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Now and Then: Kelli Watkins, Counselor at Vintage High School
Posted 2/21/23

Vintage High School (VHS) High School Counselor Kelli Watkins entered the field of education and made it her career because of the wonderful education she received at VHS!

Kelli shared, “I had caring, supportive teachers that gave me the academic skills and confidence to be successful when I went to UC Berkeley. The English department helped me grow as a critical thinker and writer, skills I use each day. The Spanish department helped me become comfortable speaking Spanish. I use my Spanish skills daily when interacting with students and families.”

Watkins is honored to now work alongside some of her former teachers/mentors. Teachers like Jenny Lamonte, Newton Thomas, and Paul Brochard are inspirations to her. She shared her admiration for the passion they teach with, the love they have for their students, and their subject matter expertise, commenting, “They are still making a difference every year, and I hope to do the same.” 

Beyond her academic preparations, Watkins was also exposed to human rights and advocacy, specifically through her involvement with Amnesty International, a club run by teacher Sushanna Ellington. According to Watkins, “Ms. Ellington showed me the world without even traveling to these places; she helped me become a citizen of the world by exposing us to the realities of life in other countries.”

It was these formative individuals and experiences that Watkins credits with helping her become who she is today. She now works at Vintage High School and shared that she hopes to give her students what she was given, “I am doing my best to instill the same love and support in my students.” We are thankful for all she contributes to her students, VHS, and the NVUSD community!