by Elsa Stoff
Dr. Fico, formally known as Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School’s Student Assistance Counselor, recently won 2011 Educator of the Year. This year’s honoree reminded us that our community functions because of the work of educators, and we can’t overlook the people that help our students and are not teachers by the conventional sense.
Every year, students and faculty write in to nominate educators who they think do an outstanding job and are eligible for this award. Then, a committee comprised of a variety of community members reviews the nomination letters and decides who will receive Educator of the Year.
This year’s Educator of the Year was awarded to Dr. Fico because she stays updated in her profession, connects to students on an individual level, and is successful in a variety of work throughout the community. Many are not aware of the amazing work that Dr. Fico does in the school system. For instance, in the past year, she ran another successful term of the Peer Leadership Program and various student discussion groups, such as Straight Edge Club.
She also accomplished the first Alcohol Awareness month efforts at RFH by asking students, parents, and community members sign pledges and getting both Rumson and Fair Haven boroughs to proclaim the month officially as Alcohol Awareness Month. This is a huge achievement and step forward for our community.
Dr. Fico was not always an educator. She started out in the business field and worked with City Corp, but switched her major to psychology, specifically family therapy and substance abuse. This led her to a career as an educator.
She described her desire to be an educator as, “I always wanted to help people.” This path led her to becoming RFH’s Student Assistance Counselor. She is extremely happy with where she is now, and this shines through in her work. Dr. Fico reaches students through a combination of empowerment and empathy.
She stated, “It’s important to empathize with students as you empower them to reach their goals.”
Dr. Fico has a diverse and busy role in the community. She has worked with mental health, students, attorneys, the alcohol awareness pledge, the town proclamations, and many more people within the school. She tries to stay current in her profession by developing new programs. Dr. Fico is an important asset to RFH, and she definitely deserves the honor of Educator of the Year.