Academics

Counseling

Mission Statement

The Notre Dame High School Counseling Department is part of a community based on Holy Cross values of achievement, service, and respect. Counselors strive to meet the needs of students in the areas of academics, social adjustment, and career development. The counselors work toward building student independence over the course of four years.

Our mission is to develop self-awareness, critical thinking and responsibility, as well as to encourage continued growth in these areas throughout life. We believe that this mission is a partnership between students, parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators, and results in helping students reach their individual potential in academics, service and the social areas of their lives.

Counselors endeavor to act as positive role models to students and foster mutual respect in an environment of care and concern. This mission is accomplished through both individual and group meetings and presentations for students throughout the year, that are conducted by Notre Dame counselors as well as expert guest speakers. Special group sessions are also held for parents so that they will be current on the latest college admissions information as well as pertinent knowledge regarding changes in adolescent social environments.

Notre Dame counselors work to help students with learning differences. Although the Notre Dame campus is not equipped to present a full range of special services, the school is able to facilitate minor adjustments within the college preparatory program to assist students with certain disabilities. 

News from the Counseling Office

Mark your Calendars:

  • November 2, 2020: Junior Parent Q&A 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • November 12, 2020: NCAA Night, 7 p.m.
  • November 16, 2020: Sophomore Parent Q&A 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • November 17, 2020: CSU Application Workshop for Senior Students, 3 p.m.
  • November 18, 2020: Senior Parent FAQ’s 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • November 23, 2020: UC Application Workshop for Senior Students, 3 p.m.
  • November 30, 2020: UC and CSU Application Deadline for Seniors

Junior College Admissions Testing Night

Junior Families, please save the date for Tuesday, December 8, at 7 p.m.  We will be hosting a virtual presentation to discuss college admission testing (SAT, ACT, Subject Tests) that will be useful to parents and juniors alike. Topics will include the impact of COVID-19 on testing, when site-based testing may resume, how colleges are responding, suggested testing timelines, and much more. Registration information and more details will be emailed directly to Junior families. A similar and grade-level appropriate presentation will be held for sophomore families at a later date TBA.

Parent Coffee Sessions

Parent Coffee Sessions are optional sessions to allow parents to have the floor to ask questions and receive immediate feedback from the counselors in an informal, comfortable setting. Attendance is not mandatory and parents may come/leave when they need to as their schedule allows. If you are unable to attend and do have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's counselor directly - we are here to help! 

Naviance 


Sophomores and Juniors should take every opportunity to acquaint themselves with the extensive Naviance resources that are available, including career exploration tools and college choice management tools. Naviance also offers FREE SAT and ACT practice for those who plan to take tests in the Winter or Spring, assuming test dates are available. 

Seniors should focus on continuing to explore schools, attending virtual ND rep visits, narrowing down their college list, and finishing their essays. All schools that you are applying to MUST be added to your “Applying to List” in Naviance. We will be unable to send documents to colleges on your behalf if they are not on this list.

Rep Visits

Each fall, admissions representatives from all over the US, Canada, and the UK visit Notre Dame students on campus as an opportunity for students to learn more about specific schools, admissions and ask reps questions. This year, those visits will happen virtually. Students are welcome to sign up for as many visits as they would like, and seniors are especially encouraged to attend as many as possible for schools they consider or plan to apply to. Please check the list in Naviance to sign up. Junior and sophomores are welcome to attend as well. These virtual visits are intended for students, not parents.

University Connections 

Most universities are not offering in-person tours and are instead trying to keep prospective students engaged by bringing their campuses to you via virtual tours, live chats, and informational sessions.  YouVisit or CampusReel are two excellent sites for virtual exploration.  Please visit college websites and contact college admission offices for the most up-to-date information regarding that institution.

To help students continue to engage with various colleges, the counseling office will be hosting several virtual College Rep visits in the fall as well as application workshops for seniors. This allows students to still connect with and learn about the colleges that interest them. We will continue to work with colleges to give our students the most access possible. 

SAT/ACT Testing
 
The Counseling Office is staying vigilant about changes to the testing landscape.  Many universities continue to announce Test Optional or Test Blind policies for the next year and beyond. It is important to note: while admission offices may announce these policies, test scores may still be an important aspect of admission for selective universities, selective majors or selective scholarships. The College Board (SAT) and (ACT) continue to add dates to make the exams more accessible, but these dates fill up quickly and may be cancelled/rescheduled if large gatherings continue to be deemed unsafe. If your student is able to take any of these exams, please expect that they will likely only be able to take either test once.  
 
Unfortunately, at this time, due to the realities and challenges of having a school day SAT or ACT,  Notre Dame does not currently have plans to hold either exam on campus. 

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Directory

Senior Counselors

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  • Val Pantell

    Counselor (A-Di)
    (818) 933-3645
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  • Mackenzie Millan

    Senior Counselor (Do-Kir)
    (818) 933-3646
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  • Jessica Lewis

    Senior Counselor (Kis-Ri)
    (818) 933-3696
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  • Mae Greenwald

    Senior Counselor (Ro-Z)
    (818) 933-3642
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Junior Counselors

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  • Steve Mejia

    Counselor (A-C)
    (818) 933-3647
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  • Bill Kearns

    Counselor (D-K)
    (818) 933-3644
    Read More
  • Jessica Lopez

    Counselor (L-Q)
    (818) 933-3695
    lopez@ndhs.org
    Read More
  • Martine Abdaem

    Director of Counseling & Counselor (R-Z)
    (818) 933-3643
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Sophomore Counselors

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  • Steve Mejia

    Counselor (A-G)
    (818) 933-3647
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  • Bill Kearns

    Counselor (H-Mc)
    (818) 933-3644
    Read More
  • Jessica Lopez

    Counselor (Me-Sc)
    (818) 933-3695
    lopez@ndhs.org
    Read More
  • Martine Abdaem

    Director of Counseling & Counselor (Se-Z)
    (818) 933-3643
    Read More

Freshmen Counselors

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  • Steve Mejia

    Counselor (A-C)
    (818) 933-3647
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  • Bill Kearns

    Counselor (D-Ki)
    (818) 933-3644
    Read More
  • Jessica Lopez

    Counselor (Ko-O)
    (818) 933-3695
    lopez@ndhs.org
    Read More
  • Martine Abdaem

    Director of Counseling & Counselor (P-Z)
    (818) 933-3643
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Counseling Assistant

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Athletic Liaison

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  • Dustin Snyder

    Athletic Liaison to the Counseling Department
    (818) 933-3600 Ext. 301
    snyder@ndhs.org
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