Sharon High School (MA)
What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
My first job out of college was in debt consolidation at an education loan company, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of debt that young people were willing to incur. I shifted my focus to working in higher education in student affairs and then found my true calling at the secondary level. I have now been in public school counseling for over 25 years.
What is your favorite part of the job?
That is easy, being with students and talking with them. I enjoy the dialogue and the sharing process as we work to research and consider options and opportunities. When former students reach out and share their life adventures, challenges, and victories, I beam with pride for them. With so many years of experience, I have been fortunate to engage with thousands of students and families.
How has NACAC played a role in your career?
NACAC has been the gold-standard for collaboration, ethical standards, and professional development. During my career, the role of higher education in the lives of young people has evolved. The search and application process has changed from receiving brochures in the mail and completing a paper- and typewriter-task to a vibrant and sometimes overwhelming virtual bonanza of information and online applications. As a member of NACAC and our New England affiliate, NEACAC, I have been provided with the opportunity to grow as a professional, which has been critical in my support of students and their families in an ever-changing world.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
The relationship-building that has been critical to the profession (on both sides of the desk) is sometimes reduced to a virtual connection, or to data-mining, that simply is not as rewarding and fulfilling. Returning to a sometimes less efficient, but a more human and genuine process, is critical in meeting the social and emotional needs of both our students and the professionals in the field of college admission and counseling.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Being with my family (including our two dogs) makes me feel full and happy. Given two of our three children have moved away (out-of-state and one out-of-the-country), it is sometimes a challenge, but it also gives me a chance to travel and spend time with those who I love the very most.
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Jo March, Little Women. Challenging convention and taking risks have always been exciting to me. Jo’s strength and determination are inspiring.