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College Preparation and Counseling

One of our goals as the Counseling Team is to make sure we work with each of our students individually to ensure they have a successful career at St.Augustine High School. Due to COVID-19 we know this task may be challenging but physically or virtually we are determined to achieve this goal. Overall, we are here to assist our students to excel academically and to become leaders inside and outside of the classroom. 

As the Counseling Team we welcome our students to use us as a resource and a guide to college & career readiness. We encourage you to utilize the college events we have scheduled for you, scholarship resources, financial aid, ACT prep and many more. We would love to build a relationship with all of our students, so please take some time out to get to know your Counselor. 


Velda Benjamin Gilyot (8th & 9th Grade Counselor | ACT Coordinator)

McDonough 35 Senior High School
Southern University at New Orleans 
Walden University, Baltimore

I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. I graduated from McDonough 35 Senior High School and went on to receive my bachelor’s degree from Southern University at New Orleans. After graduating from SUNO I continued my education and received my Masters from Walden University. I also received AP certifications in Literature and Grammar from Auburn University.

As the 8th & 9th Grade Counselor I plan to provide them with all the tools they need to have a successful career at St. Augustine High School. As ACT Coordinator I will provide ACT Bootcamps to help our students increase their scores so they can be eligible for acceptance and top scholarships from the colleges or universities of their choice.

Contact:  |  504.944.2424 ext. 350

Favorite Book: On Becoming by Michelle Obama and Little Fires Everywhere
Favorite Place on Campus: The Chapel
Favorite Marching 100 Song: In the Stone by Earth Wind and Fire
Favorite Snowball Flavor: Strawberry with Condensed Milk
Favorite Teacher: Dr. Louie Kaltenbaugh
Favorite Trip: Lion King on Broadway, New York
Fun Fact: One of the Owners and Directors of the Benjamin’s Center of Dance and Gymnastics, where we served students in the New Orleans area for 29 years, instructing Ballet, Tap, Baton Twirling and Gymnastics.


Michelle G. Keelen 
College and Career Counselor

Warren Easton High School
The University of New Orleans 

Born in Nicaragua, my family moved to New Orleans, LA. when I was 3 years old. I have been in New Orleans ever since. I graduated from Warren Easton High School and received my bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans. As the college and career counselor at St. Augustine, I serve our seniors. I assist them in college selection, financial aid, scholarships and dual enrollment options. 

Contact:  |  504.944.2424 ext. 349

Favorite Book:  Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Favorite Place on Campus: Counseling Office
Favorite Marching 100 Song: In the Stone by Earth, Wind and Fire 
Favorite Snowball Flavor:  Nectar Cream
Favorite Teacher:  Mr. Green
Favorite Trip: Going back home to Managua, Nicaragua
Fun Fact: I speak fluent Spanish of course!