• Welcome to Birches Counseling!
    School Counselor's Hours: 8:40am-3:55pm

    WTPS Counseling Department – Welcome Back to School Video


    School CounselorASCA 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 from students or parents. 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 Counselor! 

Phone: 856-232-1290 Ext. 3026


Degrees and Certifications:

BA, Elementary Education - The College of New Jersey MA, Counseling Psychology - Rutgers University Certification: School Counselor Activities: Crisis Response School Lead, Section 504 School Coordinator, No Place for Hate Lead

Mrs. Kelly Chropka, School Counselor

My experience includes over 25 years of both teaching and counseling work with elementary children. I have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University. Some of my responsibilities include  providing individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom lessons. I also serve as the 504 team coordinator for Birches. I look forward to working cooperatively with students, parents, and staff to have a great school year. 

Appointments: Email

Phone: 856-232-1290 Ext. 3034


Degrees and Certifications:

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

Miss Breanna Bertele, School Counselor/Traveling Interventionist

 Breanna Bertele bbertele@wtps.org is the Long-Term Substitute School Counselor/Traveling Interventionist for grades K-2.

Welcome! I am Ms. Bertele, the traveling school counselor. I obtained my bachelor's degree in Teaching from West Chester University and enjoyed several years of teaching experience. Amid the challenges posed by the pandemic, I decided to pursue further education and completed my master's degree in School Counseling at Rowan University. My services encompass classroom lessons, small group counseling, and individual counseling. My dedication lies in assisting students to thrive by offering a listening ear, unwavering support, and reliable guidance. I am committed to fostering a secure and encouraging environment where together, we can elevate your school journey to one filled with success and fulfillment.

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.