"Everyone has their own unique and individual journey in middle school,"says Marissa Tisch of her experiences working with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students as a guidance counselor. Marissa has been at CESJDS for nine years, after working with underserved populations for six years as a social worker at two hospitals in Philadelphia and then at a charter school in Washington, DC. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Women's Studies from the University of Delaware and a Master's in Social Work from New York University.
Marissa has been able to apply her past experiences to her present-day work at CESJDS by taking a holistic approach to supporting students in Middle School and helping students figure out strategies to best help themselves both academically and emotionally. Sometimes helping students figure out a "Plan B, Plan C..." when necessary, and staying calm when the pressure builds. She has taken a leadership role in developing the Middle School's Kolot programming, which takes place once a week and allows students to speak with an open heart, listen to their classmates, and talk about different topics including friendship, community, and bullying.
"I like working with middle school students because you are joining students on their journey of figuring themselves out," says Marissa.
Marissa has welcomed, with open arms, the addition of 6th grade to the middle school. "The students starting CESJDS in 6th grade are able to transition into middle school so that by 7th grade they are able to better advocate for themselves and can begin to take leadership roles in the school." It is great seeing students grow in Middle School and see the strides they have made as they transition to High School.
When Marissa is not working with students, she is spending time with her family exploring restaurants, going to concerts, going to the beach, and taking photographs. Some of her photographs will be displayed in a permanent art installation in the Rockville Town Square, coming this spring.