This year at San Marcos, we have welcomed a new Dean of Students to our administration, Devany Bechler. Her passion for helping students is evident and her will to make San Marcos a safer and better place is inspiring. It is beyond safe to say that Ms. Bechler is qualified for the job, and she is eager to start making San Marcos a more welcoming and comfortable place for the student body.
At San Marcos, Ms. Bechler oversees attendance, behavior, and mental health. She meets with families about student behavior and also about welcoming students back on campus after mental health crises. She helps students who are struggling inside and outside of school, and welcomes students into her office daily. She is able to give them resources moving forward to support them. She also handles daily incidents regarding ed code violations and misbehavior. Her official title is Dean of Student Engagement meaning she does everything she can to help students engage in their education. She wants to give students the opportunity to process and cope with what they’re going through, as well as giving them a sense of connection to something greater than themselves.
“My goal is to help alleviate the hard things and/or provide appropriate interventions so that every student can be successful,” said Ms. Bechler. “It’s a hard job for sure, but I love it.”
Ms. Bechler has a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics from Westmont, as well as a single subject teaching and administrative credential. From 2005-2012, she taught math at Carpinteria High School, and since then she has worked mostly part time as she raised her family. In 2015, she and her family became a licensed resource family for Santa Barbara County, and in the following years they fostered six children, eventually becoming an adoptive family in 2018. Also in 2018, Ms. Bechler started working as a consultant for the social services department in child welfare in Santa Barbara County.
“My experience in this job [Consultant for the Social Services Department in Child Welfare], as a parent, and my desire to help and provide a sense of community for others who are seeking it is probably what makes me most qualified to step into the Dean role,” said Ms. Bechler.
Ms. Bechler is ready to take on the position of Dean of Students, and she is excited for everything that is to come, this year and even in the future.
“I’m most excited to see San Marcos grow as a community of students and staff who respond to one anothers’ needs and desires,” said Ms. Bechler. “We all bring a variety of experiences, emotions, and knowledge to this campus each day and I’m looking forward to seeing how our school can benefit from learning from each other.”
Ms. Bechler sees the power of community building and hopes that her vision will spread throughout the student body, creating a space where we are comfortable relying on each other and asking for help when we need it. She is also excited to watch seniors who she has been working with overcome their struggles and graduate from San Marcos, moving onwards into their futures.
Ms. Bechler not only has optimism and excitement for this year, but she is hoping to “change the narrative of what it means to visit the Dean’s office.” She wants students to understand that her job is not to get them in trouble, but that she is working hard to support them and make it right.
“We all make mistakes, even as adults,” said Ms. Bechler. “One of the biggest life lessons you can learn is how to own a mistake and make amends with those you offended.”
She understands that mistakes are a part of life, and how you work to fix your mistakes is more important in the long run. Ms. Bechler believes in each and every one of us as students, and will do everything she can to help.
“My goal is to get you back on track so you can have every opportunity you deserve when you leave this campus,” she said.
If you need anything this year, do not hesitate to go see Ms. Bechler in her office! She is a resource that we are very lucky to have access to this year, and hopefully many more to come.