CAP advisor Jan Spivak, secures student’s futures

From saving students hundreds in standardized testing to millions in college tuition, College Assistance Program (CAP) Advisor Jan Spivak spends her work days ensuring students’ successful futures.

Spivak began as a theater kid in high school with aspirations of becoming an actress, but decided to follow a different path in college. After switching to a Psychology major, she eventually earned her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. 

Her work began with a program that helped students with disabilities acclimate to everyday adult life, like living in an apartment, completing taxes, and attending school. But, several years later, a best friend convinced Spivak to make the switch to the school system. 

She worked at Miami Springs Senior High as a CAP advisor for 10 years, at the district as a Support Specialist helping students with workforce credentials and as Director of Student Services. Ultimately, she realized the CAP position was the best suited for her and made her way back.

“The job was attractive to me because I saw the need to help students with college and financial aid, and I loved my time at college,” Spivak said.

When former Krop CAP advisor Robert Roddy retired, Spivak took over the position and has been helping students on their path to college ever since. 

While at Krop, Spivak has not only helped hundreds of students with their high school careers, but has also begun her own CAP club, to expand her reach and assistance as much as possible. A team she calls her “little CAP advisors” helps her with events like College Fair, and assists students during their application process. 

“As much as I was afraid to take the leap, I realized it was something that was necessary,” Spivak said. “I recognized that I needed a team that can help me expose students to opportunities, and make sure they understand SCOIR and CommonApp.”

After conducting the College Fair online in 2020, Spivak organized her first in-person College Fair in October 2022.

“The Club Fair really opened my eyes,” junior Gal Amir said. “It’s good to start seeing my options because I’m applying next year and getting to see all the schools was important to me. It was organized really well.” 

She needed to create an application process for schools, a questionnaire for the representatives, and design a floor plan for the tables. The gyms were split into sections like local public and private schools, further-reach universities, art colleges, and military colleges. Months of preparation and dedication later, over 75 schools showed up in support, with around 700 attendees.  

“We hadn’t had the College Fair in-person since 2019,” Activities Director Michelle Russell said. “And she did an amazing job. It was just as well-attended and professional as all of our fairs have been. She didn’t miss a beat.”

For the Krop class of 2022, Spivak set up Microsoft Team rooms, one-by-one for every student, communicating important information to make sure everyone knew about opportunities to earn money, even though students were online through COVID. Through applications on her website and grants given to applicants, Spivak helped the Krop class of 2022 earn over $8 million in scholarships, one of her biggest and proudest accomplishments.

“I think my position is the most unique, because I get all the excitement,” Spivak said. “I get that reward constantly from students receiving acceptances or scholarships. I really thrive on that reward of the job.”

With all the stress of constantly providing assistance to impatient teenagers, it became important to take breaks. Spivak enjoys her time with nature and cherishes walking in parks, and said it gives a sense of peace unlike anything else. 

Spivak cares deeply about making sure students are successful way beyond their high school careers, and continues to open unique opportunities for students to ease their way into a possibly overwhelming time in their lives. 

“For me it is not a 1.0 or 6.0 [GPA],” Spivak said. “I’m going to find you where you are and help you get to where you want to go.”