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Counseling Overview

Mission Statement

To provide a proactive, comprehensive school counseling program focusing on what all students should know, understand and be able to demonstrate in the academic, career, and personal/social domains.

Vision Statement

Empowering all students and their families with the knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to be prepared for college, career, and life beyond high school

At CMHS/MS, our goal is to help students navigate through the middle and high school process as well as provide them with a positive career exploration and college admission experience. We will do whatever it takes for students to get the attention that they deserve to reach their individual goals.

For struggling students, we will facilitate intervention strategies and provide available resources to ensure that they have the opportunity to regain success.

All students who graduate from Costa Mesa High School/Middle School will have had the opportunity to successfully develop communication skills, academic accountability, career direction, and personal growth. Additionally, they will have had the opportunity to become independent thinkers and problem solvers in their path to become active and committed citizens within their communities.

-The CMHS Counseling Department.


New Counselor Assignments


After much discussion and consideration we have decided to adjust and realign our counselor assignments to enhance our ability to meet the needs of our Costa Mesa High School students and families. Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, counselors will be assigned alphabetically to students in grades 9 through 12 based on the students’ last name. By doing this, counselors will be able to meet with and follow students throughout their entire 4-year high school career. High school counselors will also be able to meet with and get to know all siblings and parents. This family approach is designed to enhance the quality of the counselor’s responsive services and support a team approach within the counseling and guidance department.


The Costa Mesa High School Counselor Assignments are:


Megan Swanek: All 7th and 8th Graders (  714-424-8756)

Jeff Gall: High School A-G (  714-424-8723)

Janice Duzey: High School H-O (  714-424-8755)

Jackie Stemler: High School P-Z (  714-424-8791)

Costa Mesa High School/Middle School

Goal 1

  • Counsel all students regarding standards-based test results, course selection,   A-G college eligibility, transcript review, and evaluation/revision of 4 year academic plans through a collaborative mindset.
  • Provide post-graduation advice, financial aid materials, and college/career planning.
  • Identify at-risk students and coordinate parent meetings to provide education regarding intervention strategies, credit recovery, CAHSEE prep, school policies, and community resources.
  • Initiate parent night regarding high school graduation and college requirements.


Goal 2

  • Administer the PSAT test to establish a “College going culture”.
  • Administer College Seminars to establish “College going culture”.
  • Create a CMHS Grade Level Counseling Handbooks to provide a comprehensive data source to further assist each student in their high school and post-secondary options.
  • Facilitate the NAVIANCE program with all students.
  • Enhance the college/career center to allow for greater accessibility for our student body.
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To Schedule an Appointment Call


School Counselor Availability

The school counseling department will be open for student/parent/teacher access from 7:15 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. (other times available by appointment, if needed).


How to see a School Counselor

Counselors at Costa Mesa High School/Middle School are readily available to assist students, parents, and staff. There will be a counselor available without an appointment on a drop-in basis before and after school, at nutrition break, and at lunch. If your assigned counselor is not available at that time, another counselor will gladly assist you.


  • CALL - To make an appointment with your child’s counselor, please call the counseling office directly at 714-424-8704
  • EMAIL or call your child’s counselor directly (Contact information listed below)
  • DROP-IN depending on availability


  • DROP-IN depending on availability or fill out a “Request to See Counselor Form” and your counselor will call you in. (Drop-ins are NOT allowed during class time)
  • EMAIL your counselor directly (Contact information listed below)
  • CALL during non-school hours and leave a message

The California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Education, Section 852, states, "A parent or guardian may submit to the school a written request to excuse his or her child from any or all parts of any test pursuant to Education Code Section 60640.  A school district and its employees may discuss the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program with parents and may inform parents of the availability of exemption under Education Code 60615.  However, the school district and its employees shall not solicit or encourage any written exemption request on behalf of any child or group of children."

CMHS Counselors and Staff


Jeff Gall, Counselor
High School (9-12) A-G

Janice Duzey, Counselor
High School (9-12) H-O

Jackie Stemler, Counselor
High School (9-12) P-Z

Megan Swanek, Counselor
Grades 7, 8

Counseling Staff

Kim Miller, Registrar

Debbie Walthers, Counseling Department Secretary

Mary Harrison, ROP Career Specialist

Allie Hatch, College Guidance Specialist