Libenzon forges strong relationships with students

Lenny+Libenzon%2C+an+alum+of+the+high+school+and+now+a+college+and+guidance+counselor%2C+works+to+help+students+through+the+college+process.+
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Libenzon forges strong relationships with students

Lenny Libenzon, an alum of the high school and now a college and guidance counselor, works to help students through the college process.

Lenny Libenzon, an alum of the high school and now a college and guidance counselor, works to help students through the college process.

ROHAN CHOPRA KHURANA/SAGAMORE STAFF

Lenny Libenzon, an alum of the high school and now a college and guidance counselor, works to help students through the college process.

ROHAN CHOPRA KHURANA/SAGAMORE STAFF

ROHAN CHOPRA KHURANA/SAGAMORE STAFF

Lenny Libenzon, an alum of the high school and now a college and guidance counselor, works to help students through the college process.

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As a former student who roamed the halls of the high school himself, College and Guidance Counselor Lenny Libenzon helps students with their journeys from the very place his began.

After immigrating from Moscow, Russia at age 17, Libenzon attended the high school for a year and later pursued a degree in psychology and biology from Brandeis University. During his time in college, Libenzon’s first job was working at the Harvard School of Epidemiology studying smoking cessation. The experience ended up being a crucial factor in his career path.

“When I was helping people to quit smoking, I noticed that I really liked working with teenagers and so I decided to pursue that,” Libenzon said.

While attaining his masters in school counseling at Boston University, Libenzon was hired at Newton South High School as a guidance counselor and worked there for 10 years. Eventually, Libenzon returned to Brookline, first as the Guidance Department Chair, and then, three years later, the College Counselor.

In addition to being the high school’s only college counselor, Libenzon works as a guidance counselor for students.

“I have an interesting job because I’m a guidance counselor with about 120 kids on my caselist, and then the rest of the time I’m a college counselor for the entire building,” Libenzon said. “As a college counselor, I organize parent nights and assemblies for students and run the Naviance program. Mainly I see students who need additional help with college beyond their guidance counselors.”

Libenzon enjoys the diversity of the student population at the high school.

“I like working with all kinds of kids, but I love working with immigrant kids and kids from other countries because I was once a kid from another country here,” Libenzon said.

Senior Camilla Krugman has been working with Libenzon since the beginning of the year and truly appreciates the connection they share.

“What allows us to connect is just the fact that he’s really funny,” Krugman said. “I always joke around that I only come in for the candy, but I really just want to have a conversation with him because he’s naturally just really fun to be around. Every time I talk to other students about him, the first thing that comes up is that he makes people laugh. I think that’s one of his best traits as someone who works with students every day.”

Senior Anuj Sawhney has been working with Libenzon since the end of his junior year. Sawhney speaks highly of their friendly and frank conversations.

“Lenny is very open and direct with me,” Sawhney said. “I’m just the type of person who’s very honest, and he appreciated that. I think we got along because while I’ve been applying to college, I’ve just been open with him and he’s been open with me. He’s not trying to fool you or give you false hope. He’s just trying to show you where your path is.”

Ultimately, Libenzon’s humorous, candid and honest personality allows him to form strong bonds with his students, inviting a secure feeling of trust into the relationship.

“I’ve always really appreciated the fact that even though he’s not a teacher, and I don’t talk to him every day, he’s the faculty member that I think I have the most trust in and that I could talk to about things that I maybe can’t with my teachers,” Krugman said.

Through his 18 years as a counselor, Libenzon has been at the forefront of students’ journeys time and time again, but acknowledges the key role the school as a whole plays in a student’s future.

“I think as a counselor, the most important thing is that you’re always a team player,” said Libenzon. “I always make sure I involve other people like deans, social workers, department chairs, parents and teachers, and I’m really happy I’m working with amazing colleagues that I can trust. You don’t tackle everything alone. Instead, you involve other people because it takes a village to raise a child, and Brookline High School is that village.”