Our CPSD Staff Spotlight this week features Evergreen Elementary School counselor Vanessa Gaitan. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a master’s in school counseling last spring and is in her first year at Evergreen.
Growing up as part of a military family, Vanessa moved back and forth between Washington and Germany. Her experiences and the challenges she experienced with each move inspired her to work with students who needed extra support.
After finishing her undergraduate studies at Oregon State University, she worked at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood and spent time as a paraeducator in North Thurston School District. Her interactions with kids and families started her on a path toward becoming a school counselor.
“My favorite part of the job is connecting with families and building relationships,” she said. “Some families are hesitant to connect right away, but once they do, it’s really rewarding when they’re sharing their good days and bad days with you.”