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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.
Patrick Hagler (B.A. Film Studies, U. of California, Santa Barbara; M.A. Clinical Psychology, Antioch University, Los Angeles; Chemical Dependency Counselor Certification, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles) joined St. Thomas in 2015. Patrick is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist as well as a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. As an employee of The Council on Recovery, Patrick is a full- time, embedded Choices Counselor at STH. The Choices Program provides prevention, education and treatment for high-risk behaviors as well as social-emotional therapy services for students, faculty and parents. Patrick has worked in several inpatient residential and outpatient programs providing mental health and substance abuse counseling for adolescents and adults.

Kristine Meier (B.A. Political Science and Communication, Purdue University; M.Ed. Counseling, University of St. Thomas) comes to us after 10 years with YES Prep Public Schools where she served as a teacher, Grade Level Chair, Intervention Specialist, and has spent the last 5 years as Director of College Counseling. Kristine attended Duchesne Academy and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and loves to run and work out. She is very excited to join the St. Thomas community.

Staffany Rawls (B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston; M.A. in Counseling, Grand Canyon University) joins St. Thomas from Texas City High School where she served as the College and Career Coordinator. At Texas City, Staffany worked extensively with scholarships developing a program that assisted students competing for collegiate level scholarships.

Jeff Tesone (B.A. Sociology and M.Ed. in Student Affairs in Higher Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania) joins St. Thomas from First Baptist Academy where served as the Director of High School Placement and Academic Guidance. Jeff also served for four years as the Director of Counseling at St. John XXIII in Katy and for twelve years as a Counselor at Strake Jesuit. Prior to working in private education in Houston, he worked in higher education in financial aid at Eastern University in Pennsylvania and in enrollment management at Westminster College in Missouri.

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.

Kim Shipman (B.A. Human Development and Psychology, Virginia Tech; M.Ed. Higher Education Administration, North Carolina State University) comes to St. Thomas from Rice University where she served as the Assistant Director for the Center for Career Development. Kim has spent time in career services working with undergraduate students as they prepare for professional lives after college. She has also worked in career services at Barton College in North Carolina and at Duke University as a public policy career services graduate assistant. She has also obtained certifications in the Myer’s-Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory.

Chelette Stephenson (B.A. Political Science, Texas A&M University; M.Ed. Counseling, Lamar University) has over 12 years of experience leading a college counseling program. For the past 6 years, she has served as the Director of College Counseling & Alumni Programs at Yes Prep-North Central where she developed a robust counseling department leading the district in college readiness scores through innovative programming, fostering college and community partnerships and supporting directors of college counseling in YES Prep district. Before YES, Chelette created and managed the college and career programs for Magnolia ISD for 6 years. Chelette is a member of NACAC and speaks at the annual conferences about the development of comprehensive counseling program with a focus on college counseling. In addition, she has been awarded the Hobsons Naviance Innovative Award for her work and has shared best practices at the annual national conference since 2008. Outside of counseling, Chelette enjoys lake life with her husband and two children, Jaden and Charleigh.

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.
The best way to know if a college is right for you is to visit campus. Reach out to the Office of Admissions and schedule a visit (this is also a great way to show DEMONSTRATED INTEREST). Try to find weekend visits! Those are the best times so that you don't have to miss any school. In the event that there is no other option other than to miss school for the visit you must complete the steps below at least 10 DAYS BEFORE the visit:
  • Complete this form and obtain needed signatures.
  • Return form to the Dean of Students office for approval no late than 5 days before scheduled visit.
  • After approval, email your teachers and copy your counselor and the Dean of Students Office on the email about the visit.
  • Bring form or letter from the visited college showing date of visit to the Dean's office following the visit.
    University of Tennessee, Knoxville will be visiting Wed. Oct. 2 @ 9:35 a.m. in the Board Room
    St. John's University will be visiting Wed. Oct. 2 @ 11:05 a.m. in the Board Room
    St. Mary's University of San Antonio will be visiting Wed. Oct. 2 @ 1:40 p.m. in the Board Room
    Lipscomb University will be visiting Thu. Oct. 3 @ 10:00 a.m. in the Board Room
    Nova Southeastern University will be visiting Thu. Oct. 3 @ 12:55 p.m. in the Board Room
    DePaul University will be visiting Fri. Oct. 4 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    Northern Arizona University will be visiting Mon. Oct. 7 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    Pennsylvania State University will be visiting Mon. Oct. 7 @ 10:45 a.m. in the Board Room
    Miami University, Oxford will be visiting Mon. Oct. 7 @ 11:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    University of Notre Dame will be visiting Mon. Oct. 7 @ 12:55 p.m. in the Board Room
    Spring Hill College will be visiting Tue. Oct. 8 @ 9:35 a.m. in the Board Room
    The George Washington University will be visiting Tue. Oct. 8 @ 11:05 a.m. in the Board Room
    Union College, New York will be visiting Tue. Oct. 8 @ 12:05 p.m. in the Board Room
    St. Edward's University will be visiting Tue. Oct. 8 @ 1:40 p.m. in the Board Room
    The Catholic High Schools 2019 College Fair will take place on Tue. Oct. 8 @ 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Strake Jesuis Athletic Complex. No registration required for students to attend.
    University of Colorado at Boulder will be visiting Wed. Oct. 9 @ 9:35 a.m. in the Board Room
    University of Arkansas will be visiting Wed. Oct. 9 @ 11:05 a.m. in the Board Room
    Lewis & Clark College will be visiting Wed. Oct. 9 @ 12:05 p.m. in the Board Room
    Hillsdale College will be visiting Wed. Oct. 9 @ 1:40 p.m. in the Board Room
    Lynn University will be visiting Fri. Oct. 10 @ 12:10 p.m.in the Herzstein Conference Room (next to the Rotunda)
    Sewanee: The University of the South will be visiting Fri. Oct. 10 @ 1:25 p.m. in the Herzstein Conference Room (next to the Rotunda)
    University of Connecticut will be visiting Fri. Oct. 11 @ 10:45 a.m. in the Board Room
    Syracuse University will be visiting Fri. Oct. 11 @ 12:10 p.m. in the Board Room
    Seton Hall University will be visiting Fri. Oct. 11 @ 1:40 p.m. in the Board Room
    University of Houston will be visiting Mon. Oct. 14 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    University of Alaska, Fairbanks will be visiting Tue. Oct. 15 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    New England Institute of Technology will be visiting Mon. Oct. 21 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be visiting Tue. Oct. 22 @ 10:50 a.m. in the Board Room
    Stephen F. Austin State University will be visiting Wed. Oct. 23 @ 10:50 a.m in the Board Room
    Wichita State University will be visiting Mon. Oct. 28 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Board Room
    West Point Academy will be visiting Tue. Oct. 29 @ 11:05 a.m. in the Board Room
    University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering will be visiting Wed. Oct. 30 @ 10:50 a.m. in the Board Room
    Students, if the college visit is during your class period, please get a Notification Form of Vising College Representative (blue form) to get your teacher’s approval/signature to be absent from class; and if the college visit is during lunch please bring a sack lunch from home. Also, sign-up in Naviance if you plan to attend. This is subject to change due to last minute changes/cancellations by colleges. If you have any questions or check for last minute cancellations, please contact Madelyn Garza in the Counseling Department at 713-864-6348, ext. 107.