Guidance

Our Mission

The guidance department provides academic advising and college placement counseling as well as support for personal, social and family issues. The department facilitates and encourages dialogue between counselors, students, parents, faculty and administration.

Guidance strives to foster an open and safe environment that demonstrates the mission of Xavier at each developmental stage of our students. The department is uniquely qualified to help our students adjust to the challenge of an all-boys, private, Catholic high school and set them up for success. Our senior class consistently boasts a college acceptance rate of 100 percent. The role of our knowledgeable and experienced Guidance Department is particularly important in ensuring the success a student enjoys at Xavier continues well after graduation.

The guidance department seeks to reinforce the school mission, which is to foster the spiritual, academic and physical growth of its students and challenge each student to use his God-given talents in service to others so that each Xavier graduate is fully prepared to respond to the Christian call of the school motto: "Be A Man."    

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Joan Tomasiello, Guidance Counselor, jtomasiello@xavierhighschool.org

Mrs. Tomasiello has been a guidance counselor at Xavier for 21 years. Her husband Jack '72 and sons Adam '09 and Peter '12 are Xavier graduates. Tomasiello is a graduate of Uxbridge (Mass.) High School with a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Elms College and a Master's degree in counseling from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, now the University of St. Joseph. Tomasiello enjoys golf and is the moderator of the intramural golf program.

Mr. Mark Lambert, Guidance Counselor, mlambert@xavierhighschool.org

Mr. Lambert started at Xavier in 2006 and is the director of UConn's Early College Experience [ECE] program. Xavier is a top 10 school in the state in terms of enrollment and credits taken. Lambert is on the committee for the National Honor society and helped out with the crew program for several years. He also has scouted in college and professional baseball for 29 years.

Mrs. Beth Pattavina, Guidance Counselor, bpattavina@xavierhighschool.org
 

Pattavina has been in the Xavier guidance department since September 2015. Prior to that, she worked for the Middletown Board of Education as a Special Education Tutor & Case Manager for 14 years and for the Middlesex Family Advocacy Group as a Remedial Tutor for four years. Both positions involved servicing students with learning differences in parochial schools. After graduating from St. Bonaventure in 1990, she taught for seven years at St. John School in Middletown. She is a 1986 graduate of Mercy High School. 

Ms. Melissa Peterson, Guidance Counselor, mpeterson@xavierhighschool.org.

The 2020-2021 school year will be Peterson's first at Xavier. She recently obtained a Master of Science in Counselor Education with Specialization in School Counseling from Central Connecticut State University. With that degree and several years in education with students of various ages and needs, she brings experience and a strong educational background to the department.  

Mrs. Laura Wyzykowski, Guidance Administrative Assistant, lwyzykowski@xavierhighschool.org

Wyzykowski is a graduate of Terryville High School and received an Associate Certificate as an Executive Assistant from Morse School of Business in Hartford in 1994. She took online and Saturday morning classes at Post University for three years straight with, as she says, no holiday or summer breaks. She graduated with her Bachelors in Business Administration/Management in 2010. Wyzykowski started at Xavier in the summer of 2007. 

 

 
 

The Guidance Department has a four-year plan to take students from their freshman year to their senior year, getting them ready for college. It is a plan that includes one-on-one guidance and becomes tailored to the student's needs:

 

Freshman Year

  1. The focus is on the student’s adjustment to Xavier and their struggles with adolescence.
  2. There are meetings with freshmen individually in the fall before first-quarter grades are out
  3. The department offers a Freshman Parent Night program designed to discuss transitional issues to high school and addresses academic issues and the parents’ role in that.
  4. Naviance is introduced and the department demonstrates how to use the program to research colleges.

Sophomore Year

  1. Guidance meets individually with each sophomore.
  2. Naviance is reintroduced on a more personal level.
  3. The PSAT test is offered for prep for possible SAT future testing.
  4. The department continues to meet with students who have academic issues or need some academic support.
  5. A Sophomore Parent Meeting is held in conjunction with the Religion Department to discuss academic, social and emotional issues.

Junior Year

  1. Guidance continues meeting individually with juniors but on a more specific note.
  2. Juniors search our career paths and create realistic college lists on Naviance based in interests and academic performance.
  3. Juniors take the PSAT in the fall and are encouraged to set up their SAT/ACT testing timetable.
  4. Host SAT for juniors in the spring.
  5. Guides junior on scheduling based on academic and career goals; they are encouraged to take the most demanding academic load that they can.
  6. There is a Junior Parent Night to review the college search/application process.
  7. There is an annual Xavier and Mercy College Fair.

Senior Year

  1. Guidance meets individually with seniors and their parents.
  2. The department provides all information on the college application process and helps oversee applications.
  3. There is a financial aid seminar and an NCAA presentation for those who plan to play sports in college.
  4. Hosts SATs in the fall.
  5. Guidance coordinates college admission visits with students, provides scholarship information and offers assistance in the scholarship process.
  6. The department gathers information from soon-to-be-graduates about their Xavier experience.

 

For students who might be struggling or want more structure after school, the Guidance Department has established the Academic Achievement Center. Open Monday through Thursday after school until 4:30, the AAC is staffed by a faculty member and two student tutors from the National Honor Society and provides space for individual or group work.

 
 
Preparation for the college application process includes standardized testing. It is important not only be familiar with the various tests but to understand each college's unique standards to maximize the chance for a successful application.
 
What is the PSAT? The PSAT is a standardized test that is administered by the College Board®. Students at Xavier take the PSAT in their freshman, sophomore and junior year. The PSAT is important because it allows students to gain practice taking standardized tests that are part of the college admission process. The PSAT results also are used to qualify for National Merit Scholarships. 
 
What are the SAT® and ACT tests? The SAT® and ACT are standardized tests that measure the knowledge that a student has accumulated in high school and can determine a student’s relative preparedness for college-level educational programs. These test scores are used for college admissions decisions and merit-based scholarship awards.They generally cover the same content, but each test has its focus, length, rules, and strategies. he admissions requirements for every college and university are unique, including which standardized test scores will be accepted for admissions decisions. Students must investigate for themselves which test, or both, makes sense for them to take. The College Board is the organizer and distributor of the PSAT and SAT®. ACT governs its own testing and score distribution.
 
Click here for more on the difference in the tests.
 
For SAT® practice click here.
 
2020 SAT Scores
   
Classification Reading/Writing Math Total
All Students 589 577 1166
Honors Students 713 723 1436
       
 
What is the College Board? The College Board® is a not-for-profit service used nationally by high schools to connect its outbound students to the admissions departments of colleges and universities. The College Board® administers the PSAT and the SAT® tests. Founded in 1900, the College Board® was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. For more go to collegeboard.org. 
 
 
 

 

Available scholarships can be accessed through Naviance. You will need to use your Naviance password to enter the site. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor if you need help with scholarships. As of January, new scholarships come in daily, so be sure to check Naviance.com often.

If you need to upload your transcript, let Mrs. Wyzykowski know and she can email you a PDF that you can attach and upload to your online application. If you need letters of recommendation to accompany a paper application come to guidance with your completed scholarship and we can add the recs and mail it out for you. Remember teacher recs are not available for you to read.
 
Another scholarship site to search is studentscholarships.org. 
 

 

 
By matching students to colleges based on a student's interests and goals, and comparing admissions rates at a student’s top choices, the Naviance college planning tools is designed to allow students and families to make informed decisions. 
 
Click here for the Xavier High School Naviance log-in.
 
The Common Application is a single online college application form used by hundreds of colleges and universities. Instead of filling out the same general information, such as your address, GPA, extracurriculars, for each application to a college you only have to do it once. For more about the common application go to www.commonapp.org.
 
For the common application log-in, click here.