Dec. 21, 2018 marked the last day at CHS for guidance counselor Carol Caruso. After an eight year tenure, Caruso made the decision to retire from her position.
In mid-January, Melanie “Sam” Sambataro will take over as the new guidance counselor for students with last names beginning with A through L. Until then, Sandra Gidos, CHS guidance counselor for students with last names L through Z, will assist all students.
Caruso said she expects the transition process to be seamless.
“I’m working with Ms. Gidos to make sure everybody knows they have someone to go to,” Caruso said.
Due to her mid-year retirement, Caruso left the current senior class in the midway through their college application process. Her responsibilities included assisting the seniors in organizing their applications, communicating with colleges and submitting necessary paperwork.
Senior Marisa Harczuk of Tinton Falls said she was upset about Caruso’s retirement but feels confident in the position she is in with her college applications.
“I’m sad, but I’m glad that she gets to spend time with her children and do what she wants to do,” Harczuk said. “I’m pretty close to being done with the application process and everything is done on my side, so I’m not too worried.”
Caruso has left a positive impact on many students at CHS, including junior Vaughn Battista of Tinton Falls.
“Ms. Caruso was everything a guidance counselor should be and more,” Battista said. “I am more confident about my college journey thanks to the time I have spent with her.”
Gidos said she worked alongside Caruso from the day she began working at CHS.
“I am going to severely miss Ms. Caruso. There has not been a nicer counselor that I have worked with or a nicer coworker,” Gidos said. “She has been totally amazing; I have learned so much and I hope that I can carry that on.”
Caruso made word clouds for every student, filled with positive attributes from their peers, during their freshman year. As a retirement present, fitness teacher Ginny Clevenger reached out to the student body for words that they would use to describe Caruso in order to create one of these clouds for her.
With the help of senior Angelina Cheng of Marlboro, Clevenger compiled the words into a cloud and presented it to Caruso before her final day.
Gidos believes that Sambataro will be a good fit for the position. Sambataro is also eager to join the CHS community.
“I’m very excited,” Sambataro said. “I know I have some very big shoes to fill, but I’m really looking forward to it.”