High School Personal Counseling

SAS’s Personal and Academic Counselors (PAC) advise and guide the academic, personal, and social/emotional wellbeing of high school students throughout ninth to twelfth grade. Assigned during freshman year, these counselors develop a personal relationship with their students in order to more effectively advise and guide them as they navigate their teenage years. Each counselor remains with his/her respective counseling group for the entire four years, allowing for a personal relationship to develop, where students feel free to discuss the unique academic and personal challenges they face.

Additionally, each counselor also travels with students on a weeklong Interim trip every year and sponsors various activities ranging from sports to clubs so that we have wide-ranging involvement with our students beyond the counseling office or classroom. Our involvement in these different facets of school life gives us, as counselors, an exceptional opportunity to know, appreciate, and hopefully enhance the experience of our SAS students. We are their advocates and their allies, and know when to lend a sympathetic ear and when to engage them in a “reality check” type of conversation.

At the end of tenth grade, students will be assigned a second counselor, the college counselor, who guides the student and family through the processes of college search, college application and matriculation from SAS.

Supporting Resources

In addition to counselors and teachers, SAS programming supports and mentors student's growth and development with other additional resources.


The advisory program seeks to ensure that every student is known, cared for, and guided. Each advisory room is composed of 10 to 12 students in the same grade who are assigned to a faculty advisor in their first year at SAS. In most cases, students will stay with the same advisor until they leave SAS. Advisory groups meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Advisory themes focus on character, cultural competency, and academic skills. These meetings are structured around the content and behaviors needed to: 1) best ensure the social/emotional health of all students; 2) improve academic success; and 3) prepare students for the inevitability of change in their lives, including the transitions to high school, college, and beyond. The advisory strives to create an atmosphere of trust where students feel safe to discuss a wide range of academic and personal matters in a setting which helps to balance the rigorous academic demands of the SAS experience.

Choose Your High School Adventure

Athletics and Activities

A number of different athletics, activities, and general clubs are offered after school for all SAS students through the activities and athletics programming office. Our athletics program consists of several different types of teams suited for all levels of players. High school students are encouraged to become involved in some of the many and varied after-school activities. In the freshman year, counselors hold a seminar to introduce ninth graders to the 90+ clubs, organizations, and activities designed to appeal to a wide range of interests, abilities and talents. Every year in September, a club fair is held during school to promote the extensive selection of student-run activities and to recruit new members.

Service “DO GOOD” Clubs

“It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a global village to raise compassion and awareness.” - Alumni, Jeane Khang

With over 45 service clubs at SAS, we stress the importance of voluntary service learning at SAS, as this actively engages students in meaningful and personally relevant service activities. Each officer of the Executive Service Council oversees the service clubs that are categorized as one of the five following groups: Education For All, Global Issues, Help for the Disabled and Ill, Poverty Eradication, and SAS-Centric.

Health Clinic

There are two full-time nurses in the middle school/high school health office. Our nurses are involved at various levels of the school managing medical forms, supporting student health requirements on school trips, and leading student and faculty talks on health related issues.

Dean of Student Life

In recognition of the importance of extraordinary care for each student, SAS employs a full-time Dean of Student Life. We believe that the best thing about SAS is the students! The Dean, Sue Nesbitt, is a trained counselor, whose role is to support students in achieving success academically, guiding student conduct, and assisting students to manage the wide-ranging activities and clubs at SAS. The Dean’s office welcomes each student and family into our high school community. We value how much we have to learn from and about each other,

High School Psychologist

A large part of the job description will involve supporting the classroom teachers in identifying deficits and constructing research based interventions for six to eight weeks to determine response. The hope is to have the teacher support the student in the classroom rather than moving him or her into Learning Support.

Student Seminars

The PAC department offers a series of seminars that are relevant to students developmental needs at each grade level from grades 9-12. All seminars are delivered either through small and large group sessions which are held during students free/supervised study block. Our counselors are trained teachers who assist teachers in health education and core classes on special topics such as identity and sex education.

Freshman Transition Seminars

Freshman Transition Seminars are designed to ease students transition to high school and provide them with the skills needed to be successful in high school. This seminar will introduce students to high school expectations, teach essential study skills, explore a personality inventory and discuss the social and emotional issues that are relevant to a freshman. The course is taught with an emphasis on study skills, learning style inventories, academic testing, and social relationships.

Sophomore Seminars

Sophomore Seminars enable counselors to explore with students their strengths and interests as they relate to possible career choices. Sophomores complete a Myers-Briggs type personality assessment and a career interest inventory and the results are discussed at length and possible careers and/or college majors are explored. Other parts of the seminar curriculum include reviewing the pre-ACT results and discussing the social and emotional issues that are relevant to a sophomore. Some topics may include:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Suicide prevention
  • Developing a resume
  • Career exploration

Junior Seminars

Junior Seminars begin the process of helping students evaluate what they have so far accomplished educationally and what they hope to accomplish during their junior year. The goal is to get students ready to begin the college application process early in their senior year. The seminar will also address aspects of professionalism like punctuality, dress code, the importance of thank you notes, and interview questions. Some of the topics may include:

  • Participating in a mock-interview
  • Healthy and unhealthy dating relationships
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Reviewing PSAT/NMSQT results
  • Establishing a timeline

Senior Seminars

Senior Transition Seminar assist students in planning for life after high school. The primary task is to prepare students to think about what they need to know before leaving home (basic life skills), responsible personal behavior, independent living, and self-advocacy.

Parent Meetings

We believe that by being informed, parents play a vital role in supporting their child’s academic and personal success in school. Throughout the year and in collaboration with the high school PTA Booster Booth, counselors offer parent presentations at PTA coffee mornings and at counselor sponsored events, such as the Freshman Bootcamp.

Parent bootcamps are offered during the school year, addressing fundamental issues that teens and parents face as they transition to high school. Topics include fostering responsibility and independence in teens lives, technology and teens, and alcohol use among teens.

Fostering Student Strengths

SAS does a great job of identifying and fostering its students’ strengths. The variety of classes, clubs, and the diversity of interests allows nearly any student to find their niche.

Roopal Kondepudi (Class of 2017)