From student to counselor: Cummings takes on new opportunity in Guidance department


Cooper Newfield

Guidance counselor Jennifer Cummings, who was a former student and head of the career research center, returns to Algonquin now with the guidance department.

Chloe Mitchell, Staff Writer

Guidance counselor Jennifer Cummings was a member of the Algonquin Class of 2001, then head of the Career Resource Center, and now, after years away, is excited to return to her alma mater in a new role.

Cummings, who grew up in Northborough, spent six years in Arizona and was a counselor from 2012 to 2013 after graduating from college. When she moved back to the area in 2018, she was happy there was a position open at Algonquin as a career counselor.

“It was just coincidental how the job happened to be open when I was moving back,” Cummings said of her first professional role at Algonquin. 

Cummings worked in the CRC for two years until 2020, when she had a baby.

“[After my maternity leave,] this opportunity to help [guidance counselor] Jason Lessard during his leave of absence came out, so I jumped on this to come back to Algonquin in the guidance department,” Cummings said.

According to social studies teacher Katie Salt, when Cummings was a student, she always seemed excited for school and came to class ready to work. 

“She tackled every assignment with purpose and passion, and her class participation and willingness to step out of her comfort zone made her a great role model for peers,” Salt said.

Salt believes that Cummings has brought the same energy and commitment she had as a student to the Guidance Department. 

She has always had compassion and empathy, and those qualities make her a great fit for a guidance counselor,” Salt said.

Cummings’ favorite part about being back at Algonquin is the welcoming environment, and she admires how everybody works well together to create a strong community. 

“I feel as though the students, faculty, staff, teachers and parents have pride in Algonquin and pride in their school, and I think that speaks volumes,” Cummings said.

For Cummings, the most interesting part of being a guidance counselor is how each day is different and unpredictable. 

“Something will come up, and I’ll get pulled away from what I had planned,” Cummings said. “So I think the interesting part is sometimes you never know [what will happen]; each day is different, and each day I’m seeing different students.”

At the same time, she finds the unpredictability to be the most difficult part of being a guidance counselor as well. 

“There’s a lot of moving pieces to the job and a lot of follow-up with the job,” Cummings said. “Things take a lot of time, and I think [a challenge is] being able to manage your day, even when it gets swayed from what you planned.”