Lance Paulsen
Counseling Department Chair

Freshmen: 107, 108, 109
Sophomores: 006, 007
Juniors: 906, 807
Seniors: 803, 806, 807

I am entering my 11th year as a member of the Payton counseling team. Prior to Payton, I spent four years in student services at the Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies and two years working for the NCAA Clearinghouse (now the NCAA Eligibility Center). I hold a BA from the University of Iowa and an MEd from DePaul University. I am a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and have served on undergraduate admission, counselor advisory boards for the University of Chicago, Miami University in Ohio, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Phone: 773.534.8175

Sara Diaz
School Counselor

Freshmen: 110, 111, 112
Sophomores: 008, 009, 010
Juniors: 908, 909
Seniors: 808,809

I have worked for Chicago Public Schools for 25 years, first as a Social Worker in elementary schools and then as a Counselor. I earned my Bachelors degree in English from University of Chicago and my Masters in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois in Chicago. I completed my School Counseling certification at DePaul. What I love the most about my job is that no two weeks are ever the same! Outside of being a school counselor, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, movies, reading and writing.

Phone: 773.534.0048

Tamara Driver

Freshmen: 104, 105, 106
Sophomores: 001, 002
Juniors: 901, 902, 903

Tamara Driver is excited to begin her first year with Payton College Prep and nineteenth year with Chicago Public Schools! (Yes, that means she has been with CPS longer than some WPCP students have been alive. Let that set in for a moment.). She earned her Master of Arts in School Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University and her Bachelor of Arts in French from Loyola University Chicago (Go, Ramblers!).

Prior to Payton, Mrs. Driver spent eight years at Jones College Prep, and a year at Harlan Community Academy High School on Chicago's south side. At Harlan and Jones, she served as a member of both the counseling team and the Instructional Leadership team. Prior to school counseling, Mrs. Driver shared her special blend of sarcasm, sass, and sophistication with students at Northside College Prep for just under a decade. At Northside, Mrs. Driver developed the school's French program, taught all levels of the language, and later served as the World Language Department Chairperson. (Feel free to test her French skills; you will not be disappointed.) Nowadays, Mrs. Driver shares her love for French language, culture, and cuisine with her husband and two daughters. However, her passions for reality tv, pop culture, and YouTube make-up tutorials have not quite caught on with the rest of the family. She can't understand why... As a counselor, Mrs. Driver enjoys helping students navigate the sometimes choppy waters of high school. With a style that is equal parts compassion and realism, she is committed to supporting students through the roller coaster ride that is adolescence. She encourages students to buckle-up and keep hands and feet inside the cart at all times. Refunds will not be provided. Here we go!

Phone: 773.534.0033

Ashley Greer
School Counselor

Adv. 146
Freshmen: 113, 114, 115
Sophomores: 011, 012, 013
Juniors: 910, 911
Seniors: 801, 802

I earned my Bachelors from The University of Michigan, and my Masters in School Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. During my undergraduate studies, I majored in Psychology and African American Studies and was also a member of the Track & Field team, where I threw the shot put, hammer, and weight. As an undergraduate, I also began mentoring at local high schools, which is where I developed my passion for education and decided to pursue my career in counseling. As a graduate student, I participated in many local school counseling organizations, specifically the Michigan School Counseling Association, where I volunteered for various events such as statewide conferences.

Phone: 773.534.0034 Ext. 24982

Mario G. Ortiz
School Counselor

Freshmen: 101, 102, 103
Sophomores: 003, 004, 005
Juniors: 904, 905
Seniors: 804, 805

School counseling is a challenging, rewarding and fascinating profession and I couldn't be happier to be part of Payton's counseling team. This is my 14th year in the profession; 7th year at Payton. My past experience includes: An extensive career as a newspaper and magazine journalist and editor; Member of a founding faculty of a successful north side charter school; a brief stint in college admissions. Education: Boston University, B.S.; University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A.; Northeastern Illinois University, M.A. in School Counseling. I am a National Board Certified School Counselor. I enjoy helping high school students make the jump to young adulthood, navigate the world of college and start purposeful lives. I'm pleased to serve students and families in English and Spanish.

Phone: 773.534.0036