STEPping up to the plate: NVOT’s Transition Counselor
May 17, 2023
Whether you find William Curts in the Child Studies Room, selling coffee to different classrooms, or out and about in the Northern Valley community, William Curts is a staple of the community.
Curts is a transition counselor here at NVOT who has been involved in education for 15 years. Curts started at Hanover Park, where he began the Transition Program to help special needs kids go from high school to college and beyond. According to Curts, after working for an out-of-district school for kids with Autism for five years and then moving to a high school as an in-class support / contained classroom teacher for two years, “I felt that the role of a Transition Counselor bridged both of my previous experiences perfectly.” Curts ultimately left Hanover Park after three years and found a new home in the Northern Valley School District.
At NVOT, his impact as a transition counselor is felt throughout the day by those in the Student Transition and Education Program or STEP. “He does so much as a transition counselor,” said STEP teacher Katherine Doherty. “He’s been an asset to what I can offer my kids and they like him.” Curtz begins his day by bringing seniors in the STEP program into the community to sample jobs. Then, he usually finds himself helping these students plan out future jobs or make college decisions.
In the afternoons, Curts works the Brew and Gold coffee cart, a new addition this year that works with students in the STEP Program. In the program, students deliver coffee to teachers and students while the cafeteria is closed during the seventh period to teach the kids about what options are available after high school.
Curts is also involved in planning field trips for these students. Last year, he planned an end-of-year trip for seniors in the program where they traveled to Hoboken by train for lunch. Curts said that “the best part was watching the excitement on some of the student’s faces that have never ridden on a train before! Providing such a cool first experience for them was an amazing memory.”
Curts is not only a staple of the community, but he enjoys it too. According to Curts, “I love my role because oftentimes I get to teach something that I know will directly impact [a] student almost immediately and will be a lifelong skill.”