Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Andrea Yates

08/29/2019 - Andrea Yates

Andrea Yates

Years at SCOE:

Job Title:
Transition Teaching Assistant

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
I assist in training students with special needs ages 18-22 in work, social, pedestrian education, budgeting, daily living, and public transportation skills. Basically, I help students learn skills every 18-year-old should know.

Where did you grow up?
Sonoma County. I was born and raised in Rohnert Park and went through the local school system. I graduated from Rancho Cotate High and SRJC.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why? Probably Mr. Pitt. He was my high school junior and senior English teacher. He really encouraged us to think outside what was in the text and explore. No idea was considered wrong. I really appreciated that. He was also really sarcastic. It made reading Moby Dick much more tolerable.

What is your favorite thing about working for SCOE?
The students and the staff. I enjoy the fact that thereís always a challenge in what we do. Every day is different. I get to work in a multitude of arenas and challenge myself. I also get to help students acquire the skills to be successful in life. When students master a skill like pedestrian education; itís great to be able to tell them that they can cross the street without me. Theyíre on their way to becoming more independent and successful, thatís always a good feeling.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
I would have to say that it would be how supportive everyone around me was when I decided to seriously start pursuing higher education. I made the decision a few years ago to dedicate time and effort to it. As soon as I told my classroom team, they became my biggest supporters. That sentiment also reached my principal and others who have worked with me to make sure I continue to work with SCOE while attending school and hopefully beyond. It made me realize that while we may not see each other more than once or twice a year, I truly have a family here at SCOE.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
Iím a fulltime student at San Francisco State studying communicative disorders, so my free time is rather limited. I plan to get my masters in speech and language pathology. When I get a chance, I enjoy hiking or riding horses or volunteering. If I happen to be in town on a weeknight, I love going to local Zumba classes.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
HIking at Taylor Mountain or Camp Royaneh, which is a boy scout camp that my family has access to. Itís usually empty unless its boy scout season, which is really pleasant.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
Iím very physically active and I can do about 65 pushups. Thatís probably something people donít expect. Beyond that, people would be surprised to learn that I work at the Sonoma County Fair every summer helping clerk all the judging for home and fine art entries.