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Counseling

The mission of the St. Thomas High School Counseling Department is to provide comprehensive services that support the academic achievement, collegial aspirations and mental wellness of the men of St. Thomas and foster the STH qualities of Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.

The Counseling staff takes a collaborative, student-centered approach to providing individual and group guidance. Because we are a college preparatory school, the Counseling staff specializes in guiding students through the college planning process. The goal of the Counseling staff is to advocate for our students and provide them with the tools necessary to reach their academic and personal goals.

Counselors at St. Thomas are alphabetically assigned to students and work with them beginning in 9th grade. Students remain with their counselor through graduation. Counselors work with students on academic, personal/social issues, and post-secondary choices. A college software program called Naviance is used extensively throughout this process.

Freshmen students and parents begin the year with a personal counseling session with their counselor. The purpose of this session is to introduce the counselor and the family to each other and to allow them time to get to know each other and talk specifically about the student and his goals. In 9th grade, students also complete the “Learning Style Inventory” and learn about their individual learning style. The purpose of 9th grade counseling is to help freshmen begin thinking about the importance of academic achievement in their college search and to assist them as they begin their high school experience.

During sophomore year, students complete the Naviance “Do What You Are” assessment, which is based on the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. This program gives students information about not only their personality type but about career possibilities that match their personality.

Juniors spend time developing a college list. Counselors meet with juniors during the spring semester to develop that list and talk with them about what it is that they are looking for in a college. There is also a session designed for the student and his parent with the counselor as that list is honed.

Senior year is spent applying to the final list of colleges that the student has developed and researching scholarships and financial aid. The counselor spends much of first semester working with the senior and talking with him about his college applications and his essays.
Scott Wiens (B.A., Bethel University; M.S. School Counseling, University of Wisconsin; Graduate Certificate in Educational Administration, University of St. Mary’s; Doctoral Candidate, University of Minnesota) joined St. Thomas High School in 2016. Prior to working at St. Thomas, Scott worked for 26 years in public and private education in Minnesota and at the American School in Switzerland. Scott has completed his doctoral research and is currently writing a dissertation on college readiness with an emphasis on underrepresented populations.

Lisa Hart (B.A., University of St. Thomas; M.Ed. Counselor Education, University of St. Thomas) joined the St. Thomas family in August 2013. She began her career in Catholic schools as a middle school teacher at St. Pius V Catholic School in Pasadena. She also served as the Career Services and Testing Coordinator at the University of St. Thomas.

Michael Lesher (B. Ed., University of Toledo; M. Ed., University of St. Thomas) began teaching at St. Thomas in August 2014. He began counseling at STH in 2015. Michael previously taught Art at Hambrick Middle School for six years and was a counselor at MacArthur High School for two years.

Theresa Northway joined the St. Thomas staff as the counseling department's administrative assistant in 1989. She and her husband David have three children, including a son who graduated from St. Thomas in 1992.

Iris Spells (B.A., Dillard University; M.A. Guidance and Counseling, Xavier University) served for 16 years as a high school counselor and administrator at a Catholic school in New Orleans. She moved to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and worked as a substitute counselor at Cypress Creek High School and Thornton Middle School until she joined St. Thomas in August 2006.

Robin Wagner (B.A., Psychology, M.Ed. School Counseling, Ed. S. Counseling and Consultation, Louisiana State University) joined the St. Thomas High School family in 2015. Robin is a National Board Certified Counselor and holds dual state school counseling certifications in both Texas and Louisiana. Robin has worked in campus- and district-level roles at public and private institutions as well as in the university setting as a counselor and counselor educator. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association as well as their respective Texas chapters.

Charlene Adams-Mahaley (B.A., Social Work, San Diego State University; M.S., Educational Counseling, San Diego State University; Ed.D., Higher Education Leadership with a specialization in social justice, Fielding University, Santa Barbara, CA) Charlene joined St. Thomas in March of 2017. Prior to working at St. Thomas, she served in the role of admissions officer, counselor for health sciences (nursing, OT, PT), SBISD/HCC dual credit counselor, and college recruiter. She has also taught freshman student success courses. Originally from San Diego, California, Charlene has lived in Houston for 14 years in Spring Branch.
Naviance is a college and career readiness platform that helps connect St. Thomas students' academic achievement with their post-secondary goals. Its comprehensive college and career planning solutions optimizes student success, maximizes counselor effectiveness, and tracks results for St. Thomas High School students.