Candidates for NACAC Delegate – Secondary 2014-2015
College & Career Counselor
Niles North High School
B.S. in Sociology and B.S. in Psychology (2004); Minor in Women’s Studies, Bradley University (2004);
Master of Education in School Counseling, DePaul University (2012)
IACAC Member: 10 years
IACAC Executive Board (2012–present);
Council Team Director—Secondary (Membership Committee) (2012–present);
Annual Conference Planning Committee (2011–present);
First-Timers Committee Co-chair (2011–2012);
Mentorship Committee (2005–present);
Mentorship Committee Co-chair (2011–2012);
Grant Committee (2011–2012);
CAP Committee (2010–2012); Camp College on-site coordinator (2010–2012)
Summer Institute Committee (2010–2012)
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): “Career Perspectives at 3 Stages” presenter (2014);
“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)
Member (2007–2009) (2012–present);
Delivered presentation on college essays and recommendation letters to students and families at Chicago NACAC College fair (2011–2013);
Annual NACAC Conference, participant (2008, 2012, 2013)
Other Professional Activities:
Co-sponsor for the Niles North High School National Honor Society, (2013–present);
American School Counselor Association (ASCA) member (2011–present);
IACAC Academy for College Admission Counseling 101 and 201, completed, (2009, 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);
Hospitality and Registration Committee (2006–2007)
A decade ago I was quickly approaching my college graduation without any real career plan to speak of. I would have never thought that 3 years of being a tour guide for Bradley University’s Admissions Office would lead me into my life’s work. This journey has been unexpected, but yet, has perfectly fallen into place.
I will spare you the numerous cliches about how quickly time goes by, but in my personal reflection on the last ten years, I find it hard to believe that I have now been serving on the high school side of things for the same amount of time as my years working in college admissions. Like so many of us, I have a great deal of gratitude for my formal and informal mentor relationships. I owe much of my personal success to the people I’ve been surrounded by. I have to thank so many of you for the encouragement, guidance and inspiration that you’ve provided along the way.
My involvement within IACAC has continuously evolved as I have SEARCH(ed) for my place within this organization. After serving on multiple committees and filling the role of co-chair for Mentorship/First-Timers, I was thrilled when asked to consider an advanced leadership position. Two years ago, I was nominated and elected to serve on the IACAC Executive Board as a High School Council Team Director. At this time, I was also beginning my new journey as the College & Career Counselor at Niles North High School. I can honestly say, without hesitation, that both have been some of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had to date. I’ve never cared more genuinely and passionately about how my students are effected by not only state legislation but federal government decisions.
For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of attending the IACAC Advocacy Day in Springfield. The conversations I had with Representatives and Senators sparked an increased internal interest to make a greater impact at not just the state level but the national level as well. As I near the end of my term serving as Council Team Director I can only look forward to the exciting opportunity of being the bridge that connects IACAC and NACAC.
I am so honored and humbled to have been nominated for the NACAC Delegate position. If elected, I look forward to advocating for our students from diverse backgrounds and the varying concerns within our profession. Again, I feel so fortunate to have found my way into this line of work, and I’m immensely rewarded by the work I do. I am grateful for your support and consideration.
Maine South High School
B.A. in Psychology, secondary teaching certification, Lawrence University;
M.A. in Human Services and Counseling, DePaul University
Loyola Academy, Wilmette, College Counselor (1991–1994);
Maine South High School, Generalist Counselor (1994–2004);
Maine South High School, College/Career Counselor (2004–present)
IACAC Member: 13 years
Planning Committee, IACAC Annual Conference (2009–2013);
Mentor for new counselors (2009–2011);
Planning Committee, IACAC Regional Spring Conference (2006, 2007);
Summer College Tours – Bus ’O Fun & Plane ’O Fun (1997–present)
NACAC Activities: Member 13 years
Other Professional Activities:
Academy for College Admissions: College Counseling 101, College Counseling 201, Ivy League Admissions Workshop;
Active in area counseling organizations: Chicago Area College Counselors Association (CACCA), Chicago Area Naviance Network (CANN)
As a person who has written hundreds of recommendation letters over the years on behalf of her students, I hoped I would have an easier time putting my thoughts into words for my candidate’s statement. Instead, I find myself wishing I could speak to you in person! Let me start by saying that I am honored to be running for this position. As a working mother of four children, many people have said to me: “I don’t know how you do it.” Most of the time, I couldn’t tell you how, but I sure do know why- it’s because of the people in the profession – my students, colleagues (you), and yes, even the parents (a tiny bit). Our days definitely have their challenges, but there hasn’t been a day in which I haven’t reached out to one of my colleagues to get an answer to a question, support for a decision, ideas for solving a dilemma, or just a listening year–whatever I needed.
A mere 23 years ago I landed my first real job as a college counselor at Loyola Academy. Nothing in grad school quite prepared me for this position, but my involvement in IACAC and the mentoring I received from other counselors in the field taught me what I needed to know to survive, and even thrive. After all, I’m still involved in the field! I ask myself: “Why is this the right time to run as your delegate?” I have a tremendous respect for the committed and passionate members of IACAC and I share that passion for the work we do. I am committed to our profession and would appreciate the chance to continue the valuable work we do at the next level. My participation in IACAC, NACAC (and CACCA as well), planning district seminars, and my increasing involvement in our annual conference, all have given me a glimpse into the professional lives of counselors working in a variety of settings, often against incredible odds, to reach students and their families. These experiences have allowed me to improve my interaction with students and colleagues, and I want to play a role in shaping the future of the college counseling field in the face of these obstacles by making sure we are heard. I have been on many a college tour and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting high school counselors and college admission counselors from all over the country. But, along with this comes a sincere appreciation of our IACAC members and gratitude for the sharing and creative spirit of our members. The good work we do and our collaborative nature becomes very apparent as I meet with counselors across the country at various college visits and programs.
Furthermore, as a public school counselor from a district with a very diverse population of students, I understand the pressures of working with extremely large caseloads, having minimal clerical support, and increasing budget constraints. I possess strong communication skills, often advocating to our administration on behalf of a wide variety of students as they pursue post secondary education options. I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in and will speak my mind in order to give students and counselors a voice in the college admissions process. If chosen to be your delegate, I assure you that I will use these same skills to advocate for our students and you as a representative of IACAC at the national level.