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Russell, Sandi » My Mission

My Mission

As School Counselor, my primary responsibility is to promote the academic, personal, and social development of all students.  I look forward to offering support to students, staff, families, and community members.

My goal is to create a positive and supportive environment conducive to learning and success.  Please know that I am dedicated in making every possible effort to make certain that all students receive as much personal assistance as possible to ensure that their years at San Augustine High School are productive and meaningful.



Como la Consejera Escolar, mi responsabilidad primordial es promover el desarrollo académico, social y personal de todos los estudiantes.  Estaré ofreciendo siempre el mejor apoyo a estudiantes, maestros, familias y miembros de la comunidad.

Mi objetivo es crear un entorno positivo y propicio para el aprendizaje y el éxito.  Quiero que sepan que estoy dedicada en hacer todo el esfuerzo posible para asegurarme que todos los estudiantes reciban la mayor atención como sea posible para asegurar que sus años en la Escuela Preparatoria San Augustine (San Augustine High School) sea productiva y significativa. 

Recent Posts

Juniors Planning on Applying to Texas A&M......

Texas A&M will begin accepting applications for Fall 2019 beginning July 1, 2018. Both the ApplyTexas and Coalition applications will be available to  students and the deadline to apply is December 1, 2018. We recommend that students fill out the application completely in lieu of submitting a resume. 

New for this admission cycle, we are only requiring students to submit one essay - essay prompt A. While the optional essays will still be viewable as part of the application, only Essay A will be reviewed for admission.

TAMU Higher Education Center, McAllen is now open!

This fall, the new $40 million Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen will welcome its first cohort of students.  The degree options in McAllen include:
Biomedical Sciences, Food Systems Industry Management, Interdisciplinary Engineering, Multidisciplinary Engineering and Public Health.
If you are interested in pursuing one of these majors at the McAllen site, you may indicate your preferred site on your application.  This information will be taken into consideration when placing students at Texas A&M University - College Station as well as the Higher Education Center at McAllen.

TAMU Admissions Process Changes

from the Counselor Connection - Texas A&M University
  It's time to apply and we're ready for your students!  Since our normal deadlines for applications and supporting documents both fall on Saturdays this year, the application through either ApplyTexas or Coalition will remain open until 11:59pm (CST) Monday, December 3.  All other required documents will be dur by close-of-business on Monday, December 10.  Apply early - late September to early October!
Changs to the Admission process this year:
  Only one essay is required - Essay A on either ApplyTexas or the Coalition application.  The essay prompts are available online.  Optional essays will not be considered in the admission process.  Students - Take Your Time to write a thorough essay and share your story.

TAMU Summer Application Workshops

There are 2 remaining Application Workshops this summer in East Texas.  Workshops in Tyler are on Jul 16 and Longview on July 31.  Seats are still available.  The registration link is

Juniors and Seniors: Choosing a College

Worst Reasons to Choose
(or Lose) a College
How to avoid college remorse.
You don't want to end up unhappy in college. So think twice if you find yourself choosing (or rejecting) a school for any of the following reasons.
    • Romance. It's tempting to choose a college just to be with a special someone. But right now that special someone is you! Choose a school that is best for your future.
    • Your friends are going there. It's tough to leave your high school friends. But making new friends is one of the best benefits of college!
  • Beautiful people, or lack of them. If you prioritize dating over studying, your stay in college may be short.
Choose a college for the right reasons.
Choose a college that fits you well academically, personally, and financially. To see how students like you found their right-for-me college, check out the Road to College stories in the College Buzzsection of COLLEGEdata.
To see five more questionable reasons for choosing a college, read the full article at:

Seniors: How Colleges Award Financial Aid

How Colleges Award Financial Aid
Truth: Financial aid awards are confusing.
The arrival of your financial aid offers can be as exciting as getting your letters of acceptance. But evaluating your awards can lead to confusion. Knowing more about how colleges decide how much financial aid to give you (or not give you) will help. Here are the main factors colleges look at.
    • What your family is expected to pay. All colleges start with your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This is the amount your family will be expected to contribute based on your financial aid application(s).
    • Your financial need. To determine your financial need, the college subtracts your EFC from the cost of attendance. The college then decides how much and what types of financial aid it will give you to cover your need.
  • Types of financial aid the college offers. You might be awarded grants (which you don't have to pay back), loans (which you do), or a work-study job -- or some combination of all. You might also get a merit-based scholarship in addition to your need-based aid.
Warning: Your aid offers might be vastly different.
Colleges have different financial aid policies and are not equally generous, so your awards will vary from college to college. Some colleges will cover more of your financial need than others. Some will award more grants and scholarships, and others will include a higher amount of loans. All of this affects how much you and your family will pay out-of-pocket. So it's important to evaluate your award letters carefully.
For more help with understanding your financial aid awards and how to compare them, read the full article at:

Visit a College Without Stepping on Campus

Visit a College Without Stepping on Campus
What if you can't make the college tour?
Setting foot on campus is always a good idea, but it's often not practical. Fortunately, you can get a feel for a college from afar.
  • Visit virtually. Go online and you'll find everything from YouTube videos featuring real students to photo tours of the campus.
  • Look at student newspapers. You'll find out what students consider important and how they like to have fun.
  • Ask about local interviews. Contact the college admissions office to find out if you can interview a local alumnus, a current student home on break, or a regional college representative.
The research is worth it.
The more you know about the colleges you are considering, the more likely you are to make good choices about where to apply -- and where to attend.
To see five more ways to experience a college without leaving home, read the full article at:

Juniors and Seniors: Ten Tips for Successful College Interviews

Ten Tips for Successful College Interviews
How to stay calm and wow your interviewer.
A strong college interview won't get you admitted, but it can reinforce why you should be. Here are three of our top ten tips for making a great impression.
    • Research the school before the interview. Find examples of what you like about the school. This will help you explain to your interviewer why you are applying.
    • Anticipate common questions. You may be asked to describe yourself and what you can contribute to the college. Prepare some specific examples or anecdotes that show off your unique talents.
  • Ask your own questions. Interviewers expect this and it shows your keen interest in the college. Write down your questions beforehand and bring them to the interview.
Your preparation will be noticed.
College interviewers are often dismayed by how poorly prepared many students are. Don't be one of them!
To see seven more interviewing tips -- including what not to mention during the interview -- read the full article at:

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Tips to Improve Your SAT and ACT

Tips to Improve Your SAT and ACT Scores
Want to do your best on test day? Follow these steps!
Get the best SAT and ACT scores you can! These practical steps can boost your test-taking confidence -- and your results.
    • Rest. Get at least eight hours of sleep the night before the test so you are rested and alert.
    • Eat a good breakfast the morning of the test. A breakfast with protein boosts your energy level. Bring a protein bar or sandwich to eat at the break.
    • Be early. If you arrive at least 15 minutes before the official start time, you won't worry about being late.
    • Scrutinize. Before marking an answer, read the question carefully to be sure you understand what is asked.
    • Do easy ones first. Enter the answers you know, and then come back to harder questions.
  • Eliminate. If you can eliminate even one answer option, your chance of choosing the right answer is greater.
Don't forget to breathe!
If you get nervous during the test, do some deep breathing to calm yourself. Inhale, count to three, exhale, and then repeat this a few times.
For more ways to improve your performance on the SAT and ACT, see the full article at:

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Find Out What A College Wants

Find Out What a College Wants
Discover what it takes to get in!
Just what a college is looking for might seem like a well-kept secret. But you just need to know where to look and who to ask.
Look at the facts about who gets in.
Review the average grades and test scores of the college's freshman class, as well as its admission priorities. You can find this data with College Match. (See COLLEGEdata Tools, on the right.)
Get to know your college rep.
Your admission rep can look at your qualifications and suggest how to improve your chances. To find your rep, call the college or ask your counselor.
Talk to current college students.
Students attending your favorite colleges can help you understand what it takes to be a good match. Ask your counselor to help you find these students, or friends who have siblings in college.
For more ways to find out what a college is looking for, read the full article at

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Six Ways College is Different than High School

Six Ways College is Different from High School
Wondering what college will be like? Prepare for some big adjustments.
Here are a few college realities that you will face when you start your new life.
    • Time in college is managed by you, not the school. In college, you may have three classes one day and none the next. You might be tempted to kick back. Whether you give in is up to you.
    • College professors expect you to be independent. You'll be responsible for mastering all the material -- even if it's not covered in class -- and to speak up during discussions.
  • Your social life is wide open. College may seem more about fun than work -- at first. But many students learn the hard way that the opposite is true.
Learn about college life from actual college students.
Explore our Road to College Student Stories, which follow the ups and downs of real students from their freshman to senior years.
To find out three more ways college is different from high school, read the full article at:

Freshman and Sophomores: Start Your College List Now

Starting Your College List
Which colleges should you focus on?
With thousands of colleges and universities to choose from, starting your college list can feel overwhelming. But relax. Deciding where to apply is a process, and your college list will evolve as you go. Here's how to get started.
    • Begin with your academic goals. Academics should always be your first priority. Start by identifying colleges that have your major, or that can help you explore broadly before you choose a major.
    • Determine what else you want. If you are passionate about one or two other features (perhaps it's an urban location or a sport you want to play), make these your second and third priorities.
  • Find 10 colleges to research further. Use College Match to search for colleges based on typical things like location and majors offered, and on less obvious (but important!) factors such as the percent of students awarded merit aid, levels of student debt, and freshman satisfaction.
Ready, set ... start exploring!
The more research you do into the colleges on your list, the more you will discover about what appeals to you and what doesn't. (Don't forget to look at affordability, as well as your chances of getting in.)
For more tips on starting your college list -- including six questions that will help you uncover your best college fit -- read the full article at:

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: What is the Price Tag for a College Education?

What's the Price Tag for a College Education?
There's more to the cost of college than tuition.
A college's total "cost of attendance" also known as its "sticker price," includes a range of expenses:
    • Tuition and fees. Colleges charge tuition for instruction and fees for services like gym access, academic advising, and campus elections.
    • Room and board. The total college price includes estimates for on- and off-campus housing and meals.
    • Books and supplies. Colleges add in the average costs for textbooks and other learning materials, including computers.
  • Personal and transportation expenses. Miscellaneous costs for things like local transportation, clothing, and entertainment are included in the total cost as well.
Don't panic! Prices vary.
The price tag at some colleges can be shocking. But remember, college educations come at all price points, and financial aid can greatly reduce costs.
To see examples of average private and public college costs in each of these categories, read the full articleat:

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: How to Shine in Your College Essay

How to Shine in Your College Essay
Write an essay they'll remember!
Colleges look for curious and articulate people who are ready for college. Here's how to write an essay that shows them you are that person!
    • Develop your topic like a story. Colleges look for students who seek challenges and learn from them. Even a small incident of personal growth can lead to an amazing essay.
    • Get a good start. One way to get going is to talk through your topic. Record your thoughts or have someone note them for you.
    • Show your thoughtfulness. Push yourself to think deeply about why your topic is compelling to you. Explain how you feel about it and why.
  • Revise until it feels right. Ask someone with excellent grammar skills, such as a teacher or parent, to proofread it.
Remember, it's always about you.
No matter what the essay topic is, the real topic is you. Use the essay prompt to show your personality, humor, and ability to communicate what your experiences have taught you.
For more essay-writing tips, and to learn more about why essays are so important to many colleges, read the full article at: