Candidates for High School Director
|Amy Wesley||Allegra Giulietti-Schmitt|
BA, Illinois Wesleyan University;
MA, Bradley University
IACAC Member: 16 years
Benet Academy, College Counselor (2000–present);
Bradley University, Assistant Director of Admission/Campus Visit Coordinator (1997–2000);
MacMurray College, Admission Representative (1996–1997)
First Timer’s Committee (3 years);
Raffle Committee (3 years);
On-Site Committee (3 years);
Conference Moderator and Presenter;
Summer Institute Committee and Presenter;
District Seminar Committee;
Member 6 years
Attended 6 National Conferences
I am humbled yet thrilled by the nomination for High School Director of IACAC. In reading candidate statements every year, I am continually in awe of the individuals who represent IACAC and their ability to articulate their vision for the organization’s future. Through my experience in both college admission and high school counseling, coupled with my involvement with IACAC and NACAC over the past 16 years, I’ve developed a solid knowledge base of college counseling. I would find nothing more rewarding than sharing my own ideas and perspectives and continuing to learn from individuals for whom I have such respect.
When I first entered the college admissions profession, I joined IACAC with gusto, wanting to be “just like the admission staff from Illinois Wesleyan University” whom I had worked for as an undergrad (did I just earn 10 votes?). I loved every minute of it! My involvement introduced me to so many knowledgeable professionals; the people I admired became my colleagues, my mentors, and my friends. I felt like I had “arrived” on the college admission scene. I learned a great deal about our profession and felt confident with the work I was doing on the college level.
Then I switched to the “high school side of the desk” and was completely overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know. Any confidence I had developed in college admission was completely thrown out the window, so I relied heavily on the connections I had so fortunately made through IACAC to help me through those first few years. Twelve years later, I’m still learning and even just recently sought counsel from the AP Committee. The guidance they provided empowered me, and I felt fortunate to have someone so supportive and knowledgeable to go to when I needed advice. I am eager to be that support for someone else and feel confident that I can share what I have learned (and continue to learn every day) with others.
When I was young (sigh!), I thought I could do it all. Then one day, a dear and wise friend (Michelle Rogers, Saint Louis University) told me that it’s all about balance… to reflect each week and make sure that I’ve given the appropriate time to my respective responsibilities, my family, and myself. I am now at a point in my career where I can contribute even more to IACAC and yet maintain balance in my life, and I’m excited to fill my plate with something so meaningful.
It is truly an honor to be nominated for the position of High School Director. I feel like I’ve been offered a rose, which I have enthusiastically accepted! I have tremendous respect for our organization and those who lead it, and I believe my enthusiasm and dedication will be a positive addition to the Board.
College Counseling Assistant and Counseling Resource Center Coordinator, Highland Park High School
BS in Sociology and BS in Psychology (2004), Minor in Women’s Studies, Bradley University (2004);
Master of Education in School Counseling, DePaul University (Expected 2012)
IACAC Member: 8 years
Bradley University, Peoria, IL: Assistant Director of Admissions/Chicago Regional Representative (2007–August 2009), Admissions Representative (2004–2009), Bradley University Admissions Intern (2002–2004), Bradley Student Admissions Representative (STAR) (2001–2002)
Annual Conference Planning Committee (2011–present): First-Timers Committee, Co-chair (2011–2012);
Mentorship Committee (2005–present): Mentorship Committee, Co-chair (2011–present);
Grant Committee (2011–present);
CAP Committee (2010–present): Camp College on-site coordinator (2010–present);
Summer Institute Committee (2010–present);
Annual Conference Committees (2005–present): First-Timers Committee (2005–present), Entertainment Committee (2010–2011), Evaluations Committee (2009), Registration Committee (2005–2007);
Annual IACAC Conference, participant (2004–present): Which Program Is The Road For Me, presenter (2011), Is The Grass Really Greener, presenter (2010);
Middle Management Institute Committee (2010–2011): Collaborated on creation and programming for inaugural IACAC Middle Management Institute;
Sister School Project (2011)
Delivered presentation on college essays and recommendation letters to students and families at Chicago NACAC College fair (2011);
Annual NACAC Conference, participant (2008)
Other Professional Activities:
American School Counselor Association (ASCA), member (2011–present);
Chicago Area College Counselors Association (CACCA), member (August 2009–present);
Chicago Area Naviance Network (CANN), member (August 2009–present); IACAC Academy for College Admission Counseling 101 and 201, completed (2009 and 2010);
Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling (MOACAC) (2005–2007): Annual MOACAC Conference, participant (2004–2008, 2011);
Is The Grass Really Greener, presenter (2011): Annual Conference Planning Committee (2006–2007);
Programming Committee, Co-chair (2006-2007): Selected and coordinated annual conference speakers, Oversaw day to day conference activity;
Hospitality and Registration Committee (2006–2007): Launched first auction, raffle, and fundraising events; Implemented a program for new attendees;
Operation Snowball: Adult volunteer leader (2009 and 2010), Adult Director, Sophomore Training Group (STGs) (2011);
ADL NAMES (Anti-bullying program), facilitator (2009–present);
Superintendent’s Recognition Award, recipient (2010–2011);
Bradley Parents’ Association Award of Excellence, recipient (2008);
Orchesis, dance company co-founder, executive board member and staff advisor (2002–2007)
I began my journey in this profession, as many of us did. I took a job as a campus tour guide at the start of my sophomore year and then served as an admissions intern the last two years of college. As my undergraduate experience came to a close, the Director of Admissions at Bradley University, Rodney San Jose, posed the question, “Are you sure I can’t convince you to stay and work for me?” to which I promptly laughed, and said I was ready to move home. Well, one can assume where this story goes. After moving all of my belongings to my parents’ house in Oak Park, I decided to apply for the admissions counseling position and two months later, I moved back to Peoria to work in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Looking back at my 22-year-old self, I never could have imagined that decision having such a profound effect on the rest of my life!
My direct experience working with students, families and CONNECTing with school counselors for five years allowed me to realize that my true desire was to advocate for students in a more direct and regular manner. In 2009, I had the extraordinary opportunity to ‘switch sides’ and begin at Highland Park High School as their College Counseling Assistant and Counseling Resource Center Coordinator. While effectively maintaining my job responsibilities, I have had the support and encouragement from the entire HPHS counseling staff to engage in rich professional development. I have had significant involvement with the Middle Management Institute, Summer Institute, Camp College, and this year, I serve as co-chair for the Mentorship Committee. I was able to attend the Academy’s 101 and 102 courses to further support my college to high school transition. Additionally, I had the pleasure of presenting at both IACAC and MOACAC annual conferences as well as this past year at the NACAC National College Fair. While I have been a member of IACAC for a while, I feel like I have made the largest strides within our organization in the last three years and hope to continue this trend.
I am so honored and humbled to have been nominated for the High School Director position through the very organization where I have grown up professionally. When reflecting back to the beginning of my journey, I fondly recall serving on the Missouri ACAC Conference Planning Committee with Todd Burrell in the early stages of my college admissions experience. It seems only fitting that the year I am nominated for this IACAC Executive Board position is during Todd’s conference- themed ‘CONNECT.’ I have had countless mentors throughout my adventure, some formal and some informal but entirely too many to list here. However, all of them have had a significant impact on me both professionally and personally.
I may be seen as a bit ‘green’ in high school experience, but I believe my background in admissions, working in conjunction with high school generalists and college counselors, extensive professional development within this fabulous organization, and maintaining a focus on serving all students will prove to be valuable assets if selected to serve as High School Director. I sincerely thank all of you for this opportunity.