Scranton Alumna Receives Educator of the Year Award

Jackie DeFilippis ’08 G’11 received the Educator of the Year Award. Jackie is the school counselor at Samuel E. Shull Middle School in Perth Amboy, NJ. What a way to represent the University of Scranton’s school counseling graduate program!

Alumna Jackie DeFilippis was recently recognized as “Educational Services Professional of the Year,” as a School Counselor at Samuel E. Shull Middle School in Perth Amboy, NJ. This award is part of the New Jersey Governor’s Educator of the Year Program. Each school within a school district asks for staff nominations and then a voting committee selects one of the nominees to receive the award based on a specific criteria provided by the organization.

Eligibility criteria includes:

  • Be an expert in the field who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn
  • Actively collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a strong culture of respect and success
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in educational activities at the school, district and/or state and national levels that take place both within and outside the school setting
  • Have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues

DeFilippis said,”I am humbled and honored as this is actually my second time achieving this award. I was also recognized with the same award in 2016 in my previous school district when I was a School Counselor in Elizabeth Avenue Elementary School in Somerset, NJ. I am now in my 8th year of my School Counseling career and I very proudly graduated from the University of Scranton in 2008 with a BS in Counseling & Human Services and again in 2011 with a MS in School Counseling.”

Congratulations, Jackie!


Learn more about the School Counseling program here.

Award Winning Professor of Education!

Dr. Julie Cerrito, Director of the Graduate Program in School Counseling at the University of Scranton, received the Partner in Education Award by the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).  This award was presented at the annual PACAC conference at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania.

The PACAC Partner in Education Award was created to enhance awareness about the association by recognizing someone outside the membership for outstanding contribution to, and support of, post-secondary education. This award represents the collaborative spirit needed to foster a commitment to educational equity and access for all. Individuals, institutions, and organizations may be nominated to receive this award.

As the Director of the School Counseling Graduate Program, Dr. Cerrito regularly works with school counseling graduate students in finding innovative ways to assist school-aged students, particularly high school students, in reaching their postsecondary education and career goals. Drs. Julie Cerrito and LeeAnn Eschbach, faculty members in the Department of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton, have collaborated with local high school administrators and practicing school counselors to create special district-wide and multi-district events such as “Post-Secondary Education Readiness Night”, “College Application Night”, and “College Signing Day”. These events invite both high school students and their parents to their respective neighborhood schools, where graduate students in the field of school counseling share vital information (ex. how to select a major, how to apply to college, how to visit a college, etc.).

These topics are important when it comes to navigating what comes next after high school and the steps one should take in planning successfully for college and a future career. Research has indicated that first-generation college students, racially and ethnically diverse students, and students from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds often lack the resources and support needed to navigate the many unknowns of the future. These events attempt to reach out to those student populations, level the playing field, and help them gain the confidence they need to be proactive in planning for the future. Graduate school counseling students frequently comment on the direct benefit of increased “learning through doing” as well as the opportunity to impact youth positively in the local area. They see how their future work as school counselors connects to really making a difference in the lives of school-aged students and their families.

To learn more about the School Counseling Program, click here.