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Mr. Bill Pantale Wins Counselor of the Year for Passaic County

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Bushra Choudhury '19
12 April 2019

On Friday, March 22nd, Mr. Bill Pantale was recognized as Counselor of the Year for Passaic County, upon nomination from Mrs. Danielle Vigilante. Pantale, who has been a counselor for over 36 years, was honored at the 33rd Annual "Counselor of the County" awards program luncheon in Ewing, NJ. The program, which is organized by the New Jersey School Counselor Association (NJSCA), recognizes the hard work and dedication of school counselors from different counties within the state.

PVTV's Coverage of Mr. Pantale's Award

Mr. Bill Pantale and Mrs. Danielle Vigilante at NJSCA luncheon; photo credit: Mrs. Danielle Vigilante After years of working closely with Mr. Pantale, Mrs. Vigilante felt that it was altogether fitting and proper to nominate him for Counselor of the Year for Passaic County. “Mr. Pantale advocates for countless students while still teaching them personal responsibility and helping develop their character with morals and values," expressed Vigilante in her letter of nomination. "He is a source of strength, insight, and support for students and their families and he provides resources to help them emotionally and academically.” 

The nomination process began in November, and nominations were accepted from all members of the Passaic County School Counselor’s Association. After nominations were received, they were reviewed by county executives to determine which counselor was most qualified for the distinction. It was on Saturday, March 9th, that Pantale received the news, via email, that he was selected as the Counselor of the Year for Passaic County.

At the luncheon, which was held at The College of New Jersey Mr. Bill Pantale with fellow recipients; photo credit: Mrs. Danielle Vigilante (TCNJ), Pantale, along with counselors from the 19 other participating counties of New Jersey, were welcomed by the TCNJ Department Chairperson of Counselor Education as well as the executive board of the NJSCA. Mrs. Vigilante, who was present at the luncheon, also gave a testimony as to why Pantale deserved the nomination, elaborating on how he has met the growing challenges that impact school counselors each day with professionalism, patience, and compassion for his students. Following the welcome addresses and the start of the award presentations, guests were treated to lunch, and many photos were taken.

Through his contributions to Passaic Valley, it is clear that Mr. Pantale leads by example and is a reliable figure to students and faculty.

"Throughout these past four years, Mr. Pantale has been an active listener and has provided me with insights which have guided me through my academic journey," shared Catherine Fergesen, Valedictorian of the Senior Class.

Aside from handling the responsibilities of being a guidance counselor, Pantale is an integral part of many programs at Passaic Valley. Some of Pantale's roles include being the ESL program coordinator as well as the AP coordinator, and he was pleased to see that Passaic Valley was honored with a position on the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll. Pantale was also proud to share that he was able to help junior Brian Katat get into Governor School's extremely selective summer science program. "Getting students involved in such programs and seeing them get recognized is something to take pride in as a counselor," expressed Pantale.

Though incredibly grateful, Pantale finds helping members of his community accomplish their goals to be more gratifying than winning an award. "What makes this so remarkable is seeing my students sharing their dreams and aspirations with me, and through consistent dialogue with each of them over the years, I develop relationships with them and try to help them get to where they need to be," he said. "When they become juniors and seniors, I start to see my students go through a self-actualization, and it's always interesting to see where their academic journeys take them."

Given how Mr. Pantale has completely outdone himself in his role as a guidance counselor, it is evident that Mr. Pantale's devotion to guiding his students and bettering his community serve as a testament to the chief principles of Passaic Valley.