The Not So New Kids on the Block: Check in with the Counselors

Staff Writer
Last fall UNI bid adieu to three of it’s counselors and welcomed new counselors to it’s staff. The Sword and Shield interviewed the newcomers Mr. Nate Schoch, Ms. Hanna Addessi, and Ms. Jamie Grace on their first weeks to find out more about them. Now, a semester in, we checked in to see how they are settling in.
S&S: How do you like the school so far and how has it compared to your expectations?
Schoch: UNI has been great so far. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my colleagues and the students here. There are a lot of ways we connect with students here that we didn’t do at my other schools, and that’s a welcome addition.
Addessi: I really enjoy Uni so far!  Everyone has been very friendly and I feel that I am settling in nicely. Things can be very hectic at times, but it keeps things exciting!
Grace: UNI has been awesome so far! It has exceeded my expectations for sure. I have truly enjoyed getting to know the students and staff. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive.
S&S: Have you been to any school events and if so how did you like them?
Addessi: I have had the chance to work the ticket booth at one of the football games earlier this year. I enjoy see students so excited to support their school and have fun while doing so. I also was able to take a look around at all the amazing decorations students created during homecoming week. I still have not attended a music or theatre performance, and I definitely would like to before the school year is over!
Grace: I have been to a couple of sporting events and have loved them! As someone who participated in high school sports myself, these events are something I enjoy.
S&S: What is your favorite thing about the school?
Schoch: My favorite thing about the school has been working with the students and helping them as issues, concerns and questions arise. A close second would be all the desserts and treats that are in the counseling office. I have a sweet tooth!
Addessi: My favorite thing about Uni is how diverse it is. I enjoy working with all kinds of students, from all walks of life and even different countries oftentimes. I find it really interesting to hear the personal experiences students have had that shape them into who they are.
Grace: My favorite thing about UNI definitely has to be the students. You are all so driven and kind; it is wonderful to see and to be a part of. I also love my fellow counselors. The counseling team at UNIi has been so welcoming. We have a great work environment in the counseling office.
S&S: What about UNI is different from other schools you have worked at?
Schoch: I’ve worked at a number of different schools, but this is my first school in California. I think a lot of things are very comparable to the others schools I’ve been at professionally. There are a few differences here and there, but nothing I would say stands out as too different.
Addessi: Uni is different in the sense that it is extremely high achieving and competitive.  I admire the level of time and effort that students put into their academics and extracurricular activities, and how dedicated they are.  With this, however, comes widespread high stress among students here.  I try to always emphasize to my students how important it is to keep balanced.  Your grades and future goals are definitely important, but so is your present health and happiness.
Grace: Each school will be inherently slightly different than the next. The biggest thing that stands out to me about Uni is how driven each and every student is. The school culture is extremely high achieving.
S&S: What is something interesting about you not everyone would know?
Schoch: Something interesting about me that you may not know is that I have a twin sister. I am three minutes older.
Addessi: I have dual citizenship- American and Italian.  My father was born in Italy and that gave me the ability to claim my Italian citizenship.  A lot of my family is still there, so I try to visit every few years.  I can understand and speak the language (though I tend to struggle with verb usage).
Grace: My two favorite places to be are the mountains and the lake. During winter I love to snowboard and in the summer I love to partake in various water sports like wakesurfing, wakeboarding, and tubing.