Academics

College Counseling

Philosophy

In preparing our students’ hearts and minds for lives of learning, leadership and service, we also prepare them for selective college admissions, which is formalized in a college counseling curriculum that begins in eighth grade and carries students through upper school.
 
As a college preparatory school, 100 percent of St. Margaret’s students enroll in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. St. Margaret’s minimum graduation course requirements exceed the curriculum expectations of the University of California and those of almost every college and university in the country. We are proud of all our students’ accomplishments, and the college advising experience we have created recognizes each student’s gifts and abilities. Choosing a college is an opportunity for students to further develop interests, define talents, and to consider their own individual ideas, stances and values. College counseling at St. Margaret’s will help students find college environments which best fit their unique talents and interests.
 
St. Margaret’s college counselors recognize the important role that parents have in the lives of their children as they transition into young adults. As such, we keep parents involved and informed by sponsoring group informational meetings throughout the year, and counselors are available to parents as needed. We are mindful that individual family situations, cultures and resources are important factors that may affect a student’s college choice.
 
The location of the college counseling office suite is at the physical heart of the upper school, which allows every student access to college counselors and college admission resources. Our open offices represent not only the accessibility of college counselors, but also the transparency of college counseling at St. Margaret’s.
 
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School’s college counseling office works closely with our students, encouraging them in their growth and pursuit of intellectual, athletic and creative endeavors through the upper school years. During the second half of junior year, the college counseling curriculum intensifies. The college counselors help students and their families explore the full-range of post-secondary options and find the one that will continue to challenge academically and align with their goals, values and interests. Some components of the curriculum include: assisting students in academic planning, workshops for students and parents on the nuts and bolts of the college application, including the essay; advice to students on visiting colleges and admission interviews; regular communication with the St. Margaret’s community to share important information on applying to college; and providing support to the deans and academic advisors on issues pertinent to student preparation for college.

College Counselors

The college counselors at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School bring a wealth of experience. Mr. Allen has worked in college counseling at selective independent schools and in selective college admissions at Stanford University, MIT, and Colby College. He currently is a reader for Presidential Scholars and serves on the Princeton Review’s Advisory Board. He earned his BA from Loyola University, New Orleans and his MS from the University of Scranton. Amy Warren has guided students through the college admission process in both Orange County, California and New York City. Her background also includes experience in admissions at Teachers College, Columbia University and as a reader for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. She received her BA from Williams College and her MA and MEd from Teachers College, Columbia University. Mr. Jablonski is a graduate of Pomona College. Prior to coming to St. Margaret’s he was an admissions officer at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mr. Jablonski was also an AmeriCorps service member in San Rafael, California and in Seattle, Washington. He worked as a Restoration and Ecology Intern in Marin County, and as an environmental educator in Seattle. In addition, he worked with a program that provided socially conscious summer jobs and training for disadvantaged and developmentally disabled teens.  Ms. Kelly, a parent of two St. Margaret alumni and former instructional aide, assists the college counselors. The counselors maintain active national profiles with the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools, and many other professional organizations. Mr. Allen and Ms. Warren also developed an online course on selective college admissions in partnership with edX, an online global learning community founded by Harvard and MIT.
We expect 100% of each class to enroll in college. Typically, 97% to 99% of St. Margaret's seniors enroll in a four-year college directly from Upper School.

Information for Admissions Officers

Quick Reference

School Code: 053112

College Counseling Office

List of 4 members.

An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
949.661.0108