Check in with Board Member Myronee Simpson
Myronee Simpson (she/her/hers), Director of College Counseling, Oak Hall School (FL)
Why did you want to join the SACAC Board?
The first professional development event I attended when I became a college counselor was the 2005 SACAC Summer Seminar, which is how I first learned about the association. While I worked at an institution in another affiliate for many years, SACAC was always held in high regard by colleagues across the country. Since I have been in Florida, my appreciation for SACAC has grown; I have always enjoyed my interactions with members during events such as the Annual Conference. I am very excited about this opportunity to serve with great colleagues and work on behalf of our membership.
How’s your first year on the Board going so far?
So far, it has been a great but an unusual transition to the Board. While the work of the Board moves forward, we have all had to adjust to operating in a virtual space. Typically, by now I would have had the opportunity to meet all of the SACAC Board members in person at the SACAC Conference, the Summer Retreat, or during the NACAC Conference. Due to the pandemic, these events were either cancelled or held virtually, so I have missed not having the opportunity to interact with and meet many of my great Board colleagues in person.
Identify a person who has been particularly influential in your growth and development as a college admissions professional.
I have been very fortunate to work with many talented individuals during my career. There are so many people I could name who have been influential in my professional growth. Since I have to narrow this to a few individuals, I have to cite Karen Ferretti and former colleagues Susan Waters and Joan Liu. All three of them played a significant role in the direction of my career as a college counselor and as a leader in my former affiliate, NJACAC. I have grown and learned more as a college admissions professional as a result of their friendship, mentorship, and support over the course of my career.
In light of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what is one thing you hope to see change/develop/disappear from the college admission industry?
I hope that moving forward the term “demonstrated interest” disappears from the college admission industry. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many high school students did not have the ability or the means to visit the campuses of the schools they may apply to. While it is a minority of institutions that still consider an applicant’s demonstrated level of interest as a factor in the application review, my hope is that moving forward all schools will take the view that if a high school senior has invested the time to apply to their school, they have shown interest.
Say you were confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education, what policy would you implement/change on day one of your term?
I would double the maximum amount available for the Pell Grant. As the cost for attending college has increased every year, this change is needed in order to offer more financial assistance to lower income students.