Personalized college counseling, and congratulations to the class of '21

 For some, the vision of heading off to college started the first day of kindergarten. For others, it began the first day of 12th grade as the reality of senior year set in. For our Gregory School students, the official process began with 8th grade shadow day visits to the College Counseling Center and college planning explorations, 9th and 10th grade workshops and webinars, continuing throughout the 11th grade with AP courses, National Merit SAT testing, and the Junior Parent Jumpstart and Junior College Seminar course. 

When school began this past August, the 12th graders and I began working during the daily Senior College Seminar courses to brainstorm and condense college lists, research gap year and post-graduate programs, complete applications, draft, edit and edit again essays and personal statements, fill out financial aid and scholarship forms, and connect with athletic coaches, music and theatre judges, and admissions counselors through online auditions, virtual tours, and Zoom meetings. The teachers and I put in many hours composing meaningful letters of recommendation for college and scholarship applications and helping students practice for interviews via Zoom that now replaced the pre-pandemic in-person coffee meetings.

Fast forward to this first week of May: The offers of acceptance have been received and the seniors have solidified their plans to immediately continue their education or take time off to work or pursue personal interests. Enmeshed with our Gregory School philosophy and mission, each student’s personal qualities, goals, level of preparation, and unique interests were front and center in the process. We’re proud of every single one of our graduates and their decisions, and know with certainty that they leave TGS with the skill and preparation to navigate whatever path they follow. Congratulations Class of ‘21 and their families! It was a pleasure to work with you, and I know each and every one of your futures is bright. Now, let’s celebrate!

Of the 35 seniors, 33 submitted approximately 226 applications to 120 colleges and universities. 3 of the 35 have decided to take a gap year to pursue employment, travel, and volunteer opportunities. 

The list of college acceptances for the Class of 2021 spans the entire country and includes a wide array of educational opportunities such as Cornell, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Fordham, Boston College, NYU, University of Wisconsin, The Ohio State University, Baylor, University of Miami, University of Denver, Lewis and Clark, University of Washington, University of Kentucky, Reed, Lewis & Clark, UC & CSU schools, and several others including a post-graduate boarding school program. In fact our students received acceptances for 79 different colleges and are on the waitlist for many others such as the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins.

Several seniors were admitted into Barrett Honors College at ASU and the Honors College at the University of Arizona, and scholarship offers ranged from several thousand dollars to Northern Arizona Uuniverity’s full tuition Lumberjack award to a full-ride opportunity at Washington College. 

"The Gregory School leads with "Yes" when it comes to trying new and creative ideas and to paving the way forward whenever possible to allow our students to pursue both their academic and personal interests. As the Director of College Counseling, I see the direct impact of this growth mindset in our students' readiness for college, in the way they pursue post-high school options with big dreams and open minds, and in the reflections shared in their college essays and interviews. Every year, the students' excitement and anticipation re-energizes and motivates me to serve them with my very best so their dreams can be attained."

Michelle Borleske, M.A., M.A,C.

Michelle Borleske received her B.A. in Communications from University of Wisconsin - Parkside, her M.A. in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University, and her M.A.C. in School Counseling from Lakeland College. She joined The Gregory School in 2018.


3231 N. Craycroft Road, Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 327-6395
Fax: (520) 327-8276
The Gregory School is an independent, private,
non-profit 501(C)(3), coed day school for grades 5-12.