New Cher-Gl Counselor Joins Westwood Faculty

New Cher-Gl Counselor Joins Westwood Faculty

Ms. Susan Foster joined the staff as the counselor for Cher-Gl this year. She moved from Charlotte, North Carolina late last summer to be closer to her mother, spending last year as a behavior interventionist while she waited for a high school position to open. For the past few weeks, Ms. Foster has conferenced with her seniors in preparation for college applications. Compared to other high schools she has worked at, Westwood students are more driven and intrinsically motivated.

“From the brief time that I’ve been here,” Ms. Foster said, “the general attitude is that students here are highly motivated, and a lot of students are well-rounded as they diversify themselves with volunteer, extracurricular, some of the teams that they’re on, and then their academic focus. Most of the parents seem to be very supportive too.”

To Ms. Foster, the teachers and faculty have a passion for teaching and helping students achieve all they’re able to. If somebody is struggling in their classes, the staff is willing to talk to them and figure out what the students can do to improve their learning. This will be her 27th year in education and 18th year as a high school counselor. Along with counseling high schoolers, she has also worked as a teacher and counselor in elementary and middle schools.

“I actually love working at all the different schools,” Ms. Foster said. “But I do think at high school there’s the ability to talk to kids about college planning and future planning and have an impact there. Then there’s some of the cognitive conversations that you can have on a deeper level, versus when you’re working with the younger kids. College planning is such an essential step into what the next stage of your life is going to be. I mean after you get out of high school and college, the rest of your life is basically working, and hopefully you pick something that you truly love and enjoy, and picking the right college and picking your major is so critical to that, so you end up in something you love.”

Her advice to seniors applying to colleges: apply early, don’t miss any deadlines, and make sure your applications, short answers, and essays are well done and an accurate representation of you as a student. But applying early is key, because as colleges start accepting people, then the criteria sometimes become higher as the open seats dwindle.

“And apply for scholarships.” Ms. Foster said. “There so many scholarships out there that people don’t even apply for and so much money that goes unclaimed, and you guys are primed to be able to get scholarships with the academic rigor here. I told a lot of students when I met them, google weird scholarships. Also, do your FAFSA.”

The FAFSA application opens Oct. 1, so if you’re a senior, be sure to activate an account and apply here.