KRISTA MONTESANO PETERSON,

College and Secondary School Admission Consultant

Qualifications and Experience

  • Over 30 years’ experience as an independent school admission associate and college advisor
  • 5 years’ experience as an independent educational consultant working with boarding school and college applicants
  • Experience with a range of gap year and semester school programs
  • Experience working with students with diagnosed language-based learning differences and the schools who serve them
  • Former Director of Admission and Financial Aid, St. Michael’s Country Day School, Newport, RI
  • Former Senior Associate Director of Admission, St. George’s School, Newport, RI
  • Former Assoc. Director of College Counseling, Forsyth Country Day School, Winston-Salem, NC
  • IECA associate member*, NACAC member* (*pending)

Because I love getting to know people and learning their stories, my entire career has been connected to the admission process in schools and colleges. Starting in college, I worked as an admissions staff member and head tour guide and interned in the admissions office of a top boarding school. This led to a more than 30-year career in a series of roles in school admission offices and as a college counselor. As a result, I have a deep and inside knowledge of the art and science of school and college admission. In addition, my work has been bookended with independent educational consulting work, helping students and their families navigate the admission process for secondary school and college.

Helping families, and in particular, the students, understand what is important in their next school or college is the heart of my practice. Working with students looking for a secondary school is particularly rewarding, as these teenagers begin to see themselves as independent individuals in their own right, connected to, but separate from their families. At the same time, it’s deeply satisfying to help students work to understand what type of school community and culture will help them grow, thrive, and prepare them for college and life beyond.

Having raised three sons, all of whom attended boarding school and are now college  graduates, I value the importance of celebrating the unique talents and gifts of each child. Two of our sons took gap years between high school and college, and I have personal insight and appreciation for what they gained from these experiences. One of our sons studied boatbuilding, and all of them have traveled and lived independently around the world, from Jordan and Costa Rica, to India and Vietnam. In the same way that each of our sons has his own interests and nature, I feel genuine appreciation for the unique qualities of each of the clients and applicants I have worked with over the years, and find real satisfaction in helping them along on their own adventures by finding the right match in a school or college.

I am an avid athlete and have completed several marathons and half-marathons. In my spare time, I like to read and to cook, and I am fond of creating my own recipes. My husband is also an educator, an English teacher, coach, and a former Head of School at a New England boarding school. He is currently a search consultant placing Heads of School and senior administrators in positions at independent schools across the country and internationally. We live in the woods near Princeton, New Jersey, where I fend off many hungry deer and woodchucks.

I think it is worth sharing that EVERY time my wife and I conclude our meetings with Krista we both look at each other and smile.  There is a sense of calm and confidence that she has that makes us feel that things are going to work out and be fine.  And that means a lot.

Parent, Texas