Local News

Counselor Tamera Parks To Retire

Margo Rawlings
News Editor
After spending 15 years at Los Gatos High School (LGHS) and four years before that at Aptos High School, beloved guidance counselor Tamera Parks will be retiring at the end of this year.
Rather than going straight to college following high school, Parks took 10 years off to travel around California while attending community college classes. While living in Sacramento, Parks began working for a law firm, doing a bit of everything. She worked in time and cost accounting, human resources, and at the reception desk. When the partners at the firm refused to raise her salary because she didn’t have a college diploma, Parks decided to return to school and get her degree. She recalled her boss coming into her office and telling her, “I just want to be honest with you. I keep going to the partners and trying to get you the salary that you deserve for the job that you’re performing, and they keep saying they don’t need to pay you that much because you don’t have a degree.”
In order to pursue her degree, Parks moved back home to Visalia in the Central Valley so she could attend Fresno State University. There, she majored in literature and got her English credential, which inspired her to continue her education in order to become a teacher. Parks then moved to San Francisco, where she obtained her teaching credential and taught at South San Francisco High School (SSFHS). While at SSFHS, Parks became the Director of Student Activities, and her experience in that position soon prompted Aptos High School to recruit her to work as their Activities Director. She realized how much she enjoyed counseling, and so Parks returned to college at San Jose State University to gain a Master’s in Counseling. With counseling positions available at Aptos High School, Parks took a position as a guidance counselor for four years before deciding it was time for a change. Wanting to remain in the area, Parks found a job opening at LGHS in 2007 as a guidance counselor and has been working at the school since.
Parks reflected on her time at LGHS, detailing, “I’m really grateful to have been here. The students are so unique; we are a really comprehensive high school, and the students are just very special in that way. They complement each other, and I think the same is true about the staff.” She continued, “The best memories I have here are just the culture that the individual teachers have helped to create through their efforts with events like The Fractured Follies, The Fun Run, and The Catalina trip.” Additionally, Parks explained that the most rewarding aspect of her job as a counselor is “The students [who] still keep in touch with me, and the parents that still let me know how their kids are doing. It really makes me happy.”
She concluded, “I would just want to say thank you to the students here. Thank you to the staff here, and especially thank you to my counseling team. The last several years have been tough on everyone with COVID. And I would just thank them for keeping me motivated, keeping me learning, and keeping me on my toes at all times, and really for being by heart and my family.”

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