Kristin Castillo: Finding a Balance


Photo by Natalie Munguia.

A new addition to Los Altos, Kristin Castillo serves a different type of administrative role: Student Services Coordinator. Instead of focusing her attention on discipline or operations, Castillo’s main mission is to promote student health and wellness.

“I’m just another adult on campus who’s an administrator, but I don’t have a focus on discipline,” Castillo said. “So [I’m] a safe person to go to.”

Following a spike in enrollment at Los Altos last year, the district decided to add the new position to alleviate the workload of other administrators. Castillo was hired last spring and along with other administrative duties, is mainly tasked with facilitating the counseling and therapy departments at Los Altos. Castillo’s aim is to help students suffering from stress this year with new wellness initiatives.

“I’m starting to realize that we have students that either have fears or too many stressors,” Castillo said. “One of the big goals is to figure out a program and more resources for [students] so that there’s a place that they can go.”

Believing that both student well-being and success as vital to the learning environment, Castillo hopes to help students find a balance between all facets of their life.

“There’s so much going on nowadays [and] you guys get so much pressure,” Castillo said. “It’s great to get good grades and make sure you’re successful in school, but there are other parts of life too and you need to have a balance.”

Castillo also looks to focus on mental health by helping students suffering from disorders to quickly find effective resources at Los Altos.

“[With] my position, I’m able to collaborate more with therapists and counselors,” said Castillo. “It really allows me to connect to kids who are struggling with mental health issues more quickly to the right resource or maybe more than one resource.”

Castillo aims to end the stigma attached to asking for help and encourages any student to stop by her office if they ever need help with any problems, minor or major, in their life. Speaking from personal experience, she believes that everyone has moments when they need support.

“We all go through times in our life where we need help,” Castillo said. “We’ve all been there. My father passed away five years ago, and I’m always pretty strong but there was a point in time where I needed my friends to support me and I needed people to talk to.”

Double majoring in mathematics and psychology, Castillo decided to be a math teacher at first. Castillo taught for ten years and after taking on various leadership roles, she got her administrative credentials. Following the program, Castillo was an assistant principal for two years at a school in St. Lorenzo and then decided to apply for the role of Student Services Coordinator.

“I heard great things about this district, and so when this position opened up, I applied,” said Castillo. “I thought I had a good personality for it. I heard that the people who work here are amazing and work so hard for their kids and so I said sounds like a great fit.”

In her free time, Castillo enjoys listening to music and spending time with her friends and family. Despite long commutes from her home in Livermore and long hours, Castillo hopes to find her own balance.

“I live in Livermore, so I have long workdays, which is fine,” Castillo said. “But on the weekends it’s nice to have some downtime, to get some time to exercise, go hiking, but also just barbecuing with friends. So you know, I’m trying to find a balance myself.”

Whether it’s organizing the counseling department or just speaking to students, Castillo hopes to help Los Altos in any way she can.

“I’m very lucky to be part of this team and hope to contribute…and help kids and continue to make Los Altos  grow as a great school,” Castillo said.