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University Counselling

Mission Statement: The University Counselling Department is committed to informing, enhancing, and guiding the Mulgrave community in all aspects of post-secondary planning.

The culmination of a Mulgrave education lies in the options that become available to our students as graduates. Armed with a world-class IB education and a strong sense of self, Mulgrave grads are well-prepared for post-secondary life.

As a department, we work closely with both the student and his/her parents to help them refine their university search and determine what path should be taken in order for our students to be prepared to earn a place at their university of choice. This journey begins in the Middle School (Grades 8 and 9) with guidance embedded in Life and Learning classes. As students progress into the Senior School (Grades 10-12) counselling expands to include course selection advice based on the goals that students have set for themselves. Our university counsellors meet with each student to map out a detailed schedule which reflects personalised post-secondary ambitions.

University Counselling

What We Do

The University Counselling Department works closely with students and their families throughout their years at Mulgrave to maximise a student’s ability to reach his or her highest potential and move into post-secondary life. Thus, we are committed to providing the following services and more:

  1. Clear and ongoing communication with the Mulgrave community about what it takes to earn acceptance to post-secondary institution.
  2. Comprehensive Information and Resources that are easily accessible both online and in person.
  3. Information and Testing Services related to post-secondary application including access to external admissions assessments: PSAT, SAT, ACT, BMAT, TSA, etc.
  4. Building and enhancing close partnerships with post-secondary institutions such as attending conferences, hosting university fairs and visits, and much more.

Scott brings to Mulgrave experience on both the university admissions as well as the high school counselling sides of the desk. From 2008-2014, he served an an admissions officer at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA, handling all facets of both international and USA domestic admissions. Scott then moved overseas and took a position as a high school guidance counsellor at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) doing both university and pastoral counselling, a position he held for five years (2014-2019). Scott believes strongly in the philosophy of "best fit" regarding university exploration and placement, and is dedicated to getting to know his students and their families to help make the university admissions process as positive and successful as possible for all involved. The father of two who he has seen through the university admissions experience, Scott has an understanding of the process from both the parent and counsellor perspective. 

Prior to his work at Middlebury, Scott held a variety of other positions, including as a program officer at the Salzburg Global Seminar (Vermont and Salzburg, Austria), the Addison County Community Trust (Middlebury, Vermont), and serving as a radio announcer on Vermont Public Radio (VPR), among others. Born and raised in Maine in the US, Scott earned a BA in anthropology from Harvard University, and spent most of his adult life in Middlebury, Vermont before moving abroad.

Luke LawsonLuke Lawson
Co-Director of University Counselling

Luke Lawson has been counselling students on university admissions and related matters for twenty years. He is extremely knowledgeable on admissions and current trends in post-secondary guidance. He takes great pride in helping students work through the application process, from researching potential schools to finally choosing their university destination. Luke keeps up-to-date on university matters by attending various local, national and international fairs and conferences. He has also built up an extensive network of contacts.

In addition, Luke is a former IBDP and CAS Coordinator at Mulgrave School and the Halifax Grammar School. He coordinated the IBDP application for both schools and is currently an IB examiner for IB Economics, an IBDP site authorisation leader and, previously, a member of the IBDP History curriculum review team.

Holding Masters degrees in History and Education, Luke also teaches IBDP Economics.

Joyce Tang

Joyce Tang
University and Careers Guidance Counsellor

Joyce’s personal philosophy is that all students have the ability to reach their greatest potential. In order to do so, each student needs to have a support system in place to help him/her find a balance between working hard, pursuing passions and interests, and achieving dreams. This is not only the key to earning a spot at the university of each student’s choice; but more importantly, it is the key to leading an enjoyable and fulfilling life.

Although born in Hong Kong, Joyce has a long-standing history with Vancouver and the North Shore. After completing her high school education at Argyle Secondary, she moved onto UBC to earn a Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Bachelor of Education with a specialty in Secondary School Social Studies. In 2013, Joyce completed her Master in Business Administration from the University of Liverpool.
Upon graduation from UBC, Joyce began work in education’s private sector, providing instruction and support to students of all ages. During that time, she worked closely with many students, helping them to realise their dreams of pursuing higher learning.

Leah VerdoneLeah Verdone
Co-Director of University Counselling

Leah brings a decade of experience in university counselling, teaching English and Social Studies at both the high school and university level, and administration roles to her position. She possesses a passion for politics, economics, and education as they directly pertain to the post-graduation world students will enter. She is dedicated to utilizing the mentorship implicit in the role of University Counsellor to nurture greater independence, introspection, leadership, and resourcefulness necessary for students to excel and achieve their goals while maintaining balance and finding happiness throughout their tenure at Mulgrave.

Born in northern Ontario, Leah is a transplant to the BC coast, earning her Bachelor of Arts with a double major English and History from the University of Victoria and her PDPP in Secondary Education. She studied for an Master in Education in Leadership at Vancouver Island University. As a lifelong learner, she is currently working on a graduate Certificate in College Counselling from UCLA as a means of enriching her knowledge of US college admissions to better serve students applying to the US; additionally, the program inculcates the most progressive best practices throughout the industry while developing networking connections with US institutions and international educators.

Contact Information

Scott Atherton:

Luke Lawson:

Joyce Tang:

Leah Verdone: