School Counselor Named Educator Of The Year

Caitlin Kauffmann was named the 2023-24 Educational Services Professional of the Year for Howell High School. (Photo courtesy Freehold Regional High School District)

  HOWELL – In their “Staff Spotlight” series, the Freehold Regional High School District recently recognized Caitlin Kauffmann who was selected for the Monmouth County Governor’s Educator of the Year Program.

  Every year, teachers and educational professionals from each Freehold Regional High School District school are selected to be honored in the program.

  Kauffmann has been a school counselor at Howell High School for the past 10 years. She graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s in psychology and afterwards moved to Boston where she assisted on a research study for Harvard Graduate School of Education. She then completed her Master’s program in school counseling at Boston University.

  Before returning to New Jersey, she started her career as a school counselor in a small Massachusetts town.

  Within her 10 years in the Freehold Regional High School District, Kauffmann has worked at Howell High School and with the RAISE Academy. Additionally, she previously oversaw the SAT/ACT administration at Howell.

  Kauffmann serves on the I&RS committee, is the homeless liaison for Howell High School, acts as the Brookdale Community College liaison for all seniors aspiring to attend Brookdale, and enjoys helping all first-generation college-bound students. Kauffmann said she loves speaking with students about career opportunities outside the traditional college pathway.

   After it was revealed that she was chosen as Educational Professional of the Year, Kauffmann said she was in “complete shock.”

  “I was honored to be recognized for how deeply I care for [every] one of my students – I try my hardest to form a close relationship with each one and support them in their academic, personal, and social/emotional growth while encouraging them to reach all of their goals,” Kauffmann said.

  Kauffmann explained what she loves most about her job is the connections she makes with students.

  “I got into this profession specifically to be a support system for those who may not have a strong one at home. Coming from an unstable childhood, it was my goal to pursue a career where I [could] help those through the most important adolescent years. In my tenure as a school counselor, I am proud to say that I have formed extremely close bonds with hundreds of students, some of whom I still keep in touch with today. Even if I don’t make a significant impact on every single student’s life, I know there are a handful for whom I have truly made a difference, and for that, I feel completely fulfilled in my career,” Kauffmann reflected.

  Kauffmann expressed that making an impact on young minds is the most rewarding experience in the world.