Counseling Weekly 09.13.22

We look forward to hosting our high school parent/guardian community TONIGHT! 

Final Reminder (with NEW biographies for Panelists!) 

   The HS Counseling Team Presents the 2022 Parent/Guardian Night

                   Tuesday, September 13th



 Senior Parent/Guardian Night: Navigating Senior Year, College Admissions, and Financial Aid with Josten's 5:00-6:30 pm in the College Counseling Center 

 Optional Financial Aid presentation: FAFSA & CSS Profile 6:30-7:05 pm in the CCC 

 Junior Parent/Guardian night: Final Countdown: The Changing College Admissions Landscape   6:00-7:00 pm in the South (Elem) Gym

 10th Grade Parent/Guardian night: Be Ahead of the Game on All Things College-Prep  6:00-7:00 pm in the Cafeteria

 9th Grade Parent/Guardian night: The Roadmap to a Successful High School Experience 6:00-7:00pm in the Auditeria

 9th Grade Students: ‘Chuck the Chicken’ 6:00-8:15 N Turf Field

 Expert Panel Presentation (professionals from Amherst, UNC, BVSD & Advance EDU): Beyond the Transcript: Why Equity Matters at Peak to Peak and in College Admissions 

Introduction from Peak to Peak Executive Director of Education, Jennifer Klein 7:15-8:15 pm in the NE Gym for the entire HS (adults only)

 Panelist Bios:

Xiaofeng Wan is an Associate Dean of Admission and the Coordinator of International Recruitment at Amherst College. At Amherst, he oversees international admission as well as domestic admission in Colorado and Massachusetts. He has published multiple op-eds on international student mobility and social justice issues on Inside Higher Education, University World News as well as the International Higher Education journal. He has been interviewed and quoted by a number of national and international media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and CGTN America. He is also a doctoral student in the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education program at Boston College.


Erika Pepmeyer, MCIS (she/her) serves as the Director of Admission at University of Northern Colorado. Erika’s academic journey as a first-generation college student began with attending University of Iowa before transferring to a national liberal arts college to complete her undergraduate degree and compete as a Division III athlete. Upon graduation, she explored the ranks of collegiate coaching and high school teaching before finding her way into collegiate admissions work where she has remained for nearly 15 years. When asked what keeps her motivated, it’s the opportunity to lead and continue serving, educating, and learning alongside future students and support persons from all backgrounds, interests and identities exploring a transformational experience and investment in higher education. 

Vanessa Roman has dedicated her career to helping all students access higher education and postsecondary opportunities. She has over 10 years of experience in education where she has served in a variety of roles to promote higher education access to Colorado’s students. She currently serves as the Head of Outreach at a nonprofit in Denver called AdvanceEDU. AdvanceEDU is an innovative higher education model helping students in Denver access college degrees and careers. They serve a diverse population of students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. Prior to AdvanceEDU, Vanessa was the Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Colorado Boulder where she led efforts to enroll the largest and most diverse first-year class in the university’s history, 7 years in a row.  Vanessa volunteers her time with the Boettcher Foundation to read and review applications for the competitive Boettcher Scholarship program. Raised in Pueblo, Colorado as the granddaughter of immigrants and daughter of educators, Vanessa developed her values early in life and believes in the power of education to lift up individuals and communities. 

Jennifer KleinExecutive Director of Education (she/her): Jennifer joined Peak to Peak in 2022. She has been supporting educational improvements for the past 20 years.  Her educational career began as a teacher at Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., one of the first schools on the east coast to be reconstituted.  In 2010 she moved to Boulder, Colorado and began working for Denver Public Schools (DPS). Jennifer ran an educational consulting company that supported school districts as they engaged in turnaround and succession planning efforts. Prior to this work, Jennifer was the Deputy Instructional Superintendent for DPS for the Office of School Reform and Innovation. She was the Director of Leadership Development for Aurora Public Schools from 2017- 2022. Jennifer holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and has completed the DPS Ritchie Program, a collaborative partnership with DPS and The University of Denver. Jennifer had the honor of engaging in the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship (KLDF) and the Relay Graduate Program in New York City. These programs enhanced her ability to lead professional learning opportunities through collaborative interactions with effective school reform leaders across the county. KLDF enables district leaders to develop their strategies for leading successful schools in their districts. These strategies focus on shared practice among leaders to enhance leadership pipelines and leadership development programing.  In her free time, Jennifer enjoys exploring the Denver arts scene and hiking with her family and dog.

 Biaze Houston, Chief of District Support, University of Virginia (she/her)

Biaze Houston previously served as a director in Aurora Public Schools, where she led the development support for curriculum and instruction in Math, ELA, Health, Science, Social Studies, and electives. Dr. Houston also led the system-wide scaling of the district's assessment strategy through the execution of the Data-Driven Instructional practices model, the programming, identification, and advanced learning plan development and implementation by the Gifted and Talented district team, and the planning & execution of associated professional learning for school-based and central office educators across the district. 

Biaze has over a decade of school-level experience as a teacher, teacher leader, assistant principal, and principal. As a middle school principal and Partnership for Leaders in Education-UVA participant, Biaze and her staff earned the Center of Excellence Award from the Colorado Department of Education for the level of growth achieved as a Title I school in 2017 and 2019, moving off the state accountability clock to the highest state performance rating. 

Biaze holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Colorado State University, a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from the University of Phoenix, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. In her spare time, Biaze enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. 

College Visits 

Amherst College

Wed September 14, 2022

8:45 AM

Beloit College

Wed September 14, 2022

10:25 AM

Trinity College

Wed September 14, 2022

11:15 AM

The College of Wooster

Mon September 19, 2022

12:05 PM

New York University Abu Dhabi

Tue September 20, 2022

8:45 AM

Emory University

Wed September 21, 2022

10:25 AM


College Day: College Day, a required day for all high school students on Wednesday, September 28, will be here soon! 

College Day Sign Ups: Students should NOT sign up for visits on September 28 on their own! 

  • 12th Grade Students will sign up for College Day Today and Wednesday, 9/14 during lunch and 7th or 8th Period. See the Senior Update tomorrow for more details! 
  • 11th and 10th Grade Students will sign up for College Day Sessions during classroom lessons in the coming weeks.
  • All 9th Grade Students will attend College Day Panels and will not pre-register for College Day sessions. 


NEW: Demographics and Rigor of Colleges Attending College Day (Tip: Look at the second sheet to see the list of schools attending the College Fair!) 

Reminder: Volunteer Opportunities for College Day on Wednesday, September 28!

Virtual College Events:

 Wednesday, September 21:

5:00 PM  Mtn- The Road Ahead: College Search and Selection

Angela Fernandez Barone, Executive Director for Student Engagement, Retention and Persistence 

Dickinson College,

High school students are often told to start the college search process early, but what exactly does that look like? Learn practical steps to get ahead in the college search and selection process.


6:00 PM Mtn- Scholarships: Tips to Find Them and How to Develop a Solid Application 

Stephanie Panion, Scholarship Program Manager 

Boettcher Foundation,

Learn all about how to create a compelling scholarship application as well as a few tips for where to find them!

 7:00 PM Mtn- Financial Aid: Navigating the Financial Aid Maze and Resources 

Nancy Duetsch, Assistant Director, Student Financial Services

Western Colorado University,


Carrie Shaw, Director, Student Financial Services 

Western Colorado University,

At this virtual session, you will get tips and tricks on how to complete your FAFSA and navigate the financial aid process. Don't let your financial aid application stand in the way of your education. We'll walk you through the process and answer your questions. 


 Webinar: The X-Factor in College Admissions September 14 at 6 p.m.

The Boettcher Foundation is hosting webinars on “Everything You Need to Know About Scholarships.” During these webinars we will discuss how students can “ACE” their college and scholarship applications, including tips on how to help your applications stand out. You can register to attend one of the webinars by clicking on the date you wish to attend (please note that you only need to attend one, as the same information will be presented during each webinar):



Because our Zoom attendee number is limited, please only register if you will be able to watch the webinar during the scheduled date and time. While we encourage you to join in real-time so that you can ask questions. We will not be recording the webinars, but if you cannot attend during a scheduled time you can still watch an abbreviated recording of the presentation on the FAQs and Resources page of our website (located under the question asking if the Boettcher Foundation provides resources on how to be competitive in a scholarship application). We have a Spanish language version of the recording on our website, as well.

 We also encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the Boettcher Scholarship.


Care Forward Colorado, which will cover tuition, fees, and course materials for students who enroll in a healthcare certification programs (Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Phlebotomy Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assistant, Dental) 

Mind.body.voice, a CU Research student is open to all students who identify as women.

What is the study about?

A team at CU Boulder has collaborated with youth, schools, and researchers to design a program that supports young women and builds healthy community by promoting agency, connection, and body acceptance. This study is to test the impact of the program on key mental health and wellness outcomes.

 Who can participate?

High school students (grades 9-12) who identify as women and have not participated in the Body Project, the Healthy Body, Mind & Voice study, or previous versions of the mind. body. voice. study are eligible to participate.

 What does participation involve?

Students who sign up will complete online surveys at 5 timepoints. Surveys will be compensated with gift cards. Students will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: mind. body. voice program or comparison group that completes the same surveys as students in the class.

 What is the mind. body. voice program?

In the mind. body. voice. program, young women develop skills to build community, talk back to unhealthy pressures about how women should appear, connect to and listen to their bodies, and develop confidence in their ability to speak out. At the end of the program, students create “passion projects” to help build communities where they are valued for who they are rather than what they look like.  The program takes place over eight weekly meetings, 90-minutes each.

 Passion Projects Link:

Website Link: