Most of us can agree that college applications are one of the most stressful aspects, if not the most stressful aspect, of the high school experience. However, Lovett is fortunate to have many advisors and helpers to get us through this process alive. Sadly, next school year, Lovett will lose Mr. Brian Howard’s smiling face and warm demeanor in the college counseling department.
Mr. Howard’s career began at Northeastern University where he worked in college admissions for six years. He worked in international admissions for there years, and he also worked with smaller territories in the Midwest and southeast. Mr. Howard met many wonderful students that inspired his work.
However, Mr. Howard decided that he wanted to “transition from crushing dreams to helping build dreams.”
He then went to the Atlanta International School and worked in their college counseling department. He worked with a smaller number of students at AIS than at Lovett with grades 9-12. Obviously here at Lovett, the emphasis is on the eleventh and twelfth grade process.
Additionally, at AIS the college counseling process is more centered around student support services and academic support, giving him more “background experience coming into my job here at Lovett.”
He said there was a lot of transition during the time when he was working in the Atlanta International School, and in coming to Lovett he was excited to find a team that had started to define and establish an identity. ,
Therefore, Mr. Howard came to Lovett in the fall of 2015. He had connected to everyone in the Lovett college counseling office through AIS, and at this time Lovett was planning to expand their college counseling department.
“I looked at it as a nice opportunity to come work for a team, I really enjoyed the element of collaboration in the work office and knowing these three wonderful individuals it made sense to come in and join the Lovett school community.”
Throughout Mr. Howard’s time at Lovett, his favorite students were those who were willing to look off the beaten path and who were excited about exploring different schools.
“That open mindedness and potential willingness to explore really excites me because that was my journey and experience so I find a connection there,” he says.
But his favorite memories of the Lovett community were not all work based, thank goodness!
“I’ve loved coaching middle school swimming. It has been a hilarious part of my experience and it’s been really enjoyable to watch some of the middle school students that I coached come up into the upper school and then slowly see them and engage with them in different ways here in the upper school,” he says.
Mr. Howard’s drive for taking risks and going after new opportunities has inspired his breaking out of the Lovett community: “I feel like I’m not fulfilling my role if I’m not pushing myself to do something new and grow personally.”
After this year, Mr. Howard will be leaving Lovett to pursue a masters in mental health counseling. He aspires to help students with the overall transition from high school to college.
“There’s a lot of support students receive right now and it changes in college and I plan to work in ways to support in that bridge,” he says.
Mr. Howard has given countless pieces of advice to hundreds of different students, but if he had to give us one final, parting piece, what exactly would that be?
His answer? To keep an open mind.
“Know that where you go and what you study right now is not going to determine what you do for the rest of your life,” he says. “I’m in my mid-thirties and still have not decided what I’m doing for the rest of my life.”
He strongly encourages us to realize that it is “entirely okay to continue to grow and do new things and try new things out.”
Mr. Howard’s positive attitude, willingness to take risks, and dedication to Lovett’s students will be strongly missed by the Lovett community.
I think Mr. Alig perfectly sums up our reflections and our wishes for the rest of Mr. Howard’s journey: “Mr Howard has brought wonderful professionalism and college expertise to Lovett. He’s also a wonderful listener and a really, really nice guy. We will miss him greatly next year, but I’m excited for him as he begins the next stage of his career.”