Director of Counseling Ms. Amy Kurjanowicz is retiring after 22 years with the Falls Church City schools. Her departure means the end of an era, a long professional career, but it also marks the beginning of a new personal adventure.
More than 20 years ago, Kurjanowicz moved to the Washington area with her husband who worked in the military. For nine years she worked as a teacher of a business education class and as a special education teacher.
However, she slowly started to realize that she missed her real passion: counseling, a field she already had her degree in. She decided to apply for a counseling job at the middle school and several years later she was offered an opportunity to counsel at GM. After only one year of working at the high school, Kurjanowicz was already given the position of Director of Counseling, a job she has passionately fulfilled for the years that followed.
More than 20 years of counseling might seem like a long time to some people, but according to Ms. Kurjanowicz this is not the case.
“There is no normal day at Mason; there are no two days that are identical… But that’s also what makes [my job] so exciting,” Kurjanowicz said.
Because of this variety, Kurjanowicz does not have a particular favorite memory. One thing she noted for certain however, is when she sees a smile on a student’s face when they realize they have potential and are capable of more than they could ever think of before.
Although it is going to be very hard for her to walk out of a place she has spent so much time at, she is excited to discover new cultures and meet new people. Kurjanowicz plans to continue living in her current house, but travel once a month to new places such as Portugal, Thailand, and other parts of the U.S.
“It’s time for me to travel a lot with my husband,” Ms. Kurjanowicz said.
Kurjanowicz hopes to leave a lot of warmth and love behind. She wants students to know that they should never give up trying to go for what they want: a lesson she has taught to many – young and old – including graduating senior Lucas Zullo, who spoke at the annual fire drill picnic on Friday 26 May.
“[Ms. Kurjanowicz] is one of the most helpful and caring people that I have had pleasure to meet in my life. She is always happy to see me and anyone that knows her, and works with her can tell that she truly loves and enjoys helping students at GM and everyone around her,” Zullo said.