The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

New faces join the Dougherty staff directory this year

Counselor Ordoñez welcomes his students into the school year.
Counselor Ordoñez welcomes his students into the school year.

With time inevitably comes a wealth of change and growth. This year, Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) has welcomed many new faculty members in various departments.

Among the new educators is Assistant Principal Lauren Falkner, who has returned to the DVHS administration office after one year of working as the Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction at the district head office. DVHS remains a familiar name for Falkner as she had already worked as an assistant principal here from 2019 to 2022. 

“At that time I helped support the world language and the science departments. I was an AP coordinator. I also helped support facilities and safety and the end of my first year here was when we went into lockdown,” Falkner detailed.

Throughout her entire career, Falkner has collaborated with students in order to help them in any way possible. As a result, she has amassed a hefty amount of experience with helping students in a variety of positions. 

“Before I was a high school assistant principal, I was a middle school assistant principal and then taught high school biology,” Falkner explained.

From her many years of working in the education sector, Falkner has learned much about helping students succeed in high school, but her relationship with students has stuck out to her the most.

“In my experience, kids are kids, and you need to meet them where they’re at and where their needs are. So the needs of students might [differ], but just being able to work together with them to support them is my primary goal.” Falkner said.

From her many years of working in the education sector, Falkner has learned much about helping students succeed in high school, but her relationship with students has stuck out to her the most.

Another new staff member that hopes to be able to help students is counselor Nemesio Ordoñez, who previously worked as the College and Career coordinator at San Ramon Valley High School. 

“I worked with all grade levels… primarily with the upperclassmen who had started to do research on the career paths where they wanted to go, but I did also put on workshops for sophomores and did presentations for freshmen,” Ordoñez stated.

His primary ideology for supporting students is providing them with the resources necessary for them to succeed, which was what attracted him to Dougherty in the first place.

“[Dougherty has] an AVID program [and] a real robust academic tutoring program led by seniors,” Ordoñez said. “I think it just allows students who are interested in bettering their study skills to take advantage of those tools.” 

Similarly to Ordoñez, counselor Kathleen Norgaard has turned her sights to work as a high school counselor after a lengthy tenure of 20 years as an elementary school teacher and a brief period of working as a counselor in elementary school. Despite high school being a new environment for her, Norgaard feels comfortable stepping into a new school year.

“At the end of the day, a lot of the kids that I have come into my office… [are] the same as what I had when I was in my classroom in elementary school,” Norgaard noted.

She also pointed out the abundance of resources available to give each student equal assistance, even though the student population at Dougherty is larger than most other schools in the SRVUSD area. In fact, Dougherty has a staff to student ratio of 1:25, with a total of 135 staff members. 

“If you look at the counselor to pupil ratio that San Ramon Unified has versus other school districts, it’s a lot lower in those other districts,” Norgaard said. “I feel like the district provides… a lot of supports for students.” Norgaard adds.

For the rest of the 2023-2024 school year and her career at Dougherty as a whole, Norgaard hopes to be able to create a safe environment and get to know her students.

“My goal is that I want to have an open door policy and I want kids to feel like if they need to come and talk to me, they can just come in,” Norgaard concluded.

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About the Contributor
Andy Mei, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Andy joined the Wildcat Tribune in order to get more involved with student life on campus and help inform other students on a variety of topics. He was in Journalism 1 last year. Andy enjoys listening to music while riding his bike or hiking, snacking on chips and fruits while watching documentaries and video essays, and reading fantasy novels late into the night. His goal in journalism this year is to be able to diversify the topics he writes about more and write an article in every section. If Andy could be anyone on the Tribune, he would want to be Mr. Bathke, since he would be able to manage and watch over the paper without directly getting involved in the writing process.

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