Introducing the College Counseling Department

This week, we continue our series to help you become better acquainted with each department at Maranatha.
The goal of the College Counseling Department is threefold:  To advise students and families with Maranatha courses that lead to academic/personal growth, graduation, and college; to journey with them to discover each student’s best fit for college, and to partner with them through the application process.

Having already hosted four events in the Fall, this semester the team is preparing for the Junior Kick-Off Dinner, Signing Day Celebration, Essay Editing, and College Application Workshops. This busy department is made up of four college counselors and a registrar. 

Mr. Mike Bell came to Maranatha 5 years ago and is the chair of the department. When he’s not meeting with students in his office or coaching, he enjoys being in his backyard and taking care of his garden. Teresa Petersen has been counseling MHS students for over 6 years. Outside of school, she enjoys golfing and breaking down NFL football films with her co-workers, Mr. Riddle and Mr. Bell. Justin Riddle is a Maranatha alum (Class of 2005) and returned to serve as a counselor a little over 3 years ago. At the end of a long day, he likes to unwind by writing fictional stories or playing video games. Alexandra Brown, who joined the team about the same time as Mr. Riddle, is not only a college counselor but also the ASB advisor. When she is able to find some spare time, she enjoys reading and playing soccer. The school’s registrar, Claudia Jimenez, joined the department 6 years ago. Outside of the busy office, she chooses to “unwind” by cooking, exercising, watching old movies, or gardening.

Even to the casual observer, it is obvious these co-workers are more than just a team, they have become a family. You will often find them eating a late lunch together so they can compare notes, discuss opportunities, and prepare for their next event. They genuinely love being around each other and making each other laugh.