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Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning
Mary Hill joined the SPA College Counseling staff in 2000 after working 15 years in selective college admission. “I enjoy teaching students how to take stock of their own interests and abilities, discover options for their education, learn how to present themselves well in the application process, and generally learn something about complex decision-making.” As Director of College Counseling and Academic Planning, Mary oversees the process of guiding SPA students toward academic success. She collaborates with faculty advisors and the college counselors to advise students about opportunities in and out of school that enhance their overall academic and personal development. In her Academic Planning role, she researches current trends and best practices in curriculum and learning among independent schools and the colleges which SPA students aspire to attend. She contributes to the dialogue among faculty and administration regarding curricular innovations that develop and promote students’ talents and potential.
Prior to SPA, Mary was dean of admissions at Colgate University and worked in admissions at Williams College. In professional associations, she served on the National Guidance and Admission Assembly Council and chaired the Midwest Regional Council of the College Board. For the Common Application, Inc. she served on the board of directors for nine years. Mary received the President’s Service Recognition Award from Minnesota ACAC, and is an active member of National Association for College Admission Counseling. She helped SPA become a founding member of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. Mary earned a B.A. in philosophy and religion from Colgate University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Beyond her professional work, Mary enjoys classical and jazz music, and sharing her piano skills as an accompanist for the SPA music program.
Associate Director of College Counseling
Since August of 1995, Jill Apple has helped SPA juniors and seniors plan their futures. “As a counselor, I enjoy communicating with students, teachers, parents and colleges with the specific goal of helping the student,” she says. She keeps in touch with SPA alumni who are now in college and visits campuses to provide current SPA students with the most up-to-date perspective on their options. Each year, she looks forward to graduation, which she describes as “a wonderful community celebration of our seniors’ accomplishments.” Ms. Apple served many years as advisor to the Senior and Junior Class Leadership Councils. She completed master’s coursework in school counseling and holds a B.S. in communications from Butler University, where she also worked as a senior associate director of admissions. She is past-president of the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling, which awarded her a President's Service Recognition Award in 2003. She served on the Board of the National Association for College Admission Counseling in her role as Coordinator of the Affiliates’ President’s Council. She is an active member of the College Board and helped establish SPA as a founding member of the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools. In her spare time, Ms. Apple sings with the Minnesota Chorale and church choirs and directs a children’s choir at her church.
College Counseling Assistant
A proud parent of an SPA graduate, Maria McCorvey has been SPA’s College Counseling Assistant for eight years. She organizes the schedule of college visitors to SPA, supports the counselors throughout the college application process, and helps coordinate and manage all aspects of the Naviance Family Connection website. She assists faculty with online recommendations and is the first point-of-contact for students and parents with questions about using Naviance. Maria also is the Test Center Coordinator for Saturday administrations of the SAT and ACT at SPA, and she manages the AP Exam administration.