Monday, March 2, 2015

Life Began in a Yurt

Jen Robertson began her life in a yurt that was hand made by her parents. Born in Chewelah, WA., Jen was born the third of four children. Her parents both came from middle class families in Ohio, and they wanted to do life just a bit differently. Their next home was a log cabin. When Jen was 8 years old, her artist father moved the family to Portland so that he could attend art school. As a child, Jen says that she was "loud and outdoorsy." Growing up in NE Portland, Jen graduated from Lincoln High School. Attending the Univ. of Montana was very appealing to Jen for so many reasons. Here she was not only able to attend a great school, but also live out her passion for biking, hiking and skiing in her time outside of the classroom. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing, she also minored in Spanish. Eventually moving back to Portland after graduation, Jen started at Portland State Univ. to get an advanced degree in Writing as this was a huge passion of hers. At this time she was also working part-time at New Seasons grocery. It was in the grocery line that Will Robertson first asked her on a date. At the time, she was already dating someone else, so she broke up with him and waited for Will to ask again. Will did not come back into the store again for nearly a month! Jen says that once they went on a first date, they BOTH KNEW they were definitely meant for each other! They eventually went on a trip to both Iceland and New York together and then dated another year before getting married at the Rose Garden. It was Will who encouraged Jen to get her Master's degree in Education instead of Writing. He was already teaching at Corbett and was passionate about his career choice and felt Jen would be a fantastic teacher. Her first year, Jen was a substitute teacher and librarian at Corbett. It was in 2009 that Jen was able to secure a job as a full-time middle school teacher at Corbett. Jen says she absolutely loves being a teacher for middle school aged kids, as she wants to give them a voice to be heard. She loves to share humor with them and thinks the Corbett Middle School is a magical place where they get to all grow and learn together. In 2009, son Theo was born and then in 2011 Owen was born. Both boys are currently attending school in Corbett, although the family lives in Portland and commutes each day. Next year Jen will take a year to move with her family to Thailand to teach 6th grade science! The family leaves July 20, 2015. They are very excited and are trying to spend as much time with extended family and friends before leaving for their journey.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

From History to Music!

Victoria Grimes was born in Uruguay. At age 3, her parents took advantage of an opportunity to come to the United States. Her parents, older sister and younger brother moved to Boston, MA. to "start a new chapter" and leave behind economic and political limitations. Victoria describes herself as being a "pretty nerdy" kid growing up. She says she was shy, and loved to read and play the violin. When given the chance, she also loved to play outdoors with her siblings. Victoria's parents divorced and her mom eventually moved to Portland, Oregon with the children. Victoria began attending Grant High School as a freshman and then later graduated. Victoria's mother went on to have another child, and Victoria's younger sister died of health complications at age 6. Victoria went to Mt. Hood Community College and earned her Associates degree in Music. She then went on to Portland State Univ. to get her Bachelor's degree in Music. She was talked out of it! She graduated with her major being History. Victoria worked in her church's youth group and taught music to children and realized that she wanted to become a teacher. She went to George Fox to earn her MAT so she could teach History, although she still actually WANTED to teach music! Upon graduation, she actually was given a job opportunity to teach MUSIC in the Reynolds District as a middle school strings teacher. Teaching for three years in the Reynolds District, she also earned her MUSIC endorsement from George Fox. Reynolds was needing to make cuts to teachers due to budget restraints, so Victoria knew she needed to look elsewhere since she was one of the newer teachers. Working at Salem Grade and Middle School turned out to be a real blessing. Karl Rashkes became a mentor that made a huge impact on her teaching and personal life and it was during this time she was also introduced to her husband. Dating for a year, she later married Jonathan and then moved to Gresham to be with him. It was difficult to leave her Salem teaching position and when she came to Gresham, she was a substitute teacher for the first year. This was definitely NOT ideal for Victoria. Because Victoria speaks fluent Spanish, she was offered a position at Corbett as an ESL teacher/aide. The following year she continued with ESL and also began teaching music at both CAPS and at the Corbett District. This year has been exciting for Victoria as she has been able to teach music full-time. She teaches general music to K-5 and strings to 3rd grade through high school. Her and Jonathan attend church, hike, read, attend the theater, and often get together with friends.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Teacher/Wife/Mom on the GO!!!!

Being a middle school teacher requires a great deal of energy, and Victoria Hubler has it! Plus more. She is a 5th generation Oregonian, born in Roseburg. Victoria's parents divorced when she was just four, and her mom remarried. Victoria and her older brother then became the siblings of three older brothers. Victoria's mom was the one to have started the first alternative high school in the state of Oregon and it became one of the top ranked alternative K-12 programs in the state! Both Victoria's birth parents have backgrounds in education, so no surprise that she has followed suit. Considering herself to be a "good kid" growing up, Victoria kept busy with academics and sports. In school she was a well trusted student that seemed to often find the favor of teachers as she studied hard and often volunteered to help out where needed. Playing volleyball and basketball, she also began ski racing in junior high. Victoria raced for Roseburg High School for a year and then one more year for MBSEF. Then her knees gave out. Add to the mix that she got her first horse at age 12 and started barrel racing at the age of 14. Graduating one year early from Roseburg High, she went to Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1993-94 during the period of Nelson Mandela's election. Attending school while there, she says the entire experience was nothing short of incredible! Coming back home, she attended Portland State for two years. Her older brother died in a car accident on her 21st birthday, so Victoria took a year off to process. She moved to Bend and became a ski instructor for children. Soon after, she moved to Hood River "on a whim" with a girlfriend. She has been there ever since! Moving to Hood River in 1997, Victoria began working three part-time jobs while taking 18 credit hours at Portland State, studying Pre-Med. In May 1998 Victoria met her husband Forrest while she was working one of her part-time jobs. Friends first, they began dating a year and a half later. In August 2002 they married in Roseburg at her mom's home on the Umpqua River. Victoria finished her degree at Portland State in 2001, majoring in Health Sciences with a minor in English. In 2006 she received her Master's of Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. Attending the Job Fair after graduation, Victoria spoke with Randy Trani. Planning to be a grade school teacher, she was told Corbett had an opening for a middle school teacher. When offered the opportunity, she knew she could do it, and wanted to be at Corbett, so accepted. The rest is history, as they say. Victoria absolutely LOVES the middle school age level of teaching and knows that now more than ever due to working in different areas and briefly at another school during the years she was starting her family. Oliver was born in 2008 and Ophelia in 2010. Oliver is now attending Corbett as a first grader, and Ophelia will attend the Corbett Pre-school next year. As a family, they love to snow ski, mountain bike and just be together. (Ophelia was on skis at age 13 months!) When given the chance, Victoria loves to surf, and runs as much as time allows. She has completed three marathons and is now doing half marathons so she can have less training and more family time. At this time, she has no plans to leave Hood River, or Corbett!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Instilling Music in the Hearts of Children

The youngest of five children, Tracie Swanson was born in Roseburg, Oregon. Unlike her three brothers and one sister, Tracie was "very shy" as a child. Athletics were a major part of the family structure, and Tracie herself played both tennis and softball. Graduating from Roseburg High School, Tracie laughs that she was definitely not one to get into any trouble. Not only playing sports to stay active, she also was in the band and musically inclined. Tracie went on to Umpqua Community College for a year, meeting her husband Larry there. Larry was also from Roseburg, but was a year older. Together they both went on to Nampa, Idaho to attend Northwest Nazarene College. Getting married in 1978, and Larry graduating in 1979, they later moved to Forest Grove, OR. where Tracie earned her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Pacific University. Even today she is a bit surprised at her choice of major, as she had always "thought" she would eventually become a PE teacher! Why she changed her mind and went with music is because she did not want to travel as a coach once she and Larry started a family together. Music teachers are not known to travel too much! Moving to Hillsboro, Tracie began teaching at Groner Elementary as a K-6 General Music/Beginning Band teacher. Larry and Tracie started their family in 1982 when their son Dean was born. Lindy Rose was born in 1984 and Dallas in 1986. Liesel finished up the family, being born in 1993. During these years, Tracie always worked as a music teacher, juggling both teaching and motherhood. In 1995 the family decided to move to a more "rural" lifestyle and found just that in Halfway, Or. Hillsboro had grown in the 15 years they lived there from 11K- to over 70K people! Halfway was a place they had "found" while on vacation, and fell in love with the rural lifestyle and natural beauty. After six years, the economy "tanked" and so they moved to Sandy, OR. to retain a rural lifestyle. Larry started teaching at Corbett School District and he brought Liesel as a student when she was in the 3rd grade. Tracie started work at Boring Middle School as their band director and after two years, came over to Corbett to join Larry and Liesel. Tracie has been at Corbett ever since, teaching music, band, reading and even math over the years! Tracie has been at Corbett 12 years and she has loved the enormous support and encouragement she has received. She states that "If you can think of it, you can do it!" is how the administration has supported the staff. She once had an idea of having a huge Pioneer Camp out on the football field- and made it happen! All the children and adults spent the night on the field in tents! Last year, Larry and Tracie decided to sell their Sandy home and move to a houseboat on Marine Drive. Being empty nesters, they love to kayak and spend time outdoors together. Recently becoming grandparents for the first time, they also love driving up to Seattle to spend time with Erik. "Life is indeed, good."