Counseling Department

Richmond Hill High School

January 2019 Newsletter

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What's Going On At The HILL

Past Events:

Missed the December Newsletter?

Upcoming Events:

East Georgia State College (Statesboro Campus)- Campus Tour, 1/18/19

Rising 9th Grade Night- 1/28/19, 5 pm, RHHS East Cafeteria

Academic Night- 2/4/19, 5 pm - 7:00 pm, RHHS East Campus

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What's Going On In 9th Grade...

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Is freshman year important?

The path to post secondary options really starts with freshman year. Staying ahead helps avoid common mistakes made by freshmen. While not all ninth graders make these mistakes, it is important to be aware, so that their grade point average (GPA) isn't severely impacted.

Please remember that your child's GPA means a lot when it comes to college admissions. High school is an exciting, new and fun time, and your student should definitely make the most of their experience. But keep in mind that senior year and applying to college will be upon your freshman before you know it, and preparing early will go a long way. Now is the time to start planning for college and working on keeping one's GPA high and maintaining an impressive transcript.

Common mistakes to avoid:

  • Believing freshman year doesn't really count and grades can be improved at a later time.
  • Sacrificing grades for a social life.
  • Being chronically absent or late to class.
  • Neglecting to make up missed assignments or tests.
  • Assuming you’re not doing well because the teacher “just doesn’t like you.”
  • Not participating in extracurricular activities.
  • Deciding that high school is about socializing and not classes.
  • Neglecting to ask for help.
  • Not asking questions in class.
  • Taking classes just because your friends are taking them.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a fantastic free resource for students in every grade. There are free tutorials on many subjects and the website is a great resource for enrichment and finding extra help on a topic that may be confusing. Students can make use of their extensive library of content, including interactive challenges, assessments, and videos. There is even SAT help and a full-length practice SAT!

Khan Academy recently also launched a helpful College Admissions page. There is helpful information for all grades, not just seniors. There are a ton of helpful video links such as College Essay tips, tips on making the most out of high school, and even videos that show step-by-step how fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile for financial aid. We suggest both parents and students check out this resource!

What's Going On In 10th Grade...

PSAT Scores

PSAT/NMSQT scores are in! Think of PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 score reports as roadmaps. They show what you're doing well, and what you should work on to get ready for the SAT—and for college.

About Those Numbers

When you view your online score reports, you’ll get summaries of your performance on each test and content area. You can also filter results and drill down to see how you performed on easy, medium, and hard questions or on questions that measure different skills. Percentiles will show how you did compared to your peers.

Here are a few helpful links:

Accessing PSAT/NMSQT scores

Understanding PSAT/NMSQT score report

Discover Your AP Potential

There are many reasons to take AP courses and exams: You can save time and money in college, stand out in the admission process, earn academic scholarships and awards, and build skills and habits that will help you succeed in your life after high school.

Not sure which AP course to take? Your scores on the PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT™ 8/9, PSAT™ 10, or SAT® ​​​​​​can help you decide which ones might be right for you. When you access your scores online, our AP Potential tool shows you which AP courses you’re likely to do well in. Here’s what to do:

  1. Sign in to your score report.
  2. From the dashboard, select the AP Potential tab.
  3. Scroll down for a list of AP courses and look for your own AP Potential indicator next to each. (To see what the indicators mean, check the key at the top of the page.)
  4. You can see which of the courses are offered in your school.
  5. You can also see which courses match a college major that you told us you’re interested in.

What's Going On In 11th Grade...

New Year, New You!

After a busy holiday season of planning, cooking, traveling, and shopping, it’s easy to forget to feel grateful. There’s no better time than now to start setting those New Year’s resolutions and goals. This year, why not make intentional gratitude one of your goals? Here are some tips from Common Sense Media to practice an attitude of gratitude in your home this year:

  • Talk to your family about what gratitude is and isn’t. Think about what you’re grateful for everyday or, even better, write down 3 things/people/moments you’re grateful for each day!

  • Unplug! Spend time with your family--biological or chosen--around the dinner table or perhaps a board game. Ticket to Ride is one of my favorite board games right now - Ms. Hendrix

  • Watch TV or movies that inspire gratitude.

  • Give back. Serving others, whether it’s financially, through volunteer work, or social activism and outreach, is a great way appreciate what you have, including your ability to give back.

  • Send thank you notes. Sending thoughtful cards via snail mail or online is a valuable way to voice your appreciate for a person.

  • Read inspiring stories. Spending time to reflect on the adversities people endure can help us put things into perspective. For example, read the acknowledgements section in a book and think about who the author thanked and why.

  • Take a walk down memory lane. Flipping through scrapbooks or scrolling through social media memories is a fun way to look back at good times or appreciate how far you’ve come. Many of these memories are precious and sometimes can spark the recollection of a really great day!

Focus on the positive. In the midst of scary news, there are still wonderful things happening every second around the world. Be intentional about counterbalancing some of the bad and sad stuff. Check out the Good News Network and Today’s Good News.

What's Going On In 12th Grade...

It is your final semester of your last year in high school!

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Do’s & Don’t

Do have fun! Do stay engaged! Do enjoy the homestretch!

Do not procrastinate! Do not get senioritis! Do not lose sight of your goals!

We will CELEBRATE your accomplishment in May!!!

Understanding College Board SAT Fee Waiver Benefits

If you're eligible for a fee waiver, you can take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests for free and get other benefits to apply to college.

Viewing Your New Fee Waiver Benefits

Students with SAT fee waivers can sign in and view their full set of fee waiver benefits, such as if:

• You've already used an SAT fee waiver for tests during or after October 2014.

• You took the SAT on a school day during or after October 2017 and already accepted your full set of fee waiver benefits.

• You enter a 12-digit fee waiver code when registering for upcoming tests.

Are You Eligible?

• You're enrolled in or eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

• Your annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

• You're enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., Federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).

• Your family receives public assistance.

• You live in federally subsidized public housing or a foster home, or are homeless.

• You are a ward of the state or an orphan.

How to Register Using a Fee Waiver

If you're registering online, enter the following information:

• The 12-digit fee waiver code

• The name of a high school counselor or another authorized person

• The way you qualified for the waiver

**If you've already used a fee waiver code, or taken the SAT on a school day, you'll see a dashboard with your available benefits. If you have already used your first fee waiver, you will not have to request a second waiver from your counselor. All you need to do is go online and register.

What Fee Waivers Cover

• 2 free SATs, with or without the essay

• 6 free SAT Subject Tests

• 2 free Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports

• Unlimited score reports to send to colleges

• Fee reductions for score verification reports

• Waived application fees at participating colleges

• Free CSS profile applications to apply for financial aid from participating schools

• Apply for financial aid with CSS profile

• No late registration fees for free tests (if you're in the U.S. or U.S. territories)


Junior and Senior Athletes:

For senior athletes, now is the time to begin doing your research into colleges that may have the need as well as the team that could very well use your athletic skills. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR !!!! You can not just sit back and expect your coach to come up with scholarship opportunities for you!!!! For junior athletes, now is the time to make contact with coaches and begin to get a feel for what you need to do to land a great scholarship and education.

Once you begin to communicate with coaches and colleges:

1. Keep all options open - do not talk about other colleges you are contacting - unless asked - be honest.

2. At the beginning don't play one school against the other - every college is your number 1 choice. Listen to the college coach and become interested in their program.

3. Apply to the college to show the coach your desire to attend and play for them once the coach is serious about scholarship money..

4. In October, apply for financial aid - keep in contact with the coach and let him/her know what will be needed as far as the affordability of you attending their college. Remember to keep your grades up. Many Division I and II coaches work with a limited budget. Your attractiveness to a coach improves if he can also mix in academic scholarship and financial aid money into your final package.

5. Hopefully by January/February you will have a good idea as to how much the college will be awarding you in Academic, Athletic and Need Based Grants, Loans and Work Study. You can make your final decision based on your overall feeling and affordability of the college.

6. It is still recommend that you not play one school against another. If asked, mention how much another college is offering – but always do it in a respectable manner - don't burn bridges - stay friends - you never know when you will run into him/her again. VISIT THE COLLEGE!!! SEE IF YOU WILL BE HAPPY THERE – feeling comfortable with the coach is very important. A couple of final notes----->>>> remember you must register with the NCAA for eligibility - talk to your coach. Read up on NCAA guidelines about player/coach contact guidelines. It is recommended that you speak with your coach or Ms. Hendrix regarding any questions you might have.


1. Don’t “recycle” essays. An essay that sounds like it has been used before will blend with everyone else’s.

2. Captivate your audience. Make your essay engaging and memorable. Include a quick, enticing intro; give a reason to finish reading it.

3. Be yourself. Choose a topic that is meaningful to you. Use your own voice. Show off a side of yourself that your application does not; don’t simply write what you think an admissions office wants to hear.

4. Accentuate the positive. When writing about a personal experience, emphasize how the experience changed you for the better.

5. Write in the active voice. Doing so will make for a clearer, more concise essay.

6. Don’t overextend. Your essay isn’t a term paper. Stay focused on your topic.

7. Ask people for input. Whether it’s a teacher, counselor, friend or parent, ask someone you respect for some candid feedback. Is it confusing? Boring?

8. Leave time for rewriting. Look for weak or dull spots and spelling and grammatical errors. Never let your first draft be your final draft.

9. Revise, reword. Improve on your first draft through various rewrites. Read the essay aloud to find awkward sentences or problems.

10. Pursue perfection. Have someone else look it over. Quadruple-check the spelling. Type your essay carefully.


Congrats – you’ve reached the coveted “second semester senior” status, the most treasured mantle a high school student could wear (aside from possibly Homecoming King/Queen). However, you can’t kick back just yet. Here are a few items that should be a top priority for you:

  • College is an expensive investment. Make sure you complete the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile and the FAFSA. Don’t stop there! You should continue researching scholarship opportunities.
  • Deadlines haunt us and yet they cannot be ignored. You should complete any remaining college applications, along with apps for honors programs, dual-degree programs, ROTC, etc.
  • You’ve heard this numerous times before: the best way to get a feel for a college is to walk around the campus. If you have the opportunity, use this time to visit the schools that made your final list. You’ll thank yourself when admissions decisions start rolling in.
  • We cannot stress this enough; for many college bound students, financial aid is essential. Talk to your parents to be sure that the FAFSA and other financial aid documents are being submitted on time. And, as always, continue to research scholarship opportunities.
  • You’ve fantasized about donning that cap and gown for quite some time. Make sure that moment becomes a reality! Meet with your counselor to be sure you are on track for graduation.
  • Are you feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the college application process? Are you nervous about leaving your home and familiar surroundings? It’s quite normal to feel uneasy with so much change headed your way. Talk to your peers, parents, and counselor about your emotions. We promise you’ll feel better (and get some sympathy to boot).
  • Write "thank you" notes to teachers for their recommendations. While they might not have guaranteed you a spot at your dream school, they did do you a favor.
  • If you’ve already received an acceptance or three, congrats! Begin making plans to visit your potential new schools and start reviewing housing options. After all, just like college in general, some dorms will be a better fit than others.


College and Career Center

Monthly College Field Trips

RHHS is excited to be offering monthly college field trip opportunities this year to eligible juniors and seniors on a first come/first serve basis for the first 35 students to register.

RHHS junior and senior applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Passing all classes with a 70 or higher

2. No more than 3 tardies

3. No more than 3 excused absences

Upcoming field trips planned for 2nd semester include:

Eligible 11th and 12th grade students may register through this link

*Parents of the first 35 applicants each month are welcome and encouraged to volunteer as chaperones. Contact Jennifer Blanton, school counselor, at with any questions about eligibility criteria.

Financial Aid 411...

What Student Loan Borrowers Can Expect From Financial Aid Mobile App

U.S. News & World Report – Dec 4, 2018

Last fall, as part of its efforts to modernize the financial aid process from application through repayment, the U.S. Department of Education announced a blueprint for its Next Generation Financial Services Environment.

3 biggest myths about the FAFSA that can cost you money

Cincinnati Business Courier- Dec 1, 2018

Important Financial Aid Questions You Didn’t Know to Ask

College Initiative – Nov 11, 2018

JCB Apprenticeship Career Fair

Pooler, GA

February 8, 2019

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The Georgia Ports Authority Y.E.S. (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) Program


The Georgia Ports Authority Y.E.S. (Youth learning Equipment and Safety) Program is a valuable work-based learning opportunity that will train, influence, and prepare students to become top performing employees for the GPA. The Y.E.S. Program will offer on-the-job training that will give the students experience that will specifically meet GPA’s workforce needs. This program will help students achieve their dreams and develop a world-class workforce for the state of Georgia and beyond. The Program will include:

  • Developing in-demand skills particularly through work-based training, with special emphasis on equipment operation and safety.
  • Enhancing the student’s employability by obtaining critical sought-after work skills
  • Creating a pathway to connect and mentor with tenured employees
  • GPA career and training development

Interested in taking part, contact Ms. Jennifer Blanton, Rm 602 (College and Career Center) for more information.

Scholarships in the Spotlight this Month:

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Jay D. Gardner Memorial College Scholarship

Presented by the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill

Jay D. Gardner was a charter member of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill. He was a lawyer, judge, and state legislator. In his memory a scholarship has been established and will be awarded every year to an outstanding member of the graduating class of Richmond Hill High School. The scholarship award is $2,000. Winners may re-qualify for this amount for each year of his/her four years of undergraduate study.

Click on link for more details and application.

Deadline for applications is March 30, 2019.

Mary Bean Memorial Technical College Scholarship

Presented by the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill

This scholarship award is provided annually by the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill to remember and honor Mrs. Mary Bean, a Richmond Hill resident who was a living example of the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” As a mother, wife, successful businesswoman, and community advocate and leader, Mary Bean invested her life in making the community a better place to live, work, and raise a family. This scholarship opportunity is provided annually to a member of the graduating class of Richmond Hill High School for study at Savannah Technical College. The scholarship award is $1,000.00. These funds can be used to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and educational supplies.

Click on link for more details and application.

Deadline for applications is March 30, 2019

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Charles Harbin III Memorial Scholarship

The CJH3 Memorial Scholarship was formed in the Fall of 2011 to remember the life of Charles John Harbin, III by providing financial assistance to help college students from Georgia with limited financial resources achieve high academic goals.

The CJH3 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded annually to selected students in an amount ranging from $1000 – $1500 for each recipient, with ½ of the award given at the beginning of the academic year and ½ given at the midpoint of the academic year, upon maintaining GPA requirements and enrollment as a full-time student.

All grants must be applied to tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to the institution.

Click on link for more details and application.

Deadline for applications is April 22, 2019

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2019 Washington Youth Tour

About the Program

In the summer before their senior year, students join hundreds of their peers from across the country – all-expenses paid – for an incredible week in our nation’s capital. The tour is a fast-paced leadership opportunity to see what makes America tick.

This year the tour will be June 13-20.

Plus, each of those chosen earn a $1,000 cash scholarship.

The Washington Youth Tour, sponsored nationally by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and statewide by Georgia Electric Membership Corporation (GEMC), is a jam-packed backstage pass to Washington, D.C.

It offers rising high school seniors – students currently juniors – an unforgettable leadership experience in our nation’s capital. It’s free!

Since 1965, the Washington Youth Tour has given 1,650 students in Georgia and more than 40,000 students nationwide the opportunity to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The program was initially implemented at the request of President Lyndon Johnson to “send youngsters to the nation’s capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Application deadline February 17th.

(Please see Ms. Bunyan, Rm 516, with questions or concerns)

Winners will be announced March 11th

2019 SARW Scholarship

Each year the Savannah Area Republican Women award a scholarship to a high school female who will be pursuing a college degree and is involved in conservative community initiatives. The applicant may be attending any public or private high school in the Savannah GA area and should be a registered voter if eligible.

Applications are due by March 1, 2019. We will evaluate applications in March, make a decision in April and make an award in May.

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InspirASIAN Scholarship Program

InspirASIAN makes a difference in our community by supporting graduating high school seniors with their college education through our scholarship awards. InspirASIAN awards national scholarshipsto students residing in any state with a local InspirASIAN chapter. All students who apply will be considered for the national scholarships awards. Students who are not awarded national scholarships will be considered for state scholarships as supported by local InspirASIAN chapters.

2019 Program Details

Applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Full-time graduating high school seniors in good academic standing (minimum unweighted cumulative GPA 3.40 on 4-point scale), of any ethnic or cultural background, who plan to attend an accredited college or university (2-year and 4-year) in Fall 2019.
  • Citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
  • Residents of one of the following states or metropolitan area where we currently have InspirASIAN chapters: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia).

Students interested in applying will need to complete the scholarship application that includes a student essay. The completed application will need to be uploaded through our online submission page. All applications are due before January 31, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST. Students who make it into the final round will also be required to send in an official high school transcript.

SAT and ACT Dates

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Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC)

Due to the unique challenges faced by military families, the Department of Defense offers private and confidential counseling services to military service members and their families. The mission of the MFLC program is to provide short-term, solution focused counseling, support and education. Military counselors may assist military connected students with a variety of issues including: communication, self-esteem/self-confidence, school issues, life stressors, resolving conflicts, behavioral management techniques, building resiliency, sibling/parental relationships, and deployment and reintegration. Within a safe, therapeutic relationship, MFLCs help military children and their parents to cope with normal reactions to the varied stresses of military life, to enhance their lives and to boost military readiness and resiliency.

Dawn Imler is the military counselor at RHHS. She is on campus Tuesday/Thursday (all day) & Wednesday (morning) in the LINK. If you have any questions about the program stop by the LINK or call (912)271-9725.


Rhashida Bunyan- (A-Daly)

Emily Neff- (Daniel-Hernandez)

Deanna Appleton- (Herring-Michaud)

Laine Lynch- (Michel-Sanchez)

Saraswati Hendrix- (Sanderlin-Z)

Jennifer Blanton- (Graduation Coach)

Dawn Imler- (Military Family Life Counselor)