So Long Scotto: Return to the Counseling World

Victoria Pursglove, Writer

Those who knew Ms. Scotto during her time as the Student Assistant Coordinator (SAC) here at Audubon High School knew her as not only a counselor but a friend. Many students considered her and her space as a place to be open, comfortable, and safe. This year, she decided to take the leap and move on from Audubon to advance in her field. Her last day was on the 30th of September. When spoken to about her resignation, Scotto herself had mixed feelings. She said that while she would have loved to stay longer, she came to the decision that now was the time to move on in her career. On one hand, she said that she wanted to use her licenses in both drug and alcohol and mental health therapy. The other side of her, however,  wanted to stay and continue to help Audubon students grow into their adult lives with a stable wellbeing. When spoken to regarding this, she said that Audubon felt like “a big family,” and also said working with the students here was the “absolute number one,” part of her job. Now that she has moved on, many of the students who relied on her for advice and support were left questioning where to turn. 

While the counseling office is an option, some students may not feel that this is an adequate replacement for the services that Scotto provided. Mrs. Vanfossen, one of the guidance counselors here at Audubon, is a staff member who was close to Scotto while she worked at Audubon. When we asked Vanfossen about Scotto leaving Audubon she said this “has an effect on the department as a whole. She was a crucial member here. She saw a number of students in a much more intense way than we are often able to.” The counselors in the guidance office are more specialized to guide students through their academic life rather than their emotional life; which is what Scotto’s job was here. Sure, these counselors can also help with the mental wellbeing of students but they may not be able to as well as Scotto did. In regards to this, VanFossen added: “She has degrees that even we don’t have as school counselors.” In addition to degrees, Mrs. Scotto had time. Since her focus was solely on student personal needs, and had a smaller caseload, her relationship with the students she saw was deep.

With that, Scotto has left the building. While there are still places and people that students are able to seek support, they may be unable to help as much as students might hope. 

The new question is this: Will her replacement fill this void? Hopefully, the answer to this question will be a resounding yes.