Tradition &

Waldorf Watch: Meet the New Guidance Counselor

Our comprehensive school counseling program addresses the academic, career, personal and social development of our high school students. The College Guidance office is committed to supporting students and parents as they navigate each important step in the college application process. From the beginning of the search, to the student’s final decision, our College Advisor guides students through the journey. This year, following the winter recess, Marisa Gelb joined our School community as our new High School Guidance Counselor and College Advisor. We asked Marisa a series of questions to help introduce her to the community.

Q: What is your Professional Background?

Ms. Gelb: I was the Assistant Director of College Guidance at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County for the past five and a half years. In that role, I did academic counseling for students in grades 9-12, focusing more on counseling for students in 11th and 12th grade as they planned for college/post high school training. Prior to HANC, I was an admissions counselor at St. John’s University for two years.

Q: What drew you to the profession? What do you like about the field?

Ms. Gelb: I was drawn to school counseling because I love working with high school students. I think that this time in their lives is one of the most challenging but exciting, and I love helping them navigate it.

Q: How did you come to join us at the Waldorf School of Garden City?

Ms. Gelb: I saw the position listed on a professional organization’s website and thought that I would be a great fit. After doing some research on The Waldorf School of Garden City, I was immediately drawn to the way Waldorf educates students more holistically than public schools, and I knew that this was a school that I was meant to be a part of.

Q: What about our School do you find most interesting or exciting?

Ms. Gelb: So far, one of the most impressive characteristics of our school is the daily Main Lesson. While students in grades 1 – 12 participate in Main Lesson each morning, in the high school it is the closest I have seen to recreating the experience of a college seminar. This is an important and significant differentiation from other primary education institutions and has been a part of the education here that I have been most exited to share.  Another remarkable facet of our School is how our students are able to organize major projects in a relatively short amount of time. For example, I was in absolute awe of the fact that the annual Sophomore Play was organized, rehearsed, and opened in just a matter of weeks!

Q: What do you think separates our School from others?

Ms. Gelb: ​I love that Waldorf is not a Regents school and does not “teach to the test.” I have never agreed with the idea of learning just to pass an exam, instead of learning for the sake of growth and development. Waldorf students are clearly more willing to explore academically and are more likely to think outside of the box. To me, learning how to learn, creative thinking, and developing a sense of inquisitiveness are the most important qualities an educational environment can instill.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

Ms. Gelb: I can’t wait to meet all of the Waldorf high school families but I am even more eager to get to know each of the students, learn about their unique qualities, and understand their hopes and dreams. I am a people person by nature and I am very excited about developing new collaborative relationships and helping students achieve their goals. I am looking forward to the future, working with my new colleagues, and guiding the students to the very best of my abilities.

We are very excited to welcome Marisa to our Waldorf community!  Click here to learn more about our college guidance process.


Posted in Waldorf Watch