Behind the Walkie Talkies

A look through the lives of people that keep UPA safe

Campus supervisors Cayleigh Coester, Kayla Genio and Elliot Boesch work behind the scenes of the busy school life at UPA in order to create a safe environment for students. However, there is more than meets the eye as these individuals elaborate more on their lives in and outside of school.

Cayleigh Coester

Coester has been employed at UPA since 2017, but is also an alumni of UPA’s Class of 2014. Inspired by science teacher Loren Schwinge, Coester majored in psychology at San Jose State University and is passionate about mental health. Because she enjoys her time working with the school and students—directing the backstage operations and casting for shows under UPA’s theater department—she plans on becoming a drama teacher, English teacher, substitute teacher or continuing her work in theater and supervising. 

“I’m lucky enough to have a hobby that is also my job,” Coester said. “It doesn’t feel like a job.” 

She was originally hired at UPA as a theater director, however, Director of Student Services Andrew Yau reached out to Coester and suggested an additional position: campus supervisor.

Cayleigh Coester leads UPA’s drama club in rehearsing their script for “And Then There Were None” after school in Princeton on Jan. 24. (Photo by Taylor Nguyen.)

“Because I wanted to sort of grow the theater program, I took this position, and now I just love meeting the kids,” Coester said.

Through high school drama classes, Coester developed her passion for theater and currently works as a resident technician at The Tabard Theatre Company.

“[Theater] is just a place where everyone is welcome, no matter what your background is,” Coester said. “You can always find a place in a theater play whether it be doing tech or actually acting and just becoming something completely different.”

Kayla Genio

Genio’s day at work passes by like a blur: supervising open periods, working at the Snack Shack, eating lunch, supervising open periods again and attending a meeting for the yearbook club or sports game. Then, the rest of the day is free for herself.

Genio attended UPA for six years and graduated in 2017. Before pursuing a profession, Genio focused on her academic studies at Washington State University for four years, majoring in pre-nursing for the first two years of college before she switched to human development with a minor in psychology. Becoming a nurse was Genio’s initial plan, but she finds herself more drawn to working with families and helping them function as a unit. Subsequently, Genio plans to earn a substitute teacher certification in the future to be a part of classroom life.

“[Human development throughout the lifespan] was a class that I chose and it just went through everything and how it happens,” Genio said. “It intrigued me more than nursing.” 

Genio previously worked at UPA’s summer makeup program monitoring students and their work on the computers in 2018. Genio also supervised Horton Connect students during distance learning (2020-2021) and now can often be seen operating the Energy Bar as well as advising UPA’s yearbook club. Genio views her position at UPA as universal as she works with technology-, club- and sports-related tasks. Occasionally being on the lookout as a campus supervisor is one of them.

Kayla Genio dispenses hot water into a cup of noodles during lunch on January 18 at the energy bar. (Photo by Taylor Nguyen.)

As Genio was a former student athlete, having played soccer in freshman year and basketball in freshman through junior year, Genio operated the scoreboard for games and coached middle school volleyball in the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year. On top of sports, Genio was classically trained for over a decade playing the piano and violin before falling out of touch due to her active work schedule. Aside from work life, Genio enjoys exploring outside of what she is already familiar with: different music genres, TV shows, foods and trends. She values music and discovers new genres with her partner. Genio appreciates all genres such as techno, country, screamo, metal and folk.

“I love learning, I love to understand new things,” Genio said. “[Asking questions] would help me understand the person better and myself.” 

Elliot Boesch

Boesch has worked at UPA since 2016. His average day working as lead campus supervisor consists of directing the traffic at the student drop off, checking if students are getting to class on time before locking the doors to ensure their safety, patrolling the campus during class periods, setting up for My Green Lunch distribution and supervising for pick up at the end of the day. 

Previously, Boesch was employed at a gym located in the Family Life Center under the Cathedral of Faith. Since 2011, Boesch handled the front desk as an attendant until the gym closed down in 2019. Conveniently, Boesch met many UPA staff members through his previous job and decided to apply for a campus supervisor position at UPA. While managing his job at UPA, his interests in sports led him to coach football since 2011 for multiple high schools: Leland High School for two years, Oak Grove High School for two years and Del Mar High School for six years. Boesch found the opportunity to coach through his friend and took off from there.

Elliott Boesch manages student pick-up after school in front of Horton on Jan. 18. (Photo by Taylor Nguyen.)

“When I first started coaching, it was just hard to figure out my role,” Boesch said. “I was young and just an assistant so I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.” 

With the guidance of time, Boesch has been able to coach students for ten years and one of his teams was close to winning the league championship during his third year of coaching. Though he is currently taking a year off from coaching, Boesch wishes to continue teaching students and building trust with them, whether that be through coaching football or teaching history, as he majored in history at San Jose City College.

“I just like being out there with the kids, watching them improve,” Boesch said. “I played football so being able to teach the kids all that stuff was just a joy to teach them.”