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Paying Even Greater Attention to Kids’ Hearts

    John Rowe and Jesse Aexander ’81

The Hive created a new position, Director of Crisis Intervention, and refined the role of Dean of Students to better accompany kids who are experiencing academic or emotional difficulties. John Rowe, a longtime faculty member at St. Benedict’s Prep and a former Dean of Students, became the Director of Crisis Intervention in July. Working through the Grossman Family Counseling Center, his full-time focus will be facilitating mental health and academic interventions for students who are exhibiting emotional distress or underperforming in the classroom. 

“When bright, capable kids are doing poorly, usually there’s a reason for it,” explained Mr. Rowe, who holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from NJCU. He describes the position as “A lot of relationship building,” and gaining student trust. “It takes time to build, but when you have that trust,” he continued, “kids will knock on your door and ask for help.”

“When bright, capable kids are doing poorly, usually there’s a reason for it.” 

Jesse Alexander ’81, a member of the St. Benedict’s Hall of Fame, assumed the Dean of Students post in July. His focus is general discipline, standards for membership and providing guidance to student-leaders as they handle issues involving attendance, attitude and motivation. He’s worked with teenagers for more than 35 years in the juvenile correction system and as a case manger at Trinitas Hospital and Abraham Clark High School. His added edge is knowing how St. Benedict’s works. “I’ve been through it,” said Mr. Alexander. “I know what kids are going through and what it takes to be successful.” 

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