Holly Cornelison Hopla, M. Ed.
Holly Hopla was raised in San Jose, California. She spent her K-12 years in the coveted Cupertino schools, and during her early education was keenly aware of the growing pressure students faced to be "successful" in school. As a student, she also experienced the cuts made to valuable public programs---programs which provided a needed balance to students who did not always feel successful in the typical classroom. Holly was fortunate to benefit from the mentorship of many people outside the classroom who taught her to look on her education as a process of growth rather than achievement and she came to value the journey far more than the transitory affirmation of awards, trophies, and college acceptance.
Holly developed a deep love for the arts and education and earned her B. A. in Theatre Arts at Santa Clara University. She spent time working in theatre as an actor, director, and teacher, and found that her greatest passion was building educational programs for youth at the California Theatre Center in Sunnyvale, CA.
Her interest in education led Holly to choose work as a substitute teacher in the highly acclaimed Los Altos School District. Confident in the classroom and possessing an excellent rapport with students, she immediately earned a full-time position as a fifth grade teacher on an emergency credential. She went back to school and earned her multiple subject teaching credential and Master's Degree in Education. Holly's tenacity helped her develop into an accomplished, intuitive, dynamic teacher, and she attributes much of her success to the mentor teachers who guided her so expertly in her early years as an educator.
Holly continued to work during the summers as a mentor and teacher to high school theatre students and forged her next path by earning her single subject teaching credential and subsequently a position on the faculty of Monta Vista High School as a Drama Teacher (back in Cupertino!) She had come full circle and now was able to see the high school experience from a teacher's perspective. She was again coached and mentored by caring, inspiring people who invested in her success as she made this transition. Holly developed strong relationships with her students and families (often having students for four full years) and during this time found that her passion was in working directly with them to help them achieve personal success in the educational setting.
In 2013, Holly and her family moved to Washington to start new adventures. Holly has completed certificates in independent educational consulting, online teaching, and instructional design as well as her Washington state teaching credential. She instructs sophomore honors and senior level English classes at Issaquah High school, and is the program chair and an online instructor for the Education department of UCSC's Extension program. Her passion is working with students to help them and their families achieve balance, growth and empowerment in the educational environment.
Holly's growing work as an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) provides a much needed service to students and families who are goal-oriented about college, but would like to maximize the process of applying to college to achieve the best-fit outcome. Her personal approach shows students that organization, confidence, and self-advocacy are not only college admissions skills, but life skills that provide empowerment. Holly has experienced first-hand the power of mentorship, and she commits her professional life to paying that legacy forward.
photo courtesy of WH Earle Photography
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