LT hires new advisor for college, career

Cody Dailey takes on position with positive attitude, energy


Cody Dailey poses against the college flag wall in the College/Career Center, where he has taken over the position of the College Coordinator (Mardegan/LION).

Jeanne Mardegan, News Editor, Website Editor

Throughout his childhood, College/Career counselor Cody Dailey wanted to work in education, yet his mind changed well into early adulthood.

Graduating from Knox College in Galesburg, with an undergraduate degree in international relations, Dailey had deviated from his young instincts. It was not until he accepted a two-year position helping high school students with their college application process that he saw himself in a new endeavor. With this newfound passion, Dailey received his masters in school counseling from Depaul University.

“I just kinda took the job because it sounded interesting, but [through] working with students, I realized ‘this is what I love to do,’” Dailey said. “I was not originally thinking grad school, but once I started working, I thought school counseling is something I wanted to pursue.”

Prior to joining the LT team, Dailey worked as a college counselor at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park and Maine West in Des Plaines, as well as spending four years counseling at Joliet Junior College, he said. He heard about the job opening at LT through internet listings and knew it was a community he wanted to be a part of.

“I think that the LT community is a really special place,” Dailey said. “The standard of excellence is really important here. I also was drawn towards a lot of the equity work that is being done.”

As the College and Career counselor, Dailey’s job is to help students plan for their post-high school life, he said. Students can reach out to receive advice regarding the college application process, financial aid, military enlistment, trade school, and job openings, among many more services. Raised by a single mother who did not attend college, Dailey was a first generation student and is eager to help other students in similar situations. While counseling at Victor J. Andrew High School, he created a first generation college and career support program that he plans to initiate at LT.

“[Through the program], I met with students by grade level, even freshmen,” Dailey said. “National First Generation College Student Day is in November, so I’m planning to do a big event to kick that off and help support our first gen students.”

Students can make an appointment to meet with Dailey by dropping in to the College and Career Center or through a digital link to a Calendly, he said. The link allows students to select a 30-minute time slot in accordance with their availability.

While she’s been a part of the LT faculty for the past 16 years, it’s College and Career Center Administrative Assistant Nancy Kalkowski’s first year in the position as well. The Center is different from her previous work in the Testing Office, but working alongside the staff in her office has helped with the learning curve, she said.

 “We have a fantastic team,” Kalkowski said. “[Mr. Dailey] has the College and Career knowledge, I have the LT knowledge, and [College and Career ParaEducator] Mrs. Byerle [used to be] a college rep and has the college perspective, so we all have parts in place. They’re just wonderful to work with.”

Having the Center at LT offers loads of resources, and it’s a great opportunity to plan for one’s future into adulthood, whether that’s higher education or joining the workforce, Kalkowski said. 

“I’m really trying to make students aware that they can stop by [the College and Career Center] at any time to ask questions,” Dailey said. “This space is really awesome and a lot of schools don’t have a place like this. We have an amazing team here, so we’re always [ready] to help.”