Student Life


The guidance department, in keeping with Palma’s mission to educate and care for the whole child, is committed to the emotional, social, and academic well being of each young man on campus.
Palma’s experienced counselors are highly trained in academic guidance and are available to students throughout the day to address academic or personal concerns that may arise. These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to their interactions with students, and each is adept at confronting the particular set of struggles that face young men in our society today.

In addition to providing a safe and confidential environment for students to discuss their personal and emotional needs, counselors especially work with each student on a consistent basis to assist him in planning a course of study, with the ultimate objective of attending and succeeding in college. While Palma encourages all students to be proactive about their own academic experience, counselors oversee each student’s course load and assist them in making realistic and mature evaluations as they set and achieve their academic goals.  

Palma’s counselors are an invaluable resource to students and their families as they navigate adolescence, academics, and also as they begin to prepare for the future. Counselors are advocates for our students, trusted members of the school community, and dedicated to the welfare of each young man on campus.

List of 4 items.


    Careful and diligent academic planning is essential to each student’s readiness to attend the college of their choice. Palma’s guidance department works with administrators, teachers and individual students to create a course of study that meets, but more often than not exceeds, admission requirements for universities and colleges, while also bearing in mind the strengths, abilities, and interests of the individual. Counselors strive to help students set and achieve academic goals building on their successes to inspire a passion for life-long learning.

    Palma’s guidance department recognizes the increasing and unique challenges and pressures that our adolescents face today. Counselors are available to offer support and guidance as well as resources to those students who wish to discuss a particular problem or concern they are confronting. As with any counseling relationship, there is an expectation of privacy afforded. Counselors provide a safe and confidential environment in which students may address their concerns, and it is the responsibility of the counselor to fully respect the right to privacy of those with whom they enter counseling relationships. Confidentiality in personal counseling relationships is upheld with the following exceptions; if the student is being abused, if the student threatens harm or is a danger to himself, if the student is harming or threatens to harm another, or if the student or another is in imminent danger. If an issue arises that seems to need more help than the counselor can provide, referrals will be made to appropriate licensed professionals in the community.

    Palma is committed to not only preparing students to be successful in college, but also to assisting students in choosing a college environment that is right for them; an environment that will play to their strengths both academically and socially. It is the aim of the college counseling department to provide guidance, support, and information so that students can make the best possible decision about their future. Palma focuses on providing each young man with the tools and information he will need to find the college that will be the best fit. Counselors strive to provide extensive support and information, however, seniors are expected to take ownership of the college application process. By taking responsibility for this process, students take an important step in the transition into independent adult decision-making.

    Palma’s resource program provides another venue to enhance the learning experience, particularly for students with demonstrated needs or academic deficiencies in study skills. While the resource program is a collaborative, inclusion model of support for students to benefit more fully from a college preparatory experience, it is not a special education program within a school and some IEP/504 Plan requests for accommodations may not be satisfied. The resource program offers one period of study skills and limited accommodations to help students in the program learn more effectively in a rigorous academic setting. The class will meet daily for 48 minutes with exceptions made for 0-period classes on Thursdays. Services offered include: preferential seating; extra time on tests; frequent teacher comprehension checks; testing in a smaller setting, if needed; opportunity to augment poor test grades, where deemed necessary/appropriate; and academic subject study guides for tests. This class incorporates note-taking, organizational, and test-taking strategies. Students will receive rating forms on a regular basis to facilitate communication and progress from school to home. There is an additional cost to participating families in the resource program. The course may be taken for a letter grade or Pass/Fail. Students concurrently enrolled in a Physical Education course must take this course on a Pass/Fail basis.


Annual events such as Financial Aid Night, College Night, the College Fair, and College Application workshops support students and their families in reaching college goals.


List of 3 members.

  • Willie Beesley 

    Resource Program, CORE Advisor, Guidance Counselor for grade 7 & 8
    Extension 109
  • Phil Giammanco 

    PE Teacher, Guidance Counselor for grades 9-12 (names A-K)
    Extension 212
  • Irina Short 

    Department Chair, Guidance Counselor for grades 9-12 (names L-Z)
    Extension 242
Palma is a private, college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 through 12 owned and operated by the Christian Brothers Institute of California. Palma School is dedicated to providing young men an excellent education in a Roman Catholic environment that embraces the Essential Elements of an Edmund Rice Christian Brother Education and challenges each individual to develop spiritually, intellectually, morally, physically, and socially.
919 Iverson Street . Salinas, CA 93901 . 831.422.6391

Palma School is a 501(c)3 corporation owned and operated by The Christian Brothers Institute of California.