Monica Vitale joined Jackson Hole Classical Academy as the Dean of Academics and College Counselor with a master’s degree in Global and International Education from Drexel University. Prior to joining JHCA earlier this year, Mrs. Vitale worked for 15 years in several academic, advisory and admissions roles at a college-preparatory boarding school in New England. She says having been on both sides of the admissions desk has allowed her to better prepare students for college and career.
“One of my roles back East was to support our international students through the college admissions process, which offered me a unique lens from which to view this often daunting experience. In addition, having served in prep school admissions as the person reviewing files and making admissions decisions, I am better able to assist students with how to make a lasting, positive impression in the college interview process,” she said.
Many of the students Mrs. Vitale mentored have gone to study at excellent institutions nationally and internationally. She says the “Aha!” moment when students work through the fog of post-high school decisions and see where they are meant to be is the most rewarding part of her job.
“I love walking alongside students as they find their path. For some, it’s going to a competitive university, for others it’s a dynamic art school, yet others find their place in a small liberal arts school. The myriad of choices allows for a wonderful placement for each unique student,” she says.
At JHCA, we believe every student has a unique potential which requires careful extraction. We do this through a rich academic curriculum, diligent development of character, and the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty in all things.
In light of this, Mrs. Vitale says she loves getting to know each student, their story, their hopes, their worries, their unexpected talents, and helping them find an institution that will allow them to flourish and thrive.
Her advice to high school students currently going through the college admissions process?
“Don’t be so focused on the end goal that you lose track of the path you’re on. High school is a time of immense academic, social, and personal growth. By moving slowly, carefully, and thoughtfully through the college process, students can pace themselves and still savor their memorable high school years,” she says.
Along with her work as the Academy’s college counselor, Mrs. Vitale recently finished a major curriculum mapping project for every course offered at JHCA, the first step in the accreditation process. The Academy’s goal is to be fully accredited by next Spring and, after the first on-site visit by Cognia representatives recently, our status has moved from applicant to candidate.
“This has been an inspiring and energizing endeavor and I am thrilled at the knowledge, skills, and wisdom our students are gaining from each course here,” Vitale said.
Vitale and her husband, Andrew, coach and teacher at JHCA, have two daughters in the grammar school. They say they have witnessed immense academic growth in the six short months since arriving. “From a mother’s perspective,” Mrs. Vitale said, “the education at JHCA is exceptional and I am so proud that my daughters are a part of it. Whether students have been here for multiple years or just a few months, the curriculum, teachers, and mission of this school truly helps each student find and nurture his or her potential.”
So how does a classical education best prepare students for success after high school?
Mrs. Vitale says, “Through their extensive knowledge of suffixes and prefixes from Latin lessons, their development of logic and problem-solving skills through Chess and logic classes, their articulate self-expression from rhetoric, or their holistic understanding of the interchange between history and literature through their Humane Letters course, JHCA students graduate with an unsurpassed education and are poised to thrive in college and beyond.”
Apply to Jackson Hole Classical Academy today, and get a headstart on the rest of your life!