Ms. Stephanie Bliss is a proud new mom and a proud graduate of EAST high school! She is also the ninth grade counselor in EAST’s freshman academy. A native of Rochester’s west side, Ms. Bliss spent the majority of her elementary years at school #30. Her middle school education was completed at Jefferson. A tragic event that she witnessed in eighth grade was a pivotal point in her life. She began carefully assessing the choices she made in friends and in her educational habits. She participated in the Major Achievement Program and through Hillside Work Scholarship obtained a job at Wegmans. Although Ms. Bliss supports the concept of community schools, she believes that EAST was the right choice for her high school experience. She participated in the Teaching and Learning Institute and believes her participation was an important step in preparing for her future career. Ms. Bliss describes her time at EAST as fun and believes that the opportunity to make lasting friends with people from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds was very beneficial. After graduating from EAST Ms. Bliss enrolled in Bethune-Cookman College and sought a degree in elementary education. Ms. Bliss’s grandmother had once met Mrs. Mary McLeod-Bethune and had relationships to people in the area so this choice was quite fitting. Ms. Bliss decided that she wanted to complete her undergraduate education in New York. She transferred to SUNY Brockport where she obtained a degree in psychology and a Master’s in counseling. After interning at Wilson Foundation Ms. Bliss began actively pursuing employment. She had been working at INCONTROL since 2005, but wanted to gain employment in her field. She also had a strong desire to contribute financially to her sister’s education at Tuskegee University. She interviewed for a position in Albany, NY and was pleased to make it to the third round. Although this opportunity was tempting a phone call she received from Dr. Rubenstein in the Rochester City School District placed her on the path to EAST. As the top candidate on the interview list she fielded offers from several schools. On the day of her interview at EAST she received words of encouragement from former principal Ed Cavalier. Today she can proudly wear her EAST swag as both an alum and an employee. Ms. Bliss appreciates the student first and restorative justice approach utilized at EAST and is an active member of the Restorative Practice Committee at EAST. Although her son Dash who was born on May 21, 2016 is her top priority, Ms. Bliss continues to add her professional skills. She was the first graduate to receive a certificate of advanced study in mental health counseling from St. John Fisher in 2013. Ms. Bliss finds time to give back to the community of Rochester outside of her professional duties by leading the EAST Royals step team and maintaining a part-time position with INCONTROL.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” – Dr. Maya Angelou