The mission of the guidance and counseling department is to support and encourage healthy individual, social, and academic development and resilience in our students. Our approach is systemic and collaborative in nature, drawing first upon the student’s own personal resources, as well as the support of parents, faculty, and other professionals as appropriate.

Priory has a variety of counseling resources available to our students and parents. There are five full-time counselors comprising this departmenttwo college counselors, an academic counselor, a psychologist, and a learning specialist. The Counseling Team meets regularly and coordinates services according to individual student need. Parents are welcome to contact the Director of Guidance and Counseling, Matt McWright, ( with any questions about services and guidance programs.

The Priory Environment

Visitors to campus often note the positive tone and relaxed atmosphere among the students and faculty. Our students reflect a variety of interests, talents, and personalities. Individuality is respected and encouraged. Priory is a school where "everyone knows your name" and there are many avenues for our students to connect to faculty and each other.


Advisory groups at the Priory serve different purposes based on the unique needs of our students at different academic levels. In addition, advisors represent a “go to” adult with whom each student can discuss questions, concerns, and issues as they arise.

In the 6th grade, Advisory serves to teach students about the Priory’s Benedictine values and how these values are integral to our school program. We also emphasize developing a strong sense of community during this seminal year for students here.

In the 7th grade, Advisory emphasizes interpersonal relationships, what it means to respect each other as individuals, and how to work through conflicts.

In the 8th grade, greater emphasis is placed on organization skills—including planning, time management, and study strategies—by way of preparing students for the move to high school.

In the 9th grade, the focus is on transitioning to high school. Grounding our students—many of whom are new—in the Benedictine values is a priority, as well as building skills related to academic success.

10th grade advisory, the last grade in which advisory is conducted in a small group format, serves to help students plan for the remainder of their high school years, with an emphasis on course and extracurricular planning, and personal goal setting.

Advisory in 11th and 12th grades shifts to a more one on one emphasis as advisors monitor their students for progress against academic and personal goals. Students in these grades also meet regularly with College Counselors in support of the application and admissions process.

Meet the Guidance Team

List of 2 members.

  • Dr. Matt McWright 

    Director of Guidance and Counseling
  • Ms. Kathy Gonzalez 

    Academic Resource Counselor & English Teacher

Woodside Priory School