Substitute to fill in for counselor

December 12, 2018 — by Nitya Marimuthu and Kaitlyn Tsai

After having given birth to a son recently, guidance counselor Eileen Allen has gone on maternity leave, temporarily leaving her position in the hands of substitute Jolene Soares. Soares will remain in her position until mid-March.

After spending years in the entertainment industry, sales and business administration writing grants, Soares became a substitute teacher in nearby school districts. She received her degree in counseling last year after many years of substitute teaching.

Soares decided to come to the school after hearing high praise about both the students and Allen. She especially appreciates the tight-knit community and the size of the performing arts program.  

“I like the idea that Saratoga had so many students involved with performing arts,” she said. “I thought that was really unique.”

Soares believes her experience with substitute teaching, taking part as a leader in religious organizations as well as being a member of the Parent Teacher Organization and a mother to four children provides a strong background to help Allen’s students.

So far, she said her experience has been “fabulous,” with a lot of the staff welcoming her and supporting her, along with a great experience learning about the students here. Soares looks forward to learning more about the job, the community and the students.  

“I like meeting with all the students,” Soares said. “I like learning more about the job and just getting to understand what your community has to offer, and taking what I can. So part of it I know and part of it I don’t know. I guess it’s [all part of] discovering.”

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