This is the seventh installment of Coffee Chats, where The Paly Voice gets to know staff members over a cup of coffee.
The Paly Voice sat down with college counselor Sandra Cernobori over a small decaf non-fat latte last week, and discussed her interests and the path she took to become a part of the Palo Alto High School staff.
This is the 11th year Cernobori has acted as a counselor for senior students in the middle of post-high school planning.
Before becoming a counselor at Paly, Cernobori said she studied at a community college and later transferred to California Polytechnic State University as an English major. After graduating, she earned a teaching credential at San Francisco State University and later a master’s degree in Pupil Personnel Services along with her counseling credentials at San Jose State University.
According to Cernobori, the first job Cernobori she pursued was an English and Psychology teaching career for eight years at San Mateo High School.
“I taught all grades, and I even taught psychology,” Cernobori said.
After taking a leave of absence, she became interested in non-profit jobs. However, after not being successful in her search, she took a temporary job at a tech company, SAP, in the Bay Area.
“9/11 happened and there was no funding for non-profits so I took a temp job at SAP,” Cernobori said. “It was fine, but I was bored because it was not a very taxing job.”
Cernobori applied to her current job at Paly while finishing her counseling credential at San Jose State University.
According to Cernobori, her favorite activity outside of school is to watch and review theater performances.
“I am a big theater person,” Cernobori said. “I have three theater subscriptions and [am part of] two theater groups in the city.”
Two current and former Paly staff members, including guidance counselor Susan Shultz, join Cernobori in these groups in San Francisco or on Broadway.
“Not that I’m an actor at all, I just appreciate the talent,” Cernobori said.
While seniors struggle through the college application process, Cernobori has a few tips she likes to share to help relieve some stress.
“My tips for students is for them to be organized and knowing what you need to do and by when,” Cernobori said. “So you can feel more in control of the process.”