Saying goodbye to one of Bellefonte’s best


Jenna Willey

Beloved guidance counselor Mr. Shawn Barbrow’s last day at Bellefonte is October 7, as he continues his counseling career in the State College Area School District.


At the sound of the 3:15 bell today, the students and staff of Bellefonte High will walk through the doors to return in just two days; however, one beloved member of the Bellefonte family will exit the building for his last time. 

Friday, October 7 will mark Guidance Counselor Mr. Shawn Barbrow’s last day as a counselor at BAHS. After 16 years of dedication and service to the district, he’ll continue to pursue his career just down the road at State High as a counselor for grades 10-12. 

Whether he was meeting with a student or handling the technical day-to-day parts of being a counselor, his infectious smile and pleasant personality will be missed, especially by his fellow Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Coby Pighetti.

“We have been a great team and we will truly miss Mr. Barbrow’s wealth of knowledge, positive energy, big heart, and leadership. He always makes us smile and laugh…he has made a lasting impact on all of the students and staff who have come through the doors of BAHS,” Mrs. Pighetti said.   

Guidance Clerk Mrs. Jody Winkelman has worked in the same office with Mr. Barbrow for his 16 years at BAHS and has witnessed his hard work throughout his time here.

“Shawn is so intelligent. His analytical thinking has been such a great asset to the guidance office and the Bellefonte Area School District. He is the Power School Master and his knowledge will be greatly missed,” she said.

Still, Mrs. Winkelman will greatly miss the things that Mr. Barbrow brought beyond the technical duties of his job.

“My best memories with Shawn are of our talks, some happy, some sad, but always meaningful and heartful. We have become family,” Mrs. Winkelman said.

BHS Principal Mr. Mike Fedisson remembers the support he received from Mr. Barbrow when he first started at the high school. 

“Early on, there were some days when it was difficult for me to learn the workings of the high school, and he was always available, even on nights and weekends, to help me. He always provided encouragement when I needed it most,” Mr. Fedisson said. 

Mr. Fedisson also says that Mr. Barbrow’s helpfulness worked throughout the entire school. 

“He always makes time for everyone, listens, and offers advice. He is someone that would do anything for anyone,” he said. 

The students have also seen Mr. Barbrow’s selfless attitude and feel calmed by his warm demeanor. 

“He’s always very perceptive of students’ situations and does his best to make us feel okay,” junior Hope Martin said. 

The colleagues and administration that I have worked with have been incredible and the students here have just been an amazing group. Thank you, Bellefonte.”

— Mr. Shawn Barbrow

Mr. Barbrow has seen his fair share of challenges while working in the guidance department. One thing has stood out to him the most among all of these challenges.

“The proliferation of social media and how that has connected students to conflict 24/7. When I started in 2006, the social media landscape was in its infancy. Now it plays a central role in the social experience of just about every high school student,” he said. 

However, Mr. Barbrow wants students to know that they can find their own goodness while they’re students at BAHS.

“Find some club, organization or group to get involved with. The more you can tap into the great options we have at BAHS, the more rewarding your time here will be.” 

Even though he’ll be working in a new district, Bellefonte will always hold a place in Mr. Barbrow’s heart. 

My favorite memory of BAHS are the people in this building – faculty and students. I have been here for 16 years and have felt very much like this was a second home. The colleagues and administration that I have worked with have been incredible and the students here have just been an amazing group. Thank you, Bellefonte,” Mr. Barbrow said.

Thank you for everything, Mr. Barbrow, but most importantly, thank you for making everyone in this building feel valued and understood.