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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. 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. 

Name:
Velda Benjamin Gilyot (8th & 9th Grade Counselor | ACT Bootcamp)

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


About: 
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:
vgilyot@purpleknights.com  |  504.944.2424 ext. 350

Favorite Book: On Becoming by Michelle Obama and Little Fires Everywhere
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.

Name:
Patrice Strickland (10th & 11th Grade Counselor)

Education: 
McDonough 35 Senior High School
Southern University New Orleans
Loyola University
Xavier University

About: 
I was born in Brooklyn, New York. My family and I moved to New Orleans when I was 9 years old. I graduated from McDonogh #35 Senior High School. I received my Bachelor's of Art in Secondary Education Mathematics.  I graduated from Loyola and Xavier Universities where I received my Master's in Teaching Mathematics, Guidance & Counseling. As the 10th and 11th grade counselor, with 25 years experience, my goal is to ensure all St. Augustine High School students are equipped with the necessary tools to graduate and continue their post secondary education.

Contact:
pstrickland@purpleknights.com  |  504.944.2424 ext. 325

Favorite Book: In the Meantime, Iyanla Vanzant
Fun Fact: 

Name:
Michelle G. Keelen  (12th Grade, College and Career Counselor)

Education: 
Warren Easton High School
The University of New Orleans 

About: 
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:
mkeelen@purpleknights.com  |  504.944.2424 ext. 349

Favorite Book:  Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Fun Fact: I speak fluent Spanish of course!

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