School Counselor Spotlight: Mary Rice

Strong and peaceful to her core, Mary Rice.


Long ago, a lovely Language Arts Teacher from Portsmouth’s St. Patrick School applied for a position at St. Thomas Aquinas teaching Humanities and working part-time as a school counselor.  She was offered the position and the rest, they say, is history….

After teaching and counseling for several years, Mary found a passion in counseling and decided to enroll in UNH’s Masters of Education Counseling Program. She continued to work at STA while simultaneously attending classes at night (and during the summer) for two years, all while raising two sons with her husband. “When I think back on it, I wonder how I did it all!”  Very likely with a peaceful, calm demeanor that emanates from Mary like breath.

When asked what she most enjoys about her job, Mary responds, “I love working with the students in a variety of ways from course scheduling to college plans to helping them with life problems that arise from time to time. I love working with my colleagues in the counseling department. We all support each other and work as a team. As a whole, I love the STA community and how it is a family.”

Anyone who knows Mary knows that what drives her is yoga.  “My personal practice on the mat and teaching at a yoga studio transfers to my life off the mat in many ways, whether that be as a school counselor, as a mom, wife, friend, etc. Yoga makes me a better person so that I can serve others better.”

In addition to yoga, Mary’s self-composition and core strength comes from her family’s support. “I have always been blessed with a strong support system throughout my life- supportive parents, family, friends. My husband and sons have continually been there for me!  My two dogs and two cats (all rescues) have rescued me in many daily ways with their unconditional love and affection.

As School Counselor Appreciation Week continues, we can’t help but count our blessings at finding not just one but four of the most compassionate, intelligent counselors on the planet. It is no wonder why Notre Dame- the STA campus building that houses the Counseling Department- releases a special glow morning, noon and night.