Heidi Clark-Smitley

Agricultural Aficionado, Spontaneous Dance Party Starter, Sunshine Lover.

After giving her first campus tour as a college student, Heidi knew she wanted to pursue a career guiding students to the next step along their academic journeys. Heidi engages each student’s individual story to discover how and where higher education can develop their personal best.

Heidi has worked on both sides of the desk as a college admissions representative and as a comprehensive school counselor. Her post-graduate “gap year” teaching in Honduras cultivated a love for volunteerism, different cultures particularly Latin America as well as fluency in conversational Spanish. She has been serving as Director of Counseling at the same private school for 18 years and specializing in college planning for a decade.  Having toured over 100 college campuses in the U.S. Heidi looks at the institutional strengths that match her students’ experiences and goals as a means to help them define the best “fit. She finds college coaching can widen perspective in a student’s search and motivate their personal development.

As the parent of a college student with a second child entering college soon, Heidi understands the commitment parents’ make to support their child’s intellectual and social growth while mediating pressure to provide ideal opportunities. She works to balance parent and student expectations while discerning their assumptions which can bring greater excitement for the college and career search.

Heidi has served on an admissions advisory board for five years; on the Executive Board as Member At-large for the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling; and co-chaired the West Michigan National College Fair for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. She has traveled to various Latin American countries to serve with student groups. She has also volunteered with a variety of faith-based organizations throughout her adult life.

Heidi lives with her husband and two younger children in Grand Rapids as well as the family’s cat, four chickens and her school’s therapy dog, Eve. She is thrilled to see one of her life goals come to fruition, Smitley College Coaching, in 2024 in conjunction with joining ROOT. 

Heidi’s Socials