Starting at the beginning of this school year, a new college counselor has joined the community. Her job is to work with students and find the right fit for them after high school. “Either college or career wise, my job is to help them go to the next step in their lives,” Kathleen Carr said.
Before taking the job here at Wootton, Carr had worked in Montgomery County Public Schools for 12 years. She’s worked in the Media Center at Pyle Middle School and worked in Carl Sandburg Learning Center with autistic children. Before joining MCPS back in 2006, she worked with her husband at his company, where she managed numerous employees and appointments. “My job then was very different then what it is now,” Carr said.
This is Carr’s first year as a high school college counselor, and her first year working in a high school position at all. Carr describes this new job as a “steep learning curve” for her but she is “adjusting pretty well” since the school year has started back in September.
Carr wants to be able to connect and do everything [she] can to help the students who ask for her help. “It makes me a little nervous knowing this is her first year in this job but I hope she can help me get the information I need to apply to the right schools,” senior Mary Quackenbush said.
So far, Carr has loved her experience here, for many reasons. “Working with the kids and helping them find the right thing for them individually is the best part,” Carr said.
Carr knows that college may not be the right decision for everyone, and “wants to help them find that decision for after they graduate,” Carr said. “Whether it’s a four-year college, a special program, community college, or even the military, I want to help them get to where they want to go.”
Working in a high school environment has helped Carr with learning to “interact and connect with the students,” so it’s easier for her to guide them in the right direction after they graduate. Even though this is her first year, Carr is confident that she can make an impact on the students and community.
Since a big part of her job is helping students, it’s important that they work and interact with well her in order to achieve the help they need. “Her job is really important for all of the students focusing on their plan for after high school,” senior Gabby Heitmann said.
Carr has felt overwhelmed at times because working with a big number of students all asking and trying to achieve different things can be chaotic. “I’ve worked through it and done my best to keep helping the students,” Carr said.