At the start of the 2013-14 school year, Sonoma Valley High School welcomed two new counselors, a new registrar and a new vice principal to oversee counseling.

New hires Kate Keating and Kalia Gurnee, both bilingual, learned the ropes in the district as Sonoma State University counseling interns before coming on staff full time this year. Keating currently is assigned to the freshman teams and she works with the school’s 350 ninth grade students. Gurnee splits her time between the sophomore, junior and senior classes.

Tracy Dorrance splits her time between counseling at the Teen Parent Center at Creekside and working with the sophomore, junior and senior classes. The most experienced staffer, bilingual counselor Maricela Sanchez, is also responsible for the students in grades 10 to 12. Vice principal Jessica Hutchinson, who joined the high school this year, oversees the counseling function at the high school.

After their freshman year, students at Sonoma Valley High are assigned to one counselor who stays with them for the remainder of their time at the school.

While the school’s counselors are busy all year round, in the late winter months they spend a large portion of their time writing recommendations and doing course planning with students for the following school year.

Rounding out the team is Lisa Conner, with the help of Mary Klenow, who runs the high school’s College and Career Center and has a dotted line relationship with the counseling department.

Both work with all grade levels on issues surrounding career planning, work permits and the college application process.

Also integral to the counseling team are counseling technician Sherry Dean and registrar Amber McCann-Howlett.