Going from Kansas City to St. Joe with Ms. Annie McKenzie

Ms. Annie McKenzie posing for her headshot for the St. Joe website.

Annie McKenzie

Ms. Annie McKenzie posing for her headshot for the St. Joe website.

Lizzie Balestreri, Print Managerial Editor

St. Joseph’s Academy has been blessed with the arrival of our wonderful new faculty and staff. One of the newcomers is Ms. Annie McKenzie, the new college advisor.

Ms. McKenzie will see students with the last names that start with A-K. She will work closely with Ms. Holladay, as the Assistant Director of College Advising. 

“My number one priority is to connect with the students- especially seniors this time of year! I’m also taking time to learn the St. Joe norms, traditions, and involvement opportunities. I know it’s been a weird few years, so I’m acclimating to the new school year. Ms. Holladay has done a fabulous job creating a strong college advising program, so my goal is to continue in our effort to start early college planning programming and creating a collaborative space for students to connect with a wide array of colleges!” she saidd. 

McKenzie also aspires to be a part of the St. Joe community as she is excited to move more into the post-Covid-19 protocols. She noted that COVID affected her life greatly.

“Covid-19 has impacted me in several different ways- I moved to a new city and got a new job, many of my friends and family members lost their jobs, and I spent a lot of time at home. However, it has made me even more thankful for the little joys in life. I have become deeply connected with the outdoors,” she said. 

Ms. McKenzie attended Fontbonne University for her undergraduate degree. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and History. Not stopping there, she is finishing obtaining a master’s degree in higher education administration at the University of Missouri- Kansas City and intends to graduate in May. Starting a new job at St. Joseph’s Academy is Ms. McKenzie’s first time working in a high school. 

Ms. McKenzie’s first job was babysitting when she was just in middle school. However, her favorite jobs were from her college experiences. During college, she worked at a clothing store in Brentwood and also Anthropologie up until her post-graduate years. 

Similar to most students, Ms. McKenzie had her favorite and least favorite classes during her time in high school and in college. 

“Least favorite in high school: Geometry- math was never my thing,” she laughed. “Most favorite in high school: British Literature. Least favorite in college: Economics. Most favorite class in college: American Social History or Persuasion- I really liked the professors and tried to take all of their classes.”

Senior Grace Dutch was delighted to meet with the new counselor to discuss her future.

“I have never really thought about what I want to do regarding college but once I had my very first meeting with Ms. McKenzie, I actually received a lot of insight into how I can choose which university is right for me,” Grace said. 

When asked if she had any words of advice for the students at St. Joe, Ms. McKenzie offers three tips about college. 

First, find a group or organization on your college campus that is similar to your favorite club at St. Joe. This could be intramural sports, service clubs and organizations, or faith based organizations. Secondly, join an academic organization- Pre-med society, campus newspaper, or accounting society. And third, get involved in something new! The goal is to meet new people that have similar and different experiences than you. Meeting new people, honing in on your interests, and exploring new opportunities will enhance your college experience,” she said. 

The students at St. Joseph’s Academy can come to a conclusion that Ms. Annie McKenzie will be a great asset to our faculty and staff. She is educated, bright, and confident that she will be able to help students achieve their goals for their future.