Jane Barrell fills in as guidance counselor for Sara Bodi


Above is guidance counselor Jane Barrell. She is filling in for Sara Bodi, who is on maternity leave. “[It has been] fantastic. Everybody is really nice and the kids are wonderful,” Barrell said.

Nandita Subbiah

Jane Barrell, who has been working at WHS since March 15, is now filling in for guidance counselor Sara Bodi while Bodi is on maternity leave. Barrell will be working at WHS until the end of the year.

“I interviewed [for the position]. I was working at Wellesley High School and was covering another maternity leave, and I knew that this one was opening up [from a friend],” Barrell said.“So, I came and I interviewed, knowing that the would bookend each other [since the position at WHS would start when the one at Wellesley High School finished].”

Prior to coming to WHS, Barrell spoke with Bodi in order to prepare.

“[Bodi and I] met and we spoke about her caseload and I took notes,” Barrell said.

Barrell has been working as a guidance counselor for three years, mostly as a substitute guidance counselor. Previously, she worked in accounting.

As a guidance counselor, she has worked at Wellesley High School, Newton North High School, Newton South High School, Day Middle School in Newton, Clark Middle School in Newton and Lexington High School.

“[Wayland is] pretty similar [to the other schools she has worked at], we’re talking about similar demographics. So the college prep, honors classes, APs, the kids basically go to the same colleges, so it’s pretty similar,” Barrell said.

Barrell’s responsibilities involve helping students with scheduling classes, college counseling and helping with social and emotional problems.

According to Barrell, being a substitute guidance counselor is different from being a permanent guidance counselor.

“I don’t have continuity with my students, so it can be difficult because I’ll start helping a kid, and then I leave in the middle, and I’m not sure how it ends up and that can be hard to do,” Barrell said. “Plus, I’m sort of dropped in in the middle of the school year, and I have to learn the software and how things work, the programs and processes at each school, and I have to get to know all of the new kids and the other staff.”

This part of the school year presents different tasks for Barrell than other points in the school year, as college decisions have come out and course scheduling for next year is going on.

“It is course selection time. I have also been working with kids who have been working with Ms. Bodi to get into college, and now they’re getting the letters with whether they have been accepted or denied. So, I am helping kids with that, [which is] a little different,” Barrell said.

Barrell has enjoyed her experience at WHS so far.

“[It has been] fantastic,” Barrell said. “Everybody is really nice, and the kids are wonderful.”