What inspired you to become a guidance counselor?
My path to becoming a guidance counselor was not exactly straight and obvious. After graduating from high school, I attended Stonehill College with the hope of becoming a pre-school teacher. After spending some time in a pre-school classroom, I quickly discovered that this was not the direction I wanted to go in as I learned that I did not have nearly enough patience to spend every day with 18-20 four-year-olds. After changing my major MANY times (from education then to psychology then to biology/nursing then to sociology), I finally wound up with a major and degree in Health Care Administration. I never quite knew exactly I wanted to do, but I always knew that I wanted to work in a job where I could help people.
After college, I started working at a non-profit organization called The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and I was responsible for a fundraising program where schools and students collect donations for kids and adults with blood cancers. In this role, I was responsible for over 800 schools in the region that participated, and I spent a lot of my time traveling to schools to visit student groups that were planning the fundraiser (including Sturgis' Key Club!). I quickly discovered how much I loved being in school buildings and working with students, particularly high school students. I had always had the idea of being a guidance counselor in the back of my mind because my interest in helping students, but also my interest in the college and career process, so after working and talking with the many counselors at the schools that I visited, I decided to go to graduate school at UMass Boston to get my master's degree in School Counseling.
What is some advice you would give to incoming freshmen?
Try something new! I would tell freshmen to try to get involved in a variety of ways as early as possible. Coming to a new school can be really challenging, especially when you do not know many people. Joining clubs and sports teams is a great way to meet new people but also gives you a chance to try something you may have never done before. Who knows, you may discover a new passion you may have never known about! Coming to Sturgis is a way to have a fresh start so join a club (there are tons!) you feel like you don't know anything about to see if you like it!
What are some of your hobbies outside of school?
I must say, I am trying to rediscover my hobbies because going to graduate school while working, I did not have too much free time! I love to read so I am catching up books that I missed while I was school. I also like to cook, play tennis with friends, and attempt to knit (I've been working on the same sweater for about 2 years now and it's still horrible). In the summer you could find me out a boat with my husband, relaxing on the beach, or at a yard sale trying to find something for a new DIY project (that I never end up finishing and just put in my basement).
How has your experience at Sturgis been so far?
It has been great! The entire community is so welcoming to new staff, and I have loved getting to know the students on my caseload. I am really looking forward to the rest of the school year and learning more about my students!
We would like to wish Ms. Lombardozzi the best of luck as her first year as a Sturgis guidance counselor is now underway! Stay tuned for more New Teacher Spotlights! Go Storm!