The Shadow Wrangler

She’s the pint-sized piston that you see at most every event, her radiant smile flashed at everyone. Most students have interacted with her at one time or another as she directs the shadow program as part of the school’s recruitment process.

Virginia Rinker, Admissions and enrollment manager, is head of the shadow program, helping to determine who will best represent SVPHS to all the potential incoming freshman. As a result, she controls the ambassador dress code as well as for the visiting shadows. Mrs. Rinker said, “This job can be stressful because kids fill out interest forms, and their academics don’t match their athletics”. Even though this job is stressful she loves doing it because she meets news perspectives, stays in touch with different shadows, and is satisfied the majority of the shadows want to apply and attend Pallotti.

However, “there is a lot of competition”. This year we have had over 200 shadows since September with some even visiting this month. But, we had way more last year; this year we have had a reduction in shadows because we have fewer shadow days due to retreats and more seventh graders come on open houses. Most of our shadows come from St. Mary’s of the Mills, across the street. Additionally, we are getting more shadows to visit from Montgomery and Howard counties, a big shift in demographics.”

Shadows are permitted to wear their school uniform or something they would wear to church. Mrs. Rinker likes to have the shadows in and out they do not stay for a whole day, they’re here from 8:15 to 2:00. She doesn’t want the shadows to accompany a poorly performing student, so she carefully selects her host. There’s a form that is completed by admissions people and schedule for faculty and staff approval.

Mrs. Rinker is also the proud mother of senior Theresa and sophomore Ethan, with son Adam scheduled to arrive in 2021.