Meet Mark Rasic

Mark Rasic
Director of College Counseling
Polytechnic School (CA)

How did you become the director of college counseling at the Polytechnic School?
I started at Poly in 2014 as a dean and college counselor. Two years ago, the director of college counseling took a job as principal at a nearby high school, and I took over as director. 

I never set out to be a college counselor. Out of college, I taught middle and high school English for ten years, then worked in three different admission offices, including seven years at University of Southern California, where I attended.  From there, I came to Poly. 

What made you decide to get into this field?
I entered education right out of college mostly because teaching English sounded challenging and interesting, a job that would not get tedious. I picked well. I have enjoyed thirty years in education as a teacher, an admission rep, and a college counselor. 

What is your favorite part of the job?
I most enjoy working with students. I do my best to spend as much of my day as possible interacting with them, assisting with essays and things like that. Working in a school with high-energy kids makes the day go quickly, which for me is a sign that it was a productive and meaningful day. 

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
Western ACAC and NACAC have played a huge role in my career. When I first started as a regional admission rep for Catholic U in DC, I knew little about the job. I knew nobody in the field. I quickly volunteered with the Los Angeles National College Fair. My fellow committee members taught me about admission work and about the field in general. I remember my time on that team fondly. 

After that experience, I served three years as a WACAC executive board member and as an assembly delegate at NACAC. Again, I learned a ton and met great people. As a lonely new regional rep, WACAC and NACAC connected me to the people and the values of this profession.

You’ve been a supporter of the Imagine Fund. Why do you choose to give to NACAC’s fund?
I am not a visionary. I am not good at dreaming up big ideas. I am much better at implementing systems and knocking tasks off my to-do list efficiently and effectively. But I admire the dreamers, so I like the idea of helping them realize their goals.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I spend a lot of time in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park. I love the desert. I like to camp and hike. I like to cook, and I love to go for long runs. Also, I have been a huge fan of U2 since 1983. They are the greatest band in the history of the world. If there is a U2 concert nearby, I will be there. I saw them in Barcelona with my husband this past summer, a grand moment that I will remember forever.

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Owen Meany, John Irving’s greatest creation. He’s a person of great faith and integrity.

Describe yourself in five words.
Authentic, active, practical, systematic, and happy.

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