School counselor, Jerome Middle School

Beyond her 13 years of teaching, Cynthia Gonzales has even more experience working with youth — at Idaho Youth Ranch’s residential facility for teens in Rupert.

“There’s a lot of different counseling techniques involved there,” she said.

After more than a decade in Oregon and Idaho classrooms, Gonzales wanted to make the switch to school counselor.

“My heart was really in that counseling area,” she said, and in building relationships with children.

Gonzales is working on her master’s degree in counseling through Northwest Nazarene University. She already has a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Lewis-Clark State College and a secondary education certification.

Most recently, Gonzales taught eighth-grade language arts at Gooding Middle School for five years. Before that, she taught eighth- through 12th-grade social studies and language arts for eight years in Powers, Ore.

In early April — shortly after spring break — Gonzales started looking for counseling jobs in the Magic Valley and applied for three: in the Jerome, Valley (Hazelton) and Wendell school districts.

The day after she applied in Jerome, she received a call from the principal, who wanted more information. She interviewed a couple of weeks later.

“I was pleased with the people I interviewed with,” Gonzales said. “I felt a lot of confidence when I spoke with the principal.”

Shortly after she accepted the Jerome job, she received calls from the Valley and Wendell districts offering interviews.

Gonzales’ husband — who also worked in the Gooding School District — took a teaching job in Hansen and will coach boys basketball and junior varsity football.

The couple and their two children enjoy camping and took a cruise this summer to Alaska. And you can often find Gonzales reading a book.

—Julie Wootton


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