Article By: Maddie Sanabria
When the 2020-2021 school year began, a new ArtQuest counselor, Mr. Englar was hired. He grew up in Santa Rosa, where he went to El Molino High School.
Before joining the Santa Rosa High School faculty, Englar worked at Ukiah High School for four years as a counselor. Prior to becoming a school counselor, Englar worked for an agency that helps developmentally disabled adults live independently.
When deciding what job to pursue, Englar thought about his past experiences. He had work experience as a tutor, athletic coach and working with disabled adults. All of these jobs influenced him to become a counselor. However, his main influence into becoming a counselor was because he has Tourette syndrome.
Tourette syndrome is a medical condition in which you uncontrollably move your body or blurt out sounds repeatedly. Because of this, Englar had a hard time in school but he,“found that talking to a counselor helped me understand who I was and how to manage my tics so I could be successful in school,” said Englar. Since he felt that a counselor really helped him in his time of need, he wanted to provide that for other students.
Joining a new school as a teacher or counselor under normal circumstances brings many challenges, but joining a new school when you cannot physically meet with your students is even harder.
When asked how Englar has adjusted to distance learning, he said, “I feel like I have adjusted as best as I can,” however, he feels that, “distant learning makes my work as a counselor slower and inauthentic.”
Working at Santa Rosa High has given Englar better resources and opportunities to better support the students that he is working with. Being an ArtQuest counselor can be hard, but Enlgar states that, “ [He] really enjoys being the counselor for ArtQuest because the students’ passion for the arts meshes with [his] own artistic passions and personality”.
When Englar is not working, he is usually either mountain biking, landscaping or spending time with his pets. Of those three he enjoys mountain biking the most. “I absolutely love how exhilarating it is,” he said.
Englar’s first year at Santa Rosa High will definitely not be easy, but very memorable.