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2017-2018 Educational Services Professional of the Year: Erica Maira

Maira and LaBouff
Guidance Counselor Erica Maira (left) and Assistant Principal/Supervisor
of Guidance Trish LaBouff (right) pose to honor Erica as the 2017-2018 Educational
Services Professional of the Year.



 Maira 2
Erica Maira speaks on behalf of her students at the Principal's List Breakfast.
Maira 3
(Left to Right): Senior Darci Dimmig, Student Council Advisor and Business
Teacher Matt Abate, Student Council Advisor and Guidance Counselor Erica
Maira, Volunteer and Retired Shawnee High School Social Studies Teacher
Michael Panarella, and Student Council Advisor and English Teacher Laura Hoy
pose after helping with Student Council's annual Toy Drive in December.
2017-2018 Educational Services Professional of the Year:  
Seneca is proud to announce that guidance counselor Erica Maira is the 2017-2018 Educational Services Professional of the Year. Erica has been part of the Lenape Regional High School District (LRHSD) since 1983 as a biology teacher at Lenape High School. After teaching in Newport News, Virginia for two years, Erica returned to the LRHSD in 1986 as a science teacher at Lenape and as the Assistant Gymnastics coach. 
Erica came to Seneca in 2004 as a guidance counselor and has served the students of Seneca both as a guidance counselor, group grief facilitator, and as an advisor for Seneca's Student Council. Erica said, "Having worked in two other schools, there is no place like Seneca. The staff is so very supportive of our students and their colleagues. The success of the events in which I am involved is directly related to our staff and their support.  They pay it forward to our students who, in the end, have gained an experience and built lasting memories."
When asked why she became an educator, Erica replied, "Originally I was a biology teacher, and I loved the rewards of teaching students how to think and experiencing the light-bulb moment when the students put it all together. As a counselor, the light-bulb moment has shifted to the rewards of being an integral part of the student's high school experience. Seeing students mature from incoming freshman to graduating seniors is extremely rewarding. The students are our future, and the challenges are forever changing. I thoroughly enjoy helping them gain the life skills needed to meet and exceed these challenges." 
Before coming to the LRHSD, Erica graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Education and a minor in Biology. She also has her Master's degree in Student Personnel and Counseling.  
In addition to being the Educational Services Professional of the Year, Erica has also previously been recognized as an Employee of the Month.
What Erica's colleagues say about her:
"Erica Maira is one of the hardest working people in our school."
"[Erica] is not just a guidance counselor but more so an integral part of our school community." 
"She is an integral part to the amazing school spirit and school culture that Seneca is known for."
"Erica has served as a mentor helping me grow both personally and professionally." 
"Erica has dedicated a lot of time to making Seneca a better place for both the students and staff."  
"She lives for youth, the educational process, and has methodically cultivated a deep respect for the process of educating and raising our society’s youth."
"She listens, advises, and encourages the students to take ownership of their ideas and programs."
"In her position as a Counselor, she not only has a healthy and nurturing rapport with the students she serves, but also with the greater school community."  
"Each year she tries to do something new to help the students of our school."   
Previous Educational Services Professional's of the Year*: 
2016-2017 - Celeste Wilden, Child Study Team
2015-2016 - Kathy Donoghue, Media Specialist and Assistant Athletic Director 
*The award was first presented in 2015-2016.