Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Valerie Spizarsky

12/05/2022 - Valerie Spizarsky

Valerie Spizarsky

Years at SCOE:
20 years, 17 as an Education Specialist

Job Title:
Education Specialist

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
I work with an "at risk" population, but the best kids ever! Kids who both think and live outside the box, and have challenges that bring them to us in Alternative Education. We help kids know that they can make things right.

Where did you grow up?
San Francisco, in the best era!

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
Funny thing, I donít remember why, but Ms. Hoffman (4th grade) was my favorite teacher. She left on maternity leave, and invited me and my Mom to lunch at her house. Maybe thatís why!

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
It has to be the people I work with, along with relationships that have developed over the years.

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
I started in Alternative Education and then taught students with emotional and behavior difficulties for 10 years. Although that experience was invaluable, coming back to teach in Alternative Education is most memorable because I feel it is where I belong.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
I like to stay active, hike, walk, and recently, pickleball.

Do you have a favorite TV show, movie or book that involves a school setting?
To Sir, with Love

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
Annadel Park, for all the hiking, and it is right in my backyard.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I used to own a bar/restaurant in San Francisco with my sister called the Whistle Stop!