After working at a Vermont high school for the past five years, Dan Bumbarger joined Hollis-Brookline High School staff as a school counselor in 2019. He’s described as an accepting and outgoing individual who loves jokes, students’ creativity and television.
Attending Assumption College in Worcester, MA, Bumbarger originally pursed business. He switched his major to teaching, saying that “I found out that I really liked working with kids when I was in the teaching program, but the classroom wasn’t for me.” His experience with helping children led him towards social work and human services.
Bumbarger found a perfect middle ground between helping kids, social work and human services: school counseling. His role lets him “hang out with really awesome, creative, unique young people who are discovering what they want to do in life and challenging themselves to make it happen…Just seeing students succeed and find their success is great.”
Bumbarger worked his first school counseling job at North Country Union High School (NCUHS) in Newport, Vermont for five years before applying to Hollis-Brookline High School in 2019. Bumbarger said he applied to HBHS because “I wanted to be closer to family, and I heard such great things about Hollis-Brookline: how amazing the students are, what a great community Hollis-Brookline is and…when I saw that there was an opening, I just wanted to be a part of that.”
Being a proponent of school clubs and activities, Bumbarger believes that they bring out different sides of kids than what’s typically expressed in the classroom. “[You can really see] how creative they are. It’s just really rewarding,” he said.
At NCUHS, Bumbarger frequently assisted with other clubs, but predominantly Yearbook, the Gender/Sexuality Alliance and the Athletic Leadership Council. In his time working at HBHS, he’s already begun to uptake roles in clubs as well. Bumbarger became Yearbook’s advisor, and he visited the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to offer the school counseling team’s support to its members.
Kaitlyn Ferdinand ‘21, a member of HBHS’s GSA, said, “He came in and was talking about how open he is…For all of the students in the GSA, he opened up [the school counseling team’s] doors for if they ever need to talk about something.”
Teressa Risdal, HBHS’s School Counseling Department Chair, described him similarly: “He’s very positive and dedicated to meeting students’ individual needs.”
Outside of his school counseling career, Bumbarger has many hobbies including hanging out with friends and the outdoors as well as an immense passion for television. Bumbarger said, “I love hanging out with my friends and family. I like being outdoorsーcamping, boating, hanging by the lake. I’m a huge tv nut. I love tvーNetflix, Hulu, bring it on!” As of late, his favorite shows and movies are The Office and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
“I am so excited to be here [at HBHS],” Bumbarger said, “I’ve only been here for a few weeks, and I’m just so impressed with how creative, mature, polite, and motivated our students are here…From the staff I have met, I think that myself and the students are really lucky.”