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Meet Cameron Gaede

Cameron Gaede
Director of College Counseling
The Altamont School (AL)

How did you become the director of college counseling at The Altamont School?
There were some personnel issues in the college counseling office. I told the Head that the inconsistency in the office was a PR nightmare for the school, and he needed to do something to fix it. Out of the classroom I came.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Of course, working with the students is my favorite. But I also love how dynamic the work is. All year long I face new challenges and constantly am learning. And, this is the most collaborative profession. Advice and mentorship is an easy phone call away. In 11 years, I have yet to come across a single person on either side of the desk who was not willing to help.

How did you get involved with NACAC’s College Fairs and what does that experience mean to you?
Counselors in the Birmingham community all have stepped in and helped with the fairs. They are an inclusive group, so it was super easy to get involved.

Do you have any advice for new counselors?
Never be afraid to pick up the phone and call with a question.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing counselors today?
The financial piece of college is becoming much more stressful and complicated for our families. And, I am always torn about Early Decision. I feel a responsibility to let our families know the high percentages of freshman classes being admitted ED at an ever-increasing number of institutions. But, I worry I am putting pressure on the student to commit too early.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
Knit, read, and relax at the beach.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
Oh goodness. This is a tough one. I loved teaching The Odyssey when I was in the classroom. Penelope is a great character. 

Describe yourself in five words.
Happy, introverted, creative, impatient, and open-minded.

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