Lance Paulsen
Counseling Department Chair

Freshmen: 209, 210
Sophomores: 107, 108, 109
Juniors: 006, 007
Seniors: 906, 907, 908

I am entering my 12th 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, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pepperdine University, and Brown University.

Phone: 773.534.8175

Tamara Driver

Freshmen: 204, 205
Sophomores: 104, 105, 106
Juniors: 001, 002
Seniors: 901, 902, 903

Tamara Driver is pleased to begin her second 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: 211, 212, 213
Sophomores: 113, 114, 115
Juniors: 011, 012, 013
Seniors: 910, 911

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

LaToya Hudson-Spells

Freshmen: 206, 207, 208
Sophomores: 110, 111, 112
Juniors: 008, 009, 010

Mrs. Hudson-Spells has worked as a school counselor since 2004 but with Chicago Public Schools since 2008. She is very excited to start her first year at Payton. Prior to Payton, Mrs. Hudson-Spells spent a decade at Jones College Prep, two year with Crete-Monee High School and two years with Queen of Peace High school. At Jones, Mrs. Hudson-Spells developed a College Knowledge program, was a member of the ILT team, a 504 case manager (five years) and served as department chair (eight years).

Mrs. Hudson-Spells earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McKendree University and her Master of Arts in Community Counseling and a School Counseling from Saint Xavier University.

Prior to school counseling, Mrs. Hudson-Spells served as a family therapist (five years) working with students who were first time offenders and struggled with chronic truancy issues. It was through that experience that inspired Mrs. Hudson-Spells to become a school counselor. Mrs. Hudson-Spells is truly passionate about helping students and working in collaboration with students, parents and staff to provide and create effective student-driven programs.

In Mrs. Hudson-Spells spare time, she enjoys singing, planning events, hanging out with friends, shopping and spending time with her family (husband and two kids which are twenty years apart). And yes I said twenty years!!! Lately, her enjoyment centers around her three year daughter who keeps her on her toes.

Mrs. Hudson-Spells is here to help so students and parents please do not hesitate to contact her if you have any questions and/or concerns. She is looking forward to working with you.

Phone: 773.534.0048

Mario G. Ortiz
School Counselor

Freshmen: 201, 202, 203
Sophomores: 101, 102, 103
Juniors: 003, 004, 005
Seniors: 904, 905, 909

School counseling is a challenging, rewarding and fascinating profession and I couldn't be happier to be part of Payton's counseling team. I have worked as a counselor since 2003 and at Payton since 2011. My past experience includes: Newspaper and magazine journalist/editor; founding faculty member of a successful north side charter school; 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. I also am a Level 1 Archery Instructor and offer an archery seminar.

Phone: 773.534.0036