Phone - 201-768-3200 Fax - 201-750-1493
The Northern Valley Guidance Department is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). All school counselors are members of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC) and the Bergen County School Counselors Association (BCSCA).
MATTHEW P. SPATZ – DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF GUIDANCE
Matthew Spatz directs and coordinates both the Demarest and Old Tappan high school guidance departments in the role of Director of Guidance for the Northern Valley Regional High School District. Mr. Spatz is in the Demarest building on Monday morning, Tuesday and Thursday, and in the Old Tappan building on Monday afternoon, Wednesday and Friday.
Before coming to Old Tappan as a school counselor in 2002, Mr. Spatz worked in Ramapo High School as an English teacher. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Master's degree from Willilam Paterson University. He is a member of the American School Counselors Association, New Jersey School Counselors Association, and the Bergen County School Counselors Association, as well as the National Association for College Admissions Counselors and New Jersey Association of College Admissions Counselors.
Mr. Spatz enjoys working with a wonderful team of caring professionals whose mission it is to deliver a compehensive counseling program that helps all students understand themselves better and strive towards their potential.
Contact: Ext. 13130
MICHAEL O'MALLEY – LEAD COUNSELOR
Mr. O’Malley has been with the Demarest Guidance Department since September 1999. He is the Lead Counselor for Demarest High School, managing a student caseload and overseeing the daily operations of the Guidance Department. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the State University of New York at Oswego and a Master of Science in Counseling and Personnel services from Fordham University. Mr. O’Malley is a member of the American School Counselors Association, New Jersey School Counselors Association, the Bergen County Professional Counselors Association and the Bergen County Flight (Crisis Management) Team. He is the Demarest High School test coordinator for the HSPA, NJBCT and the College Board AP Exam Program. He serves as a liaison between the Guidance Department, Child Study team and
504 Committee. He has served as an Associate Supervisor for the PSAT, SAT and ACT Exam Programs, member of the Intervention and Referral Services Team and Crisis Response Team, chairman on the Accreditation for Growth Committee for Middle States Evaluation, advisor of Gifted and Talented Program, Governor's School and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Program, the NVD Girls Learn International Chapter of the KARE Club and Student of the Month Committee as well as coordinator of the Alumni Return Day Program. Mr. O’Malley was recognized by "Who's Who Among American Teachers" in 2002. His personal areas of interest include health, wellness and fitness.
Contact: Ext. 13100
JENNIFER FERRARO – SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Mrs. Ferraro joined the Northern Valley Guidance Department in December 2012. Prior to joining NVD, she taught Mathematics and served as an Advising Counselor and Psychological Counselor at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Rutgers University; she was also a Guidance Counselor at Hawthorne Middle School. Mrs. Ferraro holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Teaching and a Masters of Arts in Counseling from The College of New Jersey. Mrs. Ferraro is a Nationally Certified Counselor and her professional affiliations inlcude the National Association for College Admission Counseling, New Jersey School Counselor's Association, and the Bergen County School Counselors Association. Currently, she serves as a member of the Crisis Response Team, the Student of the Month Committee as well as coordinator of the Alumni Return Day
Program. Mrs. Ferraro is married and has three young children and enjoys the beach, running, and spending time with friends and family.
Contact: Ext. 13090
TRACEY SALERNO - SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Prior to joining the Northern Valley Guidance Department in 2007, Ms. Salerno taught Middle School Mathematics and Algebra I, and more recently, served as a guidance counselor for the Harrington Park School District for eight years. Ms. Salerno received a Bachelor of Science from Bucknell University and a Master of Arts from Montclair State University in the field of Counseling, Human Services and Guidance. She earned graduate certification in the area of Student Personnel Services and holds 30 post-graduate credits in the field of guidance and counseling. Currently at NVD, Ms. Salerno chairs the Intervention and Referral Services Committee and is a member of the Crisis Response Team. She is the NVD co-administrator for the HSPA, EOC Biology and Algebra 1 statewide assessments. Ms. Salerno enjoys exercising, traveling, cooking, and spending
time with her young nieces and nephews.
Contact: Ext: 13115
LAURA SCHWARTZAPFEL – SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Mrs. Schwartzapfel joined the Northern Valley Guidance Department in the fall of 1999 after serving as the guidance counselor for the Northvale Public Schools for ten years. Prior to Northvale, she worked for Project Head Start and held the position of Professor at New York Medical College, the Mental Retardation Institute in Valhalla, New York. She also worked as a fulltime interdisciplinary consultant for Elwyn Institute, a residential treatment center in Elwyn, PA. While at Elwyn, she co-authored a number of publications on de-institutionalization. Mrs. Schwartzapfel was the recipient of the Child Assault Prevention Award in 1998. She is currently co-advisor for the Peer Mentor Program and the Peer Mediation Program and serves as a regular member of the Crisis Response Team. Mrs. Schwartzapfel holds a Bachelor of Science in Special
Education from Boston University, a Master of Science in Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania, and 32 credits beyond her masters in counseling and supervision. She is married and has two grown children. In her free time she enjoys reading, walking, theater and good movies.
Contact: Ext. 13080
COLLEEN SPAFFORD - SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Mrs. Spafford joined the Demarest Guidance Department in the Fall of 2014. Prior to joining the Demarest staff, she spent six years as a Guidance Counselor at Ramapo High School and one year in the Guidance Department at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mrs. Spafford holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Rutgers University as well as a Master’s in School Counseling from UNLV and a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA. She has coached locally, including stints at Mahwah, Ramapo and as Head Women’s Coach at Bergen Community College. Mrs. Spafford has run several marathons including Disney and San Diego. She belongs to the Bergen County School Counselors Association, the American School Counselors Association and the New Jersey School Counselor's Association. Mrs. Spafford is married and has a young
daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family and baking.
Contact: Ext. 13280
HOWARD TIELL - SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Mr. Tiell joined the guidance staff in August 2004. Prior to joining Northern Valley at Demarest, he taught Physical Education in NYC and was a School Counselor at Plainview-Old Bethpage on Long Island. Mr. Tiell holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland, a Master of Science in School Counseling from Long Island University, and a professional degree in School Administration from the College of St. Rose. Mr. Tiell is a member of the Crisis Response Team, an anti-bullying specialist and has served on the School Senate. He has also coached varsity baseball and junior varsity soccer. Mr. Tiell is married and has three children and enjoys traveling, golfing and rooting for the NY Yankees and Miami Dolphins.
Contact: Ext. 13540
DEBORAH BAJAKIAN - STUDENT ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR
Ms. Bajakian joined the Demarest High School guidance staff as the Student Assistance Coordinator in September 2006. Prior to joining Northern Valley, she was the Student Assistance Counselor at Westwood Jr-Sr High School for eighteen years. Ms. Bajakian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University, a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from William Paterson University and a SAC certification from Ramapo College. Her responsibilities as the Student Assistance Coordinator include confidential counseling, crisis intervention, and referral services to students in grades 9-12. Ms. Bajakian also teaches Health Lab to freshman students, is a member of the Crisis Response Team, the Intervention and Referral Services Committee, advises S.A.D.D. and Peer Mediations Clubs, and helps coordinate programs for
students, staff and parents on various topics relevant to adolescents. Ms. Bajakian loves skiing, classic rock music and traveling with her husband. Both Ms. Bajakian and her husband, who is also a social worker, maintain a private practice in Ridgewood, NJ. Please feel free to contact her or stop by her office (G100).
Contact: Ext. 13260
Kristin Kohler - Administrative Secretary
Gayla Brewer - Associate Secretary
Gail Maier - Associate Secretary