Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Passion for Teaching Students and the ....Bicycle.

Susan Handy hails from the "other" side of Portland. Her family lived in West Linn the first eight years of her life. Her father then had the family move to Northern CA for a job opportunity, lasting one and a half years. When the time came to move back to Oregon, the family voted to move back to the exact same neighborhood! (Different house) Susan went on to graduate from West Linn High School. After finishing school, Susan went directly into the job market, working five years in the title insurance industry in Wyoming. During this time Susan was doing volunteer work with special needs kids. Her heart was opened to the idea of working with children and making a worthwhile contribution to society. Susan came back to Oregon and enrolled at Western OR Univ. for four years, earning her teaching degree. Working for several years in private Catholic schools, Susan continued with her childhood love of bicycling. In 1990 Susan was loving her career as a teacher and being a part of the cycling world with involvement in Bike Centennial, a non-profit bicycle travel organization. While on a bike tour with this organization, Susan met Paul Handy. There were 12 in the group and they biked from Newport News, VA. to Florence, OR. The group camped the entire way across the US! Paul and Susan dated after the bike tour and married the very next year. Paul was from Maryland, moving to Oregon to be with his bride. Daniel was born in 1992 and David came along in 1994. When Daniel was born, Susan went to part-time teaching and began tutoring K-12th graders on the side. When Daniel was in kindergarten, Susan was hired by HB Lee Middle School, working in special ed. Susan was there for just a year and then transferred to Margaret Scott to teach 4th grade. In 2001 Susan was hired in Corbett as a 5/6th grade teacher. She has shuffled around the grade school over the years, teaching various grade levels. Currently she is teaching a 3, 4 ,5 blend. In her free time, she continues to bicycle, read, sew and crochet. She is looking to join the local Master's swim team with Paul and is even considering entering her very first sprint triathlon in 2015! Susan and Paul live in Corbett while both sons are away, working on their college degrees. Daniel will finish in 2015 and David in 2017.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Life Long Learner

Born in Portland, Michelle was not a Michael. Michelle Dawkins' father was looking to have a son, and out of the 14 babies born that day at Good Samaritan, she was the only girl. :) Michelle and her family lived in Portland until her junior year of high school. After moving to Gresham, she transferred from David Douglas to Sam Barlow High School. Just after the move, her parents divorced. For college, Michelle went to Mt. Hood Community College for two years and then transferred to Western Oregon University and finished with a degree in teaching. Michelle has always been a hard worker, putting in 30 plus hours per week all four years of college. During her freshman and sophomore year of college, Michelle worked at TJ Athletics in Gresham. There she met an "older man" (9 years her senior) who was her co-worker, and they started dating. Michelle and Chris Dawkins married in July 1983, just after she graduated from college. Both continued working at TJ Athletics until the store eventually went bankrupt. Chris then got his stock broker's license and went to work as a financial planner. Michelle went to work at Kaiser Permanente full-time where she helped start the pharmacy technician program. Her heart was always in teaching, but there was not a position available at the time. After 7 years with Kaiser, Michelle decided to go back to teaching, working first as a substitute teacher in the Corbett and Reynolds District. Chris was now working for Weyerhauser. Chris and Michelle started a family and had two children. Stephanie was born in 1985 and Joe was born in 1988. Frank Kosderka became the principal at the Corbett Grade School in 1994 so Michelle was asked to take over his second grade classroom. She has been teaching ever since in the grade school. Michelle considers herself to be a life long learner and wants her students to be as well. She has seen many changes over the years and has grown and learned along the way. One thing she most appreciates is that no matter what grade level(s) she is teaching, she has always had numerous parents on board to help out in the classroom. Michelle and Chris not only raised both Stephanie and Joe in the Corbett Schools, but in the community as well. They moved to Corbett in 1983, first renting a single wide trailer. Being very athletic, they recently purchased a condo on Mt. Hood in addition to their Corbett home, and are up skiing, snowshoeing and hiking every weekend!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Truly "Down to Earth"

Heather Freeman is currently the assistant secretary at the Corbett Grade School. Starting employment in 2011 with the school district, Heather was in the lunch room just three hours a day. Seeing that her warm personality and kind heart were a good fit for the students as well as the staff, she was asked to move to full-time and not only work in the lunch room, overseeing all the many students, but also help out at the front desk in the grade school office. Heather answers phones, greets visitors, does paperwork, and is available as needed to help out with various tasks. Having three daughters enrolled in the Corbett District School, Heather loves the fact that she is doing something she enjoys and is available for her daughter's as she is on the same schedule as they are! Born in Portland, Heather actually lived at a fish hatchery in Sandy with her family for the first four years of her life. Heather's father was a Wild Life Technician. At age four, the family moved to the Knappa, Or. area so that her dad could work at the Big Creek Salmon Hatchery. Having one younger sister, Heather grew up in Knappa until graduating from Knappa High School. Heather was active, playing both volleyball and softball in her youth. After graduating, Heather attended Clatsop Community College and got her associates degree in business. After finishing her two year degree, Heather moved to Troutdale with girl friends to rent an apartment and work. In 1996, Heather went on a blind date that was not a good fit- but the evening was not a complete loss. She returned to her apartment to meet a friend of friends across the hallway. Lee Freeman was visiting some friends the day after Christmas and saw Heather as she ended her date. Convincing his friends to introduce him to Heather, the rest is history! Dating one and a half years, Lee proposed in Sitka, Alaska and they married on July 31, 1999. Lee was also in the "fish business" like her father, as Lee was a fishing guide. Getting married at Bridal Veil Lakes, the couple moved first to Gresham, then Troutdale. The day before their one year wedding anniversary, Heather took a pregnancy test and it came back positive! Maddie is now 13, Elle 10 and Grace is 6. When living in Troutdale, Lee and Heather chose to look for a home in Corbett due to the reputation of the schools. Finding a beautiful Corbett home built in 1925, they settled in, and plan to stay for many, many years to come. In the limited free time that she has, Heather loves to go to estate sales to find old furniture to re-furbish for their Corbett home. Heather says she has a passion for both old homes and old furniture!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FULL of Energy!

Growing up in NE Portland with her parents and a younger sister, Sara Brounstein was a very busy girl who played sports and was also involved with both dance and baton competitions. Sara has always had plenty of energy and channeled that into winning numerous awards for her dance and baton routines. Sara graduated from LaSalle High School. To begin her college career, Sara attended Mt. Hood Community College for two years, then saved enough money to go to Europe with a girlfriend. After her travels and working a bit, Sara enrolled at the Univ. of Oregon and graduated with a degree in Education and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Sara moved to Mexico for a year and attended school. At this time Sara was also volunteering to help and assist students from low income families. The following year Sara moved to Michigan with a friend and worked in a Montessori school. Eventually she found herself back in Portland and enrolled in the Portland State Univ. graduate teacher education program. Upon completion of this schooling, Sara now had both a teaching license and a master's degree. Right away she was hired on at Riverdale Grade School in Lake Oswego to teach Spanish. Teaching for three years, she then made the move to teaching Kindergarten for two years. In 2011, Sara was hired to work at CAPS in Springdale as a primary teacher. Sara is one of two teachers that are in the K-2 classroom. Recently married to a long time family friend, husband Michael will help her welcome their son Morrie in March 2015! He will be joining sister Bettie, so the family is busy creating new space for the nursery in their Portland home. When she finds a free moment, Sara loves to be outdoors hiking!