Silvia Restivo ’12 began her doctoral studies at Shenandoah in 2008 and finished her dissertation, receiving her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in May 2012.
“SU has made me a stronger more effective leader, by increasing my knowledge in organizational theories as well teaching me the practical application to everyday life in the educational arena,” said Restivo. “The professors possessed higher knowledge and expertise and were able to transfer this knowledge to the students. The staff was always supportive and dedicated to student success.”
Restivo has been in education and counseling for over 17 years. Her vast experience includes school administration, curriculum and instruction, strategic planning, school law, school counseling in the areas of academic, career and personal counseling, community counseling, multicultural training, dual enrollment, college preparation, school testing, English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction and higher education.
“I grew up in a family with strong family values and I was always taught kindness and to help others,” mentioned Restivo. “My father modeled a strong dedication to the community and it became a habit to practice unconditional positive regard for others.”
Currently, Restivo wears a few hats. She is employed with Frederick County Public School as the Coordinator of School Counseling Services K-12 and ESL Services. She also is an adjunct professor at George Mason University and Shenandoah. Along with these obligations, Restivo finds time to be a counselor one night a week with Psychological Health Associates.
As the coordinator for ESL Services in Frederick County, Restivo sees herself in many of the students. Restivo was an ESL student herself as she and her family are from Italy. She knows what it takes to get an education and a career and wants to give guidance to students who may not think it is possible.
At times while she was completing her dissertation, Restivo felt tired and overwhelmed. She has much gratitude and appreciation for the faculty at Shenandoah who kept her moving forward.
“My experience at Shenandoah was very rewarding,” Restivo commented. “My professors always gave me the ‘you can do it’ message, which was very motivating for me. I want to stay connected with SU and assist with passing on the same message to future students…you can do it!”
Along with serving on the Alumni Board of Directors, Restivo is a member of College Board, the American School Counselors Association, the Virginia School Counselors Association as the School Counselor Vice President, the Virginia ESL Supervisor Association as the ESL Scholarship Chair, and the Lord Fairfax Community College Office of Transition Advisory Board.
“The most rewarding experiences for me are when I see students succeed, especially students faced with challenges,” said Restivo. “I believe that schools, community and families must work together to ensure successful academic outcomes for today’s students.”
One of Restivo’s favorite quotes is from Virginia Collier – “Helping students succeed academically and obtain a high school diploma is critical to the future success of our community and our nation as well as the prosperity of our society.”