St. Laurence Welcomes Julie Gardner as School’s First Director of College Persistence

(Burbank, IL) St. Laurence High School is excited to welcome Julie Gardner as the school’s Director of College Persistence.

A first of its kind role among area Catholic high schools, the Director of College Persistence position was created to provide young alumni of St. Laurence two additional years of college and career counseling after graduating high school. Through regular meetings with students in her caseload, Gardner will develop and execute plans to ensure students are meeting their educational and career goals. In doing so, St. Laurence alumni will be even better prepared for the post-secondary transition.

“The addition of Julie further bolsters our college and career readiness opportunities for St. Laurence students and alumni,” said St. Laurence Principal Kristy Kane. “Julie’s experience in higher education will have great benefits for our students, as she possesses strong knowledge of the expectations and inner workings of colleges and universities. With college preparation in our school mission, we know that she will make a huge impact on our student services team.”

Gardner joins St. Laurence from Saint Xavier University, where she served as the Freshmen Admission Counselor for the past three years. In her role, she provided counseling to prospective students and families regarding their college options and financial aid opportunities within the university. Additionally, Gardner helped review prospective students for admissions consideration.

“In creating the Director of College Persistence role, we are providing our families even more value that goes beyond their four years at St. Laurence,” said St. Laurence President Joe Martinez ’99. “Studies show that since the onset of the pandemic, college persistence rates across the country have declined. The addition of this role allows us to take a proactive approach in ensuring that, with an additional two years of counseling post-graduation, our alumni will be able to avoid falling into this trend and find success in college and beyond.”

With the addition of Gardner, St. Laurence continues to revamp its student service offerings in order to ensure the educational, social-emotional and physical well-being of its students.

“I am thrilled to join St. Laurence in this exciting new role,” said Gardner. “My experience as an admission counselor has shown me what it takes for a student to be on the path for success in college. I look forward to bringing this knowledge to St. Laurence to help students thrive at the schools of their dreams.”