College Process Kicks Off for Juniors


Although football season has come to a close, Gann Academy’s two college counselors recently completed a kickoff of their own. College Kickoff, that is.

"Even as the college process is winding down for our seniors, we start introducing juniors and their families to the process," said Co-Director of College Counseling Sherri Geller. Geller has been with Gann for 10 years and co-chairs the department with Lauren Avalos, who just joined the Gann community after working in higher education for twenty years. The duo formally begins the process each year with “College Kickoff Night,” an opportunity for juniors and their parents to meet with both counselors.

"While we call it our "kickoff," we've already had a few meetings with ninth and tenth-grade students and parents. This night, though, is focused on really getting going – and what’s to come. We talk about what resources Gann has available, like the writing center and Naviance (a college information database). It's a way to help ease students into what can be a stressful time by celebrating this milestone of transitioning into thinking about their lives after Gann."

At Gann, the college search and application process is very individualized. Each student is assigned a college counselor, and students meet with their counselor both individually and in groups as they discuss their college plans and, as seniors, fill out their applications. Families are kept informed and engaged through a number of parent parlor meetings and guest speakers from college admissions offices.

Geller describes the philosophy of the College Counseling Office at Gann as student-centered. "We have conversations with each student about what they want for themselves," Geller explained. "We talk about goals, hopes, dreams – and how those fit into a college experience. We also discuss how Jewish life will factor into college life – and of course talk about essays, recommendations, testing plans, and other parts of the application process."
 
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