By: Ibbe Ashruf
This year, Ms. Iva Turner stepped in as the Director of College Counseling. The College Counseling Office is a vital part to any Gilman boy’s experience and Gilman is conducting a national search for a new Director of College Counseling with the assistance of Carney, Sandoe, and Associates, an independent school consulting firm for teacher placement and education consulting that works with over 1,500 schools in 46 states. Most Gilman faculty positions were filled with the aid of Carney Sandoe and Associates and almost every search for a new faculty member is national. For this position, Carney Sandoe receives all applications for this particular position and will send any resumes that they think are potential candidates to Gilman.
Although Gilman cannot expect the first pile of resumes until well after the deadline for Early Decision colleges on November 1st, the Boston-based consulting firm has been working hard with Mr. Smyth to ensure that the search leaves no stone unturned to find the right person for the job. Before the first set of applications are sent through Carney Sandoe, a representative from the firm had to first gain a mindset in order to find fitting candidates for this position. For instance, he had to discover once again what it is to be a Gilman student and what types of successes Gilman boys have inside and outside of school. He/she also had to learn what types of candidates to consider, such as if the ideal candidate currently is a college counselor, head of college counseling at another school, or if he/she is someone who works in the college admissions environment, but Mr. Henry Smyth says, “As the headmaster, there is no particular experience that I must have, and I think that we would want someone who has relevant experience but not any one particular experience.”
When asked if there would be any changes to the duties of the head of College Counseling, Mr. Smyth replied, "Honestly, the language might be different, and how you talk about college counseling at one school to another might be different, but probably, at the end of the day, most of the secondary high schools out there right now like Gilman that might be looking for a head of college counseling are looking for a very similar person."
A new director would be in charge of the entire college counseling program at Gilman and would oversee the college counseling staff, which includes Ms. Anna Follensbee, Mr. Justin Baker, Mr. Matthew Herman, and Ms. Vivian Sawyer, and would be a member of the senior administrative team. The new director will report directly to Mr. Smyth and the board, and will work closely with Mr. Rob Heubeck, and keep good relationships with families and colleges. As appropriate, the new director would teach a class, have advisees, and/or coach a sport. The new director would also be responsible for the communication of relevant information at the best time as well as determine a strategic timeline for the college counseling process for students in grades 9-12.
Although a national search is being held, this does not mean that an internal hire is out of the realm of possibility. If an internal hire were to happen, this search is still relevant because a new counselor would be needed to fill the space left by that promotion.
When asked about any other changes made to the staff of college counseling, Mr. Smyth says, "I would not expect there to be any changes to the staff but instead changes to the way things are done and have his or her own imprint and there will be changes to the way college counseling looks, feels, and operates here. I would hope that the current staff would stay for a long time; Ms. Sawyer, Ms. Follensbee, Mr. Herman, and Mr. Baker are all awesome staff and I would not want them to leave but we know that Ms. Turner will be retiring at the end of this year."
This position is an attractive job and it will definitely yield some interesting results. Contingent on the availability of potential candidates to interview and visit Gilman, Mr. Smyth and Carney, Sandoe, and Associates plan to have a new Gilman Director of College Counseling named in early 2017.