Making A Difference: Julie Kampschroeder
Julie Kampschroeder, college and career counselor at RHS, is Ritenour’s 2018 Make A Difference Award recipient for her excellence in working with Ritenour students with diverse needs. The annual award goes to a staff member who goes above and beyond in meeting the needs of the whole child.
Although she has served as the college and career counselor at RHS for the last three years, Kampschroeder also was a counselor and coach in Ritenour from 1996 to 1999. Under her leadership, the college and career counseling program has grown tremendously, says Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride.
“Not only do more students have access to highly competitive colleges thanks to Ms. Kampschroder’s tireless efforts, but they also have more opportunities to go directly into careers after high school,” says Kilbride.
Whether it is arranging for students to fly out to visit highly selective colleges across the country at no cost to them, or setting up a construction trades expo or military fair at school, Kampschroeder helps give students an expanded view of what is available to them after they graduate high school. This year, some RHS students are also dually enrolled at St. Louis Community College to earn college credits prior to graduation while others are working in paid internships so they can go directly into a career.
Through Kampschroeder’s efforts, Ritenour High School has dedicated advisory time each week for all students, which allow them time to set goals, explore and prepare for post-secondary opportunities so they can successfully enroll in college, enlist in the military or become employed in a career. Underclassmen use the time to explore options so they can tailor their high school coursework toward their goals. Upperclassmen focus on applying to colleges and scholarships, preparing for jobs by honing resumès and interviewing skills, or exploring military options and preparing for required entrance tests.
Senior Chantal Zossoungbo, who is from Togo, Africa, is heading to Franklin & Marshall College in Pennyslvania next fall on a full scholarship thanks to Kampschroeder telling her she should consider going to college.
“She changed my life,” says Zossoungbo. “She’s the type of women who inspires you to always do great and to dream. She doesn’t just let you settle. She always wants you to reach for more.”