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Letter: The Case for Guidance Counselors

The recent issue of Anton Careers & Education (March 22, 2013) contained a good deal of constructive and helpful information for high school and college students.  One item to which I take exception was the piece entitled “College Planning: Call in a Consultant”.


I’ve been fortunate to have had a nearly 40 year career as a high school guidance counselor and administrator in New York City and both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  Most of this experience has been on Long Island.  Over that time, I have had great concerns about the use of for-profit college planning consultants.  I have found them to be, above all else, entrepreneurs who market their services in ways that only elevate the manageable level of anxiety families may experience during the college process.

Long Island is fortunate to have a high level of guidance services and an impressive cadre of school counselors. These educators are quite capable and motivated to provide students and parents with all the comprehensive tools necessary to address every facet of this process.  They do so in a balanced, objective, professional manner and in a context where they are able to assess a student in relation to peers and with input from teachers and other school professionals.  Working with the student over several years, they truly get to know the student well.


Private, for-profit consultants often justify their existence with the argument that school counselors are too busy to afford students the individual attention they need.  This may be true in some of the more indigent school districts where caseloads can be quite large.  Those school systems are not where you will find private consultants.  Rather you will find them in the more affluent, well-staffed school districts because, in the words of the famous bank robber Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks, “that’s where the money is”.


As part of the national standards for Developmental School Counseling Programs as endorsed by the American School Counselor Association, high school counselors are providing all of the services private consultants offer.  They do so at no cost to the families and do so in a student-centered rather than profit-centered atmosphere.  For this article to imply that families need to waste time, money, and energy on private services that are readily available in the high school is a disservice to the families and a sign of disrespect for the school counseling community.


I’m sure your piece was well-intentioned.  I just wish such supplements were devoted to information that is educational and purposeful rather than commercial and wasteful.

Thank you for your attention.


Richard Collins

Sea Cliff, NY


Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.


In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.


“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.

The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9. 


Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.  


Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 


The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.

Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.


Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds.  Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group.  She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group.  Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.


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