A New Face in the Guidance Department


Olivia Belrose, Writer

We can all agree, the 2020-2021 school year is one for change and, for BFA, it goes beyond a hybrid learning model.

This year BFA welcomes a number of new staff, and that includes Elaine Archambault, the new Head of Guidance. 

With only a few weeks into the school year, Archambault has hit the ground running, having already met with a number of students. While she primarily helps students navigate through the college process, she also supports students who struggle socially and emotionally, as well as making sure kids are happy with their schedules, guiding them through any needed changes. 

The goal is to make sure students leave BFA with a solid transcript and definable information to help them move forward in whatever endeavor they choose. In my interview with her, she referenced Flexible Pathways as an important factor in making sure the educational process is enriching and empowering for students.

Over the summer, she did a lot of work in figuring out how to get students and staff back into the building safely, and what procedures and protocols needed to be followed.  “A lot of that work was very meaningful, but I really enjoyed the people part,” Archambault said.

The other half of her job includes a lot of coordination programming and school counseling services, collaborating with other departments and the administration to deliver the best program possible. Students aren’t the only nervous ones on the first day of school. 

“The first day [of inservice]…the whole team provided an inservice activity in front of the staff, either in person or virtually, for about an hour and a half. I was definitely nervous, and I told them I was nervous because I think it’s important to be transparent and let people know that you’re human,” Archambault said. 

She referred to the activity as a nice way to talk about what school counselors and social workers do, and how they’re beneficial to both students and teachers. 

Now that students are back in the building, Archambault has a caseload of students. She follows the normal line of work by helping students with social/emotional problems and with anything from academic assistance to preparing for post high school, such as career plans.

Archambault hasn’t always been guiding students through the college application process. In her 20 years of working in education, she’s spent the last eight years working as an assistant principal at Brown’s River Middle School located in Underhill, Vt. with a student body of 400. 

She completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity College, which is no longer operating. She learned a lot about being a strong female leader. She then worked full time as she completed her master’s degree in Human Services from Springfield College, which led her into social work before pursuing education. 

In her free time, Archambault is an amateur golfer and enjoys going for long walks, biking, kayaking and being in nature. She loves to play games, enjoy food with friends and family and talk about life experiences. 

“The most important thing for me is that whatever I’m doing, I’m doing it with friends and family,” Archambault said.

Growing up on the Canadian border in Franklin, Archambault was one of 11 siblings on her family’s farm. Currently, she resides in Georgia, Vt. with her husband, and sometimes her two adult daughters. Archambault’s oldest daughter, Kara, graduated from BFA in 2014 and currently works for Mr. Archambault, who owns a jewelry store in Burlington. Elise, who graduated in 2018, is studying occupational therapy at Husson University. 

When she first heard about the open position for a guidance counselor, Archambault decided to apply after thinking about her daughters’ experiences,  how much they appreciated BFA and the community and how close she is to home. 

“I believe in BFA, I believe in the teachers, the work and what they offer students. I wanted to be a part of that team,” Archambault said.