Guidance Staff

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 comprehensive counseling program that helps all students understand themselves better and strive towards their potential.

Contact: Ext. 13130
Email: spatz@nvnet.org


MICHAEL O'MALLEY - LEAD COUNSELOR

Mr. O'Malley joined the Demarest Guidance Department in September 1999 in the role of Guidance Counselor and has served in the capacity of Lead Counselor since 2013.  His responsibilities as Lead Counselor include individual case management, building and maintaining the master schedule, serving as the test coordinator for AP, SAT, PSAT, SSD ACT, TAA and PARCC/NJSLA as well as the overall daily operations of the Guidance Department.  He also is the Anti-Bullying Specialist as well as Affirmative Action Officer for Staff and Faculty.  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, The National Association for College Admissions Counseling, The College Board, ACT, New Jersey School Counselors Association, New Jersey Association of College Admissions Counselors, Bergen County School Counselors Association and the Bergen County Flight (Crisis Management) Team.  He serves as a liaison between the Guidance Department, Child Study Team, 504 Committee and Intervention and Referral Services Team.  He is an integral member of the Crisis Response Team, Emergency Management Team, School Safety and Climate Committee as well as the Principal’s Advisory Committee.  He has previously served as a chairman on the Accreditation for Growth Committee for Middle States Evaluation, advisor of Gifted and Talented Program, Boys and Girls State, Governor's School and Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Program, the NVD Girls Learn International Chapter of the KARE Club, Student of the Month Committee and Alumni Return Day Program.  He also serves as the Lead Negotiator of the Northern Valley Administrators Association.  Mr. O'Malley has been recognized by "Who's Who Among American Teachers".  His personal areas of interest include fitness, health and wellness.

Contact: Ext. 13100
Email:  omalley@nvnet.org


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
Email: ferraroj@nvnet.org


TRACEY SALERNO - SCHOOL COUNSELOR

Prior to joining the Northern Valley Guidance Department in 2007, Ms. Salerno taught Middle School Mathematics and Algebra I, and 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 45 post-graduate credits in the field of guidance and counseling. She is a certified College Admissions Counselor accredited by the University of California Riverside, University Extension. Currently at NVD, Ms. Salerno chairs the Intervention and Referral Services Committee and is a member of the Crisis Response Team. She is a Senior Options Assistant and Peer Mediation Advisor. Ms. Salerno enjoys exercising, traveling, gardening, and spending time with her nieces and nephews.

Contact: Ext: 13115
Email: salerno@nvnet.org


REBECCA GLENNON - SCHOOL COUNSELOR

Mrs. Glennon joined the Northern Valley, Demarest Guidance Department in August, 2017. Prior to joining the NVRHS district, Mrs. Glennon served as a School Counselor for Montville Township High School where she enjoyed leading the Peers-As-Leaders group for the past seven years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bloomsburg University and a Master of Arts in Counseling, with a specialization in School Counseling, from the College of St. Elizabeth. Mrs. Glennon is a member of the American School Counselors Association and the New Jersey School Counselor's Association. She is looking forward to her newly appointed position as advisor for the Peer Mentors and working with the students, parents, and staff at NVR, Demarest High School. As an animal lover, Mrs. Glennon volunteers at Eleventh Hour Rescue caring for homeless dogs. When she isn't running around with her pugs, nephews and nieces, she spends her time baking and trying out new restaurants.

Contact: Ext. 13080
Email: glennonr@nvnet.org


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
Email: spafford@nvnet.org


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
Email: tiell@nvnet.org


DEBORAH BAJAKIAN - STUDENT ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Ms. Bajakian joined the Demarest High School guidance staff as the Student Assistance Coordinator (SAC) in September 2006, after 18 years at Westwood Jr./Sr. High School. As the SAC, her responsibilities include confidential counseling, crisis intervention, referral services, and an overall social-emotional focus on student, staff, and family wellbeing.  She is a member of numerous school committees including the district's Crisis Response Team, the Intervention and Referral Services Committee, and the School Safety/School Climate Team. Ms. Bajakian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University. In addition to holding a certification as the Student Assistance Coordinator, she also maintains certifications as a school social worker and supervisor.  Her professional affiliations include the NJ Association of Student Assistance Professionals and the National Association of Social Workers and Academy of Certified Social Workers.  Ms Bajakian enjoys exercising, classic rock music, traveling and spending time with friends and family.  Both Ms. Bajakian and her husband, who is also a social worker, maintain a private practice in Bergen County.

Contact: Ext. 13260
Email: bajakian@nvnet.org
Ms. Bajakian's Webpage


KRISTEN SELLIX- WELLNESS COORDINATOR

Ms. Sellix joins the Demarest High School guidance staff as the Wellness Coordinator in September 2020. Prior to joining Northern Valley, she was a School Social Worker with the Cresskill School District Child Study Team.  Ms. Sellix is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Ramapo College of NJ.  Her responsibilities as the Wellness Coordinator include confidential counseling, crisis intervention and referral services to students in grades 9-12. Ms. Sellix also assists with the development and implementation of social-emotional learning initiatives, is a member of the Crisis Response Team, the Intervention and Referral Services Committee, and helps coordinate programs for students, staff and parents on various topics relevant to adolescent mental health and wellness.  Ms. Sellix loves spending time with her dog, country music, cooking, and going to the beach with family.  Ms. Sellix also maintains a private practice in Ramsey, NJ where she specializes in child and adolescent mental health needs.  Please feel free to contact her or stop by the Wellness Center to meet her.

Contact: Ext. 12086
Email: sellixk@nvnet.org



OFFICE STAFF

Kristin Kohler - Administrative Secretary
Ext. 13140
kohler@nvnet.org

Gayla Brewer - Associate Secretary
Ext. 13070
brewerg@nvnet.org

Deidre Yablen - Associate Secretary
Ext. 13120
yablend@nvnet.org