Meet our College Counseling Team

Meet the team who help our students and their families as they complete the college process.

Smith Jessica

Jessica Smith

Director of College Counseling

Phone: 6103997930

I applied early decision to Mount Holyoke College because I was looking for a great school where students loved learning and were supportive of each other. The fact that it was a women’s college was an afterthought, but it turned out to be one of the most compelling aspects of my college experience. After Mount Holyoke, I went to University of Pennsylvania to get my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. This was a very different place from Mount Holyoke, and I mostly enjoyed the contrast between a small liberal arts college and large urban university. From there, I taught English in public and private schools for 15 years before becoming a college counselor. After visiting over 100 colleges, I’ve come to realize that there are multiple great schools for every student, and I love helping students along their paths of discovery.


Debra Weaver

Registrar/College Counseling Coordinator

Phone: 6103997938

My mother thought the college search was a hobby and I was on over 50 campuses in middle school and high school. I fell in love with a few but always felt most at home at Gettysburg College, though at first it was not my first choice (I was waitlisted at my first choice). I loved every minute of four years at Gettysburg College, was a double major, and was heavily involved in extracurricular activities including as an Admissions intern. My advisor(s) pushed me to explore Student Affairs as a career. I returned to West Chester University to get my Master’s Degree in Education, Counseling-Higher Education. It was very different from my small, liberal arts roots, but I quickly learned and appreciated a new level of diversity in the hard working students there. I have worked in Service-Learning, Greek Life, Leadership, Student Activities, Alumni Relations, and Career Development at West Chester University, Franklin & Marshall College, Neumann University, and Rosemont College. I love working with students and helping them grow to identify their interests and take the next step. I have been engaged in the college search process as a parent of a student-athlete for the past year and have learned so much more.

Laurel Weijer

Associate Director of College Counseling

Phone: 6103997936

My college search process began in a haphazard way, but I was lucky to have a college counselor who did a very effective job of guiding me towards colleges that would be a good fit for me both as a student and as a person. The University of Chicago was my first choice, and while they made me sweat a bit (ask me about it!), that was ultimately where I chose to attend. I planned for a career in science journalism but graduated in the middle of the Great Recession, which narrowed my prospects. Fortunately for me, this led to a job in communications at an independent school, which is where I discovered my love of working with high school students. While earning my master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University, I took on various roles, including journalism teacher, soccer coach, advisor, and college counselor–but the last one is what stuck. College counseling combines my expertise in advocacy and marketing with my passion for working with students. When my husband’s job took us to Florida for a few years, I had the opportunity to see the other side of the process as an assistant director of admissions at the University of Florida–an invaluable experience. However, I really missed working closely with students and being in a school environment, so ultimately returned to the high school side. My goals as a counselor are to help students find a college that fits them on all levels–academically, culturally, emotionally, socially–and to help them feel validated, affirmed, and empowered through the process of telling their unique story.

Fernando Gomes

Assistant Director of College Counseling

Phone: 6103997927

I grew up as a first generation American, the proud son to immigrant parents. While I was also proud to soon become a first-generation college grad, it also meant that I knew nothing about college or the admissions process, except what I saw on TV and movies. I was hesitant at first  to attend a school as small as McDaniel College, but it ended up being the best experience I could have asked for. I loved it so much that I ended up making it my career, working in admissions at Goucher College, Guilford College, and Juniata College, all communities similar to my alma mater. I truly enjoyed helping students, especially those with stories similar to mine, find the best place to continue their educational journeys. When the pandemic hit, I decided to try something new, and moved to Texas to begin a career in college counseling. I was fortunate to work with first-gen students through a community based organization in Houston, followed by an independent school in San Antonio. Now that I am at Westtown, I get to continue doing what I love in a diverse and inclusive community, all while being back closer to my home state of Maryland.