Upper School Introduces Incoming Director of College Counseling Elise Rodriguez and Highlights St. Margaret’s Leading Approach and Reputation

The St. Margaret’s College Counseling office held an informative session for Upper School parents and students this week to introduce incoming Director of College Counseling Elise Rodriguez and to discuss the transition process in the department with longtime Director Roland Allen’s retirement at the end of this school year, as well answer current questions about college counseling from parents and students.
Mr. Allen kicked off the event referencing St. Margaret’s college counseling outlook and welcoming and introducing Ms. Rodriguez, who will join St. Margaret’s officially on May 31. “College counseling at St. Margaret’s is designed to help students find college environments which best fit their unique talents and interests," said Mr. Allen. “The college counseling process at St. Margaret’s is thoughtful, intentional and personal to each student and family. While we are changing leadership in the office, the mission-minded work with students will continue. Ms. Rodriguez and her team are not starting from scratch when they meet you in June.”
"I am very proud to have been part of St. Margaret's for the past 17 years," Mr. Allen continued. “As resumes came in, we were blown away by the number of highly qualified candidates in the pool. But, one candidate stood out. That was Elise Rodriguez. St. Margaret’s is in expert hands with Elise at the helm (of college counseling), and I am thrilled that she will be in my office come June.”
Ms. Rodriguez also spoke with sincere enthusiasm about her thoughts about joining St. Margaret’s, the excellence of the school’s college counseling process, and the transition process ahead. “I am grateful, I am excited, and I cannot wait to be with you in person soon enough. I am thrilled to be joining the amazing college counseling team,” she said.
“Roland is a legend. He is known for his wise counsel, his student-centric approach and of course his smile. I can say with confidence that I know that Roland has left a lasting legacy on our profession as a whole and here at St. Margaret’s as well. I look forward to joining and building upon the wonderful program that he and his team have created, but I am also incredibly grateful that he is just a phone call away during this transition. Thank you for all that you have given to our profession and to St. Margaret’s,” said Ms. Rodriguez.
Upper School Principal Jeneen Graham also shared remarks with students and parents about the well-planned succession and transition in the College Counseling Office. “I know I join thousands of people in sharing my incredible gratitude to Roland for what he has done over the past 17 years, including his very direct engagement in finding such a remarkable person to take the helm of this important office. On behalf of Tartans all over the world, thank you Roland. 
“We are so incredibly blessed that with schools all over the nation vying for Elise’s attention, she chose St. Margaret’s,” said Dr. Graham. “She possesses both the warm interpersonal skills to partner with and support every individual student and family, and the expertise and knowledge of the college admission landscape to well represent and continue to present St. Margaret’s and its students in the national arena.  
“In addition to her remarkable work experience, knowledge and skill, what also sets her apart in her field is her commitment to professional organizations, and her leadership in those organizations,” Dr. Graham added. “She has held many leadership posts with professional college admission organizations, including most recently a three-year term as National Board Director of the National Association of College Admission Counseling… she doesn’t simply have a pulse on the world of college counseling, she is at the heart of creating that pulse.”
Head of School Will Moseley, who was also on the panel for the webinar, expressed his esteem and gratitude to Mr. Allen and Ms. Rodriguez, as well as the entire Upper School team who have led a thoughtful and outstanding process. He offers assurance to students and parents of their journey ahead with the St. Margaret’s College Counseling team. “Our students and families are in highly capable, experienced and caring hands and with a tried and true process that puts the needs of students at the center.” Mr. Moseley guides parents from his parent and educator perspective having two children who took very different college paths. “Trust in this process. Parents, trust in your students. Students, trust in yourselves. And, trust the guidance of these loving, and experienced counselors. Enjoy this journey, this opportunity to grow closer together as you make this big decision in your lives.”
Ms. Rodriguez’s appointment was announced in January after an extensive national search and comprehensive hiring process that attracted a competitive pool of high-caliber candidates. She is a highly experienced, trusted college admission officer and college counselor with a national reputation among colleagues, students and families alike. She previously led college counseling and admission processes and represented her institutions within the higher education community, serving as Director of College Counseling at The Dalton School in New York City, Director of College Guidance at The Chapin School in New York City, Director of College Counseling at Marymount High School in Los Angeles, and Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Portland.
To view the Upper School webinar, please click here (password:smes). To read the full announcement of Ms. Rodriguez’s appointment, click here.
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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