New counselor joins school midyear

Grant Park

Matthew Bell is joining the school to fill the role of Upper School Counselor Brittany Bronson, who is taking maternity leave beginning Nov. 14.

Bell is currently pursuing his doctorate at The Chicago School and earned his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at Adler University. Bell previously worked with students in Chicago public schools and established men’s groups that focus on normalizing emotional expression and communication.

“I am very excited to join the Upper School counseling team,” Bell wrote in an email. “I look forward to understanding the students and staff and building a supportive relationship [with the students].”

Together with the nine deans who guide students academically and in the college admission process, the counselors provide support for students’ social and emotional needs during their time at the school.

Illi Kreiz ’24 said she appreciates the focus the school places on mental health and is happy she has the option to visit the school counselors.

“I think it’s really good that [we] have counselors because even if it’s something minor, it’s always nice to be able to talk to them,” Kreiz said. “I feel like it’s very helpful especially because, on the middle school campus, there’s only one [counselor],  so if you need something [at the Upper School] while [one counselor is] busy, then you can talk to [someone].”

Head of Peer Support and Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research Teacher Tina McGraw said she is excited to help students with Bell.

“I am thrilled that [Bell] is joining the counseling team,” McGraw said. “His positive personality and breadth of experience make him a perfect fit. I think the students will find him to be very approachable and easy to talk with.”

Bell said he is ready to begin working at the school and looks forward to forming connections with students in the in-person campus environment.

“I am excited for the moments after the newness [of my role] has subsided and when students are regularly comfortable enough to share and approach [me],” Bell wrote in an email. “[My office is located] in Seaver 206, and I am excited to be here and a part of [the community].”