‘A great role model’

Kuo becomes new PV guidance counselor


Rachel Cohen

Jennifer Kuo has stepped in as the new PV guidance counselor after working at Northern Highlands, Park Ridge High School, and Maple Wood Middle School. She will be replacing former guidance counselor Taylor Henzel.

Isabella Zuluaga, Staff Editor

From swimming with sea turtles and sea lions in the Galapagos over the summer to hiking in the Ecuador Highlands, Jennifer Kuo and Pascack Valley history teacher Leah Jerome both have found a love for traveling.  

“Ms. Kuo is a difference-maker in any environment,” Jerome said. “She has great energy and is always seeking new ways to improve her community.”

Kuo is beginning her first year as a guidance counselor at Pascack Valley after working at Northern Highlands High School, Park Ridge High School, and Maplewood Middle School. She will be replacing former guidance counselor Taylor Henzel. 

Contributed by Leah Jerome
Jennifer Kuo stands In front of the Cotopaxi mountain in Ecuador. She visited South America with PV history teacher Leah Jerome.

“When I was in between jobs in my twenties, I went back to my high school and I had a good relationship not with a counselor but in a similar role, she was a really big influence on me,” Kuo said. “She was so enthusiastic about the job and it convinced me to follow that.”

Kuo, a Westwood Regional High School graduate, grew up in Washington Township. She majored in English at the University of Maryland in College Park and then earned her master’s degree in counseling at Montclair State University. Before coming to PV, Kuo became friends with Jerome at the Lifetime Running Club in Montvale. 

“I have known Ms. Kuo for about 4 years,” Jerome said. “We were a part of a group that met every Saturday for a run around the area.”

Jerome said Kuo is a great role model for students because “she is a loyal person and a caring counselor.” She believes Kuo will bring new ideas and help students reach their greatest potential.

“She cares about the well being of every student and that is going to be evident to everybody she encounters,” Jerome said.

From a very early age, Kuo has known that she would be working with kids, specifically in high school. 

“I wanted to do something in the helping field, so whether that meant being a social worker, a teacher, or a counselor,” Kuo said. “I’ve always liked to be involved [in the PV community]. They needed someone, and I jumped into the position.”

Kuo will be looking for new ways to get involved in PV “outside of the normal bell schedule,” according to Jerome. 

“As a new person to the school but not to the field, I plan on taking it all in,” Kuo said. “I’ll be involved in the things that already exist. I feel like PV already has a great selection of courses. I’m still learning and anything I feel like I could bring here, I will.”