Princeton Public Schools names new director of student counseling services

new Princeton counseling director
Dana Karas

Dana Karas has been selected to serve as the director of student counseling services for the Princeton Public Schools. She replaces Kristina Donovan, who resigned in June and left the district earlier this month. Karas will officially join the district at the end of September. 

Karas, who has held administrative positions in the Franklin Township Public Schools and the Lawrence Township Public Schools, worked previously in Princeton, first as a middle school French teacher and later as a school counselor at Princeton High School.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Ms. Karas back to Princeton Public Schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Carol Kelley. “She has impressive experience in school counseling as well as expertise related to students’ social-emotional health and well-being. Her experience and her dedication to students make her a wonderful addition to our team here in Princeton.” 

Karas graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in French education and earned graduate degrees from The College of New Jersey and Georgian Court College. She is currently completing her doctorate in educational leadership at Kean University. 

Early in her career, Karas worked as a middle school French teacher in Princeton. She later worked as a French teacher at the Manalapan- Englishtown Middle School and as a school counselor at Churchill Junior High School in East Brunswick. In 1998, she became a school counselor at Freehold Township High School, a post she held until 2003 when she returned to Princeton High School as a school counselor. She worked in the Lawrence Township Public Schools for more than seven years, serving first as supervisor of guidance and classic and world languages, and then as the supervisor of guidance, careers, and alternative programming. She then served as the director of school counseling and supervisor of world languages for grades 9 to 12 in the Franklin Township Public Schools.

A former president of the New Jersey School Counselor Association, she continues to serve as an executive board member for this organization, where she has co-authored the state’s current approved school counselor evaluation model. In 2017, she was named New Jersey School Counselor of the Year, and she has served as a committee member for the New Jersey Department of Education, where she contributed to the creation of the state’s social-emotional learning competencies guide and also served on the “On-Ramps to College” initiative.  

“I feel truly blessed and honored to be returning to Princeton Public Schools,” Karas said. “I am looking forward to supporting the school counseling staff and each and every child in the district.”