School Nurse, Angela Farese, offers a few health tips for the W+H Community, to improve your well-being during Self-Care Sundays.
Meet Our Counselors
We have two full-time licensed professional school counselors available to work with our students and families with any social or emotional issues that arise. The School Counselors work with faculty and parents to determine how to best support each of our students as they grow-providing guidance on child/adolescent development and the student experience. Our goal is to ensure that our students have the skills and emotional tools to navigate an ever-changing world with a healthy sense of self.
Dina Congregane is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 25 years of experience working with individuals, families, adolescents, and children. She graduated with a Masters of Social Work from Marywood University and has extensive experience and training as a family systems therapist. While her frame of reference is family systems therapy, she has extensive training and experience in cognitive behavior therapy and provides individuals and families with cognitive and behavioral techniques to help make the connection between mind, body, emotions, and behaviors. This work has afforded her the opportunity to engage clients from an empowerment and strength-focused model. Ms. Congregane worked with families to address issues such as ineffective communication and anger management.
During her diverse experience in the field, Ms. Congregane has worked with individuals and families who have experienced a wide range of issues including those suffering from the traumatic effects of substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, issues of self-esteem, and dealing with loss. In addition, she has many years of success in treating families who have experienced child-focused crises. This experience shaped her professional philosophy and core beliefs. Ms. Congregane believes that client-centered advocacy starts with getting people to reinvest in themselves.
Dina Congregane joined The Wardlaw+Hartridge School faculty in 2006 as the School Counselor. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and her Masters in Social Work from Marywood University. She received her License in Clinical Social Work in 2000. Prior to coming to Wardlaw+Hartridge, she worked for Family Intervention Services where she served in different capacities since 1995 and was the FIS Morris County Director since 2003. She also served on the Morris County Prosecutor's Office Multi-Disciplinary Team Advisory Board, the Youth Services Advisory Committee's Planning Subcommittee, the Disproportionate Minority Confinement Subcommittee, and was the Chairperson for the Morris County Mental Health Professional Advisory Committee. Ms. Congregane loves her position at W+H, because it gives her the unique opportunity to work with students of all ages and coach Girls on the Run and Hero Boys.
Working with children and adolescents has been a passion of Zoe Bongiovanni’s for as long as she can remember. Prior to working at Wardlaw+Hartridge, Zoe consistently worked in jobs that centered around children such as tutoring elementary students and being a care worker for adolescents with disabilities. She care for children and unyielding desire to understand how they grow, what they experience (physically and mentally), and how certain experiences may affect their lives led her to pursue an academic background that hones in on child development.
Zoe discovered that being a School Counselor was the right career path because it combined two passions into one. She has always loved the school environment. For Zoe, there was always something special about the halls of a school and feeling the warmth and community that the building provided. In addition, she loved that school provided ample time to spend and get to know students because they spend so much of their childhood and early adolescent years at school. Zoe finds it an absolute privilege that working as a school counselor allows her to watch students grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
Counseling is a multifaceted framework. It is a discipline that requires the counselor to be up to date and knowledgeable in many different theories and practices because no one student is the same, so no one solution will work. Zoe’s goal in any work with a student is to keep their intervention as individualized as possible. A large part of creating that individualized intervention comes from getting to know each student on a personal and therapeutic level. Part of the therapeutic connection is a lot of modeling, reframing one’s thoughts, connecting past experiences to current reactions, and psychoeducation which are all essential to Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Being one on one with a student allows our counselors to really get to the heart and soul of SEL in a genuine and unsolicited way.
Zoe loves seeing the students. You never know what silly or comical remark you might to hear them say or watch them do. Students really have a way of doing the unexpected, which keeps a counselor’s job fun, exciting, and eager to return the next day!
Zoe feels she has never felt such a community at a school than I have at Wardlaw+Hartridge. The faculty, staff, and administrators work cohesively together that she is confident we are providing the best experience for our students. It is like placing the last puzzle piece into the puzzle and feeling the satisfaction of finally seeing the picture be complete.