Meet Our College Counselors

Morgan Phillips
Director of College Counseling

Ms. Phillips arrived at Saint Mary’s in 2011. She is the Director of College Counseling, a member of the Academic Leadership Team, and serves as a faculty representative on the student-run Judicial Board. After graduating from an independent day/boarding high school in Pennsylvania, she studied philosophy and political science at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont, earning her B.A. in 2001. In 2008, she earned her Master’s in Education at the University of Vermont.  Ms. Phillips worked in college admissions for eight years (2001-2009) at both of her alma mater’s before moving to the other side of the desk as a college counselor at a boarding school in Massachusetts, where she was also dorm head, academic testing coordinator, and field hockey and ice hockey coach.

Ms. Phillips is passionate about the ever-evolving field of college admissions and enjoys working with students and families as they navigate the college search and application processes. She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC), the Association for College Counseling at Independent Schools (ACCIS), and enjoys regional involvement with professional organizations, including the Raleigh National College Fair Committee. She recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Counselor Education at North Carolina State University in 2019.

When she has free time, Ms. Phillips can be found spending it with her daughter, Coraline, training for her next half marathon, or drinking coffee. You can find her office in Lower Smedes.


Ruth Morrongiello
Associate Director

Ruth Morrongiello arrived to Saint Mary’s in 2018. She is the Associate Director of College Counseling, dorm head of Cruikshank, and member of the Professional Leadership Team. She grew up in New York and moved to Raleigh from the Bronx after being an interim middle school counselor in the Westchester County School District. She has had six years of college admission experience and recently worked at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y. for three years as a senior assistant director of college admissions and financial aid. She also was an admissions counselor at Hartwick College and Mount Saint Mary College in New York. While in admissions, Ms. Morrongiello traveled throughout the Northeast recruiting prospective students and speaking to families about the college process. She received her Master’s in School Counseling (Manhattan College, N.Y.) and Bachelor's from Muhlenberg College (Allentown, Penn.). She also earned her CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor).

Ms. Morrongiello is a residential faculty member in Cruikshank Hall with her two lovely cats, Morgan and Nala, and a puppy in training for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Organization, Pendleton. In her free time, you will find her exploring Raleigh with Pendleton. Her office is located in Lower Smedes.


Kyong Lee
Associate Director

Ms. Lee joined Saint Mary’s as a college counselor in 2018 after having experienced all the school has to offer from a parent’s perspective (her daughter is a 2017 graduate). After receiving her Graduate Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA, she worked in college counseling at another independent school in Raleigh for several years. She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at Davidson College, an MBA at Duke University, and has held various positions in corporate banking, brand marketing, and project management with different organizations. Her educational journey—from a small liberal arts college to a mid-sized research university and a large research institution—has been pivotal in her life. So, bringing her corporate skills and experiences to the education field has felt like coming home. 

When she’s not thinking, reading, or talking about education and the college process, Ms. Lee enjoys Face-Timing with her daughter and son (both now settled into college life), and embarking on new empty-nester hobbies like paddle-boarding with her husband. In addition, she can be found working out and trying to practice mindfulness in her life. You can find her office in Lower Smedes.