I am happy that you are interested in learning about the counseling department at Academia Los Pinares. As we enter into a school year that will look different than past years, I want to remind you that your counselors are here to support you during this challenging time.
We still plan to do everything in the list below to some degree, but the implementation of many of the services will look different. For example, there will be no colleges visiting ALP this fall, both because our doors are closed and because almost all universities have chosen not to travel at this time. We hope to provide virtual opportunities for students to connect with colleges to get the same information they would get in a physical visit. But the fact remains that the students must choose to attend these meetings, just as they must choose to attend them when they are physically at school. It is more important than ever that students check their email regularly and communicate their progress through BridgeU, our college research and application tracking platform.
I am happy to meet with parents and students one-on-one virtually, as well. To set up a meeting, contact me at the email address listed below in my signature. I know that together, we will have a successful year, as we look to God for our guidance. He is neither surprised by nor unprepared for this unusual school year. May we all rest in that fact and cling to the hope that we have in Christ.
In the counseling department, we serve students as they navigate their way through high school and in support of the school’s mission and vision. We offer a wide range of services in the areas of academics, social/emotional support, and college/career planning with a focus on developing the whole student and an emphasis on addressing each student’s spiritual life. Of course, this also means working closely with parents and staff to make these six years a success.
First, let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Miss Sarah Johnson, and this is my tenth year at ALP. I have a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Math Education and a master’s degree in School Counseling. I am passionate about helping students discover who God has created them to be (their talents, gifts, abilities, personalities, and interests) and how they can use those strengths to glorify God through their vocation. I enjoy supporting and encouraging students through their struggles and helping them reach positive solutions. I am so blessed by the relationships I am able to have with students and their parents year after year. I also enjoy getting to interact with students outside of school and seeing them participate in activities they love such as sports, Knowledge Bowl, community service, and musical performances. I love keeping in touch with former students to see how God is continuing to shape them and the impact they are making on the people and the world around them.
As the upper high school counselor, I mostly focus on the college and career planning aspect of a student’s education, typically with 11th and 12th grade students. Some of the services I provide include the following:
- Coordinate and schedule college visits to ALP
- Assist with signing up for testing (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.)
- Conduct parent meetings (large group and individual meetings)
- Meet with each senior to make a plan and then as requested throughout the year
- Help students narrow down their college list
- Assist with applications, as necessary; final check for each application before submission
- Proofread college essays
- Write recommendations for students
- Send transcripts to colleges
- Advocate with college representatives on behalf of students
- Assist with scholarship applications
- Advise on filling out financial documents
- Assist with visa process, as necessary
- Develop professionally through webinars and college fly-in programs
Please do not hesitate to email me with your concerns or call the high school office to set up a meeting with me. I am proficient in Spanish and always trying to improve, so do not be afraid of a language barrier. I look forward to working with you this year!
Sarah K. Johnson
High School Counselor