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7th Grade Counselor
310.545.4878 ext. 3007
Jen Grant-Rucker has been a school counselor at the middle school since 2000. Her love of psychology and counseling began early on in life in Santa Monica as the youngest of four children and the only girl in a big, dynamic family. Jen’s passion for understanding and helping others took flight at Scripps College where she earned a BA in Psychology and interned as an at-risk counselor at Claremont High. Post-graduation, Jen worked for the Los Angeles County Counsel as a legal assistant at Edelman’s Children Court. Working on behalf of abused and neglected children inspired her to earn a Masters Degree from USC in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Marriage, Family & Child Counseling. While working toward becoming a licensed therapist, Jen found herself interning at both elementary and middle schools. This changed her professional trajectory when she decided to pursue a Masters Degree and Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling from LMU. Jen appreciates having the opportunity to help her students and families navigate the spirited years of middle school. Not only has MBMS been an incredible professional experience for her, but she met and married the always dynamic Mr. Rucker of Social Science lore. Outside of MBMS, you will find Jen enjoying their children Jackson and Lillian, cooking and baking, running, teasing her husband, watching sports (Go Bruins! Go Michigan! Go Dodgers!), taking care of the ones she loves and whiling away her summer days on a lake in Northern Michigan.
6th Grade Counselor
310.545.4878 ext. 3006
Christina Robertson graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a minor in Music Literature. She earned a Master’s degree in Counseling along with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from California State University, Long Beach. She has had the privilege of working with the students and families at MBMS for over twelve years. Prior to joining the MBMS Counseling Team, Ms. Robertson started her counseling career at various elementary and middle schools throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. She is looking forward to empowering and encouraging all students to achieve to their fullest potential. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and trying out new foods, especially desserts.
8th Grade Counselor
310.545.4878 ext. 3008
Jeff Amaral is in his 10 th year at Manhattan Beach Middle School. He holds a BA in Psychology from Long Beach State and a Masters in Counseling from Cal State Dominguez Hills along with a Pupil Personnel Service Credential. Grade level counselors at MBMS move with their class from 6 th through 8 th grade. This is the fourth class Mr. Amaral has worked with. He has also held the position as At-Risk Counselor and 504 Coordinator at MBMS. His counseling philosophy is a student centered approach. He believes that students should be supported through their middle school years but given the autonomy and space to grow as young people. In addition to his counseling role at the middle school he is also the Varsity Basketball Coach at Mira Costa. He and his wife Annie live in El Segundo with their son Johnny and daughter Amalia and are expecting a third child in December.
310.545.4878 ext. 3317
Lauren Galbraith joined the MBMS team in 2013 as the 504 Coordinator and At Risk Counselor. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communications from UC Davis and a Masters Degree in Counseling from Cal State Dominguez Hills and a Pupil Personnel Service Credential. She began her career in education as a College, Career and Guidance Counselor at New Millennium Secondary charter high school in 2010. Before that she was working in marketing and sales in New York City, enjoying the hustle and bustle of city life. Having grown up in Manhattan Beach, she enjoys giving back to the community and helping its students. Her philosophy is to listen to each student carefully and provide them with the tools they need in order to successfully navigate middle school. She enjoys spending time with her twin daughters Brooke and Zoe, her 6o-lb African Tortoise, taking road trips and family biking outings to the beach.
Room Conf. C
310.545.4878 ext. 3012
Katelynn Quach is the newest addition to the counseling team and is extremely excited to be part of the MBMS community. Katelynn graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach and a Master’s of Science in Counseling from California State University, Northridge. She values and respects each student’s individuality and uniqueness by focusing on the student’s strengths to help every individual achieve success in both academic and social settings. Katelynn enjoys hiking, baking, and discovering new and delicious places to eat.