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“Happy Letters” For Pierson Seniors

Posted on 26 December 2009

By Benito Vila


It’s that time of year again in the Pierson guidance office, a crush of last-minute senior applications being packed up and prepared to go out into the world.

While some seniors are just getting their final materials together, there are several who have already heard from certain schools, rolling and early admissions information arriving at home and coming into school daily.

What hopeful seniors wait for is what is known as “the Happy Letter,” a fat envelope detailing financial and educational options to those being accepted. The other fate is a thin, flat, not-so-chock-full envelope with a simple rejection notice or a “wait-list” selection.

So far this year, eight Pierson seniors have seen acceptances come from Cornell, University of Michigan, University of Georgia, Penn State, Ohio State, Villanova, University of Vermont, Xavier, C.W. Post and University of Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, Pierson principal, Jeff Nichols said, “A lot of kids haven’t heard back yet, but this is a talented group and it’s going to be a good class.”

Reflecting back on what he’s seen in his 12 years at Pierson, Nichols acknowledged that his measure of success has changed. “When I first started out [as principal at Pierson], I put lot of emphasis on big name schools. I now find it’s more important that they’ll find a spot where they’ll be successful.”

Nichols also acknowledged a singular quality that insures success at the next level. “Kids that leave here with a good work ethic tend to do well. They are the ones that persevere wherever they go and come across opportunities that excite and motivate them. There are a lot of those kinds of hard-working kids in this class.”

Nichols also explained the Pierson guidance office does not announce individual acceptances this early in the admission process. “There’s a lot to decide when those acceptances come in and some of those that have already been accepted may still be waiting to hear from other schools.”

Managing the college application and admission process, and addressing one student concern after another on Tuesday, guidance counselor Eileen Kochanasz was upbeat and positive saying, “They’re coming in everyday.”

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