Mentor Profiles

The Needham Steps Up mentoring program is not dependent on outside volunteers but rather on adults who work in the school, who understand high school teens, and who have the access to make a difference in these students’ lives. Once a child is admitted to the program, the director taps resources throughout the school to find a mentor with similar interests and overall compatibility. The mentor commits to meeting with his or her mentee at least one hour a week, attending scheduled events throughout the year, and mentoring that student until he or she graduates.  Mentors receive training when they enter the program, and are valued and supported throughout their years with the program.

Betsy Weidner

NHS English Teacher

and NSU Mentor

Participating in the Needham Steps Up program has been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn more about Needham High School and the Needham community.  The relationship I have developed with my mentee, and with the larger NSU group of mentors and mentees, has taught me a lot about the student experience in Needham and has made me feel like an important part of the larger Needham community. 

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Pete Caccavale

NHS Latin Teacher

and NSU Mentor

My time in the Needham Steps Up Program has been one of the greatest experiences of my teaching career. When I first was approached to be a mentor, I was very unsure of how it would go.  Would I be able to help my mentee? Would we connect? Would I be a good mentor?

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Kali D'Anna

NHS School Psychologist

and NSU Mentor

As members of Needham Steps Up, both mentors and mentees have the unique opportunity of getting to know one another beyond the school walls. I found this to be so important in developing a trusting and open relationship, and in understanding some of the struggles that my mentee faced.

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Megan Tincher

NHS English Teacher

and NSU Mentor

As a teacher who understands the academic rigors my mentee is going through, but without the pressure of grading him, I feel my mentee and I can talk openly about his school issues and concerns.  

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Roberta Halloran

NHS Psychologist

and NSU Mentor

Dan Cournoyer

Instructional Technology

Teacher and NSU Mentor

As a mentor, I have noticed gradual changes in my mentee’s confidence, openness, and ability to problem-solve. However, the impact of mentoring cannot be measured in an immediate behavioral change or overt shift in actions.

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I was surprised by the impact the mentoring program had on students, which was evident in the little things. One of my mentees would tell his teachers, ‘If Mr. C. is not coming tomorrow, I’m not coming to school.’ 

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“I worry that students in our program walk the halls of NHS and see so many students wearing the right clothes, or new shoes, or wearing expensive jewelry and assume that is the norm, and they have no chance to fit in with these peers.  Steps to Success can validate these students and help them combat their self-preservation technique of ‘staying invisible’ in our school.”   

                              Needham Steps Up Mentor

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