Ms. Stepanczuk Joins SL’s Guidance Team


Saskia Van't Hof

Ms. Kristin Stepanczuk can’t wait to help the students of Southern Lehigh High school realize their potential.

Saskia Van't Hof, Editor-in-Chief

Away from the bustling hallways and loud classrooms, the guidance office is a safe haven for many high schoolers. Students this year may have noticed that there is a new counselor in the office: guidance intern Mrs. Kristin Stepanczuk.

“I really like being in high school,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s really energizing. Everyone’s been really nice and welcoming, and I’m working really hard to get to know as many students and as many teachers as I can.”

In many ways, Mrs. Stepanczuk’s new position brings her career full circle. She was first inspired to study psychology by her own high school guidance counselor.

“She was my school counselor but also my high school softball coach,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “I really consider her to be my mentor because I felt the effects of her impact in my adolescence. I still stay in touch with her, and I try when I come back home visiting family to meet up with her. I consider her to be a really important person in my life.”

After deciding to pursue counseling, Mrs. Stepanczuk received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bloomsburg University and her masters degree in counseling with a minor in sports psychology from West Virginia University. People might be surprised to know that during her time as an undergraduate student at Bloomsburg, Mrs. Stepanczuk was the school mascot, Roongo the Husky.

“I even got an opportunity to introduce the new husky mascot uniform!” Mrs. Stepanzcuk said. “They put me in a helicopter and we landed on the fifty yard line on the football field, so I could give the game ball right before the game.”

For the past nine years, Mrs. Stepanczuk has been working as a licensed professional counselor. With a focus on counseling young adults, she is also the founder of Lehigh Valley Premier Counseling. Her business aims to help college students, recent graduates, and young professionals navigate stress, anxiety, and life changes.

Mrs. Stepanzcuk is currently in the process of getting a school counseling certification, so that she can work directly with students in public schools.

“My strengths have always lent themselves really well in the counseling field,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s something I think I do really well. For a while I’ve wanted to go back and get my school counseling certification because I just feel like the work that I do in the community side of things this will also enhance that work.”

Last year, Mrs. Stepanczuk worked in the Southern Lehigh Middle School guidance office. This year is the first time that she is working with high school students.

“She is very capable of doing the job, very confident, and super compassionate with the kids,” Ms. Mandi Mowrey said. “She has a lot of experience with managing stress in students and helping them through the process. She’s doing a really good job.”

Mrs. Stepanzcuk hopes to get to know more students in the high school.

“She’s a really nice person,” junior Joy Fan said. “When I came in they were really kind and helped me a lot.”

Outside of school, Mrs. Stepanczuk loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains and going on bike rides. She also loves spending time with her loved ones.

“It sounds like a cliche but I love connecting with people. Whether its spending time with my friends and going out to a restaurant or just being with my family, I love laughing with them.”

Mrs. Stepanczuk also loves spending time with her wife and two young daughters, aged 5 and 2. Over the summer, the family also welcomed a new puppy, named by their children after Rocky from “Paw Patrol.”

“We’re actually working to get him certified as a therapy dog,” Mrs. Stepanczuk said. “It’s a lot of classes, a lot of training, but I think it’s going to be a really good thing.”

Currently, Mrs. Stepanczuk brings Rocky to Lehigh Valley Premier Counselling. One day she hopes to bring Rocky to Southern Lehigh as a therapy dog. Until then, she hopes to help as many students as possible.