DHS Mental Health Supports

School Counseling Department

The school counselors' primary goal is to help students understand themselves so they will make informed decisions regarding their present and their future. In addition to meeting with students individually, the school counselors use a seminar model to meet with grade levels of students. Counselors can help students navigate a wide range of social and academic challenges, including through individual or team meetings, referral to the Student Assistance Team or Student Intervention Team, and introduction to DHS School Psychologists, School Social Worker, and Connections Counselor.

Visit the DHS School Counseling Department website for more information!

Administrative Assistants:

Laura Hyatt: lhyatt@darienps.org x2226

Leslie Lajoie; llajoie@darienps.org x2249

Ann Branca


x. 2330

Sarah Burzin


x. 2498

Deb Chase


x. 2290

Allison Longfellow


x. 2241

Lisa Messineo


x. 2288

Marc Power,


x. 2220

Kaitlin Stanton,


x. 2347

Peter Trombley


x. 2370

School Psychologists

School psychologists at the high school work with students experiencing problems that may interfere with achievement of educational or personal goals. School psychologists are available to meet with students regarding situational problems or when help is needed managing crises. Students or concerned parents may make an appointment directly with the school psychologists or through the guidance department/school counselor. A member of the professional staff may also refer a student. Following referral, the school psychologist schedules one or more meetings with the student to examine the difficulties and explore with the student possible solutions. The school psychologist may help students/families access outside agencies or professionals and referrals to various teams (SIT, SAT) within the building may take place.

Dr. Chlorinda Bulfamante

cbulfamante@darienps.org, x. 2312

Grade 12

Dr. Jenna Klaft

jklaft@darienps.org, x. 2333

Grade 12

Lara Dower

ldower@darienps.org, x. 2354

Grade 9

Dr. Kate Williamson

kwilliamson@darienps.org, x. 2327

Grade 11

Dr. Taylor Kurtz

tkurtz@darienps.org, x. 2804

Fitch Academy grades 9-12

Sam Parton, School Social Worker

sparton@darienps.org, x. 2557

School Social Worker

The school social worker is available for consultation regarding personal, family, or school problems and when appropriate will facilitate referral to other community resources. The social worker meets with students both individually and in small groups to address personal issues as they relate to educational success. The school social worker makes home visits to improve a student’s attendance, offers support to parents to resolve conflicts, and is available for consultations regarding links to other agencies.

Connections Counselor

Joyce brings her expertise in counseling students with substance issues and those whose family members have substance use issues. She also facilitates the Blue Wave Council, a group of students dedicated to substance-free living!

(jsixsmith@darienps.org, x. 2526)

Immediate Community-Based Resources

We understand that this period of change and uncertainty could cause young adults to feel particularly stressed, frustrated, or sad. We want to make you aware of our school-based and some community-based resources that you could access if you feel your child may require mental health support. Below are contacts that could be of help during this period.

Additionally, the town of Darien has published a Mental Wellness video series featuring local professionals addressing a wide range of topics, including family mental health and supporting teenagers at home. Those videos are accessible on the Darien TV79 website.

Community Mental Health Supports 2020