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New Counselor

Mrs. JoAnne Kurtz has been a School Counselor for 27 years and has her MS, PPS, and Administrative Services Credential.  At Tustin Unified, her experience includes being a middle and high school assistant principal and middle school counselor.  As an active member of the Pioneer community, she is excited to be a part of a team that plans, coordinates, and manages Pioneer’s comprehensive school counseling program.  She enjoys having a hands-on role outside of the classroom, counseling students and focusing on overall wellness by helping students express emotions, reduce stress, and increase their coping skills. 

When she is not supporting students, families, and collaborating with Pioneer staff, Mrs. Kurtz enjoys spending time with friends and family.  Her 25 year old daughter went to Pioneer, Beckman, and graduated from USD. She met her husband while volunteering at the Pageant of the Masters and they enjoy being cast members in Laguna Beach each summer.  

Helping students overcome challenges and watching students find their passions are just some of the reasons Mrs. Kurtz finds being a counselor rewarding.  She believes that student success and accomplishment is equipping them to become the best version of themselves.  She finds it heartwarming that her students continue to share their personal, academic, and career goals and successes with her years after they leave middle school.  

Mrs. Kurtz’s  caseload at Pioneer includes students with last names L-Z and she is looking forward to seeing you soon! 




Mr. Juan Morante has been a counselor for Tustin Unified since 2019. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters Degree and PPS Credential in School Counseling from National University. Mr. Morante’s emphasis has always been maximizing every student’s potential by collaborating and implementing a comprehensive school counseling program for Pioneer’s students and stakeholders. Mr. Morante is WEB trained and the advisor for this unique mentor program that helps incoming 6th grade students feel welcomed as they transition into middle school. WEB stands for “Where Everybody Belongs” and aims at creating a positive environment for all students who step foot onto the Pioneer campus.  

Prior to working for the Tustin Unified School District, Mr. Morante was the College and Career Specialist and Intervention Coordinator at Woodbridge High School in Irvine. He has also served as a parent consultant for individuals with disabilities and their parents through the Regional Center of Orange County.  

Some of Mr. Morante’s hobbies include spending quality time with his wife and daughter and watching and playing sports. He also enjoys an occasional stroll through flea markets as he collects a variety of different oddities.  

Mr. Morante is excited to kick off the school year and is looking forward to supporting students and their families have a great middle school experience.

Mr. Morante's caseload includes students with last names A-K and is looking forward to working with his students and their families!