18 Years and Counting

After serving many years as a counselor, Ms. Pivonka has excelled in her new role as College and Career Coordinator


Ms. Pivonka in her new office, which is located in the Religion hallway.

The counseling department has had another positive addition, Ms. Kathy Pivonka has accepted a new position of College and Career Coordinator.

Hired as a college counselor eighteen years ago, Pivonka has been promoted to College and Career Coordinator. Administration had initially been looking for a new counseling director, which she was uninterested in and had already been. This resulted in her inspiration to propose the new role of College and Career Coordinator.

Pivonka said, “ I said I wasn’t interested in being director but I brought this proposal forward to kind of focus things back on college advising in a more specific way. We (counselors) all did it, it was just mixed into everything else we did. To put that spotlight back on, it was there, just with everything else. They kind of liked what I had to say and took it from there.”

Once found working in the counseling offices in the Admission hall, Pivonka’s office has been relocated to the religion hallway. This new location allows her to be more involved and provides her with more space. She described this location as “more mainstream.” Although this change has brought some difficulties with communication amongst counselors, she believes it has the ability to bring exposure to all students. 

“It’s hard not being down with the counselors. (We) kind of have to make sure we are all keeping in touch with each other, and Mrs. Watko is over in Loretto now, so that is a whole other different piece of the puzzle for us because she’s over there doing great work but she doesn’t always get over here either, so we feel a little more separated, but I also love that I’m kind of mainstream here so students can see things going on,” she added, “there are some pieces I miss. I miss some parts of that hallway for sure but I do love that I am kind of in the ‘hub’, and I am learning Latin, (because) I can hear Mr. Streiff across the hall.”

Last school year, the Academic Leadership team assessed the Counseling Department and their future goals. Director of Counseling Mr. Brett Blondi along with others received input from parents and administrators and continued to review different sources and other programs. He and others understood that Pivonka is extremely knowledgeable in the college application process and decided this would be a good opportunity to continue to grow the counseling department. 

“We saw that we could make an improvement on this, we knew we had a resource in Ms. Pivonka, (she) is extremely knowledgeable in the college admissions process, (she) is very knowledgeable in all areas and we felt like since we have a person with these strengths, we should utilize her,” Blondi said.

Pivonka’s room acts as more than just her office, with other events taking place there too. Such events include Black Student Union meetings, college visits, and most importantly it is an area for all to utilize for their needs. Pivonka said, “ I think that the biggest change for me is getting to be able to do what I’ve always really wanted to do. I am trying to learn everybody’s faces, that’s the hard part. I like knowing everybody by name, and I still work at it.” 

Students and teachers alike saw a large disruption from the results of Covid. This year specifically, students are beginning to be able to utilize the resources they had “pre Covid.” The disruptions also caused new trends nationally, Blondi noted. This year, students are able to receive more attention and have more individualized focus, both those applying to college and underclassmen.

Senior Nya Huff has been able to utilize the benefits from Pivonka’s position. She said, “It was extremely useful in both filling out the application itself and the mental stress that comes along with it. Ms. Pivonka is truly her students biggest fan and will do anything to make the college process as least stressful as possible.”

Blondi said, “If they (the students) can listen to them and do whatever they ask initially, it will help not just them, but also the school.” Both Blondi and Pivonka emphasized the importance of listening to the counselors and completing their tasks in a timely manner. 

Any student, at any age, in any situation, is welcomed to utilize Pivonka’s room to their advantage. Pivonka and Blondi both stress the amount of support that is available in the counseling area, specifically “more than ever.” She said, “I think that is one of the biggest things, there is more support here at Cathedral in the counseling area than ever before with all of this, with all of the extras we have. Whether it is with Ms. Watko’s area, in here, (or the) counseling office.”