Bob Gambarelli

Director of Student Services

JMHS Counseling &
Student Services

Gambarelli's Counseling Newsletter

Hi Parents! Welcome to the 2014-15 school year! The Counseling and Student Services Dept. will send you this monthly newsletter to keep you abreast of Madison happenings throughout the school year.
We are welcoming more change within Student Services and are excited about the upcoming fall. As Madison continues to grow and expand its population, Student Services is accommodating these changes. As a result of this growth, we will be adding a new counselor, Tonya Lathom, to our team. Tonya brings a wealth of counseling experience, having served most recently at Thomas Jefferson.  Below is the contact information for our counselors (per student’s last name):


Ms. Cynthia Coogan


Ms.Samantha Morick


Mr. Alex Gorman


Ms. Nada Madrid


Ms. Tonya Lathom


Ms. Erin Kennedy


Mr. Matthew Murray


Mr. Tim Buckley



Due to our growth, this has necessitated a shift in counselor assignments, meaning that some students will have a different counselor than last year.  However, for this year, all current seniors (Class of 2015) will remain with their previous counselor.

     9th-11th grade

Coogan          A-CAR                      
Morick            CAS-ES                    
Gorman          ET-HEN                    
Madrid            HEO-LAM                 
Lathom           LAN-MOO                 
Kennedy        MOP-RIN                  
Murray            RIO-SWA                  
Buckley          SWB-Z  


12th grade (Class of 2015)
A-CHAM        Coogan                     
CHAN-FR      Morick                       
FS-JI              Gorman                      
JK-MAY         Madrid                       
MAZ-PRI        Kennedy                   
PRJ-STO       Murray                       
STP-Z            Buckley

Here is a more detailed description of the FCPS school counseling program.


Academic Schedules

When you receive your schedule, please check it carefully for seven (7) classes.  After Aug. 26, questions in reference to your child’s class schedule can be entertained by emailing the counselor, which is the most efficient manner in which to address scheduling issues.  However, please do not contact them to request a specific teacher. Also keep in mind that the deadline for ALL class changes is Tuesday, September 9. Additionally, students in Honors and AP classes are expected to remain in those classes for the entire school year. ALL changes are on a “space available” basis only. For foreign language, if students want to change levels after the school year starts, the parent has to have a conversation with the language teacher before a change can be made.


Economics/Personal Finance (self paced)
Students can take a self-paced Economics/Personal Finance course during the school year. This course will satisfy your EPF requirement and the cost is $100. However, it is only available as an 8th course, meaning that it must be taken in addition to a student’s 7 other classes. Also, it is totally “self paced”, in that there won’t be a teacher as part of the class. Please see your student’s counselor if you are interested in this.


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Parents are encouraged to register for a FCPS 24-7/Blackboard Parent Account where they can access all of their children's class sites, review and update emergency information in weCare, and access Family Connection for their high school students by registering for your own parent FCPS 24-7 Learning account! Keeping parent email information up-to-date in weCare ensures that parents will receive Keep in Touch notifications.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our Back to School Night on Thursday, September 4th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  The small gym will be open from 5:30- 7:00 pm to buy student directories, pay for the PSAT, etc. Back to School Night is an excellent opportunity for parents to follow their student's schedule and meet all of their teachers.  Your student will bring home a copy of their schedule on Wednesday night, so please remember to ask for it. We will also be collecting $135 for Senior Dues as well as $17 for PSAT’s on that night.


Warhawk Time” will take place each day from 8:52-9:29 am. On each student schedule, the 8th period class says “Homeroom”, and students will be grouped alphabetically by grade. The purpose of this is to give the students’ time and support if they need extra help, do research, make up tests, work, etc. Although it is not required for the students to be with their teachers unless they are failing, teachers (and parents) can require the students to attend at any time. Teachers are also available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school for extra help. All students are encouraged to stay after school with their teachers if they need additional help with academics. In addition tutoring is available through various honor societies (this is usually arranged through the subject teacher).


PSAT’s will be offered to our 10th and 11th graders during the school day on October 15th – this is a “practice”  test that in most cases will help get them ready for the SAT. 11th graders are charged $17 for the test. Fairfax County Public Schools pays for all 10th graders. Please try to bring that $17 payment to the Warhawk Kickoff or “Back to School” night.  There will be a half day of school on that day.


READISTEP will be offered no charge to all of our 9th graders this year in place of the PSAT. It is a similar format to the PSAT, but helps identify skills students will need to be successful in high school and college
November 1 is the end of the first quarter. Report cards will be distributed shortly after that.


11th and 12th Grade News

College Fair at Fair Oaks Mall will be held on Sunday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. (approximately 400 colleges will be represented.) You can find a complete listing here.  Students should register for this event, print out their barcode and take it with them to the College Fair.


College Visits to JMHS The schedule of college visits will be available in Family Connection soon and will continue to be updated as more visits are scheduled. Blackboard/FCPS 24-7 Login
Juniors and Seniors are eligible to attend these presentations. Students meet with an admissions representative to learn more about admissions, campus life and get the answers to any questions they may have about the college. Visits are approximately 30 minutes.

How to Attend:

  1. Sign up in Family Connection and print out the confirmation page, use this as your pass to obtain teacher signature.
  2. Get permission and signature from your teacher at least 24 hours in advance of the visit for the class you will miss. You are responsible for missed assignments.
  3. Bring the signed pass with you to the presentation. You will not be allowed in without one. Attendance will be taken.
  4. Students are welcome to use the computers in the Career Center to sign up in Family Connection and print out their college confirmation pass.


Senior College Parent Night will be held on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m. in Warhawk Hall. We look forward to seeing parents then.  At that time, we will go over the “nuts and bolts” of the college admissions process.


Counselor Recommendations- some colleges (but not all) require a counselor recommendation. For those that do, we require that the parent fill out a Parent/Guardian Information Form for the counselor by September 5. This can be found on the “student services” section of the JMHS website and should be emailed directly to the counselor. We also require the students to fill out a “self-evaluation” form (also by Sept. 5) which can be found under the “About Me” tab in Family Connection. Please keep in mind that if a college doesn’t recommend or require a counselor recommendation, it is not necessary. For teacher recommendations, seniors should contact that teacher directly.

We will also be meeting with seniors in small groups from September 13th through September 18th to discuss post high school plans. Counselors will also be meeting with seniors individually during the first quarter to discuss their post high school plans.


S.A.T.:  Madison is offering it on October 11 and Nov.8. Seniors should plan to take it on one or both of those days –for more information and to sign up, visit College Board.  Juniors will take their first SAT in the spring, March 14 (offered at Madison) or May 3.


Graduation and Senior Dues - The senior class sponsors this year are Dawn Dickerson and Krissy Ronan.  Graduation will be on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at Robinson High School.  Senior dues are $135.00.  This fee provides for the graduation ceremony, program for graduation, cap and gown, diploma cover, senior breakfast, a year end day trip to Kings Dominion, end-of-year senior picnic and additional expenses associated with the senior year.  Please make your check payable to JMHS and return to Ms. Ronan in the Library by December 20, 2013. You will also be able to pay at Back to School Night.


Although your counselor can be regarded as the "point" person at the school, the teacher is your best resource if you have a question about a specific class.  All teachers have e-mail addresses that can be accessed via the JMHS website. If there is additional follow up or you have other concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your student’s counselor.  Once again, we look forward to seeing you this year. Our motto for this year is: Get Involved!


Some articles of interest:
An interesting article from the NY Times: “Redefining Success and celebrating the ordinary”:

Another article entitled “Cultural Insights of Current 18 year olds




Gambo signature





Bob Gambarelli
Director of Student Services