Guidance and Counselling

Guidance & University Counselling at Armbrae

Teachers at Armbrae Academy create an environment that fosters life-long learning, critical thinking and engaged citizenship. Armbrae provides students with a comprehensive and individualized career education and post-secondary counselling program infused with these same values. We provide an intentional, structured model for supporting students as they become engaged and productive citizens capable of leading self-sustaining and satisfying lives. This requires learning decision-making and other skills necessary to plan and select from the array of options available both during and after high school.

We work closely with students to help them refine their post-secondary plans and determine what steps should be taken to prepare them to earn a place at their university of choice. This journey begins in Grade 9 with guidance infused into the academic program across disciplines. As students progress through Grades 10 through 12, personalized guidance expands to include course selection advice based on the goals that students have set for themselves. Our academic and other programming is designed to ensure Armbrae graduates are well prepared for the expectations and rigour of university.

Career Education

Our unique Career Education program provides students with a foundation that begins in Grade 9 and continues through three half-credits in Career Education in Grades 10-12. In these courses, students start to recognize their strengths and needs, and build work experiences and refine the skills and abilities that will be needed in future careers. By developing a deeper awareness of themselves, students can create a course of study to pursue through post-secondary education or training.

Central concepts in the Career Education curriculum include personal development, career awareness, workplace readiness, financial awareness, and portfolio development. These topics are covered progressively rather than sequentially, meaning that students will continue to build their skills in each area over the course of the three year program. Students are equipped to make informed course selections that will keep open a range of post-secondary options. Members of our guidance team also help students access resources related to career planning, mentorship and external learning opportunities.

Post-Secondary Guidance

A broad range of information on post-secondary institutions, programs and the admissions process are available to students through the guidance team. Representatives from a wide selection of post-secondary institutions visit Armbrae Academy and speak to students each year. We closely assist students in the university selection and application process, meeting with them regularly throughout the year. Students are encouraged to meet regularly with their guidance counsellor to explore resources and discuss their goals and future plans.

Meet the Team

Ally Read, Head of Guidance & University Counselling


Education: Master of Educational Leadership, Acadia University Bachelor of Education (Secondary English & Business Studies), Western University Bachelor of Arts (English), Saint Mary’s University Bachelor of Commerce (Entrepreneurship & Human Resource Management), Saint Mary’s University

Ally has over a decade of experience in university counselling, teaching and administration. She possesses a passion for helping students make connections between their interests, abilities and opportunities as a means to discover and pursue their unique paths. Her approach involves offering extensive personal guidance built on the foundation of a positive student-teacher relationship. A committed life-long learner, Ally recently earned a certificate in career counselling at Dalhousie University and is certified to administer the Strong Interest Inventory© through Psychometrics Canada. She believes strongly in the collaborative nature of her work with students, and is an active member of NACAC and CISC (Canadian Independent School Counsellors), currently serving as the Vice-President of the Atlantic Region. Ally undertakes frequent professional development in the field of post-secondary guidance and university admissions, including attending and presenting at conferences locally, nationally and internationally.

Ryan Shaw, Career Education Teacher & Academic Advisor


Education: Master of Fine Arts (Creative Nonfiction), University of King’s College Secondary English Teachable, University of Toronto (OISE) Bachelor of Education (Secondary Science), University of Wollongong Bachelor of Science (Science & Business), University of Waterloo

Ryan has taught Grade 12 Advanced English for over a decade, giving him regular contact with every Armbrae Academy graduating class. He is passionate about helping students become deep thinkers and effective communicators. His MFA experience allows him to be an impactful writing coach, pushing students to take their writing seriously. As a practicing writer himself, he knows how crucial a well-written cover letter or scholarship application can be in opening career doors. Ryan is the author of Louisbourg or Bust: A Surfer’s Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia’s Drowned Coast, which earned him a nomination for the 2019 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award.

Information for Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Armbrae Academy CEEB Code: 825385
  • Armbrae Academy UCAS School Code: 45203
  • University and college admissions staff visit/tour requests, please contact us.

Information for Students, Parents & Alumni