Klein’s journey

Toni Klein discovered her passion for helping and is now amazing school counselor


Toni Klein and her three kids spend the morning together. (Courtesy of Toni Klein)

By Anna Karpinski

Toni Klein sits in her flower-covered office located in the West Pod, sipping her iced tea and waiting for another student to come in for their appointment. As the student walks in, her face lights up with a welcoming smile.

“How are you?” Klein asks with a smile and her full attention.

Klein is known for being a great and helpful counselor, but she has a journey to how she got here.

Initially, she attended college with an interest in corporate training.

“It was more for companies’ health and wellness, and my dad thought it was the health of the company and freaked me out saying I won’t get a job,” Klein said.

It took her a while to figure out what she really wanted to do in her life and changed her major to marketing and supply chain management. It still was something she was not entirely passionate about.

“I decided I wanted to go back to school after I graduated, and I talked to people who knew me and asked what they thought my strengths and weaknesses were,” Klein said. “The more I thought about it, I realized that I wanted to work with people in a school and became a counselor.”

One of her dreams was to have her own softball team. In her dreams, that team would have been made up of her kids.

“I wanted to have a really big family. I wanted 12 kids, so I could have my own softball team with backup players,” Klein said.

Klein ended up having three kids and is very happy with them.

Sports are also a big part of Klein’s life and especially her childhood.

“I love playing sports. If I can play volleyball or softball, I will do that,” Klein said. “I grew up in the ’90s, so I still like rollerblading and doing stuff like that.”

Childhood is a big part of your life, and Klein described hers as ideal.

“My childhood was supportive with my parents and two younger sisters that I got along with, and we would always play sports and had a ton of different pets,” Klein said. “It was pre-technology, so I didn’t have those stressors.”

There are times when students rely on school counselors to help them or even just to have a person to talk to.

“Being able to truly understand and relate to what a student is going through makes a great counselor,” sophomore Oliwia Chlastawa said. “After [the pandemic], a lot of us are struggling more than ever, and it’s really refreshing to talk to someone, especially at school.”

Having someone like Toni Klein in the school environment is super helpful to many.

“When a counselor or person in the stressful school environment tries to understand what you are saying and helps you find a solution is something that is really important,” sophomore Kaia Cooper said.

Klein has had many experiences throughout her life that have shaped her into the person she is today. A couple of years ago, she got diagnosed with cancer which changed her life.

“A couple of years ago, I got diagnosed with cancer and that was life-changing. I saw how many people really rallied around me and supported me,” Klein said. “The outpouring of love was incredible.”

In the school environment and in life, it is very important to stay strong and think positively.

“You can get buried if you focus too much on stuff you have no control over,” Klein said.