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New Director of College Counseling Named
Posted 06/22/2020 08:32PM

We are pleased to share with you that Ms. Bernadette Condesso has been named Director of College Counseling at Fordham Preparatory School. She brings a broad range of professional experience to the position with eleven years of leadership in college counseling in independent and international schools.

Ms. Condesso officially begins her term as Fordham Prep’s Director of College Counseling on August 1, 2020, and will begin to connect with her students and their families during the summer in anticipation of the 2020-21 academic year.  Ms. Maura Brennan, current Director of College Counseling, announced her departure earlier this spring.  

For the past two years, Ms. Condesso served as Director of College Counseling at Graded - The American School of São Paulo in Brazil. In this role, she developed and implemented a four-year college counseling program, advised students in the college admissions process, and maintained relationships with over 200 university admissions representatives throughout the world. Ms. Condesso’s global perspective and expertise in senior administrative leadership is rooted in developing practices that best address the changing needs of families and the evolving admissions requirements of colleges and universities.

Prior to her work at Graded, Ms. Condesso served as Director of College Counseling at Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (now The Leffell School) and Poughkeepsie Day School, both member schools of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). At Solomon Schechter, she restructured its college counseling department through the planning and execution of various programs, including the implementation of online research and application databases, the development of a four-year college prep curriculum, and the expansion of college-planning education programming for families. At Poughkeepsie Day School, Ms. Condesso taught elective courses in history and mentored the school’s Model UN team alongside her college counseling responsibilities. She also previously served the school as chair of the History Department for four years.

Ms. Condesso is Jesuit educated and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from St. Peter’s University (Jersey City, NJ). She completed a Post Baccalaureate Program in Near Eastern Studies at New York University. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz in addition to a New York State license in Secondary Education in Social Studies.

Ms. Condesso’s foundation in global and independent schools and commitment to the values of Catholic, Jesuit education make her a valuable addition to our administrative leadership in college counseling and throughout Fordham Prep. Her continuous professional development as a leader in the field includes participation in the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC), and the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling (NYSACAC). Ms. Condesso has co-organized college counseling conferences for the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and has presented at various state conferences. For the past three years, she has also engaged with the Council of International Schools Global Forum on International Admission and Guidance at their annual meetings in Austria and Spain. Ms. Condesso is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

Upon accepting the position, Ms. Condesso shared, "I am thrilled to be joining Fordham Prep. The school’s academic excellence and growth mindset call me as an educator. But it is the opportunity to join a community whose unwavering mission is the development of young men with the passion, vision, and skill set to improve themselves and their communities that is most exciting. I am also looking forward to joining a collaborative team of administrators, faculty, and counselors in the work of supporting Fordham Prep’s students and families.”

We would like to acknowledge the generosity of our faculty, staff, and administrators who supported our two-month search for the next Director of College Counseling. Ms. Bernadette Condesso joins an excellent and experienced team alongside Mrs. Erica Keough, Mr. Thomas O’Sullivan ‘98, and Mrs. Carol Isabel, all of whom remain committed to ensuring the exceptional care and guidance that marks our renowned college counseling program. As Ms. Condesso joins our faculty and staff, we am confident that she will serve Fordham Prep’s students and families with dedication, vision, and compassion in the spirit of cura personalis which is a hallmark of our way of proceeding.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Ms. Condesso to the Fordham Prep community.

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