Welcome to Valley Christian High School Academic and College Counseling. Our goal is to partner with students, parents, and teachers to prayerfully identify the needs, aptitudes, and goals of each student and to provide academic and college/career planning. In order to effectively counsel and care for students, each family will be assigned a counselor to partner with throughout all four years of high school. This will allow counselors to build meaningful relationships with parents and students. It will also enable counselors to better understand each student’s strengths and goals.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, 
which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

“That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: 
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (
Colossians 1:10)

Design Your Blueprint

The counseling team provides strategic, individual, and personal academic and college planning. The following is a summary of planned counselor touchpoints for our students.

  • Counselor Connects, a presentation for new families to learn about class selection and what to expect in high school
  • Freshmen Fresh Start is a specialized orientation event offered in August for incoming ninth graders to prepare for high school
  • Warrior Blueprint for freshmen families to map out a four-year academic and spiritual plan based on each student’s goals and abilities
  • Four years of web-based, Naviance training to assist students with the college search, preparation and application process 
  • Annual class presentations covering strategies for academic success, course selection, college preparation, and a healthy balance
  • Annual Individual Counselor Meetings to review academic performance and post-secondary goals

Navigate the College Process

The transition from high school to college marks a significant point in a student’s experience, and the VCHS counseling team is available to provide support, professional advising, resources, and direction. Below is a list of services designed to guide students and parents through the college search and application process.

  • Parent/Student College Workshop is a Saturday event with breakout sessions covering a variety of college admissions topics
  • College tours led by VCHS counselors. Past trips have included Boston, New York, Philadelphia, the Pacific Northwest, the Southern States, and Southern California
  • Naviance offering students and parents interactive surveys, college search and comparison tools, college profiles with VCHS data, scattergrams of past applications from VCHS, local scholarships and aid opportunities, and much more.
  • Annual class presentations covering strategies for college preparation
  • Over 200 college admissions representatives are scheduled throughout the year to meet with students
  • Annual Christian College Fair at VCHS 
  • Guest speakers on college essay writing, tips, and applying for financial aid and scholarships
  • Recommendation Letters and Secondary School Reporting
  • College Application and essay assistance available for seniors during the summer, optional tutorials, and afterschool
  • Individual Junior and Senior family meetings to discuss college goals and to create a plan for college applications
  • Sophomore, Junior, and Senior College Family Nights provide a broad overview of timelines and the college application process 
  • Test Prep Seminars offered throughout the year, including SAT and ACT seminars. Benchmark tests are administered at the start of the class, followed by a diagnostic test at the end of the course to evaluate student improvement
  • College/Career Day held in November offers breakout sessions tailored for all grade levels

NCAA and NAIA Athletic Recruitment Counseling

Sixty percent of Valley Christian students participate in a sport.  The counseling team strives to provide individual counseling for our athletes interested in seeking opportunities to continue playing at the collegiate level.

  • Each student-athlete expressing a desire to play college sports is given an individual college counseling appointment during the month of November 
  • Workshops on the college recruitment process

Follow Your Calling

The counseling team is committed to providing ongoing assistance for a variety of student needs. 

  • Summer Opportunities are highlighted through spring workshops for students to learn about travel, internships, work, and study options
  • Course Selection advice and assistance
  • Counselors available for scheduled and drop-in appointments throughout the year
  • Highlands Ability Assessment and feedback sessions to identify students’ God-given abilities to determine a college and career path

Nathan Smith 
Director of Student Life
Christian College Specialist


Erik Ellefsen
Academic and College Counselor Athletic Recruitment Advisor


Sonia Avilucea
Academic and College Counselor Highlands Affiliate

Annette Davis
Academic and College Counselor 

Isaac Lewis
Academic and College Counselor

Heidi Vals
Academic and College Counselor

Abra Martinez
Academic Support Counselor 

Hea Jin Thomas
High School Counselor/International Counselor

Amy Smith
Academic and College Counselor

Stephen Torode
Freshman Academic Counselor





  • Elementary School 1450 Leigh Avenue
  • San Jose, CA 95125 408.559.4400 FAX: 408.559.4022
  • Junior High 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 130
  • San Jose, CA 95111 408.513.2460 FAX: 408.513.2472
  • High School 100 Skyway Drive, Ste. 110
  • San Jose, CA 95111 408.513.2400 FAX: 408.513.2527
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