School Counselor Spotlight: Marilyn Kerwin, Corcoran

     Published on 2/4/16   Tagged under:    District News    Corcoran High School   

As part of National School Counseling Week, the Syracuse City School District is recognizing select school counselors who go above and beyond to guide the students at their schools.

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At Corcoran High School, there’s a saying that reminds everybody what it’s all about: CTF. “CORCORAN THE FAMILY.”
 
For Corcoran High school counselor, Marilyn Kerwin, family is exactly what brought her to the Syracuse City School District more than 20 years ago. Through volunteering at her children’s PTO at Roberts School, she rediscovered a dream of working with students.  Then she went and got her master’s degree in school counseling to make it a reality.
 
“I still love it,” she says.
 
Kerwin says the life of a high school level counselor is all about balance—something she had years of practice with as a paralegal, wife and mom before finding her calling in education.
 
“You have to wear many different hats,” says Kerwin. “We’re working on college applications, academic support, making sure that kids are progressing towards graduation…  We are trying to assist them with personal and social problems. We are working with teachers. We are working on financial aid to explain to students and families what they need.”
 
Although high school kids may want their independence and are close to graduation, Kerwin advises parents to still keep watch and provide structure.
 
“They need to have set time to do homework and school work,” says Kerwin.  “[Parents should] keep in good communication with the school. A lot of times people are working full time one or two jobs but having email is a good advantage
to make sure we’re doing the best we can for everybody.”
 
Kerwin should know.  She’s raised three children who all went on to graduate as Corcoran Cougars.
 
She’s seen a lot of change throughout the years but there’s one change she wants more of.
 
“My generation is retiring but we have a lot of young passionate people working a long with the experienced veterans,” says Kerwin. “I’d like to see more of our young people go into school counseling from the city school district.”
 
For National Counselor Appreciation week, she wants those counselors veteran and new to stay encouraged wherever they are on their journey.
 
“Remember it’s the kids,” says Kerwin.  “Sometimes other things may get in the way but we always have to remember-- we are there for the kids and the families and we are doing the best we can.