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."
Meet Our Guidance Staff
Mr. Nicholas Grasso, Director of Guidance, [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 Guidance 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. Grass 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, Guidance 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, Guidance Counselor, [email protected]
Ms. Mastrocola joined the Xavier Guidance Department 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.
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. 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, Guidance Administrative Assistant, [email protected]
The Four-Year Plan
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:
- The focus is on the student’s adjustment to Xavier and their struggles with adolescence.
- There are meetings with freshmen individually in the fall before first-quarter grades are out
- 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.
- Naviance is introduced and the department demonstrates how to use the program to research colleges.
- Guidance meets individually with each sophomore.
- Naviance is reintroduced on a more personal level.
- The PSAT test is offered for prep for possible SAT future testing.
- The department continues to meet with students who have academic issues or need some academic support.
- A Sophomore Parent Meeting is held in conjunction with the Religion Department to discuss academic, social and emotional issues.
- Guidance continues meeting individually with juniors but on a more specific note.
- Juniors search our career paths and create realistic college lists on Naviance based in interests and academic performance.
- Juniors take the PSAT in the fall and are encouraged to set up their SAT/ACT testing timetable.
- Host SAT for juniors in the spring.
- Guides junior on scheduling based on academic and career goals; they are encouraged to take the most demanding academic load that they can.
- There is a Junior Parent Night to review the college search/application process.
- There is an annual Xavier and Mercy College Fair.
- Guidance meets individually with seniors and their parents.
- The department provides all information on the college application process and helps oversee applications.
- There is a financial aid seminar and an NCAA presentation for those who plan to play sports in college.
- Hosts SATs in the fall.
- Guidance coordinates college admission visits with students, provides scholarship information and offers assistance in the scholarship process.
- The department gathers information from soon-to-be-graduates about their Xavier experience.
The Academic Achievement Center
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 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.
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.
Naviance & The Naviance Log-In
The Common Application
2021-2022 School Profile