Counselor Connection

Palmyra High School - September 2022


I am happy to be starting another school year at Palmyra High School working with you and your student. My role as the high school counselor is to provide academic, social-emotional and career development support. High school is an exciting time and there are many opportunities to take advantage of to enhance career development. I will send out monthly newsletters with important dates and upcoming events. I look forward to having a great year with you!

Mrs. Keppner

Post Secondary Advisor

I am excited to be the new Postsecondary Advisor at PHS. I have been a high school counselor for the last 10 years, most recently at North Callaway High School. I moved to Hannibal over the summer and I am loving this area so far! My position as Postsecondary Advisory is funded by a grant called rootEd Missouri, which puts college and career advisors in rural high schools across Missouri. In my new position I will be working with Seniors and Juniors to help them develop postsecondary plans for success. This means I am here to support all students whether they plan to enroll in college or trade school, enlist in the military, or seek employment after graduation. Here are just a few of the things that I can help students with: researching colleges or employers, college and job applications, ACT registration, FAFSA, comparing financial aid award letters, applying for scholarships, resumes and cover letters, campus housing forms, mock interviews, etc. In addition to making sure our graduates have a plan for college, military, or employment after graduation, I will also work with Seniors to make sure they have a financial plan, whether that be how they will pay for college, or making a budget based on what their income will be after high school. I am also supervising the dual enrollment classes 2nd, 3rd, and 6th hour and coordinating the Flex Program. Students are welcome to come in and meet with me anytime, I am in the same office as Mr. Wosman (right across from Mrs. Keppner's office). I also welcome parents to call, email, or schedule a meeting with me whenever needed, I can be reached at or by calling the high school office.

Ms. Hopke

Academic Progress

The first quarter mid-term date of September 16th is coming up. Parent portal is a great way to check your student's grades. Set aside time each week to review grades with your child. The SIS student portal tab is also available for students to use to check grades. Please encourage your student to keep up with their grades and assignments. First quarter ends Oct. 29th.


ACT (American College Test) is a college entrance exam required by most colleges and many scholarship applications. Our closest testing centers this year are Monroe City and Quincy since Hannibal LaGrange University is no longer a test site. Register for your test, select colleges to submit your score reports, prepare with helpful resources, and receive your scores - all online at: If you cannot afford the cost of the test, ask me about a fee waiver. These are available to anyone receiving free or reduced lunch prices.

SENIORS - This may be your last chance to improve your ACT composite score. Many colleges have deadlines in December to qualify for endowed scholarships based off of GPA and ACT.

JUNIORS - we are hoping to offer a test date in March during the school day. You can tentatively plan on Tuesday, March 28th as a test date for interested juniors. You will pay for the test but we can offer at a lower cost. More details to come!

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What should my child be doing this month to prepare for college/world of work?

Here are some ideas of what each grade can do to prepare for post secondary plans:

College Applications

Priority Application & Scholarship Deadlines

Seniors – be sure to submit your college applications to meet the priority scholarship/application deadlines. Some colleges have a December 1st deadline, and others are even sooner (October 1st). Check with each school so you are prepared and on time!

Scholarships for Seniors

I use Google Classroom to push out information to seniors on upcoming scholarships (most scholarships are posted in the winter/spring). All seniors have been invited to join Class of 2023 through their school email account and have access to the scholarship information. When I post a new scholarship, students receive notifications. As deadlines approach, information will be posted in the school bulletin and during afternoon announcements. Please remind your student to plan in advance when writing essays, asking for letters of recommendation, and getting transcripts sent.


The Preliminary SAT, also known as the PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), is a practice version of the SAT exam. You can only take the PSAT once per year, and many students take the test in both 10th and 11th grade. If you earn a high score on the PSAT your junior year, you could qualify to receive a National Merit Scholarship—$180 million dollars in merit scholarships are awarded to students each year. The PSAT is 2 hours and 45 minutes long and tests your skills in reading, writing, and math. Unlike the SAT, the highest score possible on the PSAT is 1520.

PHS juniors and high achieving sophomores may take the PSAT at PHS on Wednesday. Oct. 12th. Scoring high on the PSAT enables students to qualify for scholarships. This test also prepares students who want to take the SAT or ACT. Students must bring a check (made out to PHS) or cash by Monday, Sept. 12th and sign up with Mrs. Keppner. The cost is $18.

FAFSA Night Sept. 28th

We are hosting an in-person FAFSA Night for parents and students in the library on Wednesday, Sept. 28th at 6:00 PM. This information will be aimed at seniors and their parents but any student or parent/guardian is welcome to attend.

Seniors—The FAFSA application period begins October 1st. If you are going to college, you will want to go online to student to set up an account. Colleges use your parent's income information to provided financial assistance for college tuition. Submit your application as soon as possible to maximize your aid package. You will need your parents tax information to complete your application. Contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend for assistance for specific questions.

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College and Military Visits

College admission reps and military recruiters will set up a table during lunch shifts and students can stop to chat to learn about colleges and programs. Here is our current lineup:

Thurs. 9/29 Southeastern Community College

Tues. 10/11 State Tech

Wed. 10/12 Mizzou

Thurs. 10/13 Quincy University

EOC Scores

PHS administered end-of-course exams (EOC) tests last spring in the subjects of Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, Communication Arts 2 and Personal Finance for Ag Econ students.These tests measure students' progress on the the MO Learning Standards and provide important information that guides our instruction. Individual student reports will be mailed home in the next week for those that tested last spring.

Want to Continue Your Sports Career in College?

Juniors & Seniors who hope to participate athletically at a Division I or II College or University should register with: NCAA Clearinghouse at: Those interested in NAIA Schools need to visit: You will need to create an account and link to our school.

American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Program

PHS will participate in the 89th annual High School Oratorical Scholarship Program here at school on Tuesday, Nov. 15th. Interested students in grades 9-12 will prepare a 5-6 min. speech about the Constitution. Scholarship money is awarded to the winner at each level. See Mrs. Keppner to sign up and get more information.

Mizzou Field Trip

Want to visit Mizzou this Fall? We are taking a bus to Mizzou on Thursday, Nov. 17th for interested seniors and juniors. We will leave PHS around 10 AM, tour campus, eat dinner downtown and attend a women's basketball game that evening. All meals and game tickets are covered by the NE Mizzou Alumni Association. Please sign the link below if you are interested. We have a limit of students we can take and priority will go to seniors.