Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: April Tinelli

02/18/2021 -

Name: April Tinelli

Years at SCOE: Started in SCOE Special Education in 2015 moved over to SCLS in 2018

Job Title: Legal Department Accounting Coordinator

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE? I know many positions at SCOE require an explanation---that was definitely the case when I was a Special Education Technician, but now people get the gist when I tell them I am the Accounting Coordinator for the Legal Department at the County Office of Education.

Where did you grow up? Sebastopol

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why? I have loved so many of my teachers. It would be impossible to pick one as the standout favorite. I always appreciated a teacher that could make me laugh; Ms. Stansbury, my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Fitch, my seventh grade science teacher, Todd Bellinger, my middle school history teacher, Laszlo Toth High School government/economics teacher, Mr. Carter High School leadership class. There are tons more. I also love grouchy old guy energy and Professor John Sullivan at SFSU delivered—biting feedback, hypercritical, rigid, definitely not for the thin skinned, but overall by far the most relevant, most memorable, best class I took in my college career.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE? I enjoy playing a supportive role for our school districts and school personnel. I have several teachers in my family and many friends who teach. I know how hard they work and I like being a part of an organization that works hard for them.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee? I started at SCOE in mid-October. I had only been there a couple of weeks when Halloween rolled around and I was the only Special Ed employee physically in the office when the Transition Class came around doing their parade—It was awesome to see the costumes, pass out candy and share in their enthusiasm. About an hour later another kind of parade came through—it was the Legal Department. Not exactly as endearing as the Transition class, but still very enthusiastic. It was a little awkward to be so new and the lone observer of this very spirited adult Halloween costume parade….that was a little weird, I thought. Now I think it may have been this serendipitous meeting that led me to apply for the opening at SCLS a few years later. SCLS really is a fun bunch of people.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind? I really enjoy pulling weeds in my garden, transplanting and planting. My husband, Stephen, also loves to work in the yard. If we can wrangle our kids into hanging out nearby, that’s my best case scenario.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County? Anywhere my friends and/or family are gathering; backyards, restaurants, breweries, wineries, my family home. My aunts and uncles own a house on Northwood Golf Course in Monte Rio. Drinking a beverage on the deck, watching golfers go by while enjoying the company of whichever visiting family member(s) is surely one of my favorites. I also love our Sonoma County coast line.

What might people be surprised to learn about you? I love true crime. I listen to a bunch of true crime podcasts. If it is true crime related I like a cheesy reenactment as much as a poignant documentary. Bring on the creepy voiced narrator, the eerie music over repetitive snapshots from 1995, a jailhouse interview, a survivor’s story, grainy surveillance footage, a 911 call, I am leaning into it.