Meet Your Counselor

Phone: 352-671-4927


Degrees and Certifications:

AA BA MS Certified Public Manager Professional Educator Certification Guidance VPK-12

Mrs. Marsha Carpenter

Hello Fordham Families,

I am so excited to be here at Fordham as a partner in helping to ignite the learning in our most precious gifts, Fordham’s Early Learning Academy students. I am a native Ocalan, who attended and graduated from Marion County Public Schools.  I continued my post-secondary education at Central Florida Community College (College of Central Florida), where I obtained an Associate’s Degree.  Upon graduation, I attended and graduated from the University of Central Florida, where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree.  After several years of employment, I returned to college and earned a Graduate Degree from Nova Southeastern University in Counseling.    

I started my professional career with the Department of Children & Families (formerly known as the Department of Health & Rehabilitative Services), where I have assisted children & families in various capacities, including empowering families to become self-sufficient and oversaw the Child Care Regulation program, to ensure our most vulnerable citizens were safe in the early childhood learning environment.  During the time spent in social services, I was able to fulfill a long-time goal of becoming a Guidance Counselor and was employed at Maplewood Elementary School.   Then, Marion County Public Schools opened its first technical high school, and I was afforded an opportunity to become the Dean of Students.  Being a part of the inaugural staff of something new is exciting, and I’m so happy to work at Fordham Early Learning Academy, where Marion County Public Schools have committed to providing early learning opportunities with the opening of its first primary school serving VPK students & Kindergarten students.

My primary focus this year will be character development and social skills are necessary for students to learn who they are and help them to problem-solve issues in their daily lives and future.  The secondary goal is attendance, to ensure that all students are present and on time to maximize their learning opportunities. This will be my focus during this year, and I invite you to participate in character development, by reinforcing our character words and meaning each month and making sure that your child is present and on time.

This year's favorite quote is "Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be."

~Rita Pierson

So, I encourage you to stop by the Guidance Office and visit our school’s website at and select the Student’s Corner tab for the Guidance Department and for services that are available to you and your child.

  • Resiliency (Character) Word for MAY 2024

    Honesty-Speaking and acting truthfully.


    What does a School Counselor do?

    • Work with all students to encourage a safe school climate of trust and respect
    • Help students evaluate their interests, abilities, and skills
    • Collaborate with parents/guardians, teachers, support staff, and administration to share effective strategies to assist struggling students
    • Maintain confidentiality of students and their families unless there is a need to know or a safety concern
    • Develop a core curriculum to address developmentally appropriate social-emotional behaviors

    Offered Services:

    • Brief Solution-focused, individual check-ins
    • Individual/Small Group counseling
    • Classroom Character Lessons
    • Referrals for outside community assistance
    • Evaluating school and student data and outcomes
    • Assist teachers, support staff, and professionals evaluate and develop 504 plans
    • Crisis response services for students and families