Miss Ward's Counseling Corner


As the District School Counselor, I am responsible for working with students, faculty and parents across all grade levels. My primary focus is to provide consistent, comprehensive counseling for students in grades K-8. I also conduct classroom lessons on character development, anti-bullying and appropriate social skills, as well as guidance curriculum which includes career planning and self-awareness. I work to support teachers and families to best assist in their child’s educational experience. Additionally, I collaborate with outside agencies and other mental health committees and professionals to form a network and strengthen the Wyckoff community by inviting speakers to talk to our students and parents, as well as organize presentations and activities to support my initiative of raising mental health and substance use awareness, while eliminating stigmas.

Please note the below dates of upcoming events, meetings and what's in the news!

Recent and Upcoming Events:

  • October 4, 2016: Chris Herren, founder of "The Herren Project" Presents at Indian Hills High School
  • October 5th: National Stomp Out Bullying- Blue Shirt Day
  • October 15th: WEF Run, Wyckoff is Stigma-Free
  • October 18th: H.A.P.P.Y Program at Eisenhower for students and faculty
  • November 16th: Parent Presentation featuring the H.A.P.P.Y Program
  • November 30th 7:30am: Mental Health & Wellness Fair at Dumont High School
  • December TBD: Parent Support Group Evening Meetings
  • January TBD: Student Council & Stigma- Free Committee Toy Drive- proceeds go to the Children's Hospital of NJ patients within various mental, neurological and physical units
  • January 10, 2017 @ 7:00pm : Just Talk About it: Suicide Prevention Program Presentation- GW Middle School, Ridgewood
  • February 1st @ 7:00pm: The Gift of Failure- Community Presentation GW Middle School, Ridgewood
  • March 24th: Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness
  • March 9th @ 6:30pm: Parent Presentation with guest speaker George Scott, LMFT
  • May 23rd @ 9:30 am: Fostering Resilience-Community Presentation GW Middle School, Ridgewood (Location TBD)
General Information to HAPPY

Stigma- Free Committee Meetings:

  • January 5, 2017
  • February 2, 2017
  • March 2, 2017
  • April 6, 2017
  • May 4, 2017
  • June 1, 2017

*All meetings at 3:30 at the Christian Healthcare Center


Promoting Wellness

What is Wellness? Wellness is being in good physical and mental health. Because mental health and physical health are linked, problems in one area can impact the other. At the same time, improving your physical health can also benefit your mental health, and vice versa. It is important to make healthy choices for both your physical and mental well-being.

The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are:

  1. Emotional—Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships
  2. Environmental—Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being
  3. Financial—Satisfaction with current and future financial situations
  4. Intellectual—Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills
  5. Occupational—Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work
  6. Physical—Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep
  7. Social—Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system
  8. Spiritual—Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life

Creating & Increasing Protective Factors for Your Child:

Protective Factors are personal and/or environmental characteristics that reduce probability of suicide. Strengthening these factors are an essential element of building resiliency and protecting for additional risks such as violence, substance abuse and academic failure.

  • Psychological and emotional well-being
  • Emotional Intelligence: ability to perceive, integrate thoughts, understand and manage one's emotions
  • Adaptable temperament
  • Internal locus of control
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Coping skills, including conflict resolution
  • Self-esteem
  • Physical activity
  • Group participation i.e. sports or clubs
  • Ability to face adversity
  • Frustration tolerance
  • Emotional regulation

Family & Social Support

  • Family involvement, strong connectedness to parents
  • Parental pro-social norms: meaning, child knows parents disapprove of antisocial behavior i.e. violence and substance use
  • Family and school support

Community Contacts:

  • George Scott- Raising Healthy Kids
  • Stephanie Reifman- HAPPY week program
  • Cheryl Stankov- City of Angels
  • Wendy Coffey- Previous Wyckoff Municipal Alliance
  • Henry Wasserstein- Franklin Lakes Municipal Alliance
  • Cathy Pilone- Stigma-Free Wyckoff
  • Nohely Payamps- Stigma- Free Bergen County
  • Tom O'Donnell- Stigma-Free Washington Township
  • Maryann Uzzi- Stigma-Free Paramus
  • Bob Shannon- Partnership in town
  • Eve Thaler- West Bergen Social Anxiety Group
  • Megan Barden- Program Director New Directions
  • Ridgewood Public Schools Community Outreach Program- Office of Curriculum
  • Police Department Contacts:
    • Joe Soto
    • David Murphy
    • Carmine Pezzuti (Franklin Lakes)