Ms. Monica brings to REMS is her desire and passion to reach and support all students. “Throughout my time in grad school, I really learned the importance of being a counselor for ALL students. Our society furthers the mental health stigma when we think getting help through counseling or therapy is just for others, not us. While I may work with some students on a more individual basis, I am at the school for every single student at REMS. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) defines the role of school counselors as "certified/licensed educators who improve student success for ALL students by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program." As an ASCA member, I will let this philosophy guide me in all that I do for the REMS community.”
Thank you, Ms. Monica, for all the ways you show up for all of our children; you are appreciated!
We are crew
We love to celebrate all of the ways our Parent & Staff Crews make Renaissance a great place to grow and learn!