James Madison

High School


Guidance and Counseling Center Staff

Our Guidance Department is a team of four counselors who provide our students guidance in all the domains of the National Counseling Standards – personal and social, career, and academic.

We serve our students in an alphabetical “slice,” grades 10-12, crossing all grade levels and including students with special needs.  The focus is to serve students in the context of a family, so that all students in the same family have the same counselor over their high school years, grades 10-12.    

Mrs. Kelly Balzer                    Head Counselor (Seminar/Five Star Scholars) ext. 2223

Mrs. Teresa Priest                              Counselor (A-I; grades 9-12) ext. 2212                            
Ms. Michelle Francescotti             Counselor (J-Z; grades 9-12) ext. 2233                          
Mrs. Carol Scharf                            Registrar                            Grades 9-12 records
We pride ourselves in delivering personal service to our students and their families, whether it is by facilitating conferences with faculty, connecting students with scholarships and financial aid, or applying to an array of colleges.  Our motto is “Madison students are college-bound and college ready.” Acknowledging that 85% of our students attend two- and four-year colleges directly after graduating from Madison, we are experts in college admissions and financial aid.  Click here for resources for students and families.

·         We take our students on college trips, provide SAT prep seminars with Cal SOAP, orchestrate College Planning Evenings for grades 10 and 11, and stage a College Bound Symposium for seniors and their parents in October each year. 

·         We have 12 online college application workshops each fall for seniors who will meet the November 30 application deadline for CSU and UC and 2 weekend parent financial aid workshops to complete the FAFSA, due by March 2nd for Cal Grant consideration.

·         We arrange for professional visits by college financial aid officers and admission representatives, so students can receive first-hand information in the college-bound process. 

·         We also have extensive training in working with special needs populations and referring students to outside agencies who provide counseling, health services, and housing.  

·         We assist families in managing their personal and college-prep profile on the Naviance web-based guidance system, and use PowerSchool Student and Parent Portals on our Student Information System to inform students regarding their academic progress and attendance.

Please visit the following links to view Guidance Department information which will be useful in academic and college planning.