2-9-2018 – Corona – Meet Catherine Wallace! She is a School Counselor at Santiago High School.
Catherine grew up in Brea, CA.
“I attended Brea-Olinda High School and played basketball for the Ladycats,” she said, “I earned an athletic scholarship and played women’s basketball for Azusa Pacific University.”
It is her third year at Santiago. Previously, Catherine taught at Downey Unified School District.
“I truly love that I get the opportunity to work at Santiago and for CNUSD,” she said, “It is a joy to help my students achieve their goals and get them on the right track. I’m so grateful to work alongside great people, build partnerships with, and to work together to do what is best for kids.”
As a School Counselor, Catherine helps students in areas of academic achievement, college and career readiness, and social/emotional development.
“Counselors play a very important role on a campus,” she said, “We are in a unique position to help the whole student as their advocate.”
There is no typical day in the life of a counselor.
“I come in each day with a focus and list of things to do,” she said, “My priority is to provide help and guidance to meet the various needs of my students to help them be successful.”
Her day consists of doing a variety of activities, such as, fixing schedules, motivating and advising students, providing resources for parent and students, give a listening ear to concerned parents or teachers, helping students with their post-secondary college and career paths, or prepping for a presentation.
Her most memorable experience is when the Santiago High Counseling Department became a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) from The American School Counselors Association last spring.
“We became the first in our district and the sixth school in California to earn this award,” said Catherine.
Some of the things she is most proud of are creating the Santiago Counseling Advisory Committee, helping her department earn RAMP, and creating the PAR-tner UP Committee, which consists of Santiago parents who volunteer and give presentations to our students during Office Hours.
“This year was our first year and this committee will have given over 40 career presentations to our students,” said Catherine, “Now I am part of a team who is helping assist other counseling departments in our district on how to become Recognized ASCA Model Programs.”
Catherine always challenges herself to grow as an educator and as a person.
“As a result, I have had a positive impact on our schools, community, and the district,” she said, “I am so appreciative to work for a supportive and well-respected school district. I know that I have grown so much as an educator and as a person because of the people that encompass this district. I look forward to what is to come.”
Her favorite hobby is spending time with her family.
“We love to take road trips in our motor home, camp, ride our desert toys, and go boating,” said Catherine, “We have taken our kids to over 20 states.”
Catherine has two children; Jeffrey (13) and Victoria (5).
The family pets are two dogs. A Boxer named Bruno and an English Bulldog named Rocko.
Her favorite quote is from Albert Einstein – “A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it is built for.”
“I love this quote because it is important to live a life with purpose,” said Catherine, “I value the importance of trying new things, pursuing life-long learning, and pushing myself to be better with each new day.”
A few words of encouragement from Catherine:
“Don’t allow your past to dictate your future. Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start of a new beginning.”