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Counselors' Corner

Tesoro's Counselor

Referral Form:

Confidential Student Request to See Counselor  

(This is not a request to see your academic advisor to change class schedules or add/drop requests. Note: Not available during summer)

Tesoro High School



Academic Advisors:

What's the Difference?

Some students and parents are not quite sure who they need to see, for what.


These lists are an overview of the main roles & responsibilities of each group: 


Academic Advisors:

  • Class Scheduling / Course Selection

  • HS Graduation / A-G Requirements

  • Letters of Recommendation

  • SAT/ACT Testing

  • College Information & Financial Aid

  • Driver’s Ed / Job Permits

  • Transcripts / 4-Year Plans

  • Credit Recovery / Summer School

School Counselors:

  • Academic Counseling

  • Personal & Social-Emotional Counseling

  • College & Career Counseling

  • Suicide Prevention & Training

  • Crisis Counseling / Risk Assessments

  • Student Success Team (SST) Meeting Coordinators

  • Conflict Mediation

  • 504 Site Coordinators

  • Student Welfare Checks / Attendance Monitoring

  • Academic Intervention Planning / Accommodations

CUSD Counseling Vision Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District School Counseling Program strives to provide opportunities so that every student will acquire the social-emotional, academic, and career skills to reach their fullest educational potential and successfully manage their lives as healthy, responsible, competent, and productive citizens who respect themselves and others.

Guidance Department

Direct Guidance Phone Line:

(949) 234-5319

Assistant Principal of Guidance

Michael Hatcher

Academic Advisors (by student last names)

Head Academic Advisor: Julietta Arlotti

Melanie Young (A-Deu)

Julietta Arlotti (Dev-H)

Martha Acosta (I-Mic)

Lisa Wada (Mid-Sam)

Linda O'Donovan (San-Z)

School Counselors

Erin McMichael

Jaime Runyan


Carie Abrew

Guidance Office Clerk

Sharon Ames

504/SST Coordinators

Erin McMichael (A-Leb)

Jaime Runyan (Lec-Z)


Jobs 4 Teens

Laura s House


Adolescent Dating Abuse is a pattern of behavior used to control and intimidate an adolescent partner. It includes but is not limited to hitting, yelling, threatening, name calling, and any form of emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen to adolescents at any age, no matter their level of education or economic background. Dating violence can also occur in same-sex relationships, friendships, current or former partners.


Read more about Laura's House H.E.A.R.T. Teen and Healthy Relationships Program


Teens: Are You in a Healthy or Abusive Dating Relationship? Take the quiz.

Not All Attention Problems Are ADHD

 teen girl trying to focus           child mind institute logo small

It's a common assumption, but there are other causes that are easily overlooked . . .

Trouble paying attention is often first identified by a teacher who notices that a student seems more easily distracted than most other kids his age.

Maybe the child takes an unusually long time to finish schoolwork in class. Maybe when the teacher calls on him, he doesn’t seem to have been following the lesson. Maybe he seems to tune out when instructions are given, or forget what he’s supposed to be doing. Maybe homework assignments often go missing. Article on child attention.


Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?American Teenager

Parents, therapists and schools are struggling to figure out whether helping anxious teenagers means protecting them or pushing them to face their fears.

By Benoit Denizet-Lewis, OCT. 11, 2017

Read about child anxiety.


Tesoro's School Counselors


          Mrs. Jaime Runyan                        Ms. Erin McMichael

          Mrs. Jaime Runyan    Ms. Erin McMichael

Mrs. Runyan's Bio:

It has been a pleasure serving as Tesoro's School Counselor since its inaugural year in fall 2001.  I am a graduate of San Clemente High School, in Capistrano Unified.  I went on to receive my Bachelors in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from Purdue University and earned my Masters in Psychology from Pepperdine University. I have always made it a priority to work with students and advocate for them.  I worked with Capistrano Unified and Pepperdine University through the Safe Schools Act and have teamed up with the PRYDE program through the Orange County Sheriff Coroners Department and Pepperdine University.  I have worked with all age groups, but high school is where my true passion lies. I have a wonderful husband and three beautiful children and a mastiff.  :) I am honored to be a part of the Titan Family.

Ms. McMichael's Bio:

Hello Titans! I joined the Tesoro guidance team in 2015. I currently live in Los Angeles (yes, I commute...) but I am a native of Palm Springs. I earned my B.A. degree in Psychology in 2011, my M.S. degree in Counseling (Option in School Counseling) and my California Pupil & Personnel Services Credential in 2015, all from California State University, Northridge. I was a research assistant in the social psychological research lab at Yale University in the summer of 2010. My counseling philosophy is that I value and respect each student for their individuality and cultural worldviews; I focus on strengths while providing help with academic or personal life challenges. It is my aim to help students help themselves so that they can be successful when navigating their chosen life path. My interests and hobbies include spending time with my family and pets, constantly changing my hair color, singing karaoke (I was a Karaoke DJ for 6 years to help pay my college tuition, lol!), reading, RPG gaming, The Hunger Games Trilogy and I absolutely adore Lady Gaga.


spotlight on: teen vaping

Parents: What You Need to Know And How to Talk With Your Kids About Vaping - Child Mind Institute

teen girl vaping

-  E-cigarettes are now the most frequently used tobacco product among adolescents — some 2.1 million middle and high school students were e-cigarette users in 2017 — far surpassing traditional combustible cigarettes.

- Vaping isn’t considered safe for teens and young adults, especially since their brains are still developing.

- Concerns have surfaced that rather than decreasing cigarette use, some smokers are using both— vaping when they can’t smoke.

- Vaping is illegal for anyone under the age of 18, and in some states under 21.

- Vapor can contain numerous substances including some known to be harmful to health.

- Marijuana can be vaped in both the leaf form or using THC and/or CBD oil. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that creates a sense of being high.

Download the parents guide to teen vaping

from The Child Mind Institute



Test Taking Strategies


The Role of the High School CounselorCounselor s Role  PDF

High school years are full of growth, promise, excitement, frustration, disappointment and hope. It is the time when students begin to discover what the future holds for them. High school counselors have an impact on these years by implementing a comprehensive school counseling program and collaborating with school staff, parents and the community to create a safe and respectful learning environment. High school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic, career and social/emotional development. High school counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set informed career goals and realize their full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community.


High school counselors hold a master’s degree and required state certification in school counseling. Maintaining certification includes ongoing professional development to stay current with educational reform and challenges facing today’s students. Professional association membership enhances the school counselor’s knowledge and effectiveness. Read "The Essential Role of High School Counselors by ASCA (American School Counselor Association)(PDF)


9 Social Media Red Flags Parents Should Know About

teen girl on cell phone

Find out which social media features are cause for concern -- no matter which app your kid is using.

By Christine Elgersma

Teaching Our Teenagers the Importance of

Being Resilient

resilience  grow learn and overcome

From All teenagers can benefit from being resilient and the good news is that it can be taught, which is why it’s a great topic for discussion in schools and for parents to endorse at home. 

What is resilience?

‘Resilience’ is an engineering term meaning the force or pressure a structure can withstand before it breaks. For people, it’s the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.

Why is resilience important for teenagers?

Having resilience reduces the effects of negative or stressful situations on well being. When teenagers develop resilience, they have access to, and know how to apply, skills that help them to cope during challenging times such as exams.

How is resilience displayed?

Teenagers who are resilient have:

  • emotional awareness and the ability to regulate their emotions
  • control over their impulses
  • an optimistic mindset
  • flexible and accurate thinking
  • empathy towards others
  • believe that they can achieve things (self-efficacy)
  • a willingness to seek help when needed.

Continue reading the remainder of this article!

Parents: The Importance of Setting Limits

squiggly zig zag road sign
 By Jennifer Hartstein, Contributor, US   News Online

Rules are a natural part of life, and having guidelines helps kids learn how to manage in different situations.  Rules provide the framework for children to understand what is expected of them at home, with friends and at school. While parents know that this kind of structure is important, it's often challenging to establish and maintain rules at home. (Article continues)

american academy of pediatrics logo

Important Information about Suicide Prevention

An Excerpt from a February 9, 2018 Release from the American Academy of Pediatrics,
Orange County Chapter...

The Orange County American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with local and nationally recognized sport psychologist, Casey Cooper, PhD came together to provide the following insights.

It is critical that we recognize that there is NO singular cause or preventative measure that could have been taken to prevent these recent tragedies.  No family member, friend, teacher, coach, administrator or health care provider can identify why these talented and amazing teens felt such a level of despair that taking a permanent step to end their pain seemed warranted. In these tragedies that seem senseless, we often look for answers, but it is so hard to understand why these talented and amazing teens felt such a level of pain and despair to take their own lives.

As we consult with experts, it is becoming clear that meeting the social demands teens believe are placed upon them is a very real and often hidden distress factor and it can increase youths' risk of suicidal ideation. In the days, weeks and months ahead, we will be discussing how to combat those high stress messages and instead help teens understand that success is measured by so much more than an A on every test, or a championship season. More importantly is creating a sense of who they are, who they might become, and a belief that, like everyone, they are someone who matters!

During the wait for conclusions to be drafted and research to be properly collected, we offer the following reminders.

  • The face of suicide is changing. The rate of suicide is increasing in Orange County and all teenagers are at risk, including our high achieving students, athletes, and artists.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24.
  • Teens at risk for attempting suicide cannot always be identified in a single screening.
  • Due to the impulsive nature of teens, their age group is at higher risk to make sudden attempts on their lives, seemingly without warning.

We want to address the impact of perfectionism among performance driven teens in academics, the arts, and athletics in Orange County. We believe this is a critical factor to identifying and intervening with "the new face of suicide".

  • Research confirms that current generations of young adults put more pressure on themselves than generations before them.
  • This self-imposed pressure to be perfect is a known risk factor to considering suicide.An environment where success is so highly valued fuels this pressure on our teens.
  • Intolerance for mistakes and weakness make high achieving in academics, athletics, or the arts particularly vulnerable to social isolation when their self-imposed perfectionist standards are not met.
  • Pursuing perfection decreases the likelihood that these teens will seek help from others.

Our community is beginning to take next steps. More information and response suggestions will be forthcoming. In the meantime, please consider the following:

  • Monitor your teen's social media presence and exposure.
  • Communicate with your school and district's student service department professionals to locate a suicide prevention program to attend for advice and support.
  • Research tools for empowering personal best strategies as a way to guide a perfectionist driven child.
  • Honor the relevant codes of conduct and sportsmanship whenever you attend sporting and performance-based competition.
  • Find mental health professionals and support tools for adolescents who express concerns with not measuring up to unrealistic standards of success.
  • Check in with your teen about what stresses they may be experiencing during a calm time. Ask specifically what they feel like you expect of them, as this can be an opportunity to correct self-imposed perfectionism. 

Most importantly, for our teens, they need to hear and believe these key messages:

  • You cannot be defined solely by your skills in the arts, academics, or athletics
  • You might feel it's safer to discuss your feelings on Social Media, but this only isolates you further.
  • Social media provides instant feedback that accelerates any insecurities, rigid thinking or negative thought spirals. It's not driven by parent messages; it is technology driven and makes you vulnerable.
  • You are not alone and your feelings are shared by others, even if they don't show it.
  • When you feel most isolated, there IS a community here to support you. CHECK IN and TALK with a trusted adult when you feel hopeless.
  • People are waiting for you to CHECK IN with them, 24 Hoursaday.  

     For more information:
  • With Hope Foundation: 714.524.1996
  • Suicide Prevention Resource Center
  • Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

For statements, quotes and interview requests, please contact:

Katherine Williamson, MD, FAAP Vice President, American Academy of Pediatrics - Orange County Chapter (AAP-OC); Chapter Media Spokesperson 742-2057(Cell)

Eric Ball, MD, FAAP President, AAP-OC 394-6664(Cell) 

Jamie McDonald, MPH Executive Director, American Academy of Pediatrics - Orange County Chapter   (949)752-2787(office) (562) 519-1040 (cell) 


Tesoro High School currently has two full-time credentialed Professional School Counselors on staff, Jaime Runyan and Erin McMichael. Any Tesoro student can see either counselor as they are not assigned by alphabet like they are with Academic Advisors.

The counselors are available for appointments M-F from 6:30am-3:00pm.

Contact info:

Erin McMichael

Ph: (949) 234-5310 x 15017


Jaime Runyan

Ph: (949) 234-5310 x 15221



Teen & Family Hotlines

National Hotlines

California Youth Crisis Line (24/7) 1-800-843-5200 

National Runaway Safeline (24/7) 1-800-786-2929

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7) 1-800-273-8255

SAFE Alternatives (Self-Injury Hotline) (24/7) 1-800-366-8288

Trevor Project (for LGBTQ youth) (24/7) 1-866-488-7386,Text "Trevor" to 1-202-304-1200 (hours vary) or Chat Online 

Teen Line  (hours vary)1-800-852-8336 or Text "TEEN" to 839863

Orange County Local Hotlines

OC Domestic Violence Hotline (OC Sherriff's Dept) (24/7) 714-992-1931 

OC Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline (24/7) 1-877-727-4747

OC Links (OC Dept of Behavioral Health Services) (M-F 8a-6p) 1-855-625-4657

P.F.L.A.G. South OC Chapter (Parents and Friends of LGBTQ persons) 949-677-7840


Screen addiction

Are Kids Getting Too Much Screen Time?

boy asleep by laptop computer

us parent internet users attitude towards screen time for children

Twelve ways to break your children’s screen addiction as technology and gaming wrecks sleep 

child dragged with ipad

Parents Guide to Fortnite Addiction

Fortnite Addiction


Test-Taking Tips


What is Digital Citizenship? Teaching Teens to Be Smart & Safe on Social Media

group selfie

We've all read news stories about the downside of mobile technology and social media: cyberbullying, harassment, stalking, sexting, catfishing, and the list goes on. It's enough to make any parent want to curl up in a ball and never, ever give their child a mobile device. But, in reality, most kids in the U.S. end up with a mobile phone, tablet, or device in their hands at some point during their teen years — because, despite its faults, mobile technology has made it so much easier for teens and parents to get in touch with each other.

Learn more about the dangers of digital life.


Counselors' Corner Locker
11/12/18 8:04 PM
10/19/18 11:40 AM

make your school a safe space for lgbtq kids and allies