About Counselors

Laura Mercado
(Last Names A-K)

    My name is Laura Mercado. I was born in Alameda County and raised in Richmond, CA, I attended Highland Elementary, Juan Crespi Middle School and graduated from De Anza High School. I loved my time at De Anza and I made sure I was involved with the campus. I was a member of the Latino Club, attended Close Up where we traveled to Washingtonian D.C. with Ms. Mason one of De Anza's legend teachers. Academics were a very important part of my life. I realized at an early age that education was vital to my future success in life. Even though, I new I wanted to be successful I struggled through out my educational journey. I started off by attending Contra Costa College then transferred to Sacramento State where I received my Bachelors in Psychology. I then attended Saint Mary's College of  California where I earned my Master of Arts in School Counseling and my PPS credential.      

    I remember vividly being in high school and not going to see my counselor because I use to think you only saw a counselor if you were in discipline trouble. I missed out on a lot of good information so I encourage all students to come in even if you think we are busy or you cant wait that day to be seen just make an appointment and well help however we can. I take a lot of pride in being at De Anza and I want to see all our students reach for their goals what ever they maybe. If your students are not sure what they want to do, that fine too come on in and let’s talk about it. If a students just needs to talk in general were here for that to.

    I have been with the district for two years now, this is my first year at De Anza and I am exited to be back to my alma matter. 



Jennifer Thayer
 (Last Names L-Z)
    This is my second year working as a High School Counselor at De Anza High School. I am excited to continue working within the culture and community here at De Anza High School. Originally from Minnesota where I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in Psychology, I relocated to Southern California to begin my educational career working as a teacher for many years. I hold a Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University Los Angeles as well as a Masters in Education with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling from Azusa Pacific University. My passions include spending time with my family, writing, watching sports; specifically college football, basketball (March Madness) and track & field. As a life long educator, I am happy to work with the students at De Anza High School and assisting them succeed both academically and socially! Through hard work, patience, compassion for others and a positive attitude all things are possible. Here's to a great school year! Go Dons!

Olivia Isseks
College and Career Counselor 

My name is Olivia Isseks and I am thrilled to begin my third year as school counselor and first year as College and Career Counselor at De Anza High School! I am passionate about working to motivate and empower students to achieve success and reach their goals. I am grateful to get to work with the administration, teachers, students, and families that make up the De Anza High School community. I graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz and received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. I earned my Master of Arts degree in School Counseling and PPS credential from Saint Mary’s College of California. I am trained in Restorative Justice Practices. I am a current member of ASCA (American School Counseling Association) and continue to participate in district wide professional development opportunities.


As the college and career counselor, my primary responsibility is to support juniors and seniors with all things college. I will be supporting seniors with the SAT, working with juniors and seniors in the Rising Scholars program and providing scholarship information and support. My goal is to help create a safe and positive high school environment that fosters student success. I work to make myself visible and available to students on campus, so parents/guardians please do not hesitate to contact me! I am so excited to work with you and your student(s) this school year!

Subpages (1): Counselors at De Anza HS