Corrine Moguel standing with students in front of STEM Academy banner

Counselor Corrine Moguel is a founding staff member at Holyoke STEM Academy. She and her husband Steven Moguel were recruited to Holyoke from New York in 2018. And while they miss their friends and family in New York, the type of work and their motivation to do the work have been constant, regardless of the state they live in.

Mrs. Moguel was inspired to become a social worker and counselor in part by her own 5th grade counselor who had established a “banana splits group” for students whose parents had recently separated or divorced. Her counselor was “that one person” she could lean on, always providing a “safe space” for her. At STEM, Mrs. Moguel seeks to be that “safe space” for her students as well. 

When either good things or challenging things occur, Mrs. Moguel provides that space where students can go to talk, to problem solve, to celebrate or to just be. She wants to be “that one person” they can trust to be there. Her personal motto has essentially been #oneperson before hashtags were even a thing.   

Much of the counselor’s job is about supporting students through a difficult situation, problem solving through challenges with families, and teaching students social emotional learning and life skills. An equally important part of the job is to be there to celebrate successes, long after a student is still at her school. 

One recent afternoon, Mrs. Moguel stayed late at Holyoke High School Dean Campus to watch a former STEM student—who is now a junior at Opportunity Academy—compete in the final wrestling match of the season. When Jackson saw her, his face lit up, and he said: “I’m going to put on a good show for you, Mrs. Moguel.” And, he did. Although Mrs. Moguel was new to wrestling, she noticed that the Holyoke points consistently increased after Jackson left the mat. She was cheering so loudly that a fellow spectator mistook her for Jackson’s mother or or aunt! 

Mrs. Moguel said she was also inspired to become a counselor by the community of women at her church growing up, watching them pour into the youth of the church to help them become the people they are today. Even as a child, she had a sense of “when I get older, I want to give back to say thanks for what others have poured into me.” 

The most important woman from the church who guided Mrs. Moguel was her own grandmother, who once told her that “to whom much is given much is required.” Mrs. Moguel knew from the first time she heard her grandmother say this that she had a gift she needed to be shared with as many children as possible.

Both in New York and in Holyoke, Mrs. Moguel has focused on building systems to support students and families that live beyond her tenure. She strives to build a community that gives students hope and where they see people who look like them be successful. She is proud to be a part of the amazing team of educators and staff at Holyoke STEM who have formed a village focused on helping students become better scholars, who believe in them, and who help them grow and persevere. Besides her counselor duties, she is the PBIS coach, 504 coordinator, and the middle school team lead for the district. Mrs. Moguel said that she has appreciated the opportunity to live and work in Holyoke and learn more about Latino/Hispanic cultures. 

One of Mrs. Moguel's favorite things to do in her pastime is travel. Her favorite vacation was to Mexico, where she enjoyed relaxing and not being accessible! As someone who works so hard and is nearly always available to care for others, the opportunity to just rest was much needed. She also loves to cook, shop—often for students—and watch classical movies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Long Island University and a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University, graduating from both programs with Phi Alpha Honors. She received the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award in 2022 for going “above and beyond as a fierce advocate for students and their families to ensure they have access to the services they need, as well as necessities such as food, clothing, and medication.”