Featured Friday: Cheryl Barber, Director of College Counseling

Ms. Cheryl Barber helps our Upper School students create options for the next part of their educational journey after graduation. She also serves as the chair of the Honor Council and is on the School’s leadership team.

Ms. Barber, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Converse College, came to Rabun Gap with experience both in teaching and in admissions. She worked for more than a decade in elementary school education and served for four years as the admission director at Heritage Classic School. She has also completed with distinction the UCLA Extension College Counseling Certification, a seven-course curriculum with a 65-hour practicum, and Teachers College Columbia University-College Advising Program Certification. Ms. Barber is in her nineteenth year in education.

Ms. Barber, originally from Florence, SC,  is an active member of the community. She is involved with her church, Rabun Gap Presbyterian, where her husband Rev. Don Barber pastors, and she sings in the choir. Ms. Barber is also a board member of the Rabun County Chamber of Commerce and is a Rotary member. 

Ms. Barber and her husband Don live in Sky Valley and have three adult daughters, two sons-in-law, and one granddaughter. She loves to travel, spend time with her family, and be involved in the community. 
 
What made you choose to work at Rabun Gap? 
I chose to work at Rabun Gap for several reasons - the program, the community, the unbelievably genuine presence of concern, compassion, and appreciation for each individual member of the school community.  I began working here in 2007.
 
What makes Rabun Gap special to you? 
Rabun Gap is more than a job, it is a family. The accountability we have to each other is rare. We care about each other and because of that, we place value on what we do and how we accomplish our jobs.
 
What do you like most about working in College Counseling? 
I love helping a student find options and possibilities. They are so appreciative and there is so much potential in each step of the journey. I am honored to be one small part of this journey in their lives.
 
What are three tips you would give to parents and students about applying to college? 
The best advice I have heard from other counselors and admission reps breaks down very simply:
  1. Communicate: Discuss finances, talk about the range of options available, and what you expect from each other. 
  2. Support: Don’t take the process away from the students. This is part of their journey to becoming an advocate for their future. Colleges expect the student to own the process. 
  3. Protect: Celebrate the student’s accomplishments and achievements, not just the offers of admission. Recognize individual growth and the wonderful young adult they are becoming. An offer of admission or rejection can not take away these accomplishments.
 
Why did you decide to get into education? 
My husband and I raised three very different daughters. We always hoped that each teacher or counselor they came into contact with would see the value of each individual girl. Working in education offered me an opportunity to provide what we hoped our own family would receive.
 
What were you like in high school?
 I have always been a talker. 
 
What is your favorite memory from the time you have worked here so far? 
Every graduation is my “new” favorite memory. The smiles, the returning students celebrating their friends, the hugs of thanks and the tears of goodbye, and the relief of knowing they are all heading towards the next wonderful adventure is very moving for me. 
 
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Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12, located in Rabun Gap, GA. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we combine our strong academic program, mountain setting, and Presbyterian heritage to inspire young people who are eager to learn and grow.


Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School does not discriminate regardless of race, color, religion, gender, disability, creed, or national origin.