School Counseling


The School Counseling Office 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.

The School Counseling Office 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 School Counseling Office is particularly important in ensuring the success a student enjoys at Xavier continues well after graduation.

The School Counseling Office 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 each other so that each Xavier graduate is fully prepared to respond to the Christian call of the school motto: "Be A Man."    


Mr. Nicholas Grasso, Director of School Counseling, [email protected]

Mr. Grasso is a 2005 graduate of Xavier who was Director of Admissions for seven years before assuming the role of Director of the School Counseling Office for the 2021-2022 school year. Mr. Grasso taught in Catholic and charter schools before returning to Xavier in 2014. He is the moderator of the Xavier Italian Club as well. In 2018, Mr. Grasso earned the prestigious Ryken Award, which is voted on by peers and awarded to a faculty or staff member who by their commitment and dedication lives the mission of the Xaverian charism of education.


Mr. Mark Lambert, Counselor, [email protected]

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.

Ms. Diana Mastrocola, Counselor, [email protected]


Ms. Mastrocola joined the School Counseling Office in 2021 after spending several years working with students in charter schools on the college application process in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. She has great connections with many colleges and universities across the country. Ms. Mastrocola looks forward to sharing her experience and expertise with her students.


Mrs. Beth Pattavina, Counselor, [email protected]

Pattavina has been in the School Counseling Office 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. In 2020, she earned the prestigious Ryken Award, which is voted on by peers and awarded to a faculty or staff member who by their commitment and dedication lives the mission of the Xaverian charism of education.

Ms. Barbara O'Connor, Administrative Assistant, [email protected]


The School Counseling Office 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. The School Counseling Office 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. The School Counseling Office 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. The School Counseling Office 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. The School Counseling Office 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 School Counseling Office has established the Academic Achievement Center. Open Monday through Thursday after school from 2:45 p.m. until 4 p.m., the AAC is staffed by a faculty member and provides space for individual or group work. Often times there also are student tutors from the National Honor Society.

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 


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 often.

If you need to upload your transcript, let Ms. O'Connor 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 
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
For the common application log-in, click here. 
For the 2022-2023 school profile, click here.