Departing: Neomi Navarro (Counselor)


Courtesy of Neomi Navarro

Counselor Neomi Navarro is departing from Lincoln after four years.

What was your official position at Lincoln?

My official position at LHS was School Counselor. I was also a co-advisor for MEChA.

How long did you work at Lincoln?

I was at LHS for four years.

Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.

A day in a life of a school counselor means that I have to be adaptable and pivot at any given moment. I must wear many hats and be as open-minded as possible. A day in a life for a counselor typically involves a lot of communication, a lot of emails, a lot of listening and collaborative problem solving. I am busy attending meetings from addressing student social-emotional, attendance and academic needs to connecting students to outside Community Based Organizations. A normal day can also include working with teachers, administrators and parents to meet a student’s academic needs. As a counselor, I have to make sure to communicate and be a bridge and advocate for student’s needs. Each day brings a different opportunity to learn about a student, a family or program.

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?

My favorite part about LHS was being able to meet with students one-on-one. In addition to that, I really enjoyed the college process and reading about the awesome opportunities our students were involved in. Being able to participate in this process was truly rewarding and I am very proud of the work and service students have done over the years. In addition to that, I really enjoyed being a co-advisor for MEChA, for that was my favorite time of the week, for I was able to leave my office and be around a group of passionate students that were dedicating their time, experience and knowledge to their Latine community.  

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?

A memory that I hold dear to my heart is seeing students graduate that may have not done so, but with a supportive team, teachers and parents they made it across the finish line!

What are your biggest takeaways from working at Lincoln?

As a school counselor, I wear my heart on my sleeve and this makes all the adaptability and pivoting exhausting at times. There is a toll that counselor’s endure when you have to pivot and adapt so much. When the shifting is reasonable, it feels okay. However, when my value system is tested and stretched that becomes tasking. Working in this field means that one must be empathetic, an advocate, a good listener and productive. One wants their students to de well and succeed. Therefore, the biggest take away for me is to know when to take a step back, create space to reevaluate circumstances that affect the work place and my practice. 

What are your post-Lincoln plans?

Next year, I will be working at another PPS high school on the East side of Portland.

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?

I will miss the students that I had been working with over the years and I will really miss the Mechistas. I will miss my counseling team and all the knowledge that they have. I will miss my Newcomer ELD Team. I will miss many of the educators that I worked so closely with. So now, it is time to close this Chapter and say “Gracias” for all you have done to enrich my practice as a school counselor. 

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?

I leave you with this; you all have a story to tell. Your voice matters. Your service to your community matters. Your advocacy matters. Continue walking the path of advocacy and know when to ask for help. Remember to smell the roses, take a break and eat some snacks! Remember to help others in need and if you see an injustice stand up and speak up. Finally, remember that BLACK LIVES WILL ALWAYS MATTER!

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