M.A. Counseling Newsletter

January 2018

In This Issue

  • Upcoming Events
  • Celebrating College Acceptances and Next Steps
  • FAFSA Reminder
  • ACT Tutoring Class
  • Junior Classroom Visits and Individual Meetings
  • Wellness Corner

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 23 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM - Upper School Class Registration Night

This evening program is designed for current 8th grade parents to learn more about the classes offered at the Upper School, the four-year Upper School course plan, and the process for registering for classes for the 2018-19 school year. Dr. Mike DiNardo, Upper School Vice Principal, will lead a general overview session explaining Upper School course plan and show parents how they will register for 9th grade classes with their children. Then parents will have the opportunity to attend breakout sessions to ask more specific questions of faculty members from the academic departments and the counseling team. 8th grade students are welcome to join their parents at this evening, though they will be getting the same information during two other opportunities. Although this event is designed for 8th grade families, Upper School parents are welcome to attend as well.

Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 8 AM

  • ACT Exam at Minnehaha Academy
  • We strongly recommend that juniors take the February and/or April ACT

Celebrating College Acceptances and Next Steps

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"Ring, ring!" Can you hear the bell ringing?! We are celebrating left and right the fantastic accomplishments of our seniors as they receive college acceptances from colleges near and far, small and large, two and four year, and everything in between! We are so proud of our students and their hard work as they prepare to embark on their next academic adventure.

Please keep an eye out for information as to next steps from each of your student's colleges. Items like housing contracts, financial aid packages, and how to deposit to secure their spot in the class, are all pieces-to-the-puzzle that colleges will be communicating via email and traditional mail. A reminder that students have until May 1, 2018 to formally commit to their college of choice.

FAFSA Reminder

Reminder for seniors and their parents:

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now available. We recommend that all families fill out the FAFSA as part of their financial aid profile as soon as possible. The FAFSA will be based upon your 2016 taxes and takes roughly 30 minutes to complete. Best part? It's FREE!

It is important that families complete registration for the FAFSA ID as well. Be sure to write down your log-in information! https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/fsaid

Here, again, is a helpful how-to video:


ACT Tutoring Class

Erin Block (Ward) of SATisfACTion Tutoring will again be offering one 18 hour class (broken up into six classes, three hours each) prior to the February 10 ACT, and one class prior to the April 14 ACT. Classes are offered three weeks prior to the test on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:45-5:45 PM.

Dates are as follows:

  • January 23, 25, 30, February 1, 6, and 8 for the February 10 test

  • April 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, and 12 for the April 14 test

Cost is $450 per student, paid directly to Erin.

For more information about the course contact Erin at erin_elisa_ward@hotmail.com.


To register please email Diane Rahm, Registrar, at rahmdiane@minnehahaacademy.net, or have your student see her directly.

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Junior Classroom Visits and Individual Meetings

Following classroom visits in February, students will be invited via email to sign up for their Junior Meeting to discuss future college and career plans with either Mrs. Overton (A-K) or Mrs. Paton (L-Z).

Students will receive a Google Calendar confirmation of the meeting date and time. They must obtain a pass from Mrs. Rahm prior to the meeting to be excused from class.

Parents are welcome to attend, though this is not required.

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Wellness Corner

PSALM 118:28–29

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

A new year is upon us. 2017 is out the door as we ring in 2018. What do we do with the prospect of a fresh start; a clean slate; a do-over? Remind ourselves and our children to focus on happiness by first harvesting gratefulness.

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.


M.A. Counseling Team and Services


Mike DiNardo, Vice Principal/Director of Counseling


Kristin Overton, College & Guidance Counselor (Last Names A-K) overtonkristin@minnehahaacademy.net

Christine Paton, College & Guidance Counselor (Last Names L-Z) patonchristine@minnehahaacademy.net

Wanda Monroe, Non-Public Counselor


Diane Rahm, Counseling Office Assistant, Registrar



Academic Advising

  • Guiding toward an appropriately challenging course load
  • Additional support to teachers, parents, and students

Social-Emotional Counseling

  • Safe, welcoming and confidential
  • Addressing issues around anxiety, depression, and general well-being
  • Peer and family relationship challenges

College and Career Readiness

  • College fit
  • Career/personality inventories
  • Counselors visiting various colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to provide firsthand information