Dr. Colontino takes unique path to become school psychologist


by Lindsey Baum

Dr. Patricia Colontino's door is always open to a student in need.

Lindsey Baum, Staff writer

For most, years of education, training, or experience lead to a career decision. For most, this decision occurs either in high school or college. However, Dr. Patricia Colontino took a vastly different path.

Dr. Colontino is the Crisis Psychologist and Anti-Bullying Specialist for HHS. She has been working in this role at HHS for seven years. Overall, she has been working as a school psychologist for 25 years.

Another one of Dr. Colontino’s roles is as a Suicide Prevention Specialist. She oversees the Sources of Strength Club, which is an anti-suicide and diversity club at HHS. Additionally, she is one of the chairs of BoroSAFE, the district wide suicide prevention and awareness program.

As for how she got into this career, well that’s a whole other story. After high school, Dr. Colontino did not attend college right away. Instead, she got married and started a family.

When she was 29, with three kids at home, Dr. Colontino decided to pursue her higher education. She enrolled at City University of New York-Brooklyn College, in a special adult education program.

However, her major was not originally psychology. Dr. Colontino was in a general education program, which required a certain number of electives. When it came time to sign up for courses for a new semester, there was only one elective available in the time slot she had open: Psychology. From there, the rest is history.

After achieving her Bachelor’s degree, she completed her Masters at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and later went on to earn her Doctorate of Psychology at Pace University.

Now, taking that first elective seems as though it was fate. Dr. Colontino could not be happier than she is in her current position.

“The best part of this job is being around the kids,” Dr. Colontino said. “It’s just the kids.”