Hardworking and reliable School Counselor and Coach with a strong ability in empowering and inspiring students and athletes to believe in endless possibilities. Offering connection, innovation and collaboration. Highly organized, proactive and punctual with team-oriented mentality.
Collaboration- As a High School Liaison and advocate for student success, I believe in collaboration and support for students and staff. In working specifically with the disproportioned youth there are multiple avenues and facets for collaboration and engaging the students and staff. I have knowledge in collaborating with administrators, police officers, teachers, parents, group home staff, social workers, counselors and more. Collaboration is about connection and engaging in new ways to learn and express my point of view for students that may not have a voice. To be concise, yet consistent in my information and authority to effectively communicate and engage the school and community.
Communication- It's all about communication! As a masters educated counselor, communication is just more than speaking. Communication is about listening to hear and not just listening to respond. Communication is about body language and interpreting body language. I also focus on being aware of how my body language effects my communication and interaction with my students. As a head coach, communication with my staff, athletes, parents, and administrators is important as well. I believe in direct communication with my athletes. I am firm, but fair. I tell them the truth, even with the truth may not be what they want to hear at the moment. As a head coach in the public high school setting, over-communication is far more effective, especially when dealing with high school aged athletes. I am well practiced in communicating through email, face to face, and leaving a paper trail to make sure all my bases are covered.
Flexibility and Adaptability- As the youngest of four siblings growing up, my whole life has been about flexibility and adaptability. I've grown and persevered through every encounter and tribulation that I have faced. From having a heroin addict brother, to tearing my ACL in college that diminished my chances from being an Olympic Athlete, I have been challenged and adapted to life's unfortunate curve-balls. I believe my flexibility and adaptability have made me a better coach and counselor, I am able to see things before they happen in high-intensity moments and games. I respond to situations and challenges in a quick and attentive manner all while keeping a cool, but confident demeanor. I am also willing to accept new roles, and take on new challenges for the betterment of my team and organization.
Initiative- In May 2017 I was asked to be the head boys water polo coach at Clovis West High School. I knew this was a daunting task as the program had been unsuccessful and was lacking team cohesion and structure for many years. As a USA Water Polo Head coach for over eight years, I knew I was qualified and up for the task. However, I also knew that coaching boys at an elite level would take additional professional development and resources. I took on the task in the hopes to create structure, team cohesion, and success in a short amount of time. I started an off season program in May 2017, ran a summer developmental program for the incoming 7th-12th graders. I reached out to other professional coaches and asked for their help and support, national team coaches, college coaches, and went to a coaches training at Stanford. The fall season began in September 2017 and our season ended in November 2017 with 8 team wins and 21 losses. 2 weeks later, I got back to work and continued with off-season winter development from December to February. In the spring the water polo athletes swam and I coached softball, May 2018, we began summer training again, attended more summer tournaments, competed more as a team and in 2018 we had 14 team wins. 2 weeks rest after the 2018 fall season, I went back to the drawing board, and continued to develop and watch film and engage in learning opportunities to grow and be successful as a coach. May 2019 summer camps began again, and the fall season started in August 2019. Fall 2019 ended with 22 team wins, a CIF valley-championship appearance for the first time since 2011, and a 3rd place finish in the nor-cal state playoffs for the first time in school history. I was persistent and committed to "less me, more we" the boys bought into team over self and worked hard to create their own success based on their hard work and determination.
Interpersonal Ability- With all the successes that the 2019 boys water polo season brought to Clovis West, it also brought a very challenging and testing time for me as a person, coach and educator. There was an incident that occurred on August 28, 2019, I was having a team meeting with my boys and in the firm and competitive nature of my coaching skill I threw a dry erase marker that accidentally struck one of my athletes. I provided first aid, apologized to the athlete and the entire team, provided first aid and called home and told the mom exactly what happened and apologized for striking her son. At the time she was understanding and laughed it off. Season had already begun and games were being played, about 12 days after the marker incident, I was called into the principals office to be greeted by a police officer, athletic director and assistant superintendent. I quickly learned that the mom filed a police report for child endangerment and wanted me fired and charged for assault. An investigation ensued, I was not fired or displaced, I remained the head coach and all charges were dismissed. However, this put major strain on the cohesiveness of the team, I knew I needed to be the glue that kept the boys together and kept them believing that anything is possible, if we work for it. I knew the boys would act differently towards their teammate, since their mom went to the police and because the mom went to the media and I was defamed and slandered in a negative light. But I never responded to the media, I continued to coach and show grace and consistently coached firm, but fair. I created a safe place for this athlete to come into my office and chat, and he frequently would. I had team meetings and made sure he always felt included and apart of the team. I never spoke badly about the athlete or his mother, I managed the conflict and created resolution within in the team and and the environment. I believe my actions of leadership and grace caused less disruption and my actions made my athletes feel safe to know that I was okay, and that we had a job to do, we had to compete, as a team, together.
Leadership- I believe I have enate ability to inspire and empower excellence around me. As a coach and counselor, I interact with a diverse groups of people and students on a daily basis. I know that no matter whom I come in contact with, I am providing a service, I am talking to human beings, I am listening and supporting. I am not judging, I am not concerned about the color of their skin, or how expensive their clothes are, or where they live. I treat each person and student with love and respect. I create respect through give respect. Absolutely I hold my students accountable and don't provide shortcuts for them. Instead, I provide opportunities to them to grow and I advocate for them, so they will learn and advocate for themselves. I know I have inspired and created opportunities for success for my students and athletes because I write scholarship letters of recommendations, I'm asked to be professional references on job applications, I'm invited and asked to graduations and celebrations, I'm sent Christmas cards from former athletes I've coached eight years ago. I believe I am a respected leader in the community, and I believe I can positively impact and lead and inspire all those that I get to encounter.
Organizing/Planning- Organization and planning are essential for my daily living. I take pride in staying organized and finding new ways to organize and plan as well. Especially currently being an educator during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was forced to learn and innovate and connect with my students through zoom meetings and text and email. I created a Remind thread to text my students, I created office hours to see my students through zoom. I created Google forms and spreadsheets to learn about my students and to provide a safe place for them to talk and type and share their feelings. I was able to prioritize the importance of human connection with my students all while staying socially distant and still educate and empower them to persevere and overcome this difficult time. Additionally, I take pride in completing my masters degree while head coaching 2 high school sports (water polo, softball), working full-time, commuting an hour to work (1-way). If I didn't plan and organize my daily, weekly, monthly, schedule and goals I wouldn't have been able to complete my masters degree. Multi-tasking is a tactical skill that I believe in and that I must use and prioritize to be successful.
Problem Solving/Judgement- I have been working with the disproportioned youth in Clovis Unified School District for over four years. Before this, I was a substitute teacher in Kings County and Campus Supervisor at Lemoore High School. I have encountered numerous students and situations to use my gut and problem solve as well as terminate situations before they become bigger. I believe I create honest and trust for students to share things with me that they wouldn't share with other adults. I have had students tell me where to find their drugs or weapons because I recognized their erratic behavior and asked them into my office to talk, and they would openly share information. I also have connected with group home students and current and former gang members and had them share with me their stories of violence and growing up on the streets and I could form connections with these students and get them to follow the school rules and attend classes. I have connected with foster students who have moved foster homes eight times in 2 years. They would come into my office and cry about connections and relationships and their troubles fitting in. I would listen and offer advice but never judge them or question their ability to connect with others. It was more about encouraging them to trust themselves and provide them to tools to trust others to form relationships. Although, I have a healthy track record of connecting with students and solving problems, I do not have a 100% success record. I have lost students to the streets and to the gangs, I have lost students to suicide and drugs, I have lost students to expulsion and other questionable life choices. But I know that with every person I encounter and every person I'm honored to be in the presence of I do my best to engage and authentically inspire them to be their very best self.
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