HSPTO Hosts Graduate Roundtable


North Shore HSPTO Hosts Annual Graduate Roundtable

On January 7, 2020, the North Shore High School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) hosted its annual Graduate Roundtable. Graduates from the Class of 2019 shared their stories and experiences about their current freshmen year at college with North Shore juniors and seniors, and later that evening with our high school parents. The alumni on the panel currently attend various colleges and universities all across the United States.

Led by the HS Student Government Organization (SGO) and Director of Counseling Mr. Dan Doherty, high school upper grade students during 8th and 9th periods listened to our alumni talk about a number of relevant college topics. These included the application process, early decision, the essay process, decisions about choosing the “right” school, campus life, actively and passively meeting friends, tests and homework, time management, choosing a major, dorm life, even homesickness. The graduates gave advice on almost every aspect of their daily lives. At the end of the day students in the audience (and later in the evening adults and families) were given an opportunity to ask questions.

The North Shore alumni included: Victoria Fabilli (StonyBrook), Jordan Roth (Cornell), Olivia Bross (Oberlin), Milagros Buschfrers (University of Buffalo), Zoe Goodstone (Scripps), John Labbate (University of Maryland), Olivia Vizza (Fordham), Kayla Sorensen (Fredonia), James Vizza (Villanova), Olivia Schatz (Notre Dame), Caitlin Colbert (Monmouth), Andrea Liotta (Manhattan), and Emma FitzPatrick (Scranton).

Overall, the alumni were happy with their college or university choices and felt that North Shore provided them with the knowledge and preparation they needed to succeed in college. They credited their various teachers, course selection, extracurricular activities, and their parents with helping them feel ready for college.

One alumna remarked, “I was really nervous before I left for college but while the transition to college can be a bit scary, it all ended up being great - I am having an amazing time! It is a process.”

When asked by Mr. Doherty, “What were the influential factors that led you to decide on the colleges you applied to?” some current freshmen remarked, “The things that influenced my decision were the schools that offered my major, financial reasons, proximity to home, and campus size.” They often recommended to our North Shore seniors and juniors to personally visit the campuses of the colleges they want to attend (more than once if possible), speak to kids currently attending the schools, and keep an open mind. Additionally, one alumna who transferred in her first semester communicated to the audience that it is okay to transfer to another school if a student needs to make a change or is unhappy. It is possible.

The annual Graduate Roundtable proved to be a success as alumni offered valuable advice to both students and parents concerned with the transition from high school to college. Many thanks to the North Shore PTO, SGO, alumni, faculty, and all of the high school students and parents for making this an informative event.

Article and photo by Shelly Newman