Counseling Staff

a year ago

Carmita Peña 

Coordinator of College & Career Programs

(559) 564-3307 Ext. 4301

cpena@w-usd.org

As a Woodlake High School Alumni and community member, Mrs. Peña takes pride in coming back to her roots to do what she enjoys best, which is guiding and educating others.  After high school, Mrs. Peña completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Fresno State.  She continued at Fresno State to complete her Masters in Science in Counseling & Student Services along with her Pupil Personal Services Credential (PPS) and later earned her  Administrative Services Credential.  

Hired: Mrs. Pena was hired by WHS August 2004 but worked for the district since 2001 as a Case Manager at WFRC.

Favorite Quote:

“Love Challenges, Be Intrigued By Mistakes, Enjoy Effort And Keep on Learning” by Carol Dweck 

Casandra Ledesma

Dean/Head Counselor
Class of 2021 and Class of 2023 Counselor
(559) 564-3309
cledesma@w-usd.org

While serving in the military, Ms. Ledesma chose to pursue her education. She received her AA in Liberal Arts at COS, then transferred to SFSU where she received her BA in Child & Adolescent Development with a concentration in wokring with Youth and Families. After working at a Junior College in various student service programs for nearly 9 years, she returned to school, receiving her MA in Education with an emphasis in School Counseling, P.P.S. Credential from Fresno Pacific University.  Ms. Ledesma currently serves as the Dean/Head Counselor at WHS and as an Adjunct Professor at Fresno Pacific University and College of the Sequoias.  Her favorite part of her job is working students and guiding them on their path.

Hired:  Ms. Ledesma has been working at Woodlake High School since 2012.

Favorite Quote:  "Nobody can go back and start a new Beginning, but Anyone can start today and make a new ending" - Maria Robinson



Jacqueline Murillo 

Counselor
Class of 2022 and Class of 2024 Counselor
(559) 564-3309
jmurillo@w-usd.org

Ms. Perez was born and raised in the Central Valley. After graduating high school she attended Fresno State where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies. While working in education she realized her passion for helping students reach their post-secondary goals. She went on to attend Cal State Bakersfield where she received a Master’s Degree in School Counseling and Pupil Personnel Services Credential.  She loves her job as a counselor because it is challenging yet rewarding.

Hired at WHS:  Ms. Murillo has been a high school counselor since 2014, and at WHS since 2018.

Favorite Quote: “What you perceive as real is real in its consequences.” -W. I. Thomas


Aurora Lira

Counseling Office/Secretary II

(559) 564-3308

alira@w-usd.org

Ms. Lira started as instructional aide at Woodlake High School, followed by 3 years as a Counseling Aide funded by the Title VII program from 1982-1985, followed by 8 years (1985-1993) with Woodlake Elem.-Migrant Education Region 8 program.  After graduating from Woodlake High School, Aurora completed two years at College of the Sequoias and then transferred to CSU Fresno where she received a BA in Social Welfare. Although, she has always been a paraprofessional she too is an advocate for students; encouraging them to stay in school, attend summer school, to take the necessary college entrance exams, having them apply for scholarships, and go over a basic requirement for graduation. 

Hired:  She was hired in July 1993, but has worked for the WUSD since 1979

Quote: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”


Natalie Lara

Counseling Technician
(559) 564-3308
nlara@w-usd.org

A graduate of Woodlake High School- class of 1984, Natalie Lara started as an OCS (on campus suspension) aide. After about 5 years she was also hired part- time in the afternoon as an aide in the counseling office. Another 3 -4 years later she was hired as a full time Counseling Tech. Natalie enjoys working with the staff and students at Woodlake High School.

Hired:  Natalie Lara started working at WHS in 1992.

Quote: “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”- Tom Bodett



Isela Tenorio

District Social Worker
itenorio@w-usd.org

Lydia Kimble

Workability 
lkimble@w-usd.org



WHS Virtual School Counseling Program Mission/Vision/Goals


Staff is accessible to students and parents Monday through Friday from 8:00 - 4:30 p.m.

VIRTUAL STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Counseling staff will continue to provide student support services that promote academic, career and personal/social development.  WHS School Counseling will continue to deliver services through the following elements:  

  • School Counseling Core Curriculum
  • Individual Student Planning
  • Responsive Services
  • Counseling Website Development
  • Consultation and Collaboration with administration, teachers, parents, and community members via email, phone calls, and video phone conferences.

School Counseling Core Curriculum:

The WHS School Counseling Core Curriculum will continue to be delivered through the following strategies:

  • Instruction:  School Counseling Staff will continue to provide instruction and resources to all grade levels utilizing written and video instruction.  The following are examples of technological services that will be used; Google Apps, Remind 101, Email, and educational websites such as www.californiacolleges.edu

Individual Student Planning:

School counselors will help students plan, monitor and manage their own learning to achieve academic, career and personal/social development. 

Individual Student Planning will continue to be delivered through the following strategies:

  • Assessment:  Counseling Staff will work with students via email, and scheduled phone conference calls to analyze and evaluate students engagement in distance learning and District Social Worker will continue to work with students to develop their social/emotional support plan.

  • Advisement:  Counseling Staff will help students make decisions and advise students via email or scheduled phone conference based on academic, career and personal/social needs.  

Responsive Services:

Responsive services consist of activities designed to meet students’ immediate needs and concerns.  Responsive services will be designed to help students resolve academic, career, and personal/social issues and will be delivered through the following strategies:

  • Counseling:  Counseling will be provided through email and scheduled phone conference calls per request of student and/or parent and/or staff person.  Counseling will be goal-focused and short-term in nature.  Referral will be made to the appropriate agency if needed.

  • Crisis Response:  Counseling staff will provide support and assistance to students as they navigate critical and emergency situations via email and phone conference.  Since we are unable to meet with students in person, if the safety of a student is at risk, immediate contact with parent(s)/guardian(s) will be made, unless abuse or neglect is suspected; in which case staff will follow mandating reporting laws, district and school policy.   If we can’t reach the student or parent by phone or email, staff will contact local law enforcement to request a wellness check.