Sonoma County Office of Education

Employee Spotlight: Nashelly Chavez

08/14/2023 - Nashelly Chavez

Nashelly Chavez

Years at SCOE:

Job Title:
Communications Specialist

How do you describe your job to people outside SCOE?
I work with the communications director to meet our office’s internal and external communications needs, as well as any other tasks that Dr. Carter needs to fulfill her vision for the office. Most of my time is spent researching, writing, and proofreading different types of messages, whether it be a newsletter that goes out to district superintendents, a flyer created by another department, or a news release meant for local media outlets.

I also manage our office’s social media accounts and work with our different teams to ensure our communications to staff, local districts, and the community are professional, grammatically correct, and in line with our style and branding guidelines. You can find me behind a camera at several of our events.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Mexico but moved to Petaluma when I was 4 years old. I’ve lived in Sonoma County the majority of my life.

Who was your favorite childhood teacher and why?
My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Steeves. He incorporated shows like “The Amazing Race” and “Jeopardy” into our classroom, and let us play Quidditch for P.E.

What is your favorite thing about SCOE?
The impact we make on our community and the lives of students!

What is one of your most memorable moments as a SCOE employee?
Our recent Juneteenth and Pride flag-raising events. I was stoked to build stronger ties with members of our community, some who may have never been to SCOE. The speeches we heard from both students and community leaders were inspiring.

Outside of work, what is your favorite hobby or way to unwind?
Hot Pilates! There’s a strong sense of community at the studio I go to and I have really enjoyed seeing how much stronger I am not only physically but also mentally. The classes are a great way to relieve stress, too.

Do you have a favorite TV show, movie or book that involves a school setting?
The “Harry Potter” series, specifically “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

What is your favorite place in Sonoma County?
Helen Putnam Regional Park! I started driving there regularly once I bought my first car at 18 years old. I love how moody it gets in the fall and how lush everything looks in the spring. Walking the park’s winding trails clears my mind and helps me relax.

What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I worked as a newspaper reporter for six years before coming to SCOE.

My first job out of college was at the Sacramento Bee, where I covered criminal justice at a crucial time for Sacramento. While I was there, I witnessed the forming of the city’s first Black Lives Matter group, the swearing-in ceremony of Sacramento’s first Black police chief, the arrest of the infamous Golden State Killer, and the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark — an incident that led to massive city-wide protests and legislative changes related to police shootings in California.

I then covered criminal justice and then diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in Sonoma County for the Press Democrat, my hometown newspaper. I enjoyed covering the issues that impacted the community where I was raised and where many of my relatives still live, among them natural disasters, police use of force, and farmworker advocacy.