Welcome to Counseling at Academia Los Pinares

Hello and welcome to the Guidance Office website of Academia Los Pinares! We are so glad that you stopped by and we hope you find what you are looking for here on our pages. Please take some time to read our introduction.


Harold Cochran

Harold Cochran

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson





Our office exists to support students in academic endeavors and to promote a healthy lifestyle. In our role as guidance counselors, we hope to help students overcome roadblocks in their education and prepare them for a successful future.

We encourage you to use the Guidance Office as a resource for college preparation, course planning, emotional stress, relational issues, organization skills and study habits. This website can be a place to find information on everything from college visits to monthly student recognition, so check it often!

Below we will make frequent posts on our blog so you will have the most up-to-date information. We hope you will utilize this resource and feel comfortable asking any questions you might have. You can also find valuable information on the left side of your screen, using the tabs.

Click here to download the ALP College Admissions Handbook

febrero 1st, 2011

January has officially ended and so must our use of the words “new year” because it is not so new anymore. We have to get used to writing 2011 and come to terms with the supposedly ominous 2012 that looms in the near(er) future. We have to move on from repeatedly asking, “Can you believe that it’s 2011?” We have a lot to look forward to this year, so it is time to pack up 2010 and set our gaze straight ahead.

I saw many parents at report card time (297 out of 350 came!) taking pictures of the Honors and High Honors List, so we know that you are as proud as we are of the academic excellence we saw these past two quarters. This week marks the start of third quarter, which is a brand new opportunity for us to set goals and celebrate successes. I told one student, who was surprised to find herself on the Honors list for the first time, “Now that I know you can do it, I won’t expect any less from you.” She squirmed a little bit, but I think she now knows what she is capable of accomplishing… and that my expectations aim for celebration when she reaches her goal.

I wanted to share a few links of articles I’ve been reading lately. The Counseling office here at ALP is constantly searching for interesting and educational articles that might help us to gain some healthy perspective in our work.

Here is an article called, “The Many Faces of Shame” that talks about the difference between shame and guilt and how our response is so important.

If you are concerned about all the media in your children’s lives (and overwhelmed at the idea of controlling it), this website and resource might be helpful to use to engage your child in conversation. If you teach your child to look at all media critically, you are helping them develop discernment, which is crucial as they grow into mature young adults who will make many decisions later without your advice.

Lastly, I wanted to share this link to a career exploration game. This is a great way to start the journey to find out what career would best suit your child’s interest and/or personality. We have this and many other useful links on our counseling page. If you scan the left sidebar, you will find additional resources that will be helpful in your future plans as well as your current questions.

As I write this post, most of my family in the Midwest United States is in the middle of a great big snow storm. Some weather sources suggest 25 feet of snow in some places! So, I hope you are enjoying this beautiful sunshine as much as I am.

octubre 13th, 2010

Welcome to the Counseling blog. We will post short updates here, as well as encouraging stories and support for students and parents. We also hope you will be able to use this site to feel more connected to the heartbeat of the school and your student’s academic journey.

I want to share some encouragement with parents this morning, because you are such an integral part of your child’s development process. Though you may not be present during the school day, your influence and involvement is absolutely essential to your child’s success. Here’s an example that will stick with me for years to come:

The family approached the 7th grade report card table with, what I sensed was, a little trepidation. I knew the student fairly well, so I jokingly asked if the parents were worried. They stepped right up to the table as I flipped through the files and the mother told me, “Of course not. We know what we’ve got.” She reached over, pulled her daughter in for a hug, and flashed a confident smile in my direction.

I returned the smile and handed over the first quarter report card, which was met with great celebration! I almost joined in the squealing excitement, but thought it best I remain composed. I did allow myself to let out a hearty, “Congratulations,” followed by a friendly squeeze. The whole family – mother, father, brother – all joined in the excitement and I felt privileged to watch.

To some, a successful report card may seem a small thing. What I found so beautiful was this family’s knowledge of one another. They had no doubt what they would find when they opened the report card, because they had walked the whole journey of the first quarter together. I could tell they were intimately involved in the details of each others’ lives.

Their celebration reminded me how important it is to join in when joyous occasions give reason, but also the importance of knowing those we love most. Those words, “We know what we’ve got,” encourage us to be always aware of ways we can encourage each other on every step of the way.

Make a point to be involved in your child’s journey this quarter, so you will “know what you’ve got” when it is report card time once again.

octubre 11th, 2010

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