Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Paying it Forward

Born in Seattle, Wash., Holly McBride was adopted at birth. Holly's two sisters and brother were also adopted and raised in Pasco, Wash. Holly lived in Pasco her entire childhood and she was very shy as a child. In grade school she was tested for dyslexia and ended up being tutored as a result. Both her parents and teachers gave her support that she needed to succeed. This is one of the main reasons she now is paying it forward by helping other children in a school setting. As a youth, Holly was very involved with her church's youth group, drill team, volleyball, dance and drama. Her parents kept all of their kids social and active. Upon high school graduation, Holly attended the Univ. of Idaho for two years. She joined a sorority and that is what ended her shyness and brought her out of her shell. College advisers encouraged her to become a teacher, but she had no interest at the time, so she left the University. Holly began attending Bassist Institute in Portland to study textile and design, wanting to become a buyer. Holly met her husband David at church and she ended up quitting Bassist and transferred to Central Wash. Univ. and earned her degree in Consumer and Family Relations. Holly and David married just before her graduation and once she finished, they started their family. Patrick was born in 1983 and Matthew arrived in 1985. Holly was a stay-at-home mom until Patrick started kindergarten. Holly did in-home daycare. When Patrick was in 2nd grade, the family moved to Corbett. They wanted to live in the country, so they purchased 14 acres and then built their home with the trees on site. In the beginning phase, they lived in a tent from June until October, then moved into the barn. From there, they then moved into a single wide trailer until their home was ready to move in. Because they paid for the home as they built, the process took 12 years. During the boy's growing up years, Holly worked as a house cleaner, math tutor, and also as a home economics teacher at Portland Christian School. When that position was discontinued, Holly applied at Outdoor School as a cook. She loved it! Her next job was at Sam Barlow High, helping college bound students. In 2014, she applied at Corbett and was hired as both an aide and a school bus driver. She does both, making it a full-time position. Holly and David are still living in their home on Trout Creek Road. Her oldest son is an electrician, living in Hood River, working at the new Google plant. He served three tours in Iraq. The youngest son served five years in the Navy and is living in Baker City with his wife and four children.  Holly says she is happy working at Corbett, building relationships with the kids and seeing their "ah ha" moments when things come together for them with the learning process!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Bringing her Sparkle and Talent as Corbett's Music Teacher

Caroline Oakley was born in Upper New York State, near Buffalo. At age three, her family moved to Charleston, South Carolina. Her parents had three children, giving Caroline an older brother and a younger sister. Recently they celebrated 50 years of marriage! Her mother is English, so her parents spend summers in Europe and the rest of the year in South Carolina. Caroline says she started off shy as a child but became more outgoing as time passed. She played classical violin from the age of six until she was eleven. She then took a ten year break from music. Over the years she loved to dance, but had no formal training, ran track, played basketball, soccer and swam on swim team. Her father was a long distance runner and she ran often with him. To earn money during high school, Caroline worked at a neighbor's jewelry store. After graduation, she headed off to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, she saw a book on a coffee table with photos of Oregon. She was fascinated. She worked two summers at a Girl Scout camp in Florence, Oregon. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology, she worked for Girl's Inc., a program to empower low-income girls. Four years after graduation, Caroline biked solo from Denver to Portland. She tent camped the entire way and brought a fiddle to play each night. During the two month journey, she stopped to see and visit with friends that she had met at music festivals while in her 20's. A boyfriend from a bluegrass family had inspired her to play the fiddle at age 21. At age 25 she taught herself to play the guitar. When Caroline finished her bike trip in Portland, she got a job at the YWCA for five years. Caroline met Pete in 2000 while playing music. They married in 2002, moved to Portland and had three boys- Simon, Gus and Benjamin.  Caroline stayed at home for four years. When Gus was a year old, she started teaching a parent/toddler music program. She did this for ten years. She also has spent a decade teaching as an Artist-in-Residence in tri-county schools. Pete and Caroline moved the family to Corbett in June 2013.They have since separated and are raising the boys together. In 2016, Caroline earned her Master's degree in Elementary Education. She currently teaches music at Corbett Grade/Middle School and CAPS. She is also on the board at Corbett's Columbia Grange and organizes many of the dances held there. Caroline is well-known nationally as a community square dance caller and calls dances locally and at music festivals around the country.  She also works for several NW organizations that promote old-time fiddle music and community dancing. Caroline loves music, writing letters and physical activity. She is thankful to raise her boys in Corbett and teach what she is passionate about at the local school!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bringing his Love of Music to Corbett

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Ken Hoffman was raised with one brother and two sisters. His parents moved out of the city when Ken was in second grade, heading to the suburbs. His father was an accountant for Univac and his mom stayed home full-time. He says his dad was an Arthur Murray dance instructor and a real jokester while his mom was a Holocaust survivor and was in ballet as a dancer for many years. Ken was a Cub and Boy Scout and played Little League. Music started for him in the third grade. Initially he wanted to play the trumpet, but switched to the french horn in middle school. He then added tuba and trombone. He did quite well and was a part of several honor bands. Ken loved music and felt playing instruments came easy for him. He joined the choir in middle school and began also playing bass to accompany them. In high school he was in several musicals and was Technical Director his senior year for a play. In the midst of all this activity, Ken's father died of a heart attack when he was just 16 years old. It was then his mother began working at the school in the cafeteria. After high school graduation, Ken headed to Univ. of Rochester as a Chemistry major. Simultaneously, he was accepted into the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. He was able to study privately with Milan Yancich on french horn. It turns out he was not a strong math student and failed calculus. He lost his scholarship and had to head home at the end of his sophomore year. During college he had gotten his EMT certification and now used it to be a volunteer paramedic. For income, he worked security at a nuclear power plant. Later, he moved to CA and became employed as a paramedic. This is where he met his wife Elizabeth, an ER nurse. They moved to San Francisco and had three daughters. In 1990 he finished his Bachelor's degree with a Music major at Sonoma State Univ. He began teaching 4-8th graders. In 1998, they moved to Ventura, CA where he taught high school band, choir and orchestra. This was followed by four years in El Camino, CA then Chaminade, CA for six years. With 26 years of experience, Ken moved his family to Oregon and is now a Strings teacher at Corbett Schools for grades 3-12. His desire is to eventually have a full orchestra. Currently he and his wife and youngest two daughters are living in Hillsboro with two dogs and a cat. They are  looking to purchase a home closer to Corbett. Ken says he is excited to be in the Pacific Northwest and cannot wait for all that lies ahead with his position at the Corbett Schools.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Living Life to the Fullest!

Becky Young was full of energy from the beginning! Born in Sangus, CA, she moved with her family to Oregon at age 1. Three sisters and one brother joined Becky in being raised in Gresham. Becky describes herself as being a "tomboy" from the beginning, always playing outside for hours on end.  She skateboarded, rode dirt bikes, climbed trees, got dirty and always kept up with the other boys. Attending Orient Schools, she graduated from Barlow High School. While in high school, she remained physically active by playing volleyball, basketball, softball, running track and snow skiing for Barlow. Becky went on the Mt. Hood Community College for two years to get her Associate's degree. She then went on to Portland State University to earn her Bachelor's degree in Social Science. Without missing a beat, she went on to earn her Master's degree in Education. During graduate school, she reconnected with a childhood friend and they began dating. He wanted to marry and she said "not until I finish school!" She was determined not to let anything take her attention away from finishing her Master's degree! Ty and Becky married in 1996. Becky's first job was at Orient Grade School in Gresham, teaching 5th grade. This was where SHE attended as a child. The following year she taught at Powell Valley Grade School and stayed for 17 years. After her first four years of teaching, Becky gave birth to their first daughter, Payton. Daughter Taylor was born soon after. Ty stayed at home with the girls while Becky taught. Now he manages a restaurant. When Payton was in the 4th grade, the girls began attending the Corbett Schools. Becky was so impressed that she decided to apply for a teaching job in Corbett. Thankfully she was hired and now says she absolutely loves working in the positive and uplifting environment at the Corbett Grade School as a 4th/5th grade teacher. Becky's daughters are as involved as she was as a student. They play water polo, softball, volleyball, are in Sea Cadets and do target shooting. Becky's family currently lives in Troutdale and they have a chocolate lab named Kona and a kitty named Cabella. Their python is named Pliskin.  The family loves to camp and have been to numerous places including Yellowstone and Crater Lake. They are going on their first cruise this December to Mexico. Ty's family (22 of them!) are going to travel together and they are excited!