Welcome to
The Academy for College Admission Counseling!

Academy Faculty


Sue Biemeret

Sue is a retired College Consultant, having spent 45 years in both private and public education, most recently at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. Today, she is a part-time independent educational consultant and also serves as the Executive Director of the Academy.

Why the Academy? 
"We founded The Academy in 1999 to help counselors help their families better navigate the college search and selection process. Over the years, we have worked with nearly 2,000 counselors and their students have been better served because their counselors joined The Academy. I've never worked harder for or enjoyed any activity more than The Academy!"

Melanie Coffman

Melanie is a retired College Counselor with experience at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois and Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois.  She has 30+ years in education, the majority in college counseling.

Why the Academy?
"I began working with the Academy because this valuable information was generally unavailable when I started as a new counselor in Central Illinois.  It was my way of giving back in honor of those who helped me along the way.  I continue to work with the Academy because it is truly inspiring to spend time each summer with high school counselors.  I am in awe of the work that is done by the counselors who participate in the Academy."

Kathy Dingler

Kathy is retired from Rich East High School in Park Forest, Illinois after completing 33 years in counseling.

Why the Academy?
The Academy is a proven entity that has enabled participants from both the high school and college sectors do their jobs more effectively.  I am proud to be part of a program than can so directly touch the lives of students and their families.

Deb Donley

Deb is a Post-High School Counselor at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. She spent 13 years as a college admission officer and is in her 15th year as a college counselor.

Why the Academy?
"Of all the professional development opportunities available, the Academy is the most rewarding to me.  Our students are enthusiastic, student-oriented and invested in their schools, students and their own growth and development.

Aliza Gilbert

Aliza is a College Counselor at Highland Park High School and has also served as an admission officer at Lake Forest College.

Why the Academy? "As a new college counselor I relied heavily on my more experienced colleagues to help guide me through my first few years. This is my opportunity to give back. I also believe it is vital that new counselors receive the tools to help them become effective professionals and the Academy is the most valuable tool out there!"


Patty Kovacs

Patty is the Department Chair and College Counselor at The University of Chicago Laboratory High School in Chicago, Illinois. Patty has 16 years' experience in college counseling.

Why the Academy? "I am doing the Academy because I realize the counselor training programs do not include this in their curriculum. If secondary school counselors want to effectively serve their students, this information is vital."

Tom Shorrock

Tom is a Post-High School Counselor at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He has also spent time as a college admissions officer.

Why the Academy? Seven years ago, the Academy helped lay the foundation for my transition from college admissions to high school counseling.  I remember that the leadership and comprehensive knowledge of the faculty, the content of the curriculum and the opportunities to connect with colleagues and learn about the many facets of college counseling were invaluable.  I consider it a privilege to have a chance to return the favor.


Phil Trout

Phil is the College Counselor at Minnetonka High School in Minnesota.  In his 35  years as a counselor, he has worked at four different high schools (both public and private), including the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.  He served as president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling in 2015-16.

 Why the Academy?

 I am particularly delighted to serve on the faculty of the Academy.  Our class sizes are purposefully small so that we can work closely with the counselors.  I count this professional development opportunity as a highlight of the summer -- plus it lets me come back to Illinois!

Sue Biemeret
Phone: 708-560-4109
Fax: 847-855-2778

We are proudly sponsored by Elmhurst College.

The Academy for College
Admission Counseling
6943 Dada Drive
Gurnee, IL 60031

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Statement Affirming Nondiscrimination
The Academy for College Admission Counseling is committed to the principle of equal opportunity. The Academy does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational programs and services.