New Kids on the Block

Staff Writer
A counselor’s guidance is a necessity to a high school student; they help manage the beast that is preparing for college.. As the shocking news of three counselors leaving settles, new counselors are being welcomed. The Sword and Shield has interviewed new counsellors Mr. Nate Schoch, Ms. Hanna Addessi, and Ms. Jamie Grace. They have replaced previous counselors Ms. Barbara Yeager, Ms. Ashley Wolford, and Ms. Julie McIntosh respectively. However, there is no need to worry. The new counselors have years of prior experience and their doors are always open!
Mr. Schoch: Counseling Dept.
S&S:  What’s your impression of the school so far?
Schoch: I really like what I’ve seen so far at UNI. The kids here are amazing-high achieving, involved, positive and nice. I’m looking forward to getting to know my caseload better as the year progresses. My fellow counselors, the staff and administration have all done an excellent job making me feel welcome here at UNI.
S&S: Why have you decided to counsel at Uni and what are your prior experiences as a counselor?
Schoch: I recently relocated to Southern California from Minneapolis, MN. My family relocated to the area, and I was looking for a strong school in a great district. Luckily, I was able to land at UNI. This is my nineteenth year in education. I taught language arts for nine years, and have been a school counselor for the last ten years. My most recent job was working as a high school counselor in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN, where I spent the last five years before moving West.
S&S: What’s your strategy for getting to know everyone?
Schoch: I feel like I will get to know students better as the year progresses. If my office door is open, you are welcome to stop by, or you can send me an email. Through individual meetings, group presentations and other involvement, I should have no problem making connections with students. I think the biggest fear I hear from students (seniors) is worry about their letters of recommendation. I have a  background in writing and have been writing letters of recommendation for eleven years. No need to worry!
Ms. Addessi: Counseling Dept.
S&S: Why did you become a counselor? More specifically, why a high school counselor?
Addessi: I was a psychology major as an undergraduate, and knew I wanted to go into some sort of counseling field.  School has always been a comfortable place for me, and I had a lot of experience working in education, starting from when I was a high school student myself.  I enjoy helping high school students to set goals, academic or personal, that will get them to where they want to be in their future.
S&S: What’s your impression of the school so far?
Addessi: So far, I am really happy at Uni! Students and staff have been very welcoming.  I like how diverse I have found the school to be, and think there are a lot of great opportunities here for students, both academically and in regards to extracurricular activities.
S&S: What’s your strategy for getting to know everyone?
Addessi: Since the beginning of the school year is so busy for counselors, so far my strategy has just been to get to know students as I meet with them in my office.  As the year progresses however, I hope to attend school events that will help me to get to know everyone a little bit better.
Ms. Grace: Counseling Dept.
S&S: Why have you decided to counsel at Uni and what are your prior experiences as a counselor?
Grace: I decided to become a counselor at Uni because I love helping students. One of my passions is helping students to find their own path in life and pursue their own passion. For me, Uni is the perfect place to do this. The students here are very driven and enthusiastic about their education. I have counseling experience at the elementary, middle, high school, and comprehensive high school levels. I also have experience in many different school districts including Orange, Anaheim, Placentia Yorba Linda, and now Irvine! Most recently, I was employed as a Middle School counselor in Placentia Yorba Linda.
S&S: Why did you become a counselor? More specifically, why a high school counselor?
Grace: I became a counselor because I love working with students! I have always had a passion for helping people and working with kids. I did a lot of research in college on different career paths that allowed me to work with kids and help people. School counseling seemed like the perfect fit for me! As to why I chose to work as a high school counselor specifically, I can refer back to my answer from the previous question. One of my favorite aspects of being a school counselor is in the opportunity to help students find their passion and guide them in a direction to pursue their dreams. High school is the perfect time to do this with students. I love the conversations that I am able to have with students this age.
S&S: What’s your strategy for getting to know everyone?
Grace: My strategy for getting to know everyone starts with being very welcoming and approachable. My office is a place where all students and staff are welcome,even if you are just popping in to grab a piece of candy and say “hi!”. I have an open door policy and I want to get to know each and every one of my students. In addition, I will be getting to know everyone through individual student meetings, grade level meetings, parent coffee’s and guidance lessons. I am very excited for this year and cannot wait to get to know everyone!