Maggie McDonough and Jim Zielinski Work Tirelessly to Make Dreams Come True

By Brendan O'Brien | Student Life, Upper School

Tucked in a pair of tidy offices in the Student Research Center, Maggie McDonough and Jim Zielinski, Co-Directors of College Counseling, fill their days with the demanding work of making dreams come true.

It’s a busy, non-stop business – this working to find the perfect college fit for each Prairie student – a process that begins as soon as ninth grade when McDonough and Zielinski start meeting one-on-one with students. Over the course of the next three plus years, the pair paints a remarkably detailed and realistic picture of the college search process, using their expertise in everything from application processes to financial aid and testing to ensure families are armed with as much knowledge as possible when navigating the college admission landscape.

In addition to meeting individually with students and families, this dynamic duo maintains relationships with colleges and representatives across the country, bringing them to Wind Point both for individual visits as well as college fairs, the most recent of which welcomed over 40 of the top schools in the country to campus in March.

“It’s a pleasure and privilege to work with colleagues, students, and parents who believe in the value of education, especially the education of the whole child,” says McDonough. “Magic happens at Prairie. Self-discovery, growth, and preparation for college, career, and life happen in countless ways, seen and unseen, realized now and realized later. That is the meaning of a solid foundation, and Prairie provides it with intentionality, care, and consistency.”

During Teacher Appreciation Week 2019, we will be highlighting several of the educators whose tireless creativity, commitment, ingenuity, and leadership make Prairie one of the best schools in the country.