Senior Advocates for Designated Guidance Counselor for Pathways, RISE and PACE

Malden High's prominent alternative learning programs Pathways, Recognizing Individual Success Everyday (RISE), and Practical Academic Community Education (PACE) are currently without a guidance counselor. So, Pathways senior Benjamin Perez has stepped up to the plate after seeing this issue. As Perez stated in an email to Jennifer Spadafora, the Vice-Chair of the Malden School Committee, “I believe these programs need something like that as the transition from high school to college or the workforce will look different and possibly more difficult for those without a guidance counselor.” 

The Superintendent of Malden Public Schools, Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy, agreed that the PACE and RISE students deserve the same support as any other student within the high school. 

Perez has amassed student support in the hundreds in the form of signatures. 


Students Leticia Carvalho and Benjamin Perez with the petitions. AIDEN LUCIANO

In a Google Slides presentation created by Perez at City Hall on Monday, April 1st, they stated that “the students in these programs need a higher level of academic support, as many of them are under-credited and overaged.” In addition to this, many of the students in these programs have financial, cognitive, and emotional needs/challenges.

After Perez's presentation, Spadafora expressed that “it really spoke to me as my own son is in the RISE program.” She believes every student should have access to someone who can guide them. Spadafora hopes that after hearing the story and statement from Perez, the administration will take the need for a guidance counselor more seriously and fill the position soon.

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