Meet Melissa Bondra!


Zee Alrubaye

This school year, returning students may have noticed a few new faces at Aloha High School. Actually, not just a few — nearly 30 new warriors have joined the staff of AHS! So every Wednesday, Voice of the Warriors will introduce a new staff member right here on our website. So let’s get started!

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College and Career Center Counselor Melissa Bondra.*

 

What other school has a pineapple as a secondary mascot?!


Q: What attracted you to working at Aloha High School? In other words, what set AHS apart from other schools?

A: I liked that AHS has a long history and a strong sense of community. There is a lot of charm and character in the culture here. What other school has a pineapple as a secondary mascot?!

Q: What do you like most about coming to work every day?

A: Honestly, the students are what I like most. I’ve felt very welcome during my first two months here.

A: Honestly, the students are what I like most. I’ve felt very welcome during my first two months here.

Q: Have you ever lived anywhere else besides Oregon?

A: I grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It’s a smallish town with beautiful nature. I learned to love nature and outdoor activities growing up in this environment. I decided to move to Portland for college because I wanted to live in a big city.

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The beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.


The rain was difficult to get used to, but after two years Portland has become my home. I definitely prefer living in Portland and I have no plans to return to Idaho. Portland has better food, more diversity, and very friendly people. Plus, it’s surrounded by all sort of landscapes. You’re never more than an hour or two from nature.

Q: What is one word that best describes you?

A: Detailed.

Q: Do you have any odd or awesome hobbies or talents you’d like to share?

A: I enjoy running a lot. I’ve done a few half marathons and I’ve been thinking about signing up for a full marathon sometime next year. I’m also going to try snowshoeing this winter.

Q: Why did you want to become a counselor?

A: In college, I majored in psychology because I was intrigued to learn about why people act and think the way they do. I also wanted a career where I could help others and give back to my community.

After reflecting on my own educational journey, I realized how much help I had been given from adults along the way. I may not have made it to college without the support from caring adults. This is when I realized that I wanted to be this helpful person to others.

Q: What’s the most fulfilling thing about being a counselor?

A: The most fulfilling part of my job is when I help students discover and pursue a career that is truly meaningful to them . It makes me happy to know that students are going down  a pathway that will set them up for life of meaning and not just a life of work.

Q: What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen?

A: The kindness that humans are capable of. The world is full of good people doing good deeds if you know where to look and how to get involved.

Note: Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

*Photo taken by Kiara Yin-Husband.

 

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