By Isabel Boxerman (School News Correspondent)
This year, SHS welcomed a new guidance counselor who has finally found his perfect fit in Sharon after experimenting with a variety of professions.
Mr. Geoffrey Baltera began working at SHS the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. He was one of the 180 applicants for this position and was later selected with 9 other candidates for an interview. The committee says that Baltera’s kind and motivated demeanor won him the position as the new guidance counselor.
Mr. Robert Pomer, the guidance director of Sharon High School, says that he never hired a guidance counselor before so it was “neat to go through the experience of actually hiring someone.” He says that the staff has been extremely consistent and there were many applicants for this position.
He says that Baltera has been a great addition to the guidance department. “He just had a calm demeanor about him and a clear willingness to work as a team and be a member of the team,” Pomer said.
Baltera tried many other professions before he became a guidance counselor. “I worked in the Park Ranger Service, I worked at grocery stores, I worked at camps. I did a lot of different things, and they were fine,” said Baltera.
He says that he constantly thought back to working at a summer program one year and talking to kids. Baltera said he enjoyed “just talking to kids and listening to them to think about their lives and figure out what they’re trying to do.”
Baltera says that after that summer program, he wanted to try to find a way to have that same feeling at his full time job. He says that he thought about going into teaching but was “really interested in just what people are thinking about rather than teaching them to think about different things.”
Mr. Baltera had previous teaching and counselling experience before he came to SHS, where he worked as a long term sub in the spring at a different school. “I did my master’s [degree] at Boston College in counselling and last year I worked at Weston High School,” said Baltera.
Baltera says that he really likes Sharon High School and the faculty and students. “I interviewed at a lot of places when I was looking for a job this year and Sharon was one of the few where I went there and felt like I could see myself being here and enjoying it,” said Baltera.
Ms. Tanya Keeney, a guidance counselor at SHS, says that she has loved working with Mr. Baltera so far. “He’s super chill, he’s got a great sense of humor, he’s really sharp, and really smart,” she said.
Keeney says that Baltera seems to be developing strong relationships with his students. She says that when she worked a couple night programs with him “not only has he been professional, he’s also been a ton of fun and I’m really glad he’s here!”
Pomer says that Baltera has a determination to get to know his students. “If you talk to him, you get the sense that he is an intelligent person, an empathic person, and is just here to do his best for our students,” Pomer added. He says that Baltera is a perfect fit for this group of counselors, students, and families.
Baltera is still getting used to everything and learning new things. “It’s also a little overwhelming, just trying to meet everyone at the same time. But it’s been really positive,” said Baltera.