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Cartwright, Sharon » 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

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:

Seniors: College Financial Aid Award Letters

What's in a Financial Aid Award?
What can be as big a deal as an acceptance letter? Getting your aid award letter!
Once a college admits you -- and crunches the numbers from your aid application(s) -- it will send you an "award letter." Finally, you will find out what the college might really cost!
But deciphering your aid award can be frustrating.
Your award letter should clearly list the grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study the college is offering you. But often the labels are confusing. Ask the financial aid office to explain anything you don't understand.
Your aid offer isn't "all or nothing."
You don't have to accept every award listed in your letter. Accept or decline each aid offer as soon as you are comfortable and certainly before the acceptance deadline.
To learn what to look for in every award letter, read the full article at:

Juniors and Seniors: College Application Fee Waivers

Don't let high application fees prevent you from applying to college.
If you or your family are unable to afford an application fee, you might be able to have the fee eliminated. You just need to request a fee waiver. Here's how.
  • Through the college. You can request an application fee waiver directly from a college, often by writing a letter signed by a school official. Most colleges have information on how to apply on their websites.
  • Using a SAT/ACT fee waiver. If you took the ACT or SAT and were eligible to have your test fees waived, you automatically qualify for application fee waivers at multiple colleges.
  • Using a NACAC fee waiver. The National Association for College Admission Counseling provides fee waiver forms through its website.
  • When you apply online. The Common App, the Universal College Application, and the Coalition Application let you apply for fee waivers when completing your applications online.
How do you qualify for a fee waiver?
You must meet one of six eligibility criteria. In most cases, your counselor will need to approve your fee waiver request.
To learn more about college application fee waivers -- and whether or not you qualify -- read the full article at:

Seniors: SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: Texas Engineering Foundation Scholarship

In 2017, the Texas Society of Professional Engineers (TSPE) and the Texas Engineering Foundation (TEF) will award approximately $100,000 in scholarships to engineering students attending an ABET accredited university.
If you are majoring in engineering and attending an ABET accredited school in the fall of 2018, you are encouraged to apply!
Applications can be obtained in the Counseling Center.
Deadline:  January 19, 2018

Seniors: SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: RMHC Scholars Scholarship Program

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater North Texas opens the door to higher education for graduating high school seniors.  The RMHC Scholars Scholarship Program seeks to invest in students who are exemplary role models in their communities and have the initiative to fulfill their educational goals.  
The Application Deadline is:  January 19, 2018

Seniors: SFA's November Financial Aid Newsletter

SFA's November
financial aid newsletter is here.


The November edition of SFA's financial aid newsletter is now available to view, download and print. 

This month's newsletter includes information about:

  • being classified as dependent vs. independent
  • information about the data retrieval tool
  • signing the FAFSA
  • scholarships
  • when to apply for the FAFSA.

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:

Seniors: Texas A&M Important Information from Derek Nido


We have extended our application deadline to January 2, 2018 and our credential deadline to January 10, 2018.  The deadlines were extended primarily for hurricane victims, but we did extended the deadline for all students.  However, even though the deadline has been extended, we are still encouraging students in the Dallas-Fort Worth and East Texas Areas to submit before December 1, 2017 (because why would you want to be rushing to submit your college application during Winter Break?).  The university will also be closed the week in-between Christmas and New Years, so no one will be available to answer questions or receive documents during that time. 


Our Priority Deadline for the FAFSA/TASFA remains at December 15, 2017


Please note that I have offered to meet with students this week and next in the evenings for Aggie Coffee Talks.  Students with either an open or submitted application were notified this afternoon regarding the dates and times.  Please encourage any of your students who may have outstanding questions or concerns to attend one of these sessions. 


During these Aggie Coffee Talks, I do have time allotted for Walk-Ins.  If you have some questions or would like to drop off some materials for your students, please feel free to meet with me during the Walk-In times below:



Tuesday, November 28, 2017Walk-Ins: 6-6:30pm & 8-8:30pm

Location: Starbucks, 113 N NW Loop 323, Tyler, TX 75703


Sulphur Springs:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017Walk-Ins: 8-8:30pm

Location: Starbucks, 1320 S Broadway Sulphur Springs, TX 75482



Thursday, November 30, 2017Walk-Ins: 6-6:30pm & 8-8:30pm

Location: Starbucks, 1645 Town East Blvd. Mesquite, TX 75150


**I will be hosting similar Coffee Talks in Texarkana and in Longview next week.  I will send those dates/times out later this week.


As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I am always happy to help.


Thanks and Gig’em,


Derek J. Nido ‘11  |  Regional Advisor II- East Texas
Office of Admissions, Division of Academic Affairs | Texas A&M University
Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Prospective Student Center

3900 Arlington Highlands Blvd. #273 | Arlington, TX 76018

ph: 817.375.0960  |  fax: 817.375.8924 |

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Virtual College Fair

High school students are invited to our free virtual college fair for the southern region of the United States!  This fair is scheduled for November 13th-18th.  The students can log on any time during this week and get information from many colleges.  There is a question and answer section for the students to get answers directly from college reps.  The students must go to: 
to the students tab to register ASAP and we will send them a reminder e-mail the day before the fair starts.  This service is completely free!   

Seniors: DISCOVER Student Loans

Click here if you cannot view this email


I know that this is a busy time of year, but I wanted to remind you that our $2,500 Scholarship Award is still available for eligible students and parents through December 31, 2017. Students and parents can enter by signing up to receive tips and resources on No purchase or loan necessary to enter or win.

We also have a Scholarship Search tool where students can search 3 million scholarships worth more than $18 billion, and no registration is required.

As students prepare to complete their college applications, has helpful content on getting into college. Be sure to check out the article on how to make a college essay stand out as well as other helpful information related to the college application process.

Please share, a FREE resource on planning and paying for college, with your students and parents.  


Seniors: Financial Aid Pitfalls to Avoid

Financial Aid Pitfalls to Avoid
Avoid these missteps when applying for aid.
Applying for financial aid can be daunting. But the most common mistakes are easy to avoid, once you know about them.
Reporting assets incorrectly.
Many families believe that retirement funds and home equity must be reported on financial aid applications. Neither are required for the FAFSA. Both may be required for the CSS PROFILE.
Misreporting finances of divorced parents.
The FAFSA asks for financial data from only the custodial parent or the parent with whom the student lived the most. The CSS PROFILE also requires information from the noncustodial parent.
Overestimating how much financial aid you'll get.
Many colleges do not fully meet a family's financial need. This means that in addition to covering your expected family contribution, you and your family might have to pay more out of your own pocket.
Assuming you'll get the same amount every year.
Your financial aid eligibility will be recalculated annually. Even if your need for financial aid remains the same, you may receive less aid after freshman year -- or the same amount, but less in the form of grants and scholarships and more in loans.
To learn how to avoid five additional mistakes families often make when it comes to financial aid, read the full article at:

Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors: Deciding Which Colleges to Apply For

Deciding Which Colleges to Apply To
Are you applying to the right colleges?
These questions can help you to be sure that every college on your list could give you a rewarding college experience!
    • Are you making an informed decision? Do you have all the facts you need about this college and what it might be like to attend?
    • Are you making a reasonable decision? Have you considered your chances of acceptance and your ability to afford the college?
  • Are you making a heartfelt decision? Does each school fit your personality -- and challenge you in just the right ways?
What if your answer is "I don't know"?
That's ok! You still have time to do more research about your colleges to get the answers. And the payoff will be huge. When you carefully consider every school before adding it to your final list, it's almost certain that you will end up at a college that's right for you.
For more advice about making a great college list -- including the most important question to answer about every college before you decide to apply 

Seniors: University of Houston Scholarship Deadline Change

Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to get everything done. And with the various natural disasters that have been happening around the country, now is one of those times. S

Students deserve to have the time they need to complete their University of Houston application and have the best shot at receiving scholarship offers. That’s why we’ve decided to push back our scholarship priority deadline from Nov. 15, 2017, to Jan. 3, 2018.

Here’s what that means:

Just to recap: the scholarship priority deadline is now Jan. 3, 2018. However, the Fall 2018 application deadline for admission hasn’t changed. It’s still June 15, 2018

If you have any questions, send us an email at or call us at (713) 743-1010, option 4.

SENIORS: SCHOLARSHIP REMINDER: Marsha Martin Scholarship and AG Student of the Month

Here at Texas Farm Credit, we have a mission to support agriculture and rural communities today and tomorrow. Our customer-owned cooperative proudly offers two programs that recognize high school seniors who excel both in the classroom and in their FFA chapters and 4-H clubs. 

AgStudent of the Month: Each of Texas Farm Credit's 20 branch offices will recognize one outstanding student per month from January to April 2018. Winners will receive a $100 Visa gift card and will advance to the selection process for the Marsha Martin Scholarship.

Marsha Martin Scholarship: We will award five Marsha Martin Scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each for graduating seniors who are involved in FFA or 4-H and are pursuing a college degree in an agriculture-related field of study. These five scholarship recipients will be selected from the monthly AgStudent of the Month winners. 

Club Contribution: In addition, each of the five Marsha Martin scholarship winners will also have a $500 contribution made in their honor to their FFA or 4-H club. 
Information related to both programs can be downloaded from our website:

Our application deadline and requirements have changed from previous years so please ensure that you
    •    review eligibility requirements
    •    are using the 2018 application
    •    note the December 1, 2017 deadline
Please contact us if you have any questions.

Lauren Graham, Relationship Manager
Texas Farm Credit Scholarship Committee
903-593-6609 |