• Welcome to Whitman Counseling!
    School Counselors' Hours: 8:40am-3:55pm

    WTPS Counseling Department – Welcome Back to School Video


    School CounselorsASCA NJSCA
    School counselors have Master's Degrees and are professionally trained in the three domains of school counseling: academic success, career readiness, and social/emotional development. Click here for the American School Counselor Association description of the elementary school counselor. Under Multi-Tiered System of Supports, direct counseling services include: school-wide activities, classroom lessons, individual planning or counseling, group counseling sessions, referral to resources.
    School Counselor Assignments
    In our elementary schools, students are grouped by grade levels and assigned a dedicated school counselor. To ensure consistent support, we do not honor counselor change requests. Please contact your counselor anytime for assistance.    
    Department Vision/Mission
    The District School Counseling Department is Building Better People by helping all students achieve school success and plan for their future.

    All About Our School Counselors! 

Phone: 856-589-6644 Ext. 3413


Degrees and Certifications:

BA, Psychology - Rowan University MA, Counseling in Educational Settings - Rowan University Certification: School Counselor Activities: Crisis Response School Lead, Section 504 School Coordinator, No Place for Hate Lead

Miss Lea Donaghy, School Counselor

Hello everyone, I am Miss Lea Donaghy and this is my first year as a Professional School Counselor. I am beyond excited to spend this time with you! I earned my BA in Psychology and my Masters in Counseling in Educational Settings from Rowan University. My goal is to provide students with the tools they need to excel in their academic, social, and emotional well-being. I enjoy using a person-centered and social justice approach to counseling because all students come with different experiences and unique personalities. These approaches have allowed me to meet the needs of each individual student. 

I am looking forward to working with the other school counselors, teachers, parents, staff, and, of course, students to create a safe space where everyone feels valued and heard. I am here to help with individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons. 

When I am not at school, I enjoy playing on my wheelchair hockey team, hanging with my friends and family, and advocating for disability rights!

I cannot wait to meet you. Let’s make this year a great one!

Phone: 856-589-6644 Ext. 3214


Degrees and Certifications:

BA, Psychology - Rowan University M Ed, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling - Wilmington University Activities: Section 504 School Coordinator

Ms. Jill Wanielista, School Counselor/Traveling Interventionist

Hi everyone, I am Miss Wanielista. I grew up in Washington Township and graduated from WTHS in 2013. I am so excited to be back in the district as an employee. I earned my BA in Psychology from Rowan University, and my M. Ed., school counseling, from Wilmington University. I will be traveling between two elementary schools, Bells and TJ. In doing so, my goal is to create a safe space for all students and help them develop their social-emotional skills. I will be working alongside the other counselors to provide individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons. In my free time, I enjoy being at the beach, going on bike rides, and spending time with my friends & family. I look forward to meeting all of you! 

“You can’t change the waves, but you can learn how to surf”. 

Let's have a safe and healthy school year! 

Appointments: Email

Phone: 856-232-1290 Ext. 3042


Degrees and Certifications:

BA, Humanities - University of Pennsylvania MSW, Social Work - Temple University EdD, Special Education - Arcadia University Licensure: LCSW

Dr. Michele Forte, Transitional Coach

Dr. Michele Forte is a social worker and educator who has a diverse background in working with individuals facing developmental, behavioral, and mental health challenges. She has extensive experience in clinical practice, special education, program development, advocacy, research, and team leadership.  Dr. Forte holds a Doctorate in Education (Special Education) from Arcadia University, a Master of Social Work (Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families) from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities/Religious Studies) from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Forte’s research and practical interests include building positive behavior supports in the home and community; supporting parents with intellectual disabilities and cognitive challenges; increasing capacities for individuals with low functioning disabilities; and reducing adolescent self-harming behaviors. When not working, she enjoys travel, crafts and spending time with family.

In response to the critical shortage of student support services across the nation's schools, where the average counselor-to-student ratio is 1-to-408, our program introduces a novel approach to address the unmet behavioral health needs of students. At a time when nearly 40% of students are battling untreated behavioral health disorders—a situation that significantly affects attendance, instructional time, disciplinary issues, and overall school climate—we offer hope.

Our program uniquely positions Transitional Coaches in schools to bridge the gap in student support services. These professionals, with their background in counseling, social work, and related fields, are dedicated to nurturing the potential within each child, assisting them to navigate challenges such as academic underachievement, bullying, negative peer influences, grief and loss, low self-esteem, and more.

Working in close collaboration with the school counselors, school leadership team, and staff, Transitional Coaches focus on the holistic development of students. They implement an evidence-based curriculum aimed at fostering respect for authority, goal-setting, assertive communication, substance-use prevention, cultural respect, self-value, and coping mechanisms for personal issues, trauma, and anxiety, among other topics.

Our service is uniquely designed to ensure accessibility and inclusivity, provided at no cost to students, families, or schools, and without affecting any family’s insurance premiums or plans. By aligning with the school's and district's overarching missions and goals, our program not only supports the individual student but also enhances the overall school climate, ensuring a nurturing environment for all students to thrive.