Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Kelly Maul

03/02/2022 - Kelly Maul

Kelly Maul

Years at SCOE:

Job Title:
Legal Receptionist

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
This is always a fun one to try and explain to people, but I think I have it down. I tell them I work in the legal department at SCOE as Office Support Staff. If you come to the office, I’ll be the first one you see.

Where did you grow up?
Williams, California, about an hour north of Sacramento at the intersection of I-5 and Highway 20. It’s a small farming town — mostly rice fields and almond orchards. Most people from around here know it because of Granzella’s or La Fortuna.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
Oh, this is difficult. My definition of a great teacher is someone who constantly challenges you to grow and do better. I’d have to say Mr. James Lohman, my music/band teacher from eighth to 11th grade, is my favorite childhood teacher because he introduced me to the alto saxophone.

I have always loved music, but I struggled with playing the flute — something Mr. Lohman couldn’t help but notice during my eighth grade year. The beginning of my freshman year of high school, I walked into the band room and Mr. Lohman handed me an alto sax and beginner's sheet music and said, “I want you to try the sax today, and we’ll see how it goes.” As soon as I started playing, I knew the sax was the right fit. Mr. Lohman helped me go from a struggling flute player to first chair by the end of the school year. Mr. Lohman helped me put together the first ever jazz band at my high school, took me and a few other gifted students to participate in the symphonic wind ensemble of the Sacramento Youth Company. Even though he was not my band teacher my senior year, he helped me build the confidence and the knowledge to lead the rest of the bandmates as section leader, jazz band leader, drum major, and as John Phillip Souza Award winner.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
The people! I love the welcoming feeling that I am still feeling even after being here for almost a year! Everywhere I go, and everyone I come in contact with have made me feel so warm and welcomed.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
I’d have to say it was Halloween 2021. It was so much fun to be able to wear a costume to work for a fun, silly day. The best part was parading around the SCOE building seeing not only our department dress up for the day, but others in full costumes all while working. It was a real treat!

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
I love to bake, cook, garden, and travel! My husband and I are total foodies and I love trying to bake or cook something we’ve eaten when we’ve gone out. I love trying new baking techniques (I taught myself how to make French macarons and meringues during the COVID shutdown) or cooking a special meal. I love playing in the dirt — I’m a farmer’s kid what can I say?! And I love to go new places and explore — my favorite places I’ve traveled to are Yellowstone National Park and Florence, Italy.

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
There are so many wonderful and beautiful places here in Sonoma County, it’s incredibly hard to choose one. But to be all corny and cliché, my favorite place would have to be right next to my husband. This could be either wine tasting, going out with friends for happy hour, catching the latest Marvel movie at the Roxy theater, or sitting on our back patio sipping wine and throwing the ball for our dog, Posey. So long as I am right next to him, I am in my favorite place.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I always wanted to go to college somewhere a good distance from home, so I picked a school about as far away as possible. So I went to Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. And after spending four winters in Vermont, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I never see snow again, I’ll be OK with that!