After I had retired from practicing corporate law for 17+ years, I was considering going into teaching. At the time, my sons were in high school, and I had a few interesting interactions with their high school counselor. I was really impressed and intrigued with the way she was able to bring the interested parties (student, parent, teacher, administrator) together to find a solution that worked. It sparked my interest in becoming a school counselor, and I then decided to go back to school to get the training.
What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?
I am a counselor and this is my fifth year at O’Dowd.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?
My mom would always tell me, when things get difficult, stay the course. Simple advice, but it’s always in the back of my head and I’ve found it applies in a variety of areas – raising children probably being number one.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love working with teenagers on a daily basis. They are all so different from one another and in a period of life where they undergo such dramatic change. I also love how my work is different every day – it’s never boring. And I absolutely adore my colleagues and being in a work environment where you are rewarded on an emotional level on practically a daily basis. It’s the complete opposite of practicing law.
What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?
That being a counselor is a very creative endeavor – we are constantly challenged with new and different issues involving our students, requiring us to come up with innovative solutions.
What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?
Hmmm, not sure on this one. I guess I’d say that people might be surprised to know that I’m sort of a trivia buff. In college I was in a trivia bowl as the Star Trek trivia specialist (now I’m revealing my inner nerd.) I’m also a lifelong skier (since age 5), and one of my happiest places is being on skis on the top of a mountain (with great snow conditions!) And I can wiggle my ears.
If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?
That’s easy – the photos of my kids and my students.
What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?
I’m a fan of ’70s R&B, and my go-to is classical (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin) when I need to calm down. I’m also strangely partial to movie soundtracks.
What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?
The Warriors, of course! What a great combination of talent, intelligence and classiness.