About

Our Counselors

Enlightium counselors collaborate with teachers to ensure students are provided the attention they need to succeed in an online learning environment, schedule courses to meet graduation requirements, and provide academic and/or emotional support.

Enlightium counselors are trained to review and evaluate a wide variety of incoming student documentation: report cards, transcripts, diagnostic test scores, and any additional documentation (health records/academic assessment and evaluation documents). They then collaborate with parents to develop an individualized high school 4-year plan, provide guidance with a career choice, and assist with college admission.

An Enlightium counselor works with parents to determine what courses their student will take. Counselors also take into consideration the student’s career and academic post-high school goals.

Families who prefer to speak with a counselor prior to enrolling with Enlightium Academy may schedule a consultation with an Enlightium Academy counselor. Discounts do not apply to counselor consultations.

Meet Our Counselors

Prospective Student Consultations

Parents or guardians with students not yet enrolled at Enlightium have the opportunity to work with an Enlightium counselor to determine what courses their student will take. Parents who prefer to speak with a counselor prior to enrolling with Enlightium may schedule a consultation with an Enlightium counselor. This option is also available to families currently enrolled who would like Diamond-level counselor consultations to best prepare for the student’s post-high school plans.

Each consultation consists of a 30 to 60-minute session with a qualified Enlightium counselor to discuss your student's unique situation—including evaluating transcripts and other appropriate documentation you provide—to discover how Enlightium can benefit your student, and what enrollment with Enlightium will look like in your circumstances.

Schedule Your Counselor Consultation

  • PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES

    ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

  • $75

    FOR 30 MINUTES

  • PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES

    MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • $75

    FOR 30 MINUTES

  • PROSPECTIVE FAMILIES

    HIGH SCHOOL

  • $150

    FOR 60 MINUTES

  • CURRENT FAMILIES

    ENROLLED STUDENTS

  • FREE

    TIME BLOCKS VARY

Discounts do not apply to counselor consultations.
Have questions about enrolling? Contact us at (866) 488-4818 // option 2.

 

Additional Counseling Resources

Education, Career, & Life Readiness

Enlightium counselors use a grade-specific comprehensive Education, Career, and Life Readiness (ECLR) curriculum via the Naviance platform. ECLR lessons provide a blueprint to prepare middle and high school students for success after graduation and provide students with the necessary tools to persevere toward their long-term goals. 

Students in middle school (grades 6–8) will have the opportunity to explore who they are and how their talents, aptitudes, and interests could lead to their ideal career. It provides lessons on using their strengths, goal setting for success, teamwork, stress management, time management, and more. 

Students in high school (grades 9–12) will have the opportunity to continue to enhance their skills in goal setting, time management, stress management, and career planning. Students will explore their post-high school education options, networking, budgeting, financial options including scholarship searches, internships, and the college admissions process. A minimum of 0.5 Career and Tech Education high school credit is fulfilled by completing the grade-specific ECLR requirements.

Naviance and x2VOL Platforms

More than 10 million students rely on Naviance to achieve key readiness milestones and answer critical questions, such as:

  • Who Am I?
  • What Do I Want to Be?
  • How Will I Get There?
  • Will I Be Successful?

Enlightium counselors follow the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) model of counseling while guiding students in self-discovery, skill development, career exploration, and college and life planning activities using the Naviance platform.

Naviance accounts for grades 68 are provided upon request and grades 912 will be provided a Naviance account alongside course assignment.

Enlightium students in grades 9–12 are required to complete ten hours of community service annually to fulfill Enlightium's graduation requirements. Community service hours are tracked within our partner platform x2VOL.

Both the Naviance and x2VOL platforms are provided as part of most tuition packages.

High School Counseling

Enlightium counselors provide proactive, comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate support to students in grades 8–12. By partnering with parents, Enlightium enables students to become fully engaged in the educational process.

Enlightium high school counselors use the ASCA model of counseling to structure programs geared at equipping students to be active stakeholders in the pursuit of their academic, career, and life goals. They assist with course planning to help students meet credit requirements for graduation and prepare for their beyond high school plans.      

The Enlightium high school counselors keep students informed about upcoming events that are related to career pursuits and college admissions. However, it is important for students and parents to take ownership in filling out college applications, scholarships, financial aid, and to communicate to their counselor if assistance is needed.

Additional Resources

In case of emergency when Enlightium counselors are not available, please utilize the following resources: 

RemedyLIVE.com

Students can visit RemedyLive.com when our counselors are not available (such as nights and weekends) or if students want to remain anonymous in their conversation. This organization, while not affiliated with Enlightium, is available for young students who need help.

Soul Medics is also available through chat or text. They provide testimonies and words of encouragement for students experiencing abuse, bullying, depression, and more.

2-1-1 First Call for Help

2-1-1 First Call for Help counselors assess the needs of the caller and offer the most accurate information, provide resources, and make referrals to the agency and program that can best meet their needs. You can dial 2-1-1 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

National Suicide Hotline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 1-800-273-8255. It is available to anyone considering suicide or who is experiencing emotional distress.

Ms. Yohe, M.Ed.

Director of the High School Counseling Department, Senior, & Dual Enrollment Counselor

As the Director of Enlightium Academy’s High School Counseling Department, Mrs. Yohe collaborates with Enlightium’s Administration Team and other Department Heads to support a Christ-centered high school counseling program that benefits students, parents, teachers, administrators, and Enlightium’s overall learning environment.

Mrs. Yohe has been with Enlightium Academy 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 and graduated cum laude from City University of Seattle. Currently, Mrs. Yohe is earning her Doctorate in Education with an emphasis in eLearning and is currently magna cum laude at Northcentral University. Mrs. Yohe is an ESA and ACSI certified guidance counselor with a Professional Teaching Certificate.

During her spare time, she and her husband enjoy camping, hiking, reading, and spending quality time with their children.

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Mrs. Desiree Towner, M.Ed.

Junior Counselor

Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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).

Mrs. Towner volunteers at her kid’s church. 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."
Isaiah 55:12

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Mrs. Angie Van Egdom, M.Ed.

Sophomore Counselor and Student Council Lead Advisor

Mrs. Van Egdom obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington; during her undergrad, she worked as an Academic Advisor for the college preparatory program TRIO Upward Bound. It was then when her passion for working with high school students grew. She began her career as a school counselor with Enlightium in 2018. Mrs. Van Egdom graduated with a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from Whitworth University in 2020. She is both Washington State and ACSI Certified.

Now living in Central New York, one of the hobbies Mrs.Van Egdom and her husband enjoy doing is getting to adventure and explore the area. The relocation to Central New York also allowed them to become fur-parents when rescuing their dog Rachel, a Shepherd-mix. Becoming a fur-parent has been a whole adventure on its own.

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.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Ms. Hillary Benedict, M.S.

Freshman Counselor, NCAA, Advanced Placement, & Concurrent Credit 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."
Psalms 143:8

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Mrs. Marina Vagin, B.A.

Director of the Elementary and Middle School Counseling Department, Middle School Counselor

Mrs. Vagin has been working with Enlightium Academy since 2009. She earned her a bachelor's degree in Social Services from Whitworth University. She is certified by ACSI.

Mrs. Vagin was involved in developing the Enlightium counseling and admissions departments and contributed to the expansion of many other areas of our rapidly growing school. Mrs. Vagin’s primary role is to serve middle school students. She loves working with parents and students and making a difference in people’s lives.

She is happily married to her husband and together they are raising two daughters. Mrs. Vagin teaches Sunday School at her church and is involved with the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program.

"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."
Psalm 37:3-4

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Ms. Stephanie Crisp, M.A.S.W.

Elementary School Counselor

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."
Jeremiah 29:11

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Heather Blackburn

Mrs. Heather Blackburn, B.A.

Assistant Counselor

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.”

Psalm 9: 9-10

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Mrs. Marina Ustimenko, B.A.

Primary School Program Counselor

Ms. Ustimenko earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Whitworth University. She is state and ACSI certified.

Prior to joining the Enlightium team, Ms. 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."

Proverbs 16:3

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Ms. Kim Allen, M.A.

Co-Op  & Micro School Counselor

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."
Proverbs 27:17

Not yet enrolled and would like to speak with a counselor? Schedule a counselor consultation session.


Mrs. Danielle Lopez, B.A.

Gifted & Higher-Level Learner (GHLL) Coordinator and Teacher

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 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."
Luke 9:23

Enlightium Academy is a private Christian school serving homeschool, online, and co-op students on their journey to embrace their God-given talents and develop a lifelong thirst for knowledge with a Christ-like spirit.

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