Academics » Counseling





Sacred Heart Academy Counseling Department Vision and Mission Statements


Sacred Heart Academy students are diverse, globally-minded, compassionate, servant leaders who develop their truest potential while learning skills necessary for successful and fulfilling lives. 


The mission of the school counseling program at Sacred Heart Academy is to empower all students to be independent, lifelong learners.  The Counseling Department will advocate for students, act as a leader, and collaborate with all stakeholders to create a school community that supports holistic student success.  By participating in the school counseling program, our students master the knowledge and skills to achieve their postsecondary goals, nurture relationships and solidify their sense of self-worth as they become productive leaders and problem solvers. 

Counseling Department

At SHA, students stay with the same school counselor all four years, and during their junior and senior years work with one of two college counselors.  This allows our counselors to develop meaningful relationships with our students. Students are expected and reminded to make appointments via Calendly with their counselor at least once per semester and can schedule appointments as often as needed. 

The counseling department offers space in the Mindful Room for students who need a quiet place to rebalance and regroup during the school day.  

The Virtual Mindfulness Room is an online tool with links to visual relaxation exercises, games, and other calming resources that students can access at any time. 

MacMac, our campus support dog, can also be found in the SHA counseling wing on most days. 

The SHA Counseling Department provides dedicated support to transfer students through Transfer Orientation, transfer group meetings throughout the year, and individual appointments.

School Counselors

Betsy Kramer - A-F, All Class Levels
Shannon Furst - G-N, All Class Levels
Fran Dotson - O-Z, All Class Levels
Erin Burke - Transfer Counselor


College Counselors

Erin Burke - Juniors and Seniors with last names A-J; All transfer students
Ron Padgett - Juniors and Seniors with last names K-Z


Click here to enter the SHA Counseling Virtual Mindfulness Room.





Throughout freshman year, counselors focus on assisting students with the personal and academic transition to high school. Each student has 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 SCOIR, an online college planning program. They are encouraged to add and continue to update their Activities and Achievements throughout their time at SHA. 
Counselors also help interpret standardized test results for students and families. Freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 in the fall and the Pre-ACT 8/9 in the spring as part of SHA's vertical alignment of testing for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. 



Sophomores continue to have scheduled individual and group meetings concentrating on social-emotional growth, school involvement, academic success, and career exploration. All sophomores complete the YouScience assessment via their SCOIR accounts. YouScience uses performance measures of aptitudes to uncover students' natural talents, match them to careers, and give them personalized feedback on how their abilities can be utilized in school, work, and in their daily lives.
Sophomores take the PSAT in October. Like 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. They take the Pre-ACT 10 in spring. These scores are accurate predictors of how students will perform on the ACT junior year. 



During junior year, students begin to focus on the college search process. Counselors guide and support each student to find the school that best suits her needs. Juniors are encouraged to plan college visits during this year. Students should continue to keep their Activities and Achievements updated in SCOIR as this will be helpful in the college application process. Parents will are invited to create SCOIR accounts linked to their students.  

Juniors take the PSAT in October. PSAT scores may qualify a student for National Merit Scholarship Competition. Juniors also take an official ACT at school in spring. These scores can be used for admissions purposes. The counselors strongly suggest students use their Pre-ACT 10 scores from the sophomore year as predictors of success on the ACT. Counselors recommend test prep before any official ACT or SAT. Students are encouraged to continue testing in the summer between junior and senior years.


The focus of the senior year is on the college application, financial aid, scholarship search, and college selection process. Counselors work very closely with parents and students to help families have an organized approach to the application process. Counselors offer multiple evening information sessions for parents. Parents are also welcome to schedule individual meetings with their daughter’s college counselor. College Counselors have group information sessions for seniors throughout the year and meet individually with all seniors multiple times. Students will use SCOIR, the Common App, and college websites for their college application process. 


Career Development at Sacred Heart Academy

Career Development at SHA is a collaboration between the student, her SHA college counselor, the Jean Frazier Leadership Institute, and the Alumnae Association.