Dr. Ortiz

After counselor Valerie Sadler retired last year, Dr. Steve Ortiz has officially stepped in for the job.

Lilly Forsyth, Editor-in-chief

Dr. Steve Ortiz was officially hired as the permanent replacement for retired counselor Ms. Valerie Sadler. The slot had been temporarily filled by Ms. Gloria Acosta.

He began his journey to becoming a counselor at Cal State Long Beach where he earned his Masters of Science in Counseling. Ortiz then decided he wanted to take things one step further in his education.

“I decided to get my doctorate for two reasons. One, I am the first one in my family to get it. I would have been the third one [in my family] to get a masters degree, but being the first to get a doctorate was a big accomplishment,” explained Ortiz, “I also wanted to get it because I wanted to continue to grow and continue learning in the field.”

He started counseling at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, and then moved to Pajaro Valley Unified school district, where he served as a scholarship coordinator.

“I am really passionate about college. I like talking to students about college and about their goals, and I get a sense of fulfillment when I see students achieve,” Ortiz said.

With three years of counseling under his belt, Ortiz entered a“different” environment when he stepped onto Knights territory. Ortiz’s previous school had a 9th through 12th grade population made up of only 255 students. In fact, his senior class consisted of about 55 students which was significantly small compared to the roughly 480 seniors at Arroyo.

While he only has to counsel the Cheo-Gud portion of the school, his goals for all his students were clear.

“I want to be able to address the college and career path with all my students. I really want to dive into the college applications and help them figure out what they want to do with their life,” said Ortiz.

For his seniors specifically, he wanted to emphasize the importance of scholarships and applying right away.

“Apply. Apply. Apply,” he said, “Once students get out of high school, they will be hit with the reality of paying for college, so they need to continue to work hard and remain competitive.”

As the school year rushes past the halfway mark and summer quickly approaches, Dr. Ortiz en courages everyone to “not settle for mediocrity” and “always strive for excellence.”