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Valley High School Counselor Liz Buckley Honored by Tri-Valley YMCA

January 28, 2015
Liz Buckley

Valley High School Counselor Liz Buckley

In every January, the Tri-Valley YMCA convenes to commemorate individuals and groups that have made meaningful contributions to our community. It is not a coincidence that this ceremony occurs close to the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This civil rights leader was known for many things, not the least of which was his march on Washington D.C. and his subsequent “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on the National Mall. While the stirring words from this message are easily recounted in our minds, Dr. King had thoughts on other subjects.

“Not everyone can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.” These words by Dr. King serve as an appropriate backdrop to the event. For 15 years, the Tri-Valley YMCA has celebrated the contributions of many community volunteers. They have hosted a Fellowship Breakfast and this year it occurred at the Doubletree Hotel in Pleasanton on Monday.

Local dignitaries including former Mayor of Dublin Tim Sbranti, Lars Ho-Tseung, TV YMCA Board Chair and former Oakland Raider Napoleon Kaufman offered words of wisdom. Additional honorees included Dale Eldridge Kaye, CEO of the Tri-Valley Leadership Group and members of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department/ACFD for their work in the Toys for Tots program. However, this day belongs with Ms. Buckley.

Tri-Valley YMCA Award CeremonyLiz attained her B.S. in Finance and Business and Administration from Illinois State University. Subsequently, she completed a PPS credential from University of La Verne. While she began her career as a commodities trader in Chicago, she turned her attention to working with young people. In the course of her educational career, she has been graced with many honors – including a District Golden Apple in 2012 and an Employee of the Month award in 2014. OneDublin.org had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Buckley to further explore impact of her recent accolade.

OneDublin.org: What were your initial professional ambitions?

Liz Buckley: “I really thought I was going to become an accountant. My Uncle talked me out of it. Living in Chicago made it pretty easy to follow a financial career. We had the heart of the commodity industry right in our own backyard. I did work at the title company for two years before I was brought into the wild and crazy industry of trading stocks and commodities.”

OneDublin.org: When/where did you start in the education industry?

Buckley: “At the old age of 39 I had a daughter – Jacquelyn! I knew I had to get out of the trading business. I had her late in life and I knew I wanted to spend every moment with her. So, the journey began. I had a five year plan. I wrote down goals or ideas of a new future career.

“Once I crossed off my list working with babies (because I had my own) and I crossed off senior citizens I was left with teenagers or middle age adults. I chose teenagers! But not what would I do with them. I soon found a program at the University of La Verne – in school counseling. I traveled from Incline Village to Oakland every other weekend. I worked at Skyline High School for my internship under an amazing counselor. I had an interview with Bryce Custodio and was hired in 2004.”

OneDublin.org: Highlight your work prior to joining the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD).

Buckley: “I worked as a Stockbroker and Commodity broker – in Chicago. In 1988 I was transferred to open an office in Beverly Hills, Ca. Once I got to California (I was only supposed to stay for 6 months) I began a five minute segment on FNN. Wish I that I had stayed with the TV show. I soon began to learn the systems and trading became my life. But, I knew I would need to find another career because it was hard on me. I realized that I needed to find a place where I could work through my heart and not so much my brain.”

OneDublin.org: Where/when did you join DUSD? Explain in what capacity then vs. now.

Buckley: “I began my DUSD career as a counselor in 2004. I worked between both high schools. I would travel to Dublin High and Valley daily. I did this for two years. I had the choice of which school I would like to be full-time at. Without hesitation, I knew my heart belonged to Valley High School. I felt I could make a difference at Valley High.”

OneDublin.org: Explain your association with the Tri-Valley YMCA.

Buckley: “I have worked with the YMCA majority of my career in Dublin. They have always been supportive of our school. For example, I had a few students coming late to school and the YMCA donated bikes for our students. They are here for our kids and we love to support them back.”

So, as Dr. King aptly described, service represents itself in many different forms. In this case, Liz Buckley truly demonstrates a willingness to serve all of the students at Valley High School in collaboration with community partners. OneDublin.org would like to commend Ms. Buckley on this special honor. We also thank her for the guidance that she will provide to future VHS students.

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