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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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With Community at the Forefront, Director of Admissions Kelsey Hui Brings Energy to the Admissions Office

Jasmine McIntosh
Director of Admissions Ms. Kelsey Hui is an avid foodie and enjoys spending her free time cooking and exploring restaurants in the Milwaukie and Portland area.

The social transition from middle school to high school is a difficult one, and the added pressure of applying to and visiting high schools can complicate the process for eighth graders. Director of Admissions Ms. Kelsey Hui hopes to make this transition smooth for the students interested in coming to La Salle, and she has many new events planned to do so. Less than six months into her new position, Ms. Hui has already made a notable impact on the La Salle community and the Admissions office. 

She began her career in event planning and team management at her alma mater, the University of San Francisco, where she served on the Campus Activities Board. Post graduation, Ms. Hui shifted in and out of the hospitality industry, working at hotels, but found herself lacking a passion for that area of employment. 

Eventually, she found her calling working at St. Mary’s Academy as their Director of Outreach. “I worked at St. Mary’s for about six years,” she said. “I had a few different roles while I was there, but they were all within the admissions office.” Her main focus was creating events catered towards a young prospective audience — mainly seventh graders and younger — who might be interested in attending St. Mary’s. 

The shift from St. Mary’s to La Salle was relatively natural for Ms. Hui. “I think La Salle shares some of the parts of St. Mary’s that I really loved in my previous job,” she said. 

One of those shared similarities is the small and close-knit environment. “[La Salle] is big enough that there’s opportunities for students, but it’s small enough that you walk the halls and you always recognize [your] friends,” she said. “I think La Salle has a really good community feeling to it.”

It wasn’t just the familiar community that drew Ms. Hui to La Salle, but also the feeling that she was ready to advance her work. La Salle “was the next step up in my career,” she said, and the progression from Director of Outreach to Director of Admissions was fitting. “Now, I can be the leader of the admissions office and manage a team of people,” she said. “So, that was just good growth and an exciting opportunity.”

Settling into La Salle and familiarizing herself with the mechanics of the school has been a big goal for Ms. Hui in her first year. In addition, Ms. Hui has placed a specific emphasis on making adjustments to the ambassador program. “My goal is to really elevate the program,” she said. 

Working with Director of Service Ms. Olivya Conner, Ms. Hui wants to allow ambassadors to count their work for the program for their 10 in-school service hours. “We’re looking for things that are perks for students because we know that being an ambassador requires extra work and volunteering and training,” she said. “I want students to feel like it’s meaningful, what they do, and that they’re recognized.” 

The most important objective in Ms. Hui’s role as Director of Admissions is to bring in a suitable sized freshman class every year. To achieve that, Ms. Hui aims to streamline the application process in order to make it easier for new students, their families, and her office, especially in terms of communication. 

Another factor to the application process is the outreach to surrounding middle schools.  “La Salle has really great connections with Catholic middle schools,” she said. “I hope to continue those and grow those.” In addition to Catholic Schools, however, Ms. Hui seeks to extend La Salle’s admission reach and make it more visible to a broader audience, including private schools that are not Catholic. 

On top of all the other tasks Ms. Hui is in charge of, she is also a member of the administrative leadership team. 

“That was honestly another part of this job that really appealed to me, because the admissions office is kind of the only department that’s talking to prospective families and hearing what students are interested in, and why they’re picking one school over the other,” Ms. Hui said. She believes having an admissions perspective on the leadership team is important because “you can change or offer new programs based on what new students are interested in,” she said. 

Ms. Hui encourages students and teachers to foster a relationship with her office, especially regarding things they want to be displayed to the larger La Salle community. To her, the mark of a successful Admissions Office is the ability to “celebrate and uplift” the work done in the school community. “Anytime someone is proud of an accomplishment, or they’re excited, they want to start a new program, or they think their students are doing incredible work, tell admissions about that because we’re a platform for them to share their stories,” Ms. Hui said. 

Recounting the success of the Admissions office so far this year, Ms. Hui highlighted several events and accomplishments of note. Those include:

  • The school hosting a total of 260 Future Falcons (8th graders and transfer students)
  • More opportunities for Ambassadors to publicly share their experiences, such as the presentation held before the High School Placement Test where five student ambassadors were on a panel in front of around 100 parents
  • 200 prospective students in the Class of 2028 submitting at least one part of the admissions application, which is due Jan. 12 

While Ms. Hui is in charge of the work done in the Admissions office, she has a lot of help and support from the other members of the office, such as Ms. Terra Clarke and Ms. Sadie Espinosa. “I would like to share how great it has been to work with Terra and Sadie as members of the admissions team,” she said. 

Within La Salle, Ms. Hui is still getting to know the community, especially people’s names. “I sometimes struggle with that, so if people continue coming up and introducing themselves to me, I love that,” she said.

The demands of the job are fairly high and they keep Ms. Hui on school grounds late into the day. A remedy to this issue  has been the fact that Ms. Hui’s house is within walking distance from La Salle. “I like living close by work,” Ms. Hui said. “That lends itself well because admissions plans and runs a lot of events. We’re here all the time for random things, so that’s cool.”

When school is not in session, Ms. Hui enjoys cooking and trying new foods and restaurants. “I love to cook,” she said. “That’s probably my main hobby.” During the pandemic, most restaurants were shut down, so Ms. Hui turned to her own kitchen to replicate the tasty meals she had enjoyed. “I just experimented in the kitchen and I found myself making really fancy things,” she said. 

Ms. Hui considers her new position as the Director of Admissions rewarding and enjoyable. “I find the work super exciting,” she said, highlighting her ability to work with prospective families and current student ambassadors as what she loves about her job. “I take it really seriously because I know there’s a lot of people that count on admissions.”

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    GineanJan 4, 2024 at 9:41 am

    Great writing. I felt like I really got to know Ms. Hui and her passions, goals, and personal enjoyments!