Description and Candidates

The duties of the President -Elect shall be to:

  1. Preside at any meeting of the Association in the absence of the President and to assist the President as requested.
  2. Succeed to the office of President in the event of a vacancy in that office;
  3. Chair the Conference Planning Committee and coordinate the activities of the Conference Planning Committee.
  4. Serve as a delegate to the National Assembly of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
  5. Perform such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the President, attend and assist in leading the NJACAC Summer Leadership Retreat.
  6. With the President, represent the Association at the following forums:
    1. NACAC Leadership Development Retreat (LDI) (mid -summer)
    2. Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. (usually March)
    3. NACAC National Conference (late September/early October)

Russell Althouse

Current Place of Employment: Wardlaw-Hartridge School
Job Title: Associate Director of College Counseling
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC,  PACAC, ACCIS
NJACAC Service: Bus Tour Co-Chair ( 2016-present)
NACAC Service: member since 2005, LGBTQA SIG member since 2005
Other ACAC Affiliate Service: PACAC member since 2005, Chair – August Admission Workshops, Chair – Professional Development Committee, Chair – Technology Committee
Has Presented Workshops at:   NACAC conference,  NJACAC conferences,  PCSCA conferences
Awards: PACAC – Honorary Membership: Awarded for Outstanding Contribution/Leadership; SUNY CAP – Achievement Award: Awarded for Outstanding Contribution to Students through University or Community Service

Qualifications that would make you good President:

My current role has helped because I am able to attend NJACAC Board meetings and see how this board runs and functions. My years on the PACAC Board have also played a major role in helping me to understand how an affiliate board of NACAC should run and operate. I have also learned how to work with various groups of people which will be an important skill to run a diverse organization.

Candidate Message:

I wish to serve in the Presidential Cycle because I am passionate about professional development, and have gained various perspectives which I feel can benefit NJACAC through my involvement with PACAC and other professional organizations. Serving in the Presidential Cycle will allow me to help NJACAC members in gaining professional development and other critical programming to assist them with their profession. One area that I believe NJACAC needs to address is membership and engagement of our members as well as cost/access of membership and programming.

Laurie Sieminski

Current Place of Employment: Edison High School
Job Title: College Counselor
Professional Association Memberships: NACAC, NJACAC, NJSCA,  MCSCA, HCSCA
NJACAC Service: Secondary School representative 2016- present,  ABCs Chair 2017-present, College Key NJ Workshop leader,  BASICS workshop leader, Camp College small group leader, Conference Committee, NCF NJ volunteer & counseling center counselor
NACAC Service: Member since 2016
Has Presented Workshops at: NJACAC conferences

Qualifications that would make you good President:

I have had the pleasure of being on the board as a Secondary School Representative for the last two years. I also have served in a leadership role for the Junior League of Morristown as a new member advisor and as a nominating and placement advisor. In these roles, I have learned how to help the members of my association to become acclimated and placed on appropriate committees.  While I have been a member of NJACAC since the beginning of my career, it took me a few years to begin to volunteer for events such as College Key and Camp College. These experiences helped me to connect with other like-minded professionals and set me up to run as a Secondary School Representative in Spring 2017. In this role, I expanded my knowledge of the workings of the board and continued to network with the rest of the board. Participation in events such as the Board Retreats strengthened my commitment to the organization as I learned the ins and outs of the association. My role as a chair for the last two years, with moments of both success and failure, has taught me how to continue to persevere through a tough process for the benefit of the students we support.

Candidate Message:

I am honored to be nominated to serve as President-Elect of NJACAC. This organization has allowed me to share my experiences throughout my career in order to help other counselors and myself to continue to grow and learn from each other. I would like to continue to serve not only the students of the state of NJ, but the counselors and admission professionals as well. As a public school college counselor, my unique role has allowed me to learn about both sides of the desk, and this knowledge has propelled me to share my insight with others and to provide the best service to my students. My goal is to ensure access to their best-fit post-secondary school to all students regardless of the background they come from.

Students are experiencing a record amount of stress, anxiety, and depression across the United States. As they move into their junior and senior years of high school, this is exacerbated by the impending decisions about their future. Throughout my career, I have always found that the more students are prepared to make this decision, the less stress it will evoke. Ensuring access to quality education on careers, postsecondary options, and preparation to leave high school for all students is a passion of mine. The collaboration between college admissions professionals and school counselors is essential as we work together to provide comprehensive advising and education which will hopefully lead to reduced stress and anxiety.

NJACAC should also continue to work to assist underserved populations throughout the state who are often attending schools where counselor caseloads are high and the responsibilities are increased. We need to support the efforts of these counselors while finding ways to serve these students.