McAuley Catholic High School

930 S. Pearl Ave.
Joplin, MO 64801
(417) 624-9320
School Hours:
M-F 7:50am—2:55pm
Office Hours:
M-F 7:30am—4:00pm

Virtual office hours

Serving McAuley, St. Peter’s, and St. Mary’s Mrs. Hamilton, JACS Systems Counselor, will keep virtual hours from 10:00-3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

She will be close to email ( for McAuley and St. Peter’s) and for St. Mary’s during those hours). 

In addition, parents may call Mrs. Hamilton at 417-489-2313 during those times.  If you do not receive an answer during that time, please text, as our phone reception is often unreliable in the country (texts will often come through whereas phone call –rings—will not).

Students and parents may feel free to email any day; I often check email multiple times a day and will respond as quickly as possible.

For more serious concerns, please TEXT, 417-489-2313. This is NOT an emergency number!

Mrs. Hamilton is emailing students regularly, and seniors will receive an online survey next week to gather information regarding college choices and the need for any assistance with college plans.

A Note from the Counselor – March 23, 2020

This weekend I made an essential trip to Walmart for pet food (dog, two cats, and cockatiel), and as I was gathering their food supplies, I noticed two men  (one with his daughter who looked to be 8-10 years old) and could not help but overhear their conversation.  Their COVID-19 discussion quickly escalated to catastrophic thinking.  As one of the men talked about the likelihood of this pandemic resulting in home invasions to steal food and money and that he had guns ready, I glanced at the young girl and observed her fearful, wide-eyed and teary expression.  They were both so deeply involved in their conversation that neither noticed the young girl; I felt her distress deeply and wanted the father to realize that children often hear what adults are discussing but are not as capable as understanding or processing what we mean.  We can conduct honest discussions with children and young adults without unnecessarily making them fearful or anxious and can be mindful not to unnecessarily expose them to such adult conversation. It would’ve been inappropriate (and likely unwelcome) for me to have inserted myself into that discussion, but it certainly made me think.

I know from my experiences within the JACS system this year that our students’ families care for them and are involved in their children’s education, so I am not concerned that parents and grandparents and other family members are not handling this novel COVID-19 experience with care and attention.

If any of you have struggled with what and how much to share with your children, though, I did want to provide some resources for you. I researched numerous sites, and I found that using a combination of ideas from each might appeal to you or at least provide some framework for discussions.

Student Communication

In my former public school district, the individual schools were categorized as Google Schools; thus, students had school email. I was able to email students, and the site could be monitored at any time, providing a layer of security for both students and teachers. 

At McAuley High School, students do not have email, so distributing information in a timely fashion is a definite challenge.  Whether it’s notifying all students about a scholarship or leadership opportunity or following up with a quick reply to a question a student has asked me in the hallway, this information is important and relaying that information or that reply is vital to students viewing the guidance office as a viable and competent resource.


There are several ways in which information will be provided or exchanged to students this year, and it may include the following:

  1. I may meet with students at my STP office at their request, verbal or written.
  2. Sometimes I will drop information by a specific classroom and request that the teacher give the information to students.
  3. Announcements may be made over the intercom when it involves a large number of students who need to hear the same information.
  4. On some occasions, I will present information to a class by arrangement with a particular teacher.
  5. Much of the general information to students regarding scholarships, leadership, and educational opportunities will be relayed via this website. Students need to access this site as a habit, checking this site at least every other day for any new developments!
  6. It has been been a trademark of mine throughout my professional career to relay information to students through notes and cards. The power of the handwritten word is invaluable and, quite honestly, a lost art.  Each student at McAuley High School will at some point during this school year receive a handwritten note or card from me whether I hand them the note in person, send a card to their home address (in care of parents), or attach it to their school locker.  Much attention is given these days to the safety and security of our children and young adults and the dangers of electronic communication, social media platforms and applications (apps), and while I agree whole-heartedly with the vigilance we maintain for their safety, I also feel strongly that we, as educators, cannot lose that ability to personally connect with our students, as the educator-student relationship is key in promoting trust and open communication as well as facilitating the learning process.
  7. If McA students ever have the opportunity to have school email accounts, I will definitely use this additional communication channel, copying parents and/or administration on each communication.

Post-High School Planning

As part of educating the whole student, Joplin Area Catholic Schools (JACS) aims to ensure its students are prepared for life after high school. Students’ post-high school options and plans vary and may include the following: a college and university education, technical and trade school training, or military service. Some students may even decide transitioning directly into the workforce as their appropriate route. Whichever path students pursue, their McAuley High School academic, social, and spiritual experiences and preparation will serve them well.

Opportunities, Options, and Oh, BTW…

  • For seniors planning to attend Missouri State University in Fall 2020, adjustments have been made to Missouri State operations due to COVID-19. Missouri State will be updating its Admissions Coronavirus FAQ page regularly to help answer some of your students’ questions. The university is adapting quickly and will be posting updates to our Coronavirus response page online. Access this link and be sure to contact Mrs. Hamilton with any questions you might have!

  • Due to school closures in response to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) has temporarily reduced or suspended certain A+ Scholarship eligibility requirements.Communication to Missouri high schools and college financial aid officers was sent Thursday afternoon outlining the temporary changes to the program for 2020 high school seniors and college students hoping to renew the scholarship for 2020-21.“We know alternative methods for teaching, and extended time off from school could make qualifying for A+ a challenge for many Missouri students,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “It’s our hope that by temporarily changing some of the requirements to reflect this unprecedented situation, our students can still be successful in earning and renewing this scholarship.”
    1. High school seniors working toward A+ eligibility will have a reduced number of tutoring/mentoring hours from 50 to 25. A student with a cumulative 2.5 GPA at the end of either the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 semester will be eligible. MDHEWD is working with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidance for the Algebra I end-of-course exam requirement.

    Mrs. Hamilton will be contacting A+ seniors this week with an individualized update of their A+ status.

    This requirement change for the 2020 seniors certainly is welcome and protects them from losing this financial source for college funding.

  • In response to COVID-19, the national April 4 ACT date has been rescheduled to June 13th.  Per the ACT website, “The safety of students and test center staff is ACT’s top priority…all student registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date.”
  • Inspirica is donating 1000 ACT/SAT one-week classes, online (avoiding virus entirely)—no strings attached. Instruction will be live and on demand, with our most experienced tutors. With everything going on right now, the Founder and CEO of Inspirica, Lisa Jacobson, wants to contribute something positive to a community that has supported her and her business Inspirica Test Prep for the last 37 years. Please go to to request a discount code. Limited to the first 1000 families.
  • Fall 2020 juniors (current sophomores) interested in participating in the Freeman Health Academy, an 8-month interactive, hands-on program, should see Mrs. Hamilton for an application. The classes begin in September 2020 and will require a one in-class session per month. See Mrs. Hamilton for the FAQs sheet and/or an application.Application Requirements:
    1.  Fully completed Freeman Health Academy application
    2. One academic reference (school counselor or teacher)
    3. 3.5 GPA or higher
    4. Completed essay (see application)


  • Students (9-12) interested in learning about pharmacy as a healthcare career may attend one of the UMKC School of Pharmacy’s one-day camps this summer.  This action-packed camp will show you what it’s like to study at any UMKC pharmacy campus.You’ll interact with college teachers and practicing pharmacists as well as have hands-on experience with activities in the lab and classroom. Camp dates and locations:  June 5     Columbia June 19   Springfield June 26   Kansas City Space is limited at each location, so register early!!Cost:  $35/student or $15/guestRegistration:

    Questions:  Call 816-235-1613

  • Is athletic training a career you’ve considered? North Park University, a private college in Chicago, Illinois, has transitioned its accredited undergraduate athletic training degree to an entry-level master’s degree. This is in response to the requirement that athletic trainers must possess a master’s degree to enter the workforce. After the 2017-2018 academic year, we will no longer be accepting students into our undergraduate athletic training program. Instead, students who come to campus during 2018-2019 and beyond will be eligible to complete our 3+2 accelerated master’s degree where the student can receive both a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and a master of science degree in athletic training in 5 calendar years.  See Mrs. Hamilton if you’d like more information.
  • Almost all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants ages 18-25 are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service.  Not registering can affect your ability to attend a post-high school institution and to obtain federal financial aid, obtain a valid job in the U.S., and can also result in a fine or prison term if prosecuted and convicted.You may register by mail or online…it’s a simple process!  Access the official Selective Service site ( or stop by your local post office and pick up the official Selective Service registration card.
  • The University of Missouri is offering a new major, the BS (Bachelor of Science) in Microbiology.  It is the ONLY undergraduate degree in microbiology at a Missouri public institution.Students study the subject areas of bacteriology, immunology, mycology, parasitology, and virology, and this degree will prepare students for entry-level positions in a variety of areas: public health, clinical and research labs, human and animal health pharmaceutical companies, and the food industry.  The BSM degree will also provide excellent prep for dental, veterinary, medical, or nursing schools.  Brochure copies may be downloaded from http://vpbio.missouri.eud/undergraduate-studies.
  • Interested in the healthcare field? Check out the Mercy Hospital Joplin and Carthage Health Careers Club! It’s open to students in grades 7-12! Meetings are held the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Mercy Hospital in Joplin most of the time. Different healthcare professionals speak to the club, and it might include a tour of the speaker’s department or a demonstration. The club also has job shadowing opportunities. Meetings run August-April.
  • MSSU is hosting Music Scholarship Auditions for those seniors interested in pursuing degrees in instrumental or vocal music!  2020 Audition dates:  Feb. 28, Mar. 13, & Apr 3.Schedule your audition time at or call 417.625.9318.
  • DUKE TIP Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) program for 4-6, 7th, and 8-10th graders may be just the enrichment challenge your son/daughter needs to remain challenged and excited about curriculum content and its application in a variety of mediums such as year-round learning options, residential summer programs, online courses, and enrichment resources.Eligible students must score at or above the 95th national percentile on an accepted grade-level national standardized achievement or abilities test; score at or above the 95 percentile on a state assessment; or score 125 or above (full scale or composite) on an accepted IQ test. Students only need to qualify through one of these three methods. 8th grade students qualify by taking the ACT or SAT on their own and reporting their scores to Duke TIP as a way to qualify for TIP educational programs.If you think your child qualifies for the Duke TIP and are interested in the testing information, please contact Mrs. Hamilton at

Scholarship Opportunities

Students enrolling in Career and Technical Education programs for Fall 2020 are encouraged to apply for the Horatio Alger Association Career & Technical Scholarship Program.

1,020 scholarships will be awarded in 2020 with a maximum award amount of $2,500 depending on the length of the program and student need.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:  1) Have completed high school by Spring 2020; 2) Be enrolled in a 2-year or less career or technical degree/certificate program in Fall 2020 that will lead to employment; 3) Attend a not-for-profit post-secondary institution; 4) Demonstrate a financial need (must be Pell Grant eligible); 5) Be under the age of 30; 6) Be a U.S. citizen.

Apply online:

Deadline:  April 15, 2020

***JUNIORS–take note of this scholarship for next year…it’s offered nearly every year.


ACT Scholarship Giveaway—ACT will be giving away a $15,000 PLUS $5,000 technology package to 14 lucky students this school year.  Eligible sophomores, juniors, and seniors who register for the ACT test between 9/3/19 and 6/26/20 are automatically entered for a chance to win.  (So many of our McAuley students are already entered!)

**No purchase necessary OR ACT test registration necessary.  Access the site for Official Rules for eligibility requirements, entry details, and instructions (including alternate entry instructions)


Earlier in the year, juniors and seniors were directed to check out the following website for potential scholarships:
Recently, these scholarships were posted that may have some potential for 2020 McAuley HS graduates:
Andrew Vidal Memorial Scholarship–This scholarship is based on the accomplishments of the individual who exemplifies the characteristics of brother/sisterhood, service, and academic excellence.  Applicants must have a 3.0 or higher GPA.  Awards are based on the following:  50% essay (content and financial need); extracurricular activities 25% (community and leadership); GPA and academic achievement 25%.
Braxton Rethwisch Scholarship–The Missouri Association of College Admission Counseling (MOACAC) offers this scholarship to high school seniors who exhibit a commitment to learning and have demonstrated leadership skills and community service involvement.  Five students will be awarded a non-renewable, $1,000 scholarship.
Applicants must be current high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, a Missouri resident, and must enroll as a full-time student at a MOACAC post-secondary institution (virtually every college in MO–but check the list provided before applying!)


BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU – Junior Scholarship Opportunity

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving eastern and southwest Missouri and southern Illinois Student of Ethics Award Program recognizes high school students whose leadership, community service, overall personal integrity, and academic history exemplify high ethics.
Students will be selected by an independent panel of judges, and scholarships must be used within three years of receiving the award. Upon verification of enrollment, scholarships will be distributed to the student’s college or trade school and must be applied toward school-related expenses including tuition, books, room and board, and other related items.
Students should apply in their junior year of high school, and the awards will be presented to students in their senior year of high school. Applications are currently open to high school juniors who will be graduating in Spring 2021.
Apply online or download, complete, and mail a paper application:

Students eligible for Missouri’s  Bright Flight Scholarship, based on ACT performance,  must meet the following requirements:  1)  Be a Missouri resident, U.S. citizen or permanent resident; 2) Earn a composite ACT or SAT score in either the top 3% of all Missouri students taking those tests or the top 4th or 5th percentiles of all Missouri students taking those tests.   3) Enroll full time at a participating Missouri school; 4) Submit supplemental eligibility information if requested by the MDHEWD; and 5) NOT be pursuing a degree or certificate in theology or divinity.

The qualifying score must be achieved by the June test date immediately following your high school graduation. 

There is no application to complete!  Eligible students will receive approval letters from the MDHEWD (Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workplace Development) achieved by the June ACT and SAT test dates and will begin arriving in the spring of your senior year of high school.  The Bright Flight is renewable for up to 10 semesters or until you have completed a bachelor’s degree, whichever occurs first.

Qualifying ACT and SAT scores for current high school seniors are re-evaluated and announced each fall, and these scores are based on the scores of students who were high school seniors the previous academic year, and the score is subject to change annually.

Last year’s final award amounts included the following:

ACT Score 31 or above:  Up to $3,000

Completion of the FAFSA is not required to receive the Bright Flight scholarship; however, if you choose to complete the FAFSA, information on that application or updates to it can impact your eligibility for the Bright Flight even if you have previously been notified of your eligibility.


ACT Prep

It’s never too early for a high school student to start preparing for the ACT. You can order ACT’s free publication, “Preparing for the ACT,” online under “Order Support Materials.”

Upcoming ACT dates for the 2019-2020 school year are listed below. Visit the ACT website to register for an upcoming test.

ACT 2019-2020


St. Mary's Elementary School
3025 South Central City Road
Joplin, MO 64804

St. Peter's Middle School
931 South Byers Avenue
Joplin, MO 64801

McAuley Catholic High School
930 South Pearl Avenue
Joplin, MO 64801