How long have you been working at Valencia High School as Career & College Readiness Specialist? I am beginning my 8th school year at Valencia High School as a CCR Specialist. I have had the pleasure of managing some very special pathways including Sports Medicine, Cosmetology, Computer Science, Advanced Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, Pharmacy, and Law.
Please describe what a typical day is like for you? I am usually up before the sun cheerful and ready to greet the day. Thankfully, my morning attitude became contagious rather than obnoxious with the others in my household. Students are the biggest part of my daily routine. When students aren’t in my office, I traverse our 40+ acre campus connecting with CTE teachers and making presentations to students. I share career opportunities and my life experiences in a way that students can relate to through current social media, lesson plans, and interactive media. Communicating on Snapchat is part of my daily routine. I am delighted to say I am currently on day 140 with my Snapchat Streak. I utilize many different social media options daily. Because I work with high school students, I believe it is important to bring my best self to work daily. Emulating professionalism, kindness and a positive attitude are always my top goals. I recently obtained my CTE teaching credential and look forward to adding teaching to my routine.
What do you love most about your career? I love high school students. One of the most bittersweet days of my life was when my daughters graduated high school. I loved raising teenagers, which is not normal I know. Why do you ask? I remember when I was a teenager I was determined to make things different. I think that is part of a teenager’s DNA. To me, young adults have the muscle to change the world.
At Valencia High School, every day I see high school students committed to achieving in many diverse capacities. I find it so optimistic. There are unrelenting concerns in our times just as there have been in generations before us, and I believe as educators, if we tap into the vitality of our young people and encourage their social entrepreneurship and progressive actions we will see even more innovation and creative social change.
What was your favorite High School memory? I do not have one favorite High School memory. What I loved to do most as a teenager was laugh, and I surrounded myself with friends and classmates with a sense of humor and adventure.
What advice would you give to a High School or Middle School student? My advice to High School students is to relax and not take high school life too seriously. Make it a priority to enjoy your time in high school. Explore different clubs, activities, and careers. Find those friends that make you smile every day. And lastly, when you are in class, work hard. Don’t waste this opportunity to learn, especially in those subjects that you find challenging. Whether you believe it or not, the lessons you learn in high school will prove to be helpful in other aspects of your life.
What did you do for fun this last summer? My summer was full of mountain air, bookstores, libraries, and time in the kitchen. I spent many days at our family mountain hideaway fishing, hiking, refurbishing furniture, reading, and cooking. I truly delight in cooking and sharing my recipes on my culinary artist page with family, friends and other foodies. I love to read and have been blessed to find other wonderful friends who love to read too. As part of our reading adventures we take field trips, find book related cultural restaurants and even skype authors. I explored many libraries and bookstores outside of Santa Clarita this summer and made sure to include new and trendy eateries as part of my field trips. While I thoroughly enjoyed my summer, I made sure to celebrate the beginning of the new school year by preparing a special meal and celebrating the start of another year!