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About Us: Emphasizing the “Preparatory” in Saint Peter’s Prep

As part of a Jesuit, Catholic, college preparatory school, the Guidance & College Counseling department concerns itself with the individual care and development of our students.  The  major goals of the department are academic and personal counseling.  We seek to assist students in making decisions that affect their education and to implement programs that will enable them to reach their full potential.    Counselors offer academic counseling that deals with the student’s practical needs: study skills, student/teacher relationships, course selection, peer relationships, career information, testing, and college selection.  The goals are achieved through individual meetings and a comprehensive group guidance curriculum across four years.

Prep’s guidance program is an integral part of the overall educational program. Like an academic course, group guidance is a scheduled class that every student takes throughout his four years. Students meet with their counselor once every cycle. At every grade level, the curriculum is structured, developmental and flexible, enabling the counselors to effectively address the students’ various needs. A description of the group guidance classes can be found here.

Also, a number of evening workshops and other programs are offered to students and their parents on the various aspects of the college admission process.

We provide personal counseling on a short-term basis to enhance a student’s knowledge and acceptance of self, as well as to support him in understanding issues and solving problems.  The department provides referrals for students and families to outside counseling agencies if the need for more lengthy or specialized services arises.

Counselors maintain the confidentiality of their relationships with students. Counselors are obliged not to disclose information that a student has shared within the context of the counseling relationship, unless such disclosures are necessary to protect the student from posing a serious threat to himself or to others.

Contact Us

For general guidance and college counseling information, please call 201-547-6380. Contact info for each member of our team is listed below. Click on each name to learn more about each department member!

Mr. Joe Giglio, ’87, P’27

Giuseppe “Joe” Giglio, ’87, P’27 is excited to continue serving the Prep community and his alma mater as Director of Guidance & College Counseling. Mr. Giglio credits the late Fr. Ray Balduf, S.J. with developing his lifelong interest in college admission and counseling. 

Mr. Giglio previously served as Executive Director of Admission and Enrollment Marketing at St. Peter’s College (now Saint Peter’s University).

Mr. Giglio had a 19 year career in college admission. He has been on the Admission team at Fordham University and Stevens Institute of Technology. He served a term as chair of the Council of Jesuit Admission Directors (CJAD) and is an active participant in regional and national professional organizations. Joe “got his start” as the student body elected representative on the Admission Committee at the College of the Holy Cross (MA).

A Hudson County native, Mr. Giglio resides in Maplewood with his wife, son, and dogs, Piper and Barkley and is delighted to be a Prep parent himself.

Director of Guidance and College Counseling | College Counselor
GiglioJ@spprep.org | 201-547-2304

Ms. Grace Morris

Grace Morris is a graduate of Fairfield University, earned her Masters Degree from Seton Hall University in Marriage and Family Therapy, and is a is a New Jersey State Certified School Counselor.  Grace joined the Prep Guidance Department in 2011. Currently serving the community as the Chair of the Guidance Counseling Department, Grace has been a contributing member of our community, committed to the Prep mission and supporting our students. Prior to joining the Prep Faculty, she worked as a School Counselor at Immaculate Conception High School, Marist High School and St. Thomas Aquinas High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut, followed by her Masters degree from Seton Hall University.

Guidance Department Chairperson | School Counselor (Classes of 2024 & 2026)
MorrisG@spprep.org | 201-547-6381

Ms. Jessica Nordstrom

Jessica Nordstrom joined the Saint Peter’s Prep community in the 2013-14 school year. She is passionate about helping students develop both personally and in the classroom, as well as preparing them for their future endeavors. Before coming to Prep, Jessica served for five years as the Assistant to the Director of College Guidance at Loyola School in New York. She received her Master of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University. Jessica grew up in Queens and Long Island, New York but now calls Hoboken her home. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, listening to live music, exploring the greater New York City area, and spending time with family and friends.

Assistant Chair, Guidance Department | School Counselor (Classes of 2024 & 2025)
NordstromJ@spprep.org | 201-547-6391

Mr. Dan Sarmiento

Hailing from the Midwest, R. V. “Dan” Sarmiento II is a Michigan State University Spartan, graduating with a degree in Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations. He started his career in college admissions with the Jesuits, working in the Admission Office at Loyola University Chicago. Since then, he has worked at: New York University, where he also earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling; Morristown Beard School; The Hewitt School; and, most recently, Xavier University. Having engaged with the college admission process from both sides over the past two and a half decades, he is excited to apply and share all that he has learned with Prep students and their families. “We are all connected.”

Living in Manhattan, Mr. Sarmiento enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of the city, going to the theater, hearing live music, and tasting as much of the latest “must try” foods. He is also still on the hunt for the best slice of pizza.

Associate Director of College Counseling | College Counselor
SarmientoR@spprep.org | 201-547-6435

Ms. Maysoon Awwad, P’23

Maysoon Awwad, P’23 graduated from NJCU with a Bachelors degree in Business Management and worked for a financial institution for the past ten years while she continued working on her Masters degree in School Counseling. She will earn her Masters in December 2020.  She is very passionate about students’ mental health and wellness.  

She lived in Jersey City for almost 15 years, then moved to Union. She has two sons and is a Prep Mom as well as a Mom to her two rescue cats, Frankie and Milo, who rule the house. She enjoys spending her weekends at their restaurant where they have live music and delicious food. 

School Counselor (Classes of 2026 & 2027)
AwwadM@spprep.org | 201-547-6383

Mr. Brad Dexter

Brad Dexter , a graduate of both Boston College and Fordham University, joined the college counseling faculty at Saint Peter’s Prep in 2023. Previously, he served as a history and social sciences teacher at the other corner of Grand & Warren (since 2020), and has been both a professional and independent college counselor in his time as an educator. He began his vocation with the Marist Brothers – including living in a monastery for a year – at St. Agnes Boys High School in Manhattan in 1996, followed that era at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City, and then made his way across the Hudson River to The Garden State, first at Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, and finally to Jersey City and Saint Peter’s Prep. He is originally from New England, prefers the autumn and winter, and insists on spending most of his vacations there.

College Counselor
DexterB@spprep.org | 201-547-2381

Ms. Alison Gorab

 Alison Gorab joined the Saint Peter’s Prep community as part of the guidance team in 2021. Before starting at Prep, Ms. Gorab worked as a school counselor at Staples High School in Westport, CT, and interned at Xavier High School in Manhattan. She received her Master’s in K-12 School Counseling from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College. She majored in both Psychology and Education, and was captain of the Gettysburg Women’s Lacrosse two-time National Championship team. She traveled abroad to South Africa, where she studied at the University of Cape Town and explored new places, food, culture, and wildlife.

Ms. Gorab grew up in Fairfield, CT and has lived in Manhattan since college. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, explore new neighborhoods and restaurants in Manhattan, and play with her westie, Bella. 

School Counselor (Classes of 2024 & 2027)
GorabA@spprep.org | 201-547-6408

Mr. Scott Petrillo

 Scott A. Petrillo joined the Counseling team in 2023. Previously working as a school counselor with the Summit Public School District, Mr. Petrillo spent 23 years working with high school students in support of their academic, personal-social, and college/career endeavors.  Additionally, he worked as an Elementary School Teacher as well as having a career with Macy’s in their Executive Buying Line Program.  He is a graduate of King’s College where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Marketing Degree, Seton Hall University where he earned a Masters Degree in Education, and Kean University, earning a Masters Degree in Counselor Education.  He is also a former adjunct professor teaching in the Nathan Weiss Graduate College program at Kean University.

School Counselor (Classes of 2025 & 2026)
PetrilloS@spprep.org | 201-547-2329

Mr. Anthony Rodriguez

 Anthony Rodriguez is a graduate of Saint Peter’s College where he earned his Bachelors of Arts in History and Saint Peter’s University where he received his Masters of Education with a concentration in School Counseling. He joined Saint Peter’s Prep in the 2021-22 school year and previously worked at Paramus Catholic High School. Prior to becoming a school counselor, Anthony worked as the Associate Director of Admission at Saint Peter’s University. As an Admission Counselor, he was able to counsel students on the college application process and review scholarship/financial aid information. His motto has always been “changing lives” and looks to continue that here at Saint Peter’s Prep. 

School Counselor (Classes of 2024 & 2025)
RodriguezA@spprep.org | 201-547-6478

Mr. Christopher Robinson

Chris Robinson is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) in New Jersey and New York and has his ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Workers) national certification. He received his MSW (Master’s in social work) from Rutgers University in 1992. He is a certified field instructor for graduate social work interns and is a certified clinical social work supervisor. He has raised three adult children; two sons and a daughter who graduated from Catholic high schools in New Jersey. He has provided outpatient counseling services for adolescents and families for 20+ years. His areas of practice include treating people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, grief work, substance abuse, anger management, and family issues. He has worked as an adjunct professor at both Yeshiva and Stony Brook Universities’ graduate schools of social work, teaching Psychopathology. He previously worked in the medical social work field for 10 years and is the owner of Relief & Solutions Counseling Center.

Social Worker | RobinsonC@spprep.org | 201-547-6452

Ms. Kristen Harris, P’27

Kristen Harris joined Saint Peter’s Prep in August of 2021.  She is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Theater Arts. Prior to working at Prep, she worked as a Production Stage Manager on Broadway plays and musicals and is grateful to now be a part of the Prep community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially her son, a Prep freshman. 

Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
HarrisK@spprep.org | 201-547-6380