The Palo Alto school district will hire a county education worker to coordinate district efforts on the social-emotional health of students.
Brenda Carrillo, coordinator of student health and safety for the Santa Clara County Office of Education since 2010, was nominated to become Palo Alto's coordinator of student services Wednesday by Superintendent Kevin Skelly.
The position was created in 2010 after a string of Palo Alto student deaths by suicide shook the community and led the district and others to boost and coordinate their efforts on student mental health.
Carrillo replaces Amy Drolette, who held the position for two years before leaving in June to become an assistant principal at Los Gatos High School.
Drolette co-chaired, along with a city staff member, Palo Alto Project Safety Net, a community coalition that formed in response to the suicides. Project Safety Net coalition members hold monthly public meetings to share information related to student mental health.
Drolette also coordinated a variety of other efforts to support student wellness on Palo Alto's 17 public school campuses, tracking a range of programs including anti-bullying curricula in the elementary schools and a wellness framework known as the Developmental Assets.
Carrillo has worked in program management, counseling and teaching, including work as a teacher in the Palo Alto district's Saturday Math Academy from 2008 to 2010.
She earned a bachelor's degree in social work from San Jose State University and masters degrees, in social work and educational leadership, from Santa Clara University.
She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in educational equity at the University of California at Berkeley.
"I look forward to contributing to the significant efforts that the district and community are already engaged in to support student health and success," Carrillo said.
"I hope to enhance services to students and school communities that promote well-being and academic achievement in partnership with parents, community leaders and school staff."