Ms. Maria Han settles into role as new guidance counselor

October 25, 2019


Courtesy of Samantha Roehl ('20)

Ms. Maria Han is the new guidance counselor, and is already in love with her job.

At the beginning of the year, East welcomed a new guidance counselor into A-Wing. Hei One (Maria) Han is replacing Dr. Eileen Lynch, who retired last year. 

Han has been interested in being a guidance counselor since she was in high school, when she had four different guidance counselors due to a scandal that involved students’ grades being changed by the counselors.  

“When I went to high school… I didn’t have the same counselor for all four years because I was part of a time where my high school [Fort Lee High School in North Jersey] had this scandal where the guidance counselors changed grades for seniors to get into Ivy League schools,” said Han. “My go-to person was my AP Psychology teacher and she helped me figure out what I wanted to study. And I loved psychology, it was my favorite subject that I did in high school. And she knows…. I like to help and advise people. So she thought that I might be a good fit for either a guidance counselor or a school psychologist… So, since then I’ve always wanted to be a guidance counselor.” 

After high school, Han went to Rutgers New Brunswick for both undergraduate and graduate school. For her undergraduate degree, she double majored in Psychology and Sociology and minored in Criminology. In graduate school, she received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a NJ certification for school counseling. 

“I like studying about people,” said Han. “I am a sucker for character development or growth in people. In any TV show if there’s no character development, I’m not watching it… I think as a counselor you can see that in your students and I love it. To be able to have the opportunity to help a student… just to see them grow, that’s what I like.”

Thus far, Han feels welcomed by the East community and is looking forward to meeting with all her students. 

“I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart I have no complaints… everyone’s been so friendly,” said Han. “Everyone, especially the guidance department, every single counselor and staff member that I’ve come across, teachers, principals, assistant principals, they’ve all been so welcoming. And I honestly felt comfortable from day one. I have no complaints.”

Han looks forward to the growth opportunities that working at East will offer her. 

“I’m really excited to see how much I will learn within this year,” said Han. “Every day [so far] I’ve learned something new… [and] getting to know various teachers and just getting to know students.” 

Overall, Han is excited for the 2019-2020 school year and looks forward to her future interactions with both students and staff members of Cherry Hill East.

“It’s like my dream job, honestly,” said Han.


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