Monday, February 20, 2017

Collegiate Athletics

Competing in sports during high school is such a huge part of many of my student's lives.  The hours of time that you dedicate to practice, the effort you put forth during games, and the friendships you have made through your involvement all combine together to make this one of the more significant areas of your four years of high school.  It can be hard to imagine life without your sport, but the statistics are not great - most high school athletes do not continue on to compete at the collegiate level.  You can always find a different level of involvement like intramural or club sports, but if you are someone whose goal is to play at the varsity level in college, these articles may be helpful for you. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017


As you are looking at colleges it is only natural that your thoughts will turn to the overwhelming costs associated with attending college. Right about now, many seniors are so relieved to finally be done with their college applications that it can be hard to get motivated to complete scholarship applications. Each year I work with students who complain all the way through their scholarship applications.  I understand that it  and he ended up getting it done and submitted within hours of the deadline.  I tell you this story to try to remind you that while I understand it can be hard to stay motivated to complete scholarship applications when only one or perhaps a handful of students will receive the scholarship award, but it will be worth it if you receive a scholarship.  

Sometimes students see the "smaller" scholarships as being useless to apply for rather than large scholarships, but I believe that any scholarship received is significant as it is money that you do not have to pay on your own. 

Perhaps one way to help you stay motivated is to remind yourself that if you spend 10 hours working on 4 or 6 scholarship applications and then end up getting a $500 scholarship it ultimately means you earned $50 per hour of working on your applications - seems like a worthwhile use of your time to me!

I also need to clarify that most money does end up coming directly from your colleges, but there are so many other places to look for scholarships and you should consider all of the options to try to help make your college experience even a little more affordable. For example, do your parent's employers offer scholarships for dependent children? What about your place of worship? If you volunteer for an organization, do they offer scholarships for their student volunteers? There are also countless scholarship search websites where you can complete personalized searches for other qualities and characteristics that would be ideal for you. If you want to see some of these sites, please check out the WKHS Counselors website at  On the counselor website there are some scholarships that we have received information about featured on the scholarship section (under college), but the scholarship search page can be found by selecting college and then financial aid and then searching for scholarships.

Good luck working on your scholarship applications!

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I realize that many of you do not utilize e-mail regularly (or even at all), however, it is very important to have an e-mail account of your own when it comes to college application time. College applications will ask you for your e-mail address. Often times the colleges will use your e-mail as their way to communicate with you including notifying you of your admissions decision. (This also points out that it is important to regularly check your e-mail.) Some questions to ask yourself, Do you have an account? (If not, you need to create one. There are tons of free choices available - gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc.) Do you have an appropriate account? (In other words, is the name of your account appropriate as the college admissions officers will be seeing the e-mail address when reviewing your application.) Is it YOUR account? (A lot of times students just rely on their parents e-mail addresses which works a lot in high school, but when you are at the college application point it is important to have your own account as the colleges will ask for your address and your parents address.)  Is it an account that is NOT your school account?  (Remember your wscloud accounts only work for other wscloud emails and so you cannot use it for college related purposes.)

In addition to having an e-mail account, it is also important to remember to use proper etiquette when communicating with college representatives via e-mail. For example, when you need to e-mail admissions officers for any reason, as well as any other college representatives (advisor, professor, etc.) that you communicate with, please remember that the way you write your e-mail is a reflection of you. Please do not use text talk, avoid ALL CAPS, be mature, and write it in an official format “Dear _(insert their name with Mr/ Mrs)_, Text of your message, Sincerely, _(insert your name)__”.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Managing College Mail

It is hard to find many high school students that havn't started receiving mail from colleges - especially if you have taken the Pre-ACT, PSAT, ACT, or SAT. At first it is often a rush of excitement to learn about different colleges and I know that lots of students will pour over the different brochures, booklets, or information packets. In time though most students get frustrated and overwhelmed by just how much mail comes from all of the different colleges. This is a perfect reminder that colleges are a business and they are marketing themselves as a result. When you get the mail from the colleges take a few minutes and look it over - remember, they are not saying you will be accepted, but it can help give you an idea about the characteristics and features that are most important to you in selecting the college that is best for you. Go ahead and keep any that look particularly appealing to you, but don't worry about throwing the rest away.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Happy Valentine's Day!  Valentine's day is often oversimplified with commercials highlighting pink and red hearts, cards, candy, jewelry and flowers.  The reality is that celebrating love and honoring those who are important to you is not reserved for one day and is something which needs to be recognized every day throughout the year.  But, let's be honest.. sometimes we don't tell the people around us how much they mean to us.  I know that I don't tell my family, friends and you, my students, often enough how much you mean to me and I should do better... I will try to do better and so at least for today, please know that I am thankful to have a job which allows me to work with you each day.

Some of you may be familiar with "Remind", a communication tool that a few teachers are currently using. The WKHS counselors have also established an account to serve as a quick and easy way for you and your parents to receive important announcements, information, deadlines, etc. from the counseling department as a text message sent directly to your cell phone.

If you would like to subscribe, send a text to 81010 with the appropriate code below:
For the class of 2017, text @wkhs2017
For the class of 2018, text @wkhs2018
For the class of 2019, text @wkhs2019
For the class of 2020, text @wkhs2020
For the class of 2021, text @wkhs2021

If you have siblings at WKHS, your parents can sign up to receive messages from more than one class by sending a separate text for each one.

Please note that this is not a real phone number. We will be sending the texts from a website, not a cell phone, so the number cannot receive phone calls or reply texts (other than the one it asks you to send when you are signing up). If you need to speak to me or have questions about any of the texts sent, you will need to contact me directly.

Also, while this is a free service on our end, all regular text messaging rates through your phone company will apply.

I encourage you to sign up for this additional communication tool and hope you will subscribe.  

And, although I won't be sending a Remind text message to say this, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day today!

Monday, February 13, 2017

College Visits

Are you excited about the fact that we have a long weekend coming up next weekend?  For many students this is the perfect opportunity to make a college visit.  Many colleges will host special visit days on Monday because they know that high school students are off and so they often plan days that will allow students to learn more about the different programs and opportunities that are available on campus.  No matter if you are trying to decide what colleges you might want to apply to in the future or if you are a senior trying to decide which of the many schools you applied to will be your future home, I hope you will try to take advantage of the long weekend and make visits.

If you are going to make a visit on a college campus, please make sure to take a picture somewhere on campus for me! For the record, the picture can be anywhere on campus, but I would like you in the picture!  So, pick out a pretty place on campus, find a cool sign announcing the college's name, or snap a picture in front of the building that houses your major where you anticipate spending most of your time in the future.

If you have no idea what colleges you might be interested in for the future, you can still make use of the long weekend to start exploring colleges.  You can, of course, begin your search online and try to find colleges that fit your interests, but more often than not, students tell me that they don't know what they want in a college.  If that is you, then perhaps starting your college search by exploring some nearby campuses would be a valuable use of your time.  As you walk around the campus, people watch and listen to the presentations by the college admissions representatives you will begin to see various aspects of college life.  From these impressions you will be able to start forming an impression of what you like and what you don't like.  These views will be extremely valuable to you as you start narrowing your college search.

No matter how you spend your long weekend, I hope you enjoy the extra day off!  And again, if you are visiting a college, please be sure to bring back a picture!

Here are some articles related to college visits that you might like:

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Counselor Website

For the last few weeks I have been pointing out to students in individual meetings that the Counselor website - - has tons of information and resources.  Our goal with the website is to put up all of the information and resources we have that we think could be helpful for students and families.  But after all of this I have no clue if you have actually gone out to the website to start exploring it.  Please do this.  I will be honest, the website has LOTS of information.  Sometimes it surprises people when they click on one of the initial menu categories to find that this ends up leading to lots of other categories/ options.  The search feature up at the top will let you find exactly what you want with the quick search of a key word or two.  I really hope that you will take a few minutes and explore the website - we put a lot of time into making sure that it is up to date and includes information that can meet your needs.  If there is ever something you are hoping to find on the website that doesn't seem to be there, please let me know so that I can add it to the list to consider adding.