Spencer Gayles
McGill-Toolen Class of 2011

Spencer Gayles is the epitome of a well-rounded student. He excels in the academic arena with an all Honors and AP curriculum. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has a 3.63 GPA. He received full scholarships to LSU and Springhill College and received the Spirit of Auburn Foundation Scholarship. He has chosen to attend LSU where he will march in the Tiger Marching Band.

Spencer is also dedicated to serving the community and living his Catholic faith. He is an active member of the Servants of the Poor, Pro-Life Club and Campus Ministry. He volunteers much of his time to community service. He was recently awarded the Development Office “Jacket Jubilation Meritorious Award” for his countless hours of service which are often done behind-the-scenes for no other reward or recognition other than helping and serving others. He is also a Student Ambassador and is a favorite on the McT Road Shows at his alma mater, St. Ignatius. He is the perfect student to speak on the topic of extracurricular involvement since he is involved in so much at McT!

But the thing Spencer is most passionate about is his music. He plays the violin, the guitar, and saxophone. He is a member of the McT Marching Band, Jazz Band and Symphoic Band. He attributes his self-motivation and persistence to his being a self-taught musician. “Regardless of whether it is learning an instrument or climbing the corporate ladder, it is ultimately up to one’s self to decide whether or not success is plausible.” Spencer feels he learned the importance of teamwork and self –discipline through being a part of the McT marching band. He says, “You have to have a lot of trust in your teammates when you have eighty band members walking backwards and anticipating being in the correct spot at the correct time”. He is also a member of the Chamber Singers, utilizing his musical talents in even another medium.

Spencer is a student who can “do it all and do it well”. His dedication to academics, service to others and his music will take him far in life.

Grade Level Services



Freshman Issues

Introduction to High School and the Counseling Department:
Students will learn the who, what, why, and when of the McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Department.

High School 101

Preparing for Semester Exams:
Students will be introduced to the McGill-Toolen exam process, learn why exams are so important, and review basic study skills to get prepared.

Pre-Registration for Sophomore Year:
Students will be introduced to registration procedures, the sophomore curriculum, and how it relates to their individual goals.

Considerations for the end of Freshman Year:
Students will take a realistic look at where they are and redefine their goals for the remainder of high school years.

Sophomore Issues

Factors for Consideration
Academic Achievement
Social Maturity
Personal Responsibility
Activities Involvement

Preparing for the PLAN Test:
Through English classes, information is assimilated on physical and mental test preparation, testing strategies, and testing format.

Preparing for Semester Exams:
Students will receive testing schedules and review preparation skills for semester exams.

Review of PLAN Test Results:
Assimilation of test results, interpretation of test results, and use of test results. Also included is an estimation range of ACT scores.

Pre-Registration for Junior Year:
Review of registration procedures, junior curriculum, and placement for specific classes.

Preparing for Upperclassmen Status:
Students will review check their credit status and continue to build a basis for career and college choices.

Junior Issues

Interested students register with their grade level counselor. The PSAT is offered for those Juniors who wish to:

  • Assess their verbal, mathematical, and writing skills
  • Prepare for the SAT
  • Qualify for National Merit Scholarship Cooperation Program

Beginning the College Search:
Group guidance sessions prepare the students for the annual College Fair. These classroom presentations also include discussions of other sources of information available (i.e. websites, reference books) to aid in the college selection process. The aspects of a campus visit, as well as questions for admission counselors are included in these presentations.

Preparing for the ACT/SAT:
Juniors are introduced to the procedure of applying for the ACT and the SAT tests in early spring. Practical suggestions for test preparation and test taking strategies are also covered.

Pre-registration for Senior Courses:
The process and paperwork for senior year registration is discussed in small group sessions. Particular attention is placed on selecting courses needed to complete graduation requirements.

Senior Issues

Completing the College Search:
Group and individual guidance sessions help students to review graduation requirements, cover McGill-Toolen’s college visitation policy, and encourage students to continue ACT and SAT testing. College representatives schedule visits in order for Seniors to learn more about particular schools in which they are interested. Scholarship

Completing College Applications and Preparing for Interviewing:
Advice is given to students’ on filling out college applications, writing essays, and meeting deadlines. Interviewing skills are also reviewed in order for students to feel more at ease during the process.

College Fair:
Seniors who have not decided on a particular school are encouraged to attend the annual College Fair.

Graduation Information:
Graduation Procedures begin being discussed third quarter.

Finalizing Future Plans:
Fourth quarter is spent wrapping up the college application process. Students are instructed on the appropriate ways to accept or decline various college invitations.

Counseling Team - website

Bro. Lee Barker, S.C. - Counselor
B.S. - Spring Hill College
Masters - Loyola, New Orleans, La.
Years in Catholic Education - 55
Email: barkerl@mcgill-toolen.org

Ken Bleicher - Junior Counselor
B.S. - University of South Alabama (Psychology)
Masters - University of South Alabama (Community Counseling)
Years in Catholic Education - 7
Email: bleichk@mcgill-toolen.org

Robin Brown - Sophomore Counselor
B.S. - University of South Alabama, Elementary Education
Masters - University of South Alabama, School Counseling
Years in Catholic Education - 21
Email: brownr@mcgill-toolen.org

Ellen Falzini - Senior Counselor
B.S.- University of South Alabama (Special Education)
Masters - University of South Alabama (Special Education/Learning Disabled)
Masters - University of South Alabama (School Counseling)
Years in Catholic Education - 33
Email: falzine@mcgill-toolen.org

Cathy Seward - Freshman Counselor
B.S. University of South Alabama
Director of Admissions
Director of Summer School
Moderator of Friends of Exceptional Children/ Ambassadors

Years in Catholic Education - 17
Email: sewardc@mcill-toolen.org