Academics » Counseling




The Counseling Office provides a warm, inviting and welcoming environment for all students. Counselors work hard to make sure each student’s individual needs are met in a compassionate and caring manner. They help students navigate their high school years and prepare for their futures. Students are empowered to utilize their strengths and effectively manage challenges.


The structure of the SHA counseling department is unique in that students stay with the same school counselor for all four years but also work with a college counselor during their junior and senior years. This allows our counselors more time with the students and aids them in getting to know the personality, strength, and individuality of each girl. Students have regularly scheduled appointments with their counselor, however, the counselors have an open-door policy and welcome students and parents to make appointments as needed.




Fran Dotson (Class of 2022), Kelly Shanks (Class of 2021), Betsy Kramer (Class of 2020) and Emily Johnson (Class of 2019)

Mac (Campus Facility Dog)


College Counselors

Erin Burke (students with last names A-J)

Ron Padgett (students with last names K-Z)



Freshman Year

In freshman year, counselors focus on assisting students with the personal and academic transition to high school. Each student will have regularly scheduled meetings in both group and individual settings to discuss involvement in extra-curricular activities, strong study skills, time management strategies, and other topics. Freshmen are introduced to Naviance, an online college planning program, and complete the Learning Styles section and begin the Resume Builder.


Counselors will help interpret standardized test results and discuss strategies for improvement on test performance. In the fall, freshmen will take the PLAN, a retired Pre-ACT test. This test assesses student readiness in English, math, reading, and science.


Sophomore Year

Sophomores will continue to have scheduled meetings individually and in groups concentrating on individual growth, college preparation, academic success, and career exploration.


Sophomores will take the PSAT in October. Similar to the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT measures critical reading, math problem-solving and writing skills that students have developed over the first half of their high school career. The PSAT also gives students practice for the SAT.


Junior Year

During junior year, students will begin to focus on the college search process. Counselors help to guide and support each student to find the school that best suits her needs. Juniors are encouraged to plan college visits this year.


Juniors take the PSAT in October. PSAT scores may qualify a student for National Merit Scholarship Competition and the National Achievement Hispanic Scholars Program. PSAT results will be presented to students during a meeting with their college counselor.


The college counselors strongly suggest that juniors take two standardized college admissions tests such as the ACT and SAT.


Senior Year

The focus of senior year is on the college application, financial aid, scholarship search and college selection. Counselors work very closely with parents and students to help families have an organized approach to the application process.


Students will continue taking the ACT and SAT if necessary. Some students will take SAT subject tests as well depending on their college choice. One-hundred percent of SHA students take the ACT. Around 30% of students take the SAT.