Marissa Gold's Video Celebrating 2016 Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness
Marissa Gold, Guidance Counselor
Governor Livingston High School
I am Marissa Gold, guidance counselor at the Governor Livingston High School.
Judy Ratner, Superintendent, Berkeley Heights Public Schools
I am Judy Ratner, Superintendent, Berkeley Heights Public Schools.
In 2012, Marissa lost her vision overnight, and shortly after, part of her hearing. Still she never lost her determination to get back to doing what she loves.
So as, we were preparing to have Marissa come back to Governor Livingston high school, we had to work with the Helen Keller National Center to make that we were providing the support that Marissa needed.
Was there any an initial apprehension around Marissa’s return to work?
I was concerned that people might not be kind. I was concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to give Marissa the support that she needed and everybody not be able to give her the support that she needed. And I think that lots of people can learn from our experience, that it can happen.
Joyce, Former Director of Guidance, Governor Livingston High School
I think I had some reservations when it was time that Marissa was going to come back. It is a very fast-paced office and you know, it’s a high-powered high school and students are applying to very good colleges and there is a high expectation and I wanted Marissa to be successful. And she came back and hit the ground running.
The department, I thought, was wonderful. I really couldn’t ask for a more supportive department. Just in the sense that, in the areas where I might have a little more difficulty, they were very helpful and in the areas where I could support them in providing information, you know it went both ways.
How have Marissa’s relationships at the high school evolved?
Actually, it has been a very positive reaction because I think that you walk down the halls and you just hear little tidbits of “she is just amazing”. She doesn’t realize that, because she’s just walking down the hall doing her natural things, and I have to agree. And I have to say, Marissa was an excellent counselor before. She has this wonderful insight. Her prior experience was something we haven’t had here, so that was helpful. But I just think that she is even more sensitive to the students now, just having dealt with our own challenges.
On so many levels, I think that I’ve really been supported and vice versa.
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