A Journey of Self-Discovery

The goal of Newark Academy’s College Counseling program is to provide comprehensive and informed assistance throughout the entire college search, selection and application process.  Although college counseling officially begins during a student’s junior year, it is, in large part a process of self-discovery, growth and exploration that begins as soon as a student enrolls at NA.  Working closely with teachers, grade counselors, advisors, coaches, and parents, the college counselors help students identify and apply for admission to colleges and universities that are well-suited to their interests, abilities and aspirations.
With a focus on finding “good matches” between students and colleges/universities, college counselors appreciate that each student brings unique experiences and talents to the college process. The College Office looks forward to building thoughtful, honest and productive relationships with students while empowering and encouraging them to take charge of their futures.

The Process

The college counseling staff brings many years of experience from both sides of the admission process and serves to inform the community about trends in college admission alongside the nuts and bolts of the application process. As educators, the college counselors work to lessen the anxiety and demystify the process for students and parents while teaching students to become effective self-advocates.
  • While students are assigned a college counselor in the fall of their junior year, the process kicks off in January when juniors and parents attend Junior College Night
  • Individual conferences with juniors begin after Junior College Night and continue through the spring semester. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to meet with the college counselor at any point in the process.
  • Through individual meetings and use of Naviance Family Connection, students and their college counselors shape a college list.
  • Counselors help students consider finances and other factors that could impact their choice - empowering each student to make the best decision.

College Counseling Programs Offered

Beyond individual meetings with students, the College Office runs a full range of programs and services:
  • Junior College Night, a kickoff to the college search process for students and their parents.
  • A series of roundtable discussions and information sessions for students and parents covering topics ranging from making the most of a college visit, navigating the college financial aid process, the athletic recruitment process, and our Case Studies Night which provides an inside look at how admissions officers read applications and make admission decisions.
  • College Counseling Workshop (CCW), a series of hour-long group meetings that students attend six times during junior year and five times during senior year and are designed to assist them in each stage of the college search.
  • Summer workshops focus on completing the Common Application and writing college application essays.
  • On-campus visits by about 100 colleges/universities annually allow students to meet with college representatives, introduce themselves and ask questions.

Kerry Winiarski, Director of College Counseling

“The extent of each student’s growth, through the process of self-discovery enabled by our program, speaks to the quality of our work.”

Meet the Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Kerry Winiarski

    Kerry Winiarski 

    Director of College Counseling
    Duke University - B.S.
    Ohio State University - M.S.
  • Photo of Jessica Cohen

    Jessica Cohen 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
    Lafayette College - B.A.
  • Photo of Kerri Speck

    Kerri Speck 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
    Bucknell University - B.A.
  • Photo of Mary Ellen Weinel

    Mary Ellen Weinel 

    Office Manager, College Counseling