Mrs. Bernard works hard to make sure her students succeed

Special Education Counselor Sara Bernard has been working at LHS for 16 years and continues to guide her students to success.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Bernard

Special Education Counselor Sara Bernard has been working at LHS for 16 years and continues to guide her students to success.

Special Education Counselor Sara Bernard has been making a difference in student’s lives at LHS since 2004, when she was first hired to work in the district. Two kids of her own and 16 years later, Bernard continues to help others every day. 

Bernard is an influential member of the LHS community which has been noticed by Coworker and Special Education Teacher Mathew Leonard. 

“Mrs. Bernard is an excellent role model for students at Londonderry High School,” Leonard said. “She is a kind, positive and engaging school counselor.”

Bernard cares for her students on a very personal level and tries to build a connection with each and every one of them. 

“Mrs. Bernard’s style is for her to build relationships through humor, kindness and compassion,” Leonard said. “Once trust is built between her and her students, Mrs. Bernard is able to counsel her students through a variety of everyday school and personal challenges.”

By building strong bonds with her students, Bernard makes them feel more supported when tackling their challenges. 

According to Bernard, many of her students face a lack of mental health support outside of school which makes it hard for them to stay focused on their academics. 

“Many of the students I work with have difficult situations they are facing outside of school,” Bernard said. “Under these circumstances, academics can be extremely hard and the last thing these students want to deal with.” 

Despite the hardships each student faces, Bernard helps to assist them and guides them through their school work. Having that extra encouragement from her and the school district is extremely necessary for these kids. 

“Many of them think graduating from high school would never happen for them,” Bernard said. “Watching them achieve this goal is extremely inspirational.”

Bernard says the support system at LHS is what allows these students to reach that goal. 

“To get these students just to come to school is a challenge but other times these students want to be here,” Bernard says. “Not for the academics but because they know LHS is a safe environment for them and that there are adults here that they trust and they know that they will be supported.”

Bernard is grateful for the LHS community for being there for all students and is inspired by her colleagues to help her own students to the best of her abilities. 

“I’m lucky to work with incredible people at LHS,” Bernard said. “They go above and beyond for their students which motivates me to do the same.”

Like the other teachers she works with, Bernard goes above and beyond and makes a lasting difference in her students’ lives. 

“I have seen first-hand the impact she has had on many students,” Leonard said. “After working with Mrs. Bernard, students routinely have a much more positive day. In the days and weeks that follow the relationships she has built, students seek out Mrs. Bernard to ensure they get the guidance needed for them to work through their next challenge.”

Despite her evident impact on her students, Bernard still sometimes second guesses her role in their lives until she is reminded by former students how much of a difference she is making. 

“I tend to question myself, “Am I doing enough?” You may not find out that day or the day after but eventually you realize that you made a difference in someone’s life,” Bernard said. “When students leave LHS and you receive a phone call or an email years after they left…because they just want to check- in, or update you on what’s going on in their life or tell you that they need someone to talk to that they can trust…You know you did something right and that you made a difference in someone’s life.”

Bernard hopes to continue to help her students and feels that the rewards she receives from watching them succeed make the struggles that come with her job well worth it. 

“Watching students walk across the stage at the end of the year inspires me to overcome any adversities within my job,” Bernard said.