About Ms. DeFazio


Melanie DeFazio has been a counselor in the Franklin Lakes School District, as the School Counselor at High Mountain Road School since the fall of 2007.  

Ms. DeFazio is now serving the District as Tier III counselor.  Tier III counseling support is delivered at a higher frequency and duration of sessions to support more significant needs. 

Ms. DeFazio obtained her ACS (Approved Clinical Supervisor) certificate in January of 2023, and maintains her LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) since 2008.  Ms. DeFazio graduated from William Paterson University with an M.Ed and previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the (formerly known as) Trenton State College.   

Ms. DeFazio made the career change to school counselor after having worked in the Corporate world as Benefits Manager handling health insurance and 401k plans.  She arrived at HMR after three years as the counselor at Jefferson Township Middle School. 

Ms. DeFazio's philosophy in working with children is that each child is a unique and special individual, each with their own amazing personalities and gifts.  In our everyday lives, we make tons of choices each day. Ms. DeFazio believes that in caring for our children, we must teach them to CARE FOR SELF.  Our responsibilty as role models is to help students learn to make positive choices for themselves, their peers and our community as a whole.  Ms. DeFazio strives for each child to be emotionally happy and healthy, to laugh, love and have the ability to find beauty in life.

Ms. DeFazio is honored to serve in the Franklin Lakes School District.

Her spare time is devoted to her beautiful daughter, Elise, and rescuing many dogs, especially seniors !

Counseling Philosophy

The Franklin Lakes School Counseling Program believes that all people can learn and grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and also develop a strong sense of moral responsibility. Our comprehensive program is built on the assumption that educational, career, and personal objectives are attainable when all students are supported by school counseling services.  All students in Franklin Lakes, grades K-8 have the right to receive school counseling services and discuss unique needs.  The counselors will serve as a liaison between students, parents and, when necessary, teachers to maximize student success.

Elementary School Counselors believe:

Emotional development, like academic development, is essential.

Children's feelings directly affect their behavior. Therefore, helping students identify and understand their feelings will lead to better choices. 

Children need to be heard, and have relationships with adults who talk with them and not at them.

Counselors are never disciplinarians so students can consider the counselor's office a safe place.  Our role is not to solve students' problems, but to give them the necessary tools to solve their own problems.

Character education starts at a very young age.  Developing the character of youngsters when they are in elementary school will lead to success throughout their lives. 


I am here for your child’s social and emotional needs, and can work with your child in school in a variety of different ways to suit your child’s needs best:



Emotional Support through Individual Counseling

Small Group Counseling & Social Skills Groups & Activities

Managing Peer Conflicts

Student Advocate

Collaborate with Counseling Staff, Parents and Teachers