Counselor Connections

VHS Counseling Department Newsletter - September 2022

Happy 2022-23 School Year!

It seems amazing that we are already a month into the school year. The Counseling Department is settling into the year and we hope you are too!

We are excited to announce that we have new members of our team:

  • Ms. Palmgren, School Counselor (B-wing)

  • Ms. Booth, Student Services Support

  • Ms. Groves, Counseling Clerk

You will find the contact information for all of our department listed below. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.

College & Career Specialist

Mr. Navarro


Counseling Center Clerk

Ms. Groves


Counseling Center Clerk

Ms. Sparks


Data Information Specialist

Ms. Deans



Ms. Rodriguez


School Counselor (A-wing)

Ms. Schepker


Advisories: Abbruscato, Eisen, James, Johnson, Leoni, Mata, Morris, Nuno, Orth, Press, Quillico, Steele, Valdizan, Webster

School Counselor (B-wing)

Ms. Palmgren


Advisories: Barnes, Cronk, DiGiovanni, Diehl (R), Howard, Lyon, McCloud, Meier, Meldrum, Navarette, Reyna, Sherman, Studts, Waddle

School Counselor (C-wing)

Ms. Enders


Advisories: Auble, Carmen, Carrasquillo, Diehl (A), Ferere Harrell, Fialka, Les, Lopez, Lotocky, Manak, McQuade, Olveda, Savage, Summers

School Counselor (D-wing)

Mr. Pratt


Advisories: Fernandez, Jackson (C), Kneisel, Littrell, Marinaro, Martinez (A), Martinez (G), May, Moreno, Schafer, Thomas, Wadding, Wentz, Werner

School Counselor (E-wing)

Ms. Hink


Advisories: Barnhill, Beard, Bott, Brown, DeMarco, Donze, Esparza, Farrington, Ham, Kendall, Long, Marks, Spiegel, Walker

Student Support Specialist

Ms. Booth


Student Support Specialist

Mr. Maier


Stay Connected!

Starting this week, the counselors will have a new appointment process up and running so be sure you have a Remind account with our department (see below) so you receive a notice when it is ready.

Please keep in mind that we may reach out to you through your student email account so be sure you are checking it daily.

Our Counselor Cart returned to lunches on Friday, September 2nd. This is a great opportunity to connect with Mr. Navarro or one of the School Counselors. Stop by to ask a question or just say hello!

This year our Google Classrooms are by your grade level/cohort. All should be accessible this month.

We also have a VHS Virtual Counselor Office at

Our VHS Counseling & Career Center webpage is located at

Counselor Connections is our monthly newsletter that is posted on our webpage, > Counselor Connections (Monthly Newsletter).

We continue to post grade-level specific information via our VHS Counseling Remind accounts. To receive text messages from our Remind, students and parents can text the following grade-level message to 81010:

  • Seniors message = @verrado23

  • Juniors message = @verrado24

  • Sophomores message = @verrado25

  • Freshmen message = @verrado26

We also have Instagram (vhscounseling) and Twitter (@Counselors_VHS) accounts.

Academic Success

Here are a few things that you (or your student) can do to be successful in each of your classes:

  • Attend class

  • Turn in assignments on time

  • Work with your teacher

  • Attend tutoring (Viper Success, after school)

  • Make-up work when you have been absent

  • Study your notes and information regularly

  • Prioritize studying


The ACT and/or SAT are tests used by 4-year colleges/universities for admissions purposes. Seniors are encouraged to check admission requirements for each college/university to which they are applying. If you need to test, you will register directly with the testing agency. Check out the websites listed below for more information and test date options.


While the counselors do not handle Student Attendance, we do want to remind you that you can lose credit in a class (even if you are passing), if you are not attending the class. Talk with one of our administrators to learn more about the attendance process. Stay focused and stay on-track to graduate!

Career Center

Mr. Navarro, our Career Specialist, is here to assist you with your college and career readiness. He meets individually with students, offers workshops during Viper Connect, arranges lunch visits for college and military reps, as well as plans many of our department's events. If you have questions or need help with the college selection or admissions process, scholarship applications, the FAFSA, building a resume' or another college/career topic, stop by the Career Center (off the Reading Room) and speak with Mr. Navarro.

College Admission Plans

Every college offers a type of admission plan which outlines how they are going to admit applicants. Some colleges offer more than one admission plan. It is important to understand the parameters of the college admission plan(s) for the college(s) you are applying to. Examples of admission plans include but are not limited to rolling admissions, regular admissions, early action, or early decision. Check out your college's admission website for their specific options. For a general overview, you might find these sites helpful:;

ECAP & Major Clarity

Arizona believes all students should have an ECAP (Education and Career Action Plan). The ECAP process should help students clarify their career goals and narrow their initial plans after high school. It can also help shape students’ course selections and involvement throughout high school. The ECAP can be seen as having two components: plan/portfolio and extended learning opportunities.

This year, our district will shift to a new career exploration platform, Major Clarity, to assist students with their ECAP plan/portfolio. This college and career readiness program offers exploration tools, lessons, and information on:

  • Careers

  • Programs of study

  • Specific colleges/universities

  • Financial aid

  • Resume’ writing

  • And more!

In addition to community events, Mr. Navarro and the School Counselors provide many extended learning opportunities to assist students with their ECAP. An example of some of those opportunities are:


  • Scholarship Marathon

  • VHS College & Career Night

  • Application Workshops

1st Quarter Progress Grades

Quarter progress grades will be published in Student/Parent Vue on September 9th. You can view the grades by logging into StudentVue/ParentVue and clicking on the Report Card tab. If you have an F, it is important you work with your teacher regarding what you need to do. If you have any questions about the posted grade, students are encouraged to speak with their teacher; parents are also welcome to reach out to the teacher.

PSAT/NMSQT (11th & 10th graders)

The PSAT/NMSQT will be given at VHS on Tuesday, October 25th!

Starting next week, juniors and sophomores should be able to sign up by paying the $18 test fee in the bookstore, Seats are limited so do not delay in signing up.

Reasons to take the PSAT/NMSQT include:

  • Practice for the SAT

  • Qualify for scholarship programs (11th graders)

  • Insight into AP courses you may be ready to take

Free, individualized practice for the SAT through Khan Academy (

College Applications: Self Reporting & Transcript Requests

Do you need to self-report your grades on a college application? You can use “Course History” in StudentVue.

Do you need an official or unofficial copy of your transcript? You can utilize and/or reach out to our Registrar, Mrs. Rodriguez, at, as she handles all transcript requests.

Student2Student (S2S)

Student to Student (S2S) is a program designed to welcome new students and help them transition to our school. S2S was originally established to bring military and civilian students together. The program was adapted on our campus to welcome all new students using the same original program concepts: creating a positive environment, support and academic excellence, and easing the transition process.

If you are a new student or family to Verrado High School, our S2S officers are available to provide extra support through monthly group meetings and a special Google Classroom to help simplify the communication process. Please reach out to Ms. Schepker or Ms. Palmgren should you or your student have any questions or need additional support in the transition to Verrado High School.

Upcoming Events

Tri-University Week (virtual; ASU, NAU, UA)

September 6 - September 10

NACAC Virtual College Fairs

September 11

October 9

November 6

Exploring College Options (Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn, Stanford)

September 15

Tri-University Event (in-person; ASU, NAU, UA)

September 18

Arizona College Consortium College Fair

September 27

11:30 AM – 1:15 PM

@ VHS Aux Gym

2022-23 West-MEC Application Opens (tentative)

October 17

Greater Phoenix National College Fair

October 23

11 AM – 3 PM

Phoenix Convention Center