This past week we recognized Coach Whetzel as the 2023 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award. Travis Whetzel is a...
Meet our Team: Andy Willits
Mr. Willits, our Director of High School Placement, is preparing our rising eighth graders for high school. He offered to meet with each rising eighth grader and his/her parents over the summer break to begin planning for the upcoming year, especially for high school applications. This year they met via Zoom.
“The goal is to help each student and family find the right fit for secondary school,” says Mr. Willits. “During these summer meetings, we review the successes and challenges of the seventh grade year and then together, and based on their achievements, we set some goals for the eighth grade year — both academically and personally. We want to get each student excited about their eighth grade year and take an active role in making it a great success.”
Mr. Willits finishes each meeting exploring initial high school choices. He then makes recommendations of new schools to consider and asks the parents and students to research those schools over the break. Guidance is also offered about the application process (school visitations, standardized tests, writing samples and teacher recommendation forms). A parent meeting that outlines the entire application process, from September to January for most schools, will be offered at the start of school.
As soon as the eighth graders return to campus, they will participate in a mock interview with a faculty member, preparing them for the actual interview that most will experience when they visit schools in the fall. They will also receive coaching or guidance to help their performance on the standardized test as well as guidance with the application itself. As students visit schools and begin to narrow their application choices, Mr. Willits will follow up with each one, speaking to the schools directly about the student’s intent to apply and how that student might add to their school community. These conversations often continue even after applications have been submitted.
We want our students to have every advantage on being admitted into their first choice school!