INTRODUCING… counselor Amanda Maloney


Eva Raul

Amanda Maloney oversees all students who have last names starting with Om to Sm.

Amanda Maloney joined Amador Valley High School after working at Castro Valley High school for five years. Before that, she worked for a regional center at East Bay for children with disabilities and graduated from Chico State and East Bay for her graduate in counseling. 

Responses are official written statements from Maloney, and were edited for length and clarity. 

What did you pursue in college?

I went to Chico State. I’m actually from up North near Chico, so that was my local CSU. I majored in Psychology and English. Originally, when I was in college, I wanted to be an English teacher. Then I realized I wanted to work with students more individually instead of a large classroom environment. I had a good high school  counselor when I was in high school. The high school I went to was low-achieving, so not a lot of students went to college. She provided a lot of guidance for me and that’s how I settled on school counseling. I finished my majors and went to the East Bay, which is how I ended up in the Bay Area. Chico State didn’t offer a master of counseling program, so I moved three hours away to go to East Bay to get my masters. It was really my first time living in a big city, very different from how I grew up. I got my masters in Counseling and  People Personnel Services credential at Cal State East Bay, which is required for school counselors to have.

Why Amador?

I live in Pleasanton. When I originally moved to the Bay Area, I lived in Hayward. I got a job at Castro Valley, and then we moved to Pleasanton and got our house. I have a little girl who’s two and a half who goes to daycare five minutes away. That was my motivation for moving. I loved Castro Valley, but the commute was starting to get hard especially with dropping my daughter off to daycare. Geographically, it was very convenient for me and I like working at large comprehensive high schools. 

It’s what I came from and the setting I  wanted to work at, so that’s how I got here.

First impressions?

Amador is a very academic environment with a lot of really high-achieving students. Right now, it’s college application season, so I’m getting common application requests and counselor evaluations. It’s very impressive the things that students accomplish here, there’s a lot of really high achievement and great extracurriculars. Students are getting involved with research at a really young age which is great. It’s very competitive, especially now. I grew up in a very small, rural, underachieving school. Where I grew up, for a lot of students it was a big accomplishment to go to college. Here, a lot of students have high expectations for themselves when it comes to college.

How’s working with a brand new team?

We’re learning a lot about the school and the procedures the way things are done here but it’s a good team. I think everyone’s really positive and wants to help and work with students and direct and help with college applications so it’s a good team.

Favorite part of counseling?

I really like to help students who are struggling. I like to help them make a plan for getting back on track and if they are credit deficient, then coming up with plans and pathways to get them back on track. I actually enjoy that part of the job. I’m also really impressed by what students here accomplish. It’s really awesome to see students doing such amazing things.

Advice for current students?

Be kind to yourselves. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure and it causes a lot of stress, anxiety, and mental health concerns in students. You don’t have to be perfect to go to college, it’s OK to get a B. It’s OK to get a C, it’s even OK to get an F and do credit recovery. Students need to be kind to themselves and kind to each other. Everyone’s path is different. Not everyone is going to go to a UC, and that’s okay. Being kind to each other and being mindful that everyone’s path is different is important.