Beloved Guidance Counselor Retires after 15 Years

By Kristen Krobot, Reporter

  Guidance counselor Colleen Dzwonczyk is retiring after 15 years at Susquehannock. After attending Penn State and getting an undergraduate degree for speech pathology, she got her graduate degree in audiology from Penn State. For 10 years, she worked in an audiology and speech pathology field at Towson University. Then, realizing she enjoyed working with students, Dzwonczyk decided to go back to what is now McDaniel college and get her masters degree in school counseling.

Pictured is Dzwonczyk in her office. Photo by the author.

     Dzwonczyk reflected on all of her good memories here at SHS.

  “I am going to miss utmost and foremost the students. There have been some students who have really touched me, been wonderful, who I feel that I have helped who were in difficult circumstances,” said Dzwonczyk. “One time I accidentally dialed 911 from the fax machine and the police came in. I set the alarms off one time when I was here helping with the musical. I’ve thought students had a bomb in the parking lot when they were actually working on a video production project, I was ready to call a code red through the whole building. It sounds like I’m panicker, but I’m not really, those are just the funny things.”

    Dzwonczyk is planning on taking a two week trip to Italy this coming October; she has a part-time job lined up at Logan’s View Winery.  She is planning on getting a puppy with the hopes of raising it as a therapy dog.

     Guidance counselor Evelyn Kabke has been a colleague of Dzwonczyk’s for 10 years.

  “Ms. Dzwonczyk is awesome. She is a great friend. She is patient, caring, and compassionate. She is obviously a good listener, and she works really hard for all of her students. She never gives up on students, even if someone makes some bad choices. She keeps trying to help them be successful. She has a great sense of humor and that goes a long way with dealing of the stress of the job; this makes her a fun person. Ms. Dzwonczyk is a really great counselor and colleague. I’m really going to miss her when she retires,” said Kabke.

(Left to right) Grace Myers, Samantha Whittie, Kate Miklos, Evelyn Kabke, and Collen Dwonczyk and Matthew Shervington. Photo by @SuskyCounseling

  Dzwonczyk will miss her students the most as well as the interaction with them. She enjoys helping students plan for their future, find the college they want to get into, and what career path they are interested in. She takes pleasure in learning her students got into their desired college.

     Dzwonczyk has helped junior Jason Weger with any academic obstacle he has faced during his time at Susquehannock.

  “She always knows what to say when you’re struggling, or you need help with something. For example, now I am thinking about colleges and the future. I always know I can go to her or shoot her an email, and she can help me with whatever I am struggling with,” said Weger.

  Dzwonczyk wants to remembered as a person who wants to help people because that was her main goal as being a guidance counselor.

  Senior Kristy Smith has learned a lot from Dzwonczyk and will miss her support.

  “I’m going to miss her helping me emotionally and academically. She helped me get through many tough times in my life and staying on track academically through those times. She encouraged me to keep going and stay strong and focus on the good in life. She has helped me when I’ve been crying, when I’ve been angry, when I’ve been happy and wanting to share my moments, and helping me set up my future and Shenandoah University,” said Smith. “She is a phenomenal woman and, I am sad that she will be leaving the high school because she has touched many students lives, including mine.”

  Dzwonczyk will be greatly missed by the students she helped. She left a lasting impression on Susquehannock.

  “I’m just a person who really believes that you only go around once in life. You live life to the fullest; that is my plan for the rest of my lifetime, to live life to the fullest. I really want other people to do that. Sometimes there are road blocks, but you just learn how to get around that road block or climb it. Do whatever you need to do to make life the best. The way you treat others is the most important thing,” said Dzwonczyk.

At the award ceremony on May 24, Barb Nealon and Dwonczyk were two of the four staff members who are retiring and were recognized. Photo by the author.