Murrieta Mesa CounselorsMVUSD School Counselors ensure every student has access to individualized academic, career, and social/emotional services with a specific focus on college and career readiness.
Counselor Amanda Pesavento - Counselor for Students grades 9-12 Last Name E - K and all ELD students
Amanda Pesavento has worked in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District since 2019. She completed her counseling internship with the district while substitute teaching in our district simultaneously. In 2020 she took a position as a college and career counselor while also subbing part time for one of our Mesa counselors, where she eventually took on the position at a 40% capacity and now a 100% capacity. While attending Cal State San Marcos Amanda co-published work relating to cognitive distortions and memory. Amanda holds a BA in Psychology from Cal State University of San Marcos and a MA in Education and clinical counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Azusa Pacific University. Amanda is currently working on her License for Professional Clinical Counseling and has worked directly with our MVUSD licensed clinical professionals to address mental health needs.
Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6475 Email
Counselor David Carrillo - Counselor for Students grades 9-12 Last Names A-D
David Carrillo began Guidance Counseling at Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino in 2003. In 2007 Carrillo began serving as a Guidance Counselor at Vista Murrieta High School. After 4.5 years at Vista Murrieta, Carrillo transferred to Murrieta Mesa to become a part of the Ramily. In addition to his responsibilities as a counselor, Carrillo has been the advisor for National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation, and a member of the Murrieta High Schools' Scholarship Foundation. Carrillo holds a BS in Biology and a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, an MS in Educational Counseling from National University, and a MA in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Riverside.Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6489 Email
Counselor Connie Kim - Counselor for Students grades 9-12 with Last Names L - Re
Connie Kim has been with the Murrieta Valley Unified School District since July 2004. She began working as the library technician at Monte Vista Elementary. In 2007, she transferred to Vista Murrieta High School as a guidance technician overseeing the college career center where she was instrumental in creating a working center assisting students and community with college and career information. Before joining the Ramily, Kim was the site secretary at VMHS working along with the principal and administration. While at VMHS, Kim was the co-advisor for California Scholarship Federation and currently serves as board member on Murrieta Dollars for Scholars. Kim holds a BA in Economics from University of California, LosAngeles and a MA in Education with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Azusa Pacific University.
Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6474 Email
Kesha Andrews - Counselor for Students grades 9-12, Last Names Rf - Z
Originally from San Diego, Kesha Andrews received her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Dominquez Hills in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Then she attended National University, La Jolla where she received a Master of Arts degree in Educational Counseling with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential. After receiving her Master of Arts degree she attended HealthStaff Training Institute in Temecula, CA where she completed her certification in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Ms. Andrews work history includes working for Riverside County Office of Education and Murrieta Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) as a substitute teacher in general education and special education populations. During her time at MVUSD, she also assisted in the administration of the CAHSEE and Advanced Placement examinations and worked closely with the class of 2015 to successfully complete the largest percentage of FAFSA applications in the district. While interning at Murrieta Mesa High School, Kesha was also the driving force behind promoting National School Counseling Week, which focuses public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within the U.S. school system. Given her experience with students with special needs, she is eager to assist Special Day Class students and their families to create a caring and supportive climate and atmosphere. Kesha is extremely excited to be a part of the Murrieta Mesa Rams family. Her word of advice to her students and their parents is, don’t let the sticker price of college be the determining factor in applying for college. Take one step at a time, apply for college and after you are admitted, then worry about the cost.
Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6476 Email
Lisa Amstutz - Counselor for all AVID Students
Lisa Amstutz began her career in education in Escondido, where she taught middle school Language Arts and Social Studies for 6 years. She came to the Murrieta Valley Unified School District in 2001, spending 14 years at Thompson Middle School. Her many roles at TMS included teaching 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies, 8th grade Social Studies, several years spent as Language Arts department chair, AVID Coordinator and Teacher, and new teacher mentor. She also co-advised the TMS chapter of the National Junior Honor Society. Amstutz is married to Rod Amstutz, who teaches at Avaxat, and together they have 2 adult daughters, both of whom are products of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. Amstutz was a member of the 2nd graduating class at California State University, San Marcos in 1993, where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in History. She received her teaching credential in 1994, also from CSUSM. While continuing to teach full-time, she received a Master of Arts degree in Educational Counseling from Azusa Pacific University in 2008. Given her background as an AVID Coordinator, she is extremely happy to help guide AVID students through their time at Mesa and feels it is a privilege to be a part of the Ramily!
Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6383 Email
Lindsey Hersh - Social Work & Mental Health Specialist
Lindsey Hersh has been with the Murrieta Valley Unified School District since July of 2019. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from University of Phoenix and her Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California. She holds a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Social Work and Child Welfare and Attendance from the University of Southern California and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Prior to coming to Murrieta Valley Unified School District, Hersh worked as a District Mental Health Therapist at Fallbrook Union High School District and San Jacinto Unified School District, where she was instrumental in creating district protocol for Special Education and General Education Mental Health Services. She was a Field Instructor for the USC School of Social Work. Having worked as a district mental health provider for over five years, Hersh has a track record of creating a therapeutic alliance that instills trust, utilizing community resources and providing psychoeducation to students, parents and staff. At Mesa, she collaborates with the counseling team to help students gain resiliency and build capacity; while supporting their achievement of academic, social and emotional goals. She is grateful to be a part of the Murrieta Mesa Ramily and is dedicated to helping to create systems of support for all students.
Phone: 951 677.0568 ext. 6479 Email
How Can Parents Access Counseling?
Due to extensive responsibilities with students, parents must call and make an appointment in advance to meet with counselors when the need arises. Availability is determined by individual counseling activities scheduled during the year. We will make every attempt to accommodate parents work and student schedules to be available.
Student Support Groups on CampusMMHS offers many activities and support groups on campus that can be accessed through the counseling team: Link Crew, Breakthrough, NAMI and individual support groups (Grief, Anger Management, Healthy Relationships, Getting Connected, Study Skills, and Socialization)
All students are guided through a four year career development plan that addresses the scope of the school to career transition. We give all students a number of opportunities to increase their awareness of their own gifts, interests, strengths, and develop their abilities as it applies to connecting to the world of work. Our counselors target the blending of the many forms of training & education, when working to find a match for your students career needs and dreams.