Mr. Coad started at Walnut High School in 1999. Now in his 21st year as a Mustang, he continues to work to support students as a School Psychologist and advisor for the WHS Peer Counseling program. After graduating from high school in Pasadena (CA), Mr. Coad went on to earn his Bachelors degree in Social Ecology with a minor in Psychology from UC Irvine. He attended graduate school at Azusa Pacific University and the University of LaVerne where he earned Masters degrees in Psychology and Education. He has credentials in both School Psychology and School Counseling. You might also recognize Mr. Coad’s name from summer school where he coordinates the Dedicated to Learning program which offers courses on our campus for enrichment and advancement.
Mr. Coad and Mr. Johannsen developed the WHS Peer Counseling course in 2000 and together they have grown the program over the years. Mr. Coad often shares that one of the things he is most proud of at WHS is that he has been able to work with 10 Mustangs who have grown up to become practicing School Psychologists.
When not at WHS, Mr. Coad is married (Ms. Coad is also a School Psychologist) and he has two children. His daughter Erin currently plays Water Polo in college where she is studying psychology and his son Evan is will be a junior at Pasadena High School.
Mr. Coad is also travels across the country assisting schools as they prepare for, and respond to, school crisis events. He is one of 15 psychologists in the country selected to work on the National Association of School Psychologists Crisis Response Team. Several of his responses have included support following high profile incidents of violence on school campuses in Iowa, Florida, California, and Kentucky, the recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and the Camp Fire in California after the town of Paradise and all of its schools were lost.
He currently works closely with our WVUSD Principals to develop effective crisis response and threat assessment protocols to help keep our district’s students safe.
Tara Lizarraga is starting her ninth year as a school psychologist at Walnut High School. She is not new to the Walnut family, as she has been a student within WVUSD since kindergarten. She graduated as a fellow Mustang from Walnut High School in 2004. She was part of the peer counseling program under the dynamic duo, Mr. Johannsen and Mr. Coad, where her passion of helping others began. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton and a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with a Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Psychology, as well as a Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA) at Azusa Pacific University.
Mrs. Lizarraga (or as many students call her, ‘Mrs. Liz’) feels she has the most rewarding job as a psychologist at WHS. Being an alumni and coming back to serve the same community that helped shape her, is something she’s always dreamed of. She has a huge heart for children and loves being able to come alongside them and help make their high school journey as positive and successful as possible. She supports students' social emotional needs in many different ways, assesses diverse learning abilities, provides counseling, crisis prevention and intervention, works closely with the peer counseling program, and reinforces positive coping skills and resilience for students at Walnut.
Mrs. Lizarraga married her high school sweetheart and they’ve been blessed with three wonderful children. As a family, they enjoy going to the beach, camping, and spending time in the mountains.
Jena Muhr graduated as a WHS Mustang in 2005, she was involved in softball and Best Buddies while in school. After graduation she attended Fullerton Community College before transferring to University of California, Los Angeles where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in anthropology. Following, she attended Azusa Pacific University where she earned a Master’s in Social Work. After working with children who have severe to profound needs, she went back to school for her PPS Credential in School Psychology from Cal State University, San Bernardino. She has been working as a school psychologist since 2015 and has been happily back home at WHS since 2017. During her free time Mrs. Muhr enjoys spending time with her husband and children, cooking & baking and running.