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Staff Profile: Giao Villalobos

Giao Villalobos holding down the fort during the pandemic. / Photo by Sharon Maccini

By Akshaj Mehta
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

Giao Villalobos has been a part of the Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep family for over nine years, eight of those working in the front office.

Villalobos moved to San Jose, California from Vietnam, before the fall of Saigon in 1975.

“I was six in 1975, and we came the day before Saigon fell,” she said “I started school in first grade.”

Giao Villalobos / Courtesy NP3 High Yearbook

After moving to the United States, Villalobos said she was the one of two Vietnamese students at her school. For a while Villalobos said she wanted to be something else, and blend in with others. She admits to having a difficult time accepting her Vietnamese culture until fourth grade.

“In fourth grade, I had a teacher named Mr. Murphy. I wanted to be called something different and once I told him that, Villalobos saidHe told me you need to do something that would make you proud of your culture.”

That week Villalobos brought in numerous items from Vietnamese culture to explain to her class and did research on the Vietnamese culture as well.

“That was the turning point of me being comfortable in my own skin,” she said. “…when I was in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, my brother was a choir director for our church, and he brought me on board and I sang. That also helped me to solidify who I was.”

Villalobos initially didn’t know what she wanted to do as a profession.

“I never really knew what I wanted to do when I I did want to be a biology major and study the oceans, and I took (Organic Chemistry) and failed, so that wasn’t an option for me anymore,” Villalobos explained.

Before graduating from college, she was inspired by one of her professors, which made her decide to go into education.

“I studied at San Jose State. And the last year before graduating, my professor said I should be a teacher, and I went into teaching and graduated in 1995,” said Villalobos. “After, I taught high school English for two years before leaving the school I taught at.”

Villalobos left the school because she felt the administration wasn’t the best.

“(Then) I went into the business world. Then moved to Sacramento in 2001.”

After moving to Sacramento, Villalobos volunteered most of her time at her two children’s schools, one of them being Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep High School. From 2014 to 2018, Villalobos was the president of the NP3 Boosters club.

“I was taking over and running the student store. I was here every day,” she said. “In 2013, Ms. Maccini needed someone to help with the office answering phones etc, and I was able to be hired for that job.”

As school secretary, Villalobos’s daily tasks and responsibilities vary from day to day. She does anything the staff of school administrators need and acts as a support for them.

“My job is a little bit of everything, copies, attendance, anything the teachers need,” said Villalobos. ”It changes every day and my job changes every day.”

Villalobos’s favorite part about the school is the students and relationships she has made with others. She understands that the students are just kids, trying to juggle numerous parts of their lives at this stage.

“The students are my favorite. I love them” said Villalobos.” I love my job, and talking to students and parents.”

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