By Sophia Boxerman.
We know them for coaching college-bound students and guiding us through cumbersome course-selection processes, but the guidance counselors at Sharon High do much more than what we see within school walls.
Unbeknownst to many, guidance counselors’ jobs also encompass traveling to other colleges and universities both in and out of the country, from Nova Scotia to Providence to Abu Dhabi.
Guidance counselor Ms. d’Entremont says that she recently traveled to Nova Scotia to evaluate EduNova, an organization that coordinates recruitment and travel for the Nova Scotia Colleges and Universities.
“The goal of EduNova is to solicit and encourage American students to attend Canadian universities. When students are looking at colleges, they have very high tuition rates, and Canadian schools are typically 1/3 less expensive,” d’Entremont said.
She says that this summer is the first time the organization will offer students and their parents or guardians to tour Canadian schools and engages in “lots of wonderful travel and adventure.”
“Getting out and seeing what schools are out there is very important. Traveling in Nova Scotia is just one example of the types of the opportunities and experiences we look to share with our students,” d’Entremont said.
“By traveling, networking and visiting with organizations and admissions’ representatives, we gain exposure to a broader sense of opportunities and adventures for our students,” she added.
Guidance director Mr. Pomer says that he recently received the opportunity to travel to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to visit the NYU campus there. “It is a very small program, but from the looks of it, the student body is very international and represents places all over the world,” Pomer said.
He adds that the NYU program is a great fit for students who “want to be in touch with a lot of different cultures.”
In Abu Dhabi, Pomer says that he plans to explore the NYU campus and still have some spare time to tour the city. He says that the experience will likely be “busy but rewarding.”
“Traveling is so important for guidance counselors to stay current with what’s happening,” Pomer said.
Dr. Libano also says that he recognizes the importance of guidance counselor travels and school visits. “Building relationships with admissions officers helps our students at SHS,” he said.
Guidance counselor Ms. Keeney also recently traveled to visit Tulane in New Orleans, a popular school for Sharon applicants.
Guidance counselor Mrs. McAvoy says that the guidance counselors also travel together as a department to build relationships with different programs and schools.
“Every year during midyears, we take a guidance ‘field trip’,” McAvoy said.
She says that three years ago, the department traveled to schools in Boston including Northeastern, Berkeley, and Emerson. Last year, they went to Rhode Island to visit Brown, Providence College, and others.
This year, their midyear travels included visits to more local colleges and universities including Clark and Worcester State.
“At these colleges, we have a one-on-one conversation with the director of admissions and tour the school, too. It’s a nice way to continue our rapport with colleges and advocate for our students.” McAvoy added.
Apart from traveling, McAvoy says that her favorite part about her job is working with students and parents. “There’s something unique about this community. We multitask constantly, but the core aspect of our job is working and forming relationships with people.”