Culture/Student Services » Student Assistance

Student Assistance

Counselors and Social Workers

School counselors and social workers are a part of the total educational team of a school; working with colleagues from other disciplines to provide the best possible learning environment for all students. The Valparaiso Community Schools' Social Services Department focuses on early intervention, prevention, and education of children in dealing with today's social concerns.

Through the use of assessment, counseling, consultation, and coordination of services, social workers provide unique services for students, parents, staff, and the community. They offer a variety of programs and services for students and families; empowering them with the skills to deal more successfully with life's challenges.

2018-2019 VCS Social Service Team 


Cicely Powell, LCSW

Director of School Culture and Student Service

VCS Social Worker Department Head

Valparaiso High School 219-531-3070 ext. 5544

Cooks Corners Elementary 219-531-3040


Elementary School

Central – 219-531-3030 ext. 2057

Elizabeth Bendicsen, MEd


Flint Lake – 219-531-3160 ext. 3344

Jody Kristoff, MSW, LSW, LSSW


Heavilin – 219-476-8820 ext. 2257

Debi Sibray, MSW, LSW


Memorial – 219-531-3090 ext. 2357

Leann Seip, MSW, LSW, LSSW


Northview – 219-531-3100 ext. 2557

Amy Parsons, LCSW


Parkview – 219-531-3110 ext. 2403

Mary Albertson, MSW, LSW


Thomas Jefferson– 219-531-3130 ext. 2157

Amy Noonan, LCSW


Middle Schools

Benjamin Franklin Middle School – 219-531-3020

Rebekah Cowan - Guidance Counselor

Tammy Hofer- Guidance Counselor

Carolyn Ostafinski, MSW, LSW, LSSW - Social Worker


Thomas Jefferson Middle School - 219-531-3140

Jamie Carlson - Guidance Counselor

Deborah Kleist - Guidance Counselor

Trisha Keown, MSW, LSW, LSSW - Social Worker


High School

Social Worker

Natalie Miller, MSW – 219-531-3070 ext. 5325

Jenna Sickinger, LCSW – 219-531-3070 ext. 5352




VHS Guidance 531-3070

 Meet Your Counselors

Counselor Assignments

Mr. Daniel McKibben


Ms. Gordana Sormaz


Ms. Jessica Kus


Ms. Melissa Valtierra


Mrs. Kari Owney



Guidance Secretary

Carol Jennings



Barb Carter, Registrar