After 10 years of teaching history and government, Jedd Taylor switched gears. He completed school counseling training, and became school counselor for grades 11 and 12 at Glenwood Community High School (Glenwood, Iowa). With the exception of one semester as a long-term substitute, he has spent all 15 years at Glenwood.

Jedd says being a member of Iowa ACAC provides resources and contacts he many not otherwise have. He says Iowa ACAC is a network of people who all simply "want to help each other" and that provides legitimacy to all that he does as a school counselor.

"It provides legitimacy to my work to be able to stand in front of students and, more importantly, parents and say that I know the person they are working with and if we have questions we will call or email and know that we will get a response. The reverse is also true. I have had students or parents come back from visits and say the college person mentioned my name or asked how I was and you can see in their face that, 'If that person knows my counselor they will get to know me, too.'  They feel like their student will be more than just a number at that school."

Jedd applied for, and received, an Imagine Grant from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). He chose to attend the 2017 NACAC National Conference in Boston in September. The location, plus the urging of a previous attendee, spurred him to apply last fall.

"In the balance of what I do, working with 11th and 12th graders, college and career readiness take a much bigger chunk of my time than do the social/emotional and academic realms. I go to our state conferences and try to keep abreast of the issues going on in all three domains. However, part of the motivation to attend was to go to a conference that was singularly about post-secondary issues. I did not have to debate between this mental health session and that college admission session. They were all college admission sessions, broken down into very specific topics and thus yielded information that was much more insightful. It was nice not to have to multitask between the three domains. It was several days of listening and thinking about how to do the one domain better."

Jedd says highlights of the conference included learning not simply from session presenters, but from other attendees, too, and the information that he was able to apply immediately...even while still at the conference.

"Being in the Northeast, in general, represents a prime reason I wanted to attend because it meant going to an area with a much higher post-secondary density of opportunity compared to the one in which I operate daily. Many of the actual presentations provided the information I was looking for, however, I was surprised how much I could glean from other attendees simply by listening to the questions they asked. It was wonderful to gain affirmation that some issues know no geographic boundaries, but it was also insightful to see that others were dealing with problems we only wish we had in the Midwest."

"I was also pleased by the sessions that I attended on concurrent enrollment, selective admission interviews, and Military Academy admissions. Those were things I was able to come back to my school and act on immediately. I know for a fact that because of something I tweeted, while in the middle of a session, I had a student apply and had the counselor recommendation prepped and waiting in my inbox when I returned to my office. Furthermore, I feel like I appropriately asked for a little more information and wrote a better recommendation for this student, after some pretty tough self-examination brought on by the Keynote. As the cliche goes, if you can gain one little helpful piece of knowledge, the conference will have been worth it.  My experience fit that mold many times over."


You could have the same amazing experience as Jedd and other past recipients. Public school counselors may apply for an Imagine Grant  to attend the September 2018 National conference in Salt Lake City or the 2018 MIDWest Conference (Minnesota, Iowa, Dakotas, Wisconsin) in Dubuque in May! 
Interested in having your high school counseling office be a member of Iowa ACAC? Only $25 provides a membership covering all counselors in your office. Join today!