Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Brulene Zanutto

12/22/2021 - Brulene_Zanutto2

Brulene Zanutto

Years at SCOE:
This is my seventh year at SCOE

Job Title:
Coordinator Early Literacy and School Readiness

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
I have the privilege of supporting educators and families along the P-3 continuum, which is preschool through 3rd grade. (Also defined as Birth to 8 years old.) I also collaborate with many in the ECE (Early Childhood Education) community to strengthen the bridge between the ECE and TK-12 systems. As we continue to learn from each other, we will create a rich, cohesive educational environment for children and families.

Where did you grow up?
I lived in many places as a child. My father was in the military, so we moved often. I was born in Maryland, a toddler in Japan, and went to first and second grade in Ethiopia, Africa. I was in Petaluma and Hanford during the remainder of my childhood, with summers in Virginia and Hawaii.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was Mr. Waddell. He had us do hands-on activities all the time. We built and flew our own rockets, measuring their trajectories and planning modifications to increase them. We created a model of the Panama Canal and ships that we floated through the canal to see how the locks system worked. We also helped build Fort Roosevelt. The fort was a large area of land behind the school. Old telephone poles had been driven into the ground to form a fence. Inside we created different California ecosystems representing various geographical areas of California. We did extensive research so that we could act as docents and lead schools through the fort as we described the geography and early history of our state.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
I love that there are always new opportunities to collaborate with colleagues and educators as we support students and families. For example, one day, we will be planning experiences for the Corazón family event at the Healdsburg Community Center. Another day will find me participating in a task group of early childhood educators as we prepare to bring training on trauma-responsive practices and materials to early childhood education providers. Or I am partnering with colleagues in the Behavioral Health department to share social emotional learning strategies with school administrators. And then, I am at a school site supporting a new TK teacher as they design and implement developmentally appropriate lessons for the kiddos in their classroom. I truly value all the collaboration and variety! .

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
There are so many that come to mind! But, some of my favorites have to do with the moment when a student or adult can do something for the first time or make a connection to new learning. The ah-ha “light bulb” look in their eyes is the same regardless of age or the topic. I love to see that look when they first make that connection.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
A walk outside is one of my favorite ways to relax and spend time with people. Walking around the neighborhood with the pups or a hike in the foothills are terrific ways for me to unwind and connect with others. I also enjoy digging in the dirt (planting vegetables or flowers), kayaking on the river, and curling up with a good book.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
I love Sonoma County because there are so many beautiful places. The Jenner Headlands hike with its ocean views. Armstrong Woods, as you walk the valley floor surrounded by the majestic redwoods. Area parks such as Ragel and Riverfront where you can experience nature just a short walk from your car.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I have enough football knowledge to coach a team. Go Niners!