CHS Counselors ease the stress of a new semester (with Q&A)


Jennifer Su

Coppell High School lead counselor Debbie Fruithandler meets with Coppell High School junior Swetha Venigandla to talk about important dates and deadlines for future Dance to Make a Difference club meetings. Fruithandler is the counselor for those with last names starting with V-Z and in the sophomore, junior, or senior class.

Briana Thomas, Staff Writer

By Briana Thomas

Staff Writer

The dawn of a new semester has arrived. For students at Coppell High School, first semester grades are now locked in, finalized and set in stone. But future classes have yet to be decided.

The overwhelming sensation of choosing classes for a new semester has managed to put students of all grades into a academic frenzy. Second semester for juniors can be best described as a desperate scramble for success with choosing the most strategic combination of classes.

However, the wide array of choices provided in the CHS course selection, makes the process of a lot easier. Choosing classes directed towards desired majors and minors, and taking AP courses makes the applications/admissions for university a lot smoother. But not all aspects of this academic journey are so fluid.

Students’ lives manifest themselves on sheets of paper – from resumes’ to recommendation letters – stress overflows.

Fortunately, students’ aren’t alone in this journey. Second semester is an incredibly hectic time for our CHS counselors as well. Inboxes overflow with questions regarding GPA, Dual Credit  courses, college applications and much more. Counselors try their best to manage time, but with so many students, there are never enough answers for everyone.

The provided Q&A will alleviate your worries and act as a guide for any future academic inquiries you may have, all answered by one of our counselors Mr. John Crook.


What advice do you give juniors who are looking to improve their GPA in just one semester?

It’s definitely going to be tough. The best thing to do is not look at your overall GPA, but look at how well that spring can be. More selective schools will look for a continuum. And if they see a nice spring semester for the junior year, it would make a difference in the admissions process. It won’t directly affect your GPA that much, but it’s more about the amount of improvement from the previous semester

What are your top two tips to academic success?

First, be organized. Know what’s coming up and have a calendar of what’s going on. Second, have a framework of what it is you are going to see, and once you see those things you can plug it into what you already know. Same goes for studying. If I have U.S. History Chapter 15 on Monday, I’ll read through Chapter 15 and have a good idea of what’s going on. Then, when I go to class, I’ll get a lot more out of it. It’s one thing to just throw darts without aim but when you’re throwing at a board, you have framework and a goal.

How significant are extracurriculars/volunteer services in terms of college admissions?

They are not as much as people think. Mainly helps for the standpoint that the student is well rounded. A lot of universities, particularly public universities, will look more at numbers. They take your GPA, SAT scores – they’re not going to look very far down at other things. Now for students who don’t meet that automatic admission, or general standards or you’re applying to a more holistic school, then it starts to matter more. So mainly students do it for their well being as opposed to how it’s going to look on their application.

Where can I start finding volunteer opportunities?  is a fantastic website with all kinds of volunteering oppurtunities for students.