College Counseling

Saint Mary's Hall sends forth confident graduates who are armed with the knowledge, self-awareness, and skills that they need to thrive in college and find fulfillment in life.

Saint Mary’s Hall prepares our students for success in college and fulfillment in life. It is the mission of College Counseling to guide our students through the admissions process towards an institution of higher learning that is the best fit for their continued academic and personal growth. As we encourage our students to know the world, each other, and themselves, we aim to introduce our students to the breadth and variety of educational opportunities available in an increasingly global society.”

American University
Austin Community College
Baylor University
Boston University
California Polytechnic
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western University
Claremont McKenna College
Clemson University
College of William and Mary
College of Wooster
Colorado School of Mines
Connecticut College
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Duke University
Emory University
Furman University
George Washington University
Hamilton College
Kenyon College
Middlebury College
New York University
Oxford College of Emory University
Rice University
Southern Methodist University
Stanford University
SUNY Maritime
Texas A&M
Texas Lutheran
Trinity University
University of Richmond
University of Texas

Class of 2023

  • 10 Seniors were named National Merit Commended Scholars
  • 1 senior was named National Hispanic Scholar
  • 1 senior received the National African American Recognition Award
  • 6 Seniors were named National Merit Semifinalists
  • 6 seniors were named National Merit Finalists
  • 2 seniors are Valero Alamo Bowl Scholars

4-Year Averages/Information: 2018-2023

  • 86 Students Average Class Size
  • 52% Matriculating Out of State
  • 53 National Merit Finalists
  • 1,315 Average SAT Score

Meet Our Team

Ellen O’Neill Deitrich - Assistant Head of School for Academics and Dean of College Counseling 

Ellen Deitrich has been at Saint Mary's Hall since 2022. Contact her at (210) 483-9141 or by email at

Taylor Ditto - Director of College Counseling

Mrs. Ditto has been with SMH since 2018.  Contact her by phone at (210) 483-9179 or by email at at

Nurah Ahmad- Assistant Director of College Counselling
Mark McNeill - Director of Admission Outreach and College Counselor

Mark has worked at Saint Mary's Hall since 2021. Contact him at (210) 483-9143 or by email at

Melissa Skurka - Administrative Assistant - College Counseling

Mrs. Skurka has been with SMH since 2001.  Contact her by phone at (210) 483-9139 or by email at

As parents at SMH for 17+ years with multiple children, we had always heard rave reviews about the College Counseling Team. Faster than we could have imagined, we were in their offices having conversations that were foreign to us, and if being honest, really scary. Our first student found a school that was not on the radar, but was, and is, the perfect fit, allowing him to thrive academically and personally. It is a stressful process, particularly for the students, but the College Counseling Team did an unbelievable job of walking us through it. We couldn’t imagine doing it without them.

  • Scott and Stephanie Harris
  • Parents

Applying to higher education from Saint Mary's Hall was a breeze! Constant communication from the college counseling staff to parents and students along with their easy answers to my difficult questions meant that our concerns were given attention immediately. Working with the counselors helped to streamline my goals and finish my applications on time. I am extremely excited for my move beyond Saint Mary's Hall and I have the college counselors to thank!

  • Vivek Beeram '21

As parents of a graduating senior, we’re thankful that 15 years ago we picked Saint Mary’s Hall for our son’s education. There were many reasons why - small class sizes, teachers who were engaged and invested in their students but at the end of this journey - the most important aspect was the college counseling/application process. Starting in freshman year, we were gently eased into the thought of college. With each subsequent year, the process became more defined and guided us and our son into achieving his goal of being accepted to his college of choice. His counselor met with our family early in junior year to define his choices and goals for college. The SCOIR app was immensely helpful in refining his college choices. Throughout senior year, his counselor guided him along the way with gentle reminders of deadlines, applications and essays. Going through the college selection process was made much easier by the counselors at Saint Mary’s Hall and we’re so glad that it’s over!

  • Pam Mulrow
  • Parent

College counseling at SMH is a robust program spanning the entire upper school experience that supports students in each of their needs. As a recently graduated senior, I recommend attending college boot camp, a summer session that helps rising seniors complete their big college application essays before the busy school year begins. Even during the pandemic, when the college admissions process was filled with uncertainties, the college counseling faculty was always ready to offer me advice and comfort to ensure that I sent in an application that best represented my identity. Once college decisions were released, the college counselors were especially helpful in working through which school was the best match for me, allowing me to process in my own time while nonetheless offering important new perspectives. All in all, the college counseling office is a great resource for upper school students to help navigate their futures and discover their ambitions.

  • Sarah Hernandez '21

Over the past four years, the College Counseling Team has proven to be excellent for our two daughters. The team makes an effort to know the students beyond their GPA’s and test scores and help them get to know themselves. The College Counseling Team truly enjoys discovering students' particular interests, likes and dislikes, and what makes each one of them unique. They guide students in applying this self-awareness to search and discover schools that could be the the right fit for them.

With the College Counseling Team's expertise, sound advice, patience and enthusiasm, students at Saint Mary’s Hall are exceptionally prepared.

  • Gina Markey
  • Parent