School Counselors stay with students through middle and then through high school.
Ms. Madeline Sebastian graduated from the original Classical Magnet Program at Hartford Public High School in 1992. She discovered her love for working with children while working with middle school students at the University of Connecticut and with the America Reads Program at New York University. Madeline worked as a School Counselor at CES/CIS 218 in Bronx, NY for three years before deciding to transfer to a high school. She worked at the High School for Health Careers in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan for half a school year before moving back home to Hartford, CT. Madeline is very honored to be part of Classical Magnet once again and hopes to spend many years working with Classical students and helping them achieve their goals. Madeline holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in School Counseling from New York University.
Ms. Liza Ronzello graduated from New Britain High School in 1997. She discovered her passion for social justice while attending Central Connecticut State University for her Bachelor’s degree in History. She convinced the university to allow her to design her own program and focused on issues regarding race, class, gender and sexual orientation. Liza worked as a community organizer and started a women’s group on her campus. She is passionate about empowering youth and contributing to the world through positive connections. Liza interned at Classical Magnet School in 2007 while pursuing her Master’s degree in counseling and was greatly impacted by the relationships she built with her colleagues and students. Although Liza worked as a school counselor in New Britain for the last five years, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to fulfill her dream of returning to Classical. Liza holds a B.A. in History from Central Connecticut State University, an M.A. in School Counseling from Central Connecticut State University, and has recently completed her program to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Connecticut.
Mrs. Jennifer Smagin-Gorden is new at Classical Magnet this year and is very excited to be working with such amazing students and staff. She was born and raised in Long Island NY and attended public schools in Stony Brook. She discovered her desire for working with children during her junior year in high school when she volunteered at a women’s shelter for abused women & children. This passion never left her and during her time at the University of Hartford she was an active member of the Hartford Community working with various programs reaching out to the youth of Hartford. It was only fitting that upon graduating with her MA from UHA that she became a member of the Hartford Public Schools Team to continue to work with the youth that stole her heart so many years ago. Jennifer received a BA in Psychology & Inter-personal Communication, an MA in School Counseling, as well as her sixth year degree all from the University of Hartford. This is her 10th year as a Hartford School Counselor. During her time as a Hartford School Counselor she has worked in various k-8 schools, an alternative high school setting, as well as at the high school level for the last 4 years. She was the winner of the 2008 National School Counselor Award. She believes that all students have strengths, and building on these strengths help students to grow and reach their fullest potential.