Student Assistance Program

Dauphin County Technical School has made a commitment to serving each student in every way possible to help them obtain a complete academic and vocational education. Knowing that students sometime run into difficulty in school because of drug, alcohol and/or emotional problems our school provides a Student Assistance Program. This program is modeled after many Employee Assistance Programs currently found in private industry.

Dauphin County Technical made its decision to begin the Student Assistance Program because of a strong commitment to provide an educational environment which does not tolerate the use of alcohol or drugs and which faces the problem of student suicide head on. Our priority is to have students concentrate on the process of learning and interaction without the negative impacts of chemical use/abuse and emotional depression.


At the heart of the Student Assistance Program is the specially trained Student Assistant Team (SAT). Each team member has undergone special training approved by the PA Department of Education. The team works at the high school to identify and help students with substance abuse problems or who have emotional health issues hindering their ability to obtain a complete education. The team works closely with trained drug/alcohol and mental health professionals. Students receive counseling at appropriate substance or mental health agencies that serve the Dauphin County Technical School attendance area.

Referral and Treatment

Students may be referred to the Student Assistance Team by teachers, parents, and other students, or by self-referral of a student experiencing difficulty in a situation. Any student who violates the Dauphin County Technical School drug and alcohol policy will automatically be referred to the Student Assistance Team for an assessment. One component of the Student Assistance Program includes group sessions for students who are having school and home problems. In reality, the Student Assistance Team has no idea of the number of students who will be involved in the program during a given year. Statistics indicate that a growing number of adolescents are in need of counseling nationwide. If the Student Assistance Program helps just one student overcome a chemical or emotional problem and attain success in school, then the program will be considered a success and worth all the effort.

All referrals to the Student Assistance Team are kept confidential within the team.

Warning Signs

Adolescence is a time of many transitions. Some moodiness and change in a student’s behavior is part of normal development. However, when you notice a marked change or gradual deterioration over a period of time it should cause concern.

Please contact a member of the Student Assistance Program if you notice any of the following signs listed below. The team can assist in deciding if a student needs help in accessing appropriate community resources:

  • deterioration of relationships with family members
  • change in friends
  • change in eating habits
  • change in sleeping habits
  • excessive need for privacy
  • change in personal grooming or attire
  • poor school attendance
  • declining grades
  • lost interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities
  • unexplained moodiness or anger
  • unusual fatigue or burst of energy
  • unusual spending habits or having unexplained money
  • possessing drug paraphernalia
  • glassy bloodshot eyes
  • frequent cold-like symptoms

Community Resources

Alcohol Hotline – 1-800-Alcohol
Childline – Child Abuse Reporting 1-800-923-0313
Cocaine Hotline – 1-800 Cocaine
Contact of Harrisburg – 652-4400
Dauphin County Crisis Intervention – 232-7511
Dauphin County Commission on Drugs and Alcohol – 255-2984
Keystone Children and Family Services – 541-9620
Poison Control – 1-800-521-6110
Rape Crisis – 1-800-654-1211
Teenline – hotline 1-800-722-5385
White Deer Run of Harrisburg – 221-8712

Student Assistance Team Members

Samantha Babcock—Counseling Secretary
Robert Brightbill – Teacher
Rachel Cangialosi – Teacher
Joanne Custer — Co-op Coordinator
Sharon Deiling – Educational Coach
Alex Dimarzio — Assistant Principal
Lilian Furlong — Para-Educator
April Hampton — Teacher
Teresa Hoover — Teacher
Meghan Kane — Teacher
Stephanie Mader — Teacher
Beth Maurer — School Social Worker
Gwen Mosteller – Assistant Principal
Shelly Milbrand – School Counselor
Sandie Pensiero — School Counselor
Amber Seiler — Teacher
Denise Short — School Counselor
Amanda Weaver — Teacher