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High School Counseling - Guiding Students Along The Path to Individual Success

High School Counseling - Guiding Students Along The Path to Individual Success
Tanya Olander (Cover photo: HS Counselor Matt Stevens)

The path to success can look very different from one high schooler to another. As students navigate these critical years, having dedicated counselors who understand your child’s social-emotional and academic needs, interests, and abilities is a significant asset. 

Recognizing that social-emotional well-being and academic success go hand in hand, the counseling program at SSIS assigns each student a dedicated counselor who, over time, builds a strong foundation of trust with the students in their charge. 

“Providing guided one-on-one support is an amazing resource in and of itself,” says Director of High School Counseling and University Guidance Steve Petraglia, “at SSIS, we take that one step further, assigning a dedicated counselor to each student who will stay with them for the entirety of their high school experience here.”

And as high school progresses, so does the complexity of making decisions about courses and workload. Serving as coaches, our four highly-experienced high school counselors ensure that students understand how their course selections, internships, and extra-curricular activities can impact future goals and ambitions. 

HS Counselor Kristy Finlay talks to Grade 11 during an interactive group session earlier in the school year. 

Coaching Towards Independence

The counseling office offers support in much more than course selections and future pathways. The aim is to guide students toward independence, prepared to go out into the world.

“Students often come in to chat if they are going through a challenging time. They may need support in learning how to manage their workload, overcoming test anxiety, and navigating friendships or interactions with their teachers. We are here to support their intellectual and personal well-being,” says High School Counselor Kristy Finlay.

Mr. Petraglia and the counseling team's open-door policy makes it easy for students to drop by whenever they have questions or want support.

Varied Opportunities to Consider the Future 

Another way that the SSIS counseling office encourages and promotes independence is by offering many opportunities to consider their futures. More than 56 universities have already visited the SSIS campus this school year. 

Guidance Counselor Deviyani Pathak chats with a student in her office.

Whether through university visits, the citywide university fair, hosted bi-annually at SSIS, or lectures from visiting professors and admissions professionals, each experience gives unique and multi-faceted insights into the various post-secondary options. 

Informed Decisions Lead to Best Fit

With so many options available to students from SSIS, who are accepted to the most competitive universities worldwide, narrowing down the choices may be daunting. With the support of their dedicated counselor, however, each senior has a coach who knows their interests, aptitudes, and aspirations and can help them to determine their best fit school, often suggesting options the student may not have considered.

As our high schoolers transition to young adults, it is important to have supportive adults in their corner. Our counselors help students develop the strategies they need to take on the world, and succeed at university and beyond.

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