Palos Verdes High School

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CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD

Staff | Counselors

The PVHS Counseling Department is available and happy to connect with our students and families. Please locate your counselor by your last name.
We may be reached by phone at (310) 378-8471 ext. 43238 (counselor extensions below) and email.
Mrs Kim GillMrs. Kim Gill
Gr. 9-12: A-C
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43246
[email protected]

Ms Annie YuMs. Annie Yu
Gr. 9-12: D-H
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43217
[email protected]

Mrs. Kristen Nelson, CounselorMrs. Kristen Nelson
Gr. 9-12: I-Mc
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43293
[email protected]

Kristen Nelson has been a staff member at Palos Verdes High School since the school reopened in 2002. Prior to becoming a counselor, Kristen's roles at PVHS included Activities Director, History Teacher and Cheer/Song Coach. Kristen obtained her BA from UC Santa Barbara, MA in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University and her Pupil Personal Services Credential from UCLA. Kristen is a native to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and loves working in the community that she grew up in. She currently lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with her husband Chris and their four children, Davia, Finely, Wyatt and Travis. 

Mrs. Amanda Smith
Gr. 9-12: Me-R
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43218
[email protected] 

Mandi Smith transitioned to the field of school counseling after teaching high school for three years, where she delivered courses such as CTE Veterinary Science, College and Career Preparation, and acted as a Research Critical Thinking instructor by identifying academic gaps in students and creating custom instructional content to support their individual growth in Language Arts. After moving to California in 2021, Mandi earned her Master of Arts in School Counseling with a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor track from Chapman University. Prior to joining the Palos Verdes High team, Mandi completed a school counseling internship at Ridgecrest Intermediate where she developed a great appreciation for the Palos Verdes community that she now supports.


Counselor Heidi Shulman S-ZMs. Heidi Shulman
Gr. 9-12: S-Z
Room: Counseling
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43220
[email protected]

No stranger to the peninsula, Heidi grew up in Palos Verdes. Heidi earned her Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona and her Master of Arts in Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Loyola Marymount University. Heidi also holds the College Counseling Certification from UCLA Extension. Prior to coming to PVHS, Heidi served as the school counselor at Ridgecrest Intermediate School for six years. 

Jennifer ShannonMs. Jennifer Shannon
Sage Therapist
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext: 43216
[email protected]

Shannon received her undergraduate Bachelor’s degree from California State Dominguez Hills and her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Campbellsville University. Before joining PVHS, Jen worked in diverse backgrounds, including animal hospitals helping individuals grieve the loss of their pets, community-based low-income programs, drug & alcohol, and mental health treatment centers. Jennifer has extensive experience working with addiction and individuals struggling with a loved one with an active addiction. Through Jen's diverse personal and clinical experience, she can connect with clients from all walks of life and makes clients feel safe, heard, and understood.

She uses interactive and experiential approaches alongside evidence-based therapies such as Internal Family Systems, Somatic Parts Work, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness, and Inner Child work Jen is passionate about helping students unravel negative thought patterns, increase self-worth, and learn tools to cope better with stress management and manage challenging emotions. Jen is passionate about helping clients find their voice, inner strength, and personal empowerment.  She believes all feelings are valid. Jen knows therapy is hard, and she will walk with you and be your biggest support along the way.  When Jen is not working, she enjoys traveling about being immersed in cultures and hanging out at the beach with her dog Pop Pop.

Ms. Brenna Winkle
Sage Therapist
Room: Counseling Office
Phone: 310378-8471 Ext: 43213
Brenna received her undergraduate bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara and her master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from CSU Dominguez Hills. Before joining PVHS, Brenna worked at an elementary school as a teacher’s assistant and as a clinician at a community mental health center. Her objective as a clinician is to ensure her clients feel liked, accepted, understood, and empowered to exercise agency over presenting issues. She takes an eclectic approach, drawing from Humanistic, Narrative, and Mindfulness-based theories in order to help clients address and resolve problematic behaviors and thinking patterns.

Mrs. Joanne Lewis, Director College & Career CenterMrs. Joanne Lewis
Director, College & Career Center
Room: 318
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext. 43618
[email protected]

Joanne is a native of Long Island, NY where she attended Dowling College and Adelphi University. Joanne enjoyed the wonderful opportunity of living and working in both Switzerland and Kenya, and received her Master of Science degree in Management and Organizational Development from the United States International University in Nairobi.  After moving to Palos Verdes with her family in 2001, Joanne eventually began working with the PVPUSD in the office of Pupil Services. Joanne is especially proud to work together with the counseling department and to assist students in their aspirations related to college and career. Joanne is a member of WACAC (Western Association of College Admission Counselors) and NACAC (National Association of College Admission Counselors). She has one daughter who attended schools within the PVPUSD.

Mrs Teresa Hoffman, Scholarship & Financial Aid CounselorMrs. Teresa Hoffman
Scholarship & Financial Aid Coordinator
Phone: 310-378-8471 Ext. 43347
[email protected]

Teresa Hoffman attended the University of California at Davis, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. She worked for Ashland, Inc. for several years in marketing and technical support. Before joining the staff at PVHS in 2009, she volunteered extensively in the College and Career Center and experienced the college admissions/financial aid process with her two children. She is currently a member of the Western Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC) and has attended several of their workshops on financial aid and scholarships. Teresa and her husband, Larry, have lived on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for over 20 years. They have two children who attended schools within the PVPUSD.

Emergency Mental Health Resources:

Counseling department emails are not checked outside of school hours (8am-3pm M-F). If you are emailing with a serious and immediate concern regarding a student (yourself or a friend), please call 911If your concern needs immediate attention, support is also available by contacting the providers listed below:
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
  • Crisis Text Line: text word “HOME” to 741-741 
  • Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services: (877) 727-4747
  • LA County Mental Health Services: (800) 854-7771
  • The Trevor Project: (866) 488-7386