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Ward: Admissions is an all-year, school-wide job

Photo by Manny Mata-Flores ’19 | Mrs. Shelly Scheuring speaks with President Ms. Adria Renke after school Feb. 14. Mrs. Scheuring and Mr. Ward run the admissions office and lead the application process and interviews every year.

By Matthew Zacher ’18
THE ROUNDUP

The admissions process is a perennial task that, despite only two full time people in the Admissions Office, is an all-hands-on-deck effort.

The department, led by Director of Admissions Mr. Mike Ward and Assistant Director of Admissions Mrs. Shelly Scheuring, were set to release admissions decisions for next year’s freshmen class  to applicants March 3.

Applicants were required to submit report cards, a personal essay, teacher recommendations, and other application info to the admissions office by Jan. 27.

Applicants also must participate in an interview with a faculty member and take the HSPT entrance exam.

Mrs. Scheuring said that, once received, those applications go through an extensive review process.

“Everything was due Jan. 27, and so we start that next Monday, so that was like Jan. 30 when we actually started reviewing files,” she said.

Each file includes the report cards, essays, test scores, recommendations and anything else that is factored into the decision making process, such as shadow day recommendations.

“So we do a review of all the files in our office first, in Admissions, that takes about three weeks,” she said. “And then everything goes to committee on Feb. 20 for a full week, so everything is pre-read and reviewed before it actually goes to the committee.”

Mr. Ward said he personally reads each application before they go to committee.

“Everyone gets a really good look,” he said. “We don’t just look at a file and say ‘this kid does this, this, and this well, OK he’s in.’ We look at his character, as best we can, we’re going to look at what he does and what he brings to the table, we’re looking for a really diverse group of kids that represent the entire Valley that have different skills.”

The committee is composed of teachers and administrators and is where all final admissions decisions are made.

Mrs. Scheuring said that the committee spends about a half an hour discussing each student.

“It’s not just your test score, and it’s not just your grades; it’s the whole package,” Mr. Ward said.

Mr. Ward also leads the Red and White club, the student diplomatic corps that prepares for the open house, shadow days, and other events throughout the year.