Enlightium counselors review and evaluate a wide variety of incoming students’ documentation: report cards, transcripts, placement (entrance) test scores, and any additional documentation (health records/academic assessment and evaluation documents), and collaborate with parents on developing an individualized academic plan, high school 4-year plan, career guidance, and assistance with college admission. In addition, Enlightium certified counselors provide support for strategic intervention and/or crisis counseling.
Parents or guardians work closely with an Enlightium Academy counselor to determine what courses their student will be taking. Counselors take into consideration the student’s career and academic goals. When students don’t know the options they have available to them or need a counselor to help research the requirements, families can schedule a personalized strategy and consulting session with our lead counselors. Diamond families receive this personalized strategy service for free, while other students can schedule a session for an additional fee. Families who prefer to speak with a counselor prior to enrolling with Enlightium Academy may pursue a consultation with an Enlightium Academy counselor. Discounts do not apply to counselor consultations.
High school seniors that are enrolling in the 2nd semester of their senior year will have access to the teacher-led Career and College Planner course. This course encourages students to consider the real-world implications of the choices they make about their future. The Career and College Planner course also gives them practical tools for choosing a career, preparing for college entrance exams, navigating the application process, and sorting out the financial responsibilities associated with getting a college or vocational education.
Enlightium counselors guide high school students toward college and career choices via Naviance, help students meet credit requirements for graduation, and assist with college admissions. They keep junior and senior students informed about upcoming events that are related to career pursuits and college admissions via monthly emails. Enlightium counselors are keeping high school students informed about PSAT, SAT, ACT, and FAFSA due dates via quarterly webinars (see the school calendar for details).
It is important for Enlightium high school students and parents to take ownership in filling out college applications, scholarships, financial aid, and communicate to their counselor if assistance is needed. Check out this graphic to learn how 24 graduation requirements add up.
Following the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) model, Enlightium counselors guide students in self-discovery, success skills, and career and college planning activities through Naviance Student. Naviance will expedite the college application process for students in grades 11–12 and permit their counselor to assist with FAFSA, scholarship searches, official transcripts, school reports, recommendations and much more.
When our counselors are not available (such as nights and weekends) or if students want to be anonymous in their conversation, students can visit RemedyLive.com. This organization, while not affiliated with Enlightium, is available for young students who need help.
Soul Medics, available through chat or text, offers testimonies, words of encouragement concerning abuse, bullying, depression, and more.
Director of High School Counseling Department & Senior Counselor
Ms. Yohe has been with Enlightium since 2017. She earned her bachelor's degree in Education from Lewis-Clark State College. While raising eight children, she earned her Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from City University of Seattle. Currently, Ms. Yohe is earning her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in eLearning through Northcentral University. Ms. Yohe is an ESA and ACSI certified guidance counselor with a Professional Teaching Certificate.
Ms. Yohe enjoys inspiring students to engage in the process of their education and beyond high school plans with positive facilitation and guidance. She applies high standards and adheres to ethical counseling practices. Ms. Yohe enjoys nurturing partnerships and supports positive performance, extraordinary work ethic, and forthright communication. She works hard to support students in investigating their interests and exploring options for their future endeavors. Ms. Yohe continually offers encouraging coaching, highlighting each student’s achievements and specific needs. She provides detailed feedback and enjoys going the extra mile to support student success.
During her spare time, she and her husband enjoy camping, hiking, reading, and spending quality time with family.
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.”
Ms. Towner graduated from Northwest University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Pastoral Care. She received a Masters in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling from Heritage University. At Enlightium she works as a Guidance Counselor for 11th-grade students and their families. She is state and ACSI certified.
Prior to joining the Enlightium team, Ms. Towner worked as a high school counselor in a public school in Central Washington State. She also volunteered as a registered therapeutic riding instructor through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now known as PATH International).
Ms. Towner volunteers at a local barn dedicated to giving inner-city youth the opportunity to horseback ride. The connection children and teens get with their horses during lessons builds self-confidence, allowing them to cope with difficult family situations. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their two children, and horse, Aspen.
"The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Ms. Van Egdom obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington with a double major in Community Psychology and Society, Ethics & Human Behavior, and a minor in Education and Society. During her undergrad, Mrs. Van Egdom worked as an Academic Advisor for the college preparatory program TRIO Upward Bound. It was then when her passion of working with high school students grew. Mrs. Van Egdom is currently attending Whitworth University for her Master’s of Education in School Counseling.
Growing up, the value of education was instilled in Mrs. Van Egdom, and she wishes to do the same with her students while also building a trusting relationship and sharing the love of Christ with them.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
Freshman Counselor; NCAA, AP, CC Coordinator
Ms. Benedict began working with Enlightium Academy in 2019. She is state and ACSI certified.
She graduated from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s degree majoring in Business Management and minoring in English. While she was in the business world, she began volunteering with the youth program at her church and teaching Junior Achievement classes in local elementary schools. This fostered her passion for encouraging and working with students and led her to attend Eastern Washington University. She graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in School Counseling in 2019. During her time there, she became invested in working with high school students on social-emotional issues, particularly anxiety, and post-secondary planning. She believes in fostering nurturing, encouraging relationships with students and parents and loves seeing students grow through cooperation and learning self-advocacy. She is currently working on her ASCA U Specialist Training in Anxiety and Stress Management.
In her free time, Ms. Benedict loves taking long walks with Hank, her golden retriever, reading, spending time with her friends and family, writing, baking, and trying new foods and recipes.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."
Middle School Counselor (6th-8th)
Ms. Vagin has been working with Enlightium Academy since 2009. She earned her bachelor's degree in Social Services from Whitworth University. She is ACSI certified.
Ms. Vagin was heavily involved in developing the Enlightium counselors and admissions departments and contributed to the expansion of many other areas of our rapidly growing school. She is the Director of the K-8 Counseling Department. Her main duty at Enlightium is to serve as a middle school counselor for 6–8 grade students. She loves working with parents and students and making a difference in people’s lives.
Ms. Vagin is happily married to her husband and together they are raising their children. Mrs. Vagin teaches Sunday School at her church and is involved with the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) ministry.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Assistant Counselor (6th-8th)
Ms. Kuropatkin received her Diploma of Bible Educator at International Christian College in 2003 and her Bachelors of Fine Arts in music at Gonzaga University in 2006. She is ACSI Certified.
Although Ms. Kuropatkin did not graduate from a Christian school, she was able to receive a Christian foundation at home and watched both of her parents serve in the local church. She served as a Sunday School teacher, was a member of the youth choir, and served as an accompanist to the choir and congregation. Watching her mom as she pursued her dream in bringing Christian Education first to the Slavic people, and later all nationalities, Ms. Kuropatkin was able to take part in many of the Christian seminars and workshops, deepening her knowledge of the Lord and Christian education.
Family is very important to Ms. Kuropatkin, and she does what she can to spend meaningful time with her husband and their children in order to build that Christian foundation in them. When time permits, she likes to read, garden, and do freelance graphic designing.
"Guide me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
Elementary School Counselor (3rd-5th)
Ms. Crisp joined Enlightium Academy in 2018. She received a B.A in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, a certificate in Leadership and a Master of Social Work Degree from Eastern Washington University. She is ACSI certified.
Ms. Crisp enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys reading, creating photo books, and exploring nearby cities. She has a passion for helping others and telling people about Jesus.
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Assistant Counselor (3rd-8th)
Ms. Blackburn graduated from Trinity Western University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Human Services. After graduating university, she worked in all facets of youth ministry including as the Youth Center Director at Youth For Christ in Spokane, WA, as her church’s Administrator of Ministries, and at a residential treatment center for struggling teens in Texas. She enjoys working with children of all ages.
Family is very important to Ms. Blackburn. She and her husband are licensed foster parents in the State of Washington. She enjoys spending time with family, running around with her three kids, and drinking coffee. She has a passion for helping others and serving God in whatever capacity He has called her to.
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Primary School Program Counselor (PreK-2)
Mrs. Ustimenko earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Whitworth University. She is state and ACSI certified.
Prior to joining the Enlightium team, Mrs. Ustimenko worked as a teacher in a private school and taught a wide range of classes there. She also volunteered at her local church as the Sunday School Coordinator for many years.
During her spare time, she and her husband enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family. She is ambitious and strives to encourage student enthusiasm for learning. She enjoys getting to know the primary school students and parents.
"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."
Co-Op & Micro School Counselor (3rd-12th)
Ms. Allen has been with Enlightium since 2015. She grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended a Christian school through 12th grade. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Work at Washington State University. While raising three children, she also became passionate about education, college, and career planning. Ms. Allen returned to school and received her Master’s degree in School Counseling K-12 from Gonzaga University.
During her spare time, she and her husband enjoy playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with friends and her three adult children. Spending time with family usually includes traveling, which Ms. Allen also loves to do. It is her desire to get to know all of her students, and her hope is to build a trusting relationship so her students can come to her with any issue, no matter how big or small it may seem. She especially likes helping students explore their own goals and passions for life beyond high school.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
Gifted & Higher-Level Learner (GHHL) Coordinator
Mrs. Lopez earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive, Educational, and Developmental Psychology from the University of Hawaii. Additionally, she studied the Hawaiian language. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Gifted Education. She is ACSI certified.
Mrs. Lopez is the Gifted and Higher-Level Learner Program (GHLL) Coordinator and Primary Mentor/Teacher at Enlightium Academy. She has experience teaching at learning centers, online, and in students’ homes since 2011. Her students ranged from elementary school children to adults. She mentored gifted students and students with disabilities. To meet the needs of these children, she designed specialized learning programs and intervention methods.
Mrs. Lopez focuses on creating educational opportunities for every unique learner so that all students can succeed. She strives to encourage student enthusiasm for learning, and eagerness to pursue and achieve individual goals. Mrs. Lopez is motivated to help students become independent so that they can learn beyond her instruction. Her teaching philosophy is based on the principle: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."