As enrollment numbers have kept increasing each year at Clark Magnet, the counselors had to figure out a way to balance their daily workload. Thus, the school needed someone who could provide students with assistance during these difficult times. Beginning this school year, Lucy Cerda occupied this spot as a new counselor at Clark.
Cerda has always had a particular interest in the education field and hoped that one day she could become a teacher. When she was a child, Cerda would come home from school and, at times, pretend to be a classroom teacher for fun. Knowing what career she wanted to pursue allowed Cerda to have a clear understanding of what steps she had to take to achieve her dream.
Cerda attended California State University, Northridge, where she received her bachelor’s degree in child development. She also has a master’s degree in school counseling as well as a Pupil Personnel Services credential.
Before becoming a counselor at Clark, Cerda worked at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School and Cloud Preschool. “After teaching for several years, I decided to stay in the education field but wanted to have more flexibility in helping my students, so I decided to get my counseling credential,” Cerda said. She then went on to work at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School as a counselor for 18 years.
Transitioning from being a middle school to a high school counselor has been “difficult in this format,” Cerda said. Working directly with students is much different from working with the parents to ensure a bright future for every student, according to Cerda.
Cerda said that in-person meetings are the most effective form of counseling she has found from past experience, but due to the pandemic, she has had to figure out other ways to communicate with them. By using Zoom and Google Classroom, she has been able to somewhat interact with students who need her help, though it isn’t the same as sitting with each student individually in her office.
Although being a new staff member can be quite nerve-wracking at first, Cerda has felt welcomed by everyone in the Clark community. “I enjoy working here,” Cerda said. “The staff and the students have been so supportive. It has been a great transition for me.”
Aside from being a counselor, she is also a mother to a 12-year-old daughter. Cerda enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Cerda loves going on mother and daughter trips as she finds them to be fun and enjoyable. “My daughter and I are always doing so many fun things and going on many adventures,” Cerda said. “Now, with everything being closed, we find creative ways to do the things we love. The Grove in Hollywood and Venice Beach are our go-to places.”
Many of Cerda’s former middle school students — some of whom now attend Clark — look forward to working with her once again. “When I attended Roosevelt, Ms. Cerda was always really considerate and supportive,” said junior Christine Nguyen. “I’m glad she has decided to move to Clark since it lessens the workload for the other counselors, which allows for more quality consultations.”