Sonya Gilb

Sonya Gilb

High School Counselor


Emmett J. Conrad Global Studies H-TECH

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
Disliked school until I moved to Colorado and began high school. Joined volleyball and yearbook. Realized I was the happiest I had ever been and never wanted to leave. Decided to become a teacher.
Started college at Colorado State University. Had an amazing two years and made great friends. Met a boyfriend and transferred to Texas Tech (which is where I thought he'd move, but he didn't).
Left Texas Tech after one year- again, to follow boyfriend. Ended up at University of North Texas.
Spent the next three years or so at UNT, working as a waitress and going to school. Relationship with boy I moved all around the country for took a very bad turn. Managed to graduate in December.
Moved in with my mother after college graduation and sold cars for my stepfather at his used car business. I knew it was temporary, but I needed to get my head together.
Moved back to Dallas after 5 months of selling cars. Called every high school in the phone book about open teaching positions. One finally said yes! Taught Spanish and ESL. Stayed for 6 years.
Took promotion to work as an instructional specialist. Realized I missed kids after 2 years on the job. Heard about a new high school opening in a diverse Dallas neighborhood. Applied and taught ESL.
Taught ESL for 6 years. Decided I wanted to become a counselor. Worked as a test coordinator while earning my Master's. Unbelievably blessed to be hired at the same school as a counselor 4 years ago!
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Heritage High School Littleton, Colorado
undergrad
Bachelor
English/Language Arts Teacher Education
University of North Texas
graduate
Graduate
Master's of Education (School Counseling Emphasis)
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Career

Career

High School Counselor

I guide amazing students every day in discovering, setting, and achieving goals for college, career, and life decisions.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Education
Non-Profit Organizations
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

As a school counselor, every day (and hour) is different. I might conference with a student who is failing courses, then assist seniors in selecting dual credit classes. I might discuss higher education with a group of juniors, then leave to attend a Collegeboard training. I might talk with a student who is having relationship difficulties or visit the nurse about a student who needs medical accommodations. At night I will be updating our website, writing recommendations, or possibly sleeping!

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I think the most important qualities a counselor can have are to be non-judgmental, accepting, and compassionate. A willingness to put yourself in another person's shoes and try to understand what they are going through is key. You may not always succeed, but your students will know when you are genuinely trying to make the effort- and that matters.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

If you think you would like to be a teacher or a counselor, I'd suggest you shadow one first to see what his or her day is really like. The glimpse you get as a student is only a small part of what your teacher or counselor does every day. I would also suggest staying in touch with at least one teacher/counselor from your high school as you head to college. They may be able to mentor you or suggest someone better suited- and also help you network!

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
English/Language Arts Teacher Education
graduate
Graduate
Master's of Education (School Counseling Emphasis)
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"I didn't HEAR discouragement- but as the first in my family to attend college, I didn't receive encouragement either. College wasn't something we talked about at home or planned for. I was lucky; I applied because all of my friends were. "

Challenges I Overcame

Financial