The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Meet Our Staff’s Newest Bulldog: ROP Career Specialist Gage Peterson

ROP+Career+Specialist+Gage+Peterson+sits+at+a+table+that+the+counseling+office+set+up+during+lunch+on+Jan.+12+to+give+students+information+about+Coastline+ROP.+Peterson+said+ROP+courses+are+great+opportunities+for+all+kinds+of+students%2C+from+those+who+have+a+specific+trade+or+vocation+in+mind+for+their+futures+to+those+who+want+to+explore+new+fields+and+interests+or+prepare+for+a+preferred+subject+of+study+at+a+four-year+university.+Opportunities+to+interact+with+students+and+staff+like+this+are+what+have+shaped+Peterson%E2%80%99s+experiences+at+Portola+High+so+far.+%E2%80%9CIts+just+been+a+great%2C+great+place+to+learn+and+train+and+see+how+to+best+serve+students+%E2%80%94+by+learning+from+the+counselors+that+are+here+and+then+also+the+students%2C%E2%80%9D+Peterson+said.
Cindy Mei
ROP Career Specialist Gage Peterson sits at a table that the counseling office set up during lunch on Jan. 12 to give students information about Coastline ROP. Peterson said ROP courses are great opportunities for all kinds of students, from those who have a specific trade or vocation in mind for their futures to those who want to explore new fields and interests or prepare for a preferred subject of study at a four-year university. Opportunities to interact with students and staff like this are what have shaped Peterson’s experiences at Portola High so far. “It’s just been a great, great place to learn and train and see how to best serve students — by learning from the counselors that are here and then also the students,” Peterson said.

Not everyone walks the same path of life after high school. For when many students seek guidance when preparing for their future, new staff member and ROP Career Specialist Gage Peterson comes in.

Peterson began working at Portola High in August 2023 as an intern in order to complete his Master’s of Education in school counseling at the University of Southern California. He was then officially hired as an ROP Career Specialist this January after his internship ended in December 2023. Peterson said he feels very fortunate to be able to continue working at Portola, especially after getting to know the students and staff. 

“I have just loved my experience here at Portola High and all the people here at the counseling office,” Peterson said. “So when this position opened up, I thought it was a great way to be able to further develop my education in the college and career aspect of school counseling.”

Coastline ROP is a program across IUSD and other partner districts that provides Career Technical Education (CTE) courses for students, many of which take place after school, according to Peterson. The program offers a large variety of CTE courses that students can take and often get high school credits in. Peterson said some courses are more intensive and even include internships, such as the Pharmacy Technician Internship, Culinary Arts Internship and Dental Assistant Back Office Internship.

“It’s just a great way to provide students with hands-on work experience and start to develop some of those skills,” Peterson said. “If they’re either thinking of going into vocation, there’s more vocational training, but it’s also for students who plan to go to a four year university and just want to start to get some work experience.”

As an ROP Career Specialist, Peterson helps students register for courses and learn about Coastline ROP itself. As students venture towards their future path, Peterson acts as their mentor and prepares them for graduation. 

“A lot of the students that I interact with have a lot of agency,” Peterson said. “They really take ownership of their education. So, it’s been really nice working with students that are taking their education seriously and really wanting to prepare themselves the best they can as they graduate out of high school.”

Peterson was drawn to Portola High as soon as he began to experience its environment and make connections.

“That atmosphere here — I see it starting with the administration,” Peterson said. “The culture and the work environment that has been created here by the administration is very welcoming and friendly, and that trickles all the way down to the counseling office, which is just a very tight knit group of people who are really fun to work with and are really student centered.”

Looking to his future, Peterson hopes to expand ROP participation among the Portola High community. The program’s flexibility and accommodation, along with its available online courses, makes it a great opportunity for all students. He aims to register every student who may be interested and assist them in the process, as some of the classes are more competitive, according to Peterson.

“Speaking to the position of ROP and Coastline ROP, I’d say something that stood out to me is just seeing how impactful the ROP courses can be to students as they weave the experience into their narrative as they’re trying to show colleges that they are going to be successful students in college,” Peterson said. “It’s not just for students who want to go into a vocation or trade. It can serve every student.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Portola Pilot
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Portola High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributors
Cindy Mei, Social Media Team
Cindy Mei is the co-social media manager for her first (and only) year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to explore various writing styles and finally learn how to use a camera. When she is not reading or writing, she can be found judging books by their covers at Barnes and Noble, daydreaming, starting a Webtoon and never finishing it, or watching really cheesy Chinese romance dramas.
Maya Tedini, Opinion Editor
Maya Tedini is the Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to working with the leadership team along with getting to know the new members of the Pilot. She’s excited to discover all the fascinating opinions of the wonderful staff and to continue to grow her strengths as a journalist. Outside of the newsroom, she’s most likely listening to music, that may or may not all be by Taylor Swift, at cheer practice or spending time with her sister.
Donate to Portola Pilot
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Portola Pilot Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *