Saturday, November 29, 2014

Corbett's Curriculum Coordinator

The Curriculum  Coordinator for Corbett School District is Holly Dearixon, who previously taught at Corbett for 10 years. Holly grew up in Laguna Beach, CA with her parents and a younger sister. Living in the same home until age 14, Holly moved when her parents divorced. After graduating from Laguna Beach High School, Holly took off for Europe with a friend for four months. The purpose of the trip was not only to have fun, but to explore and experience different foods, sights and lifestyles. After her journey, Holly enrolled at Willamette University in Oregon. It was here she double majored in Elementary Education and Psychology, graduating in four years. It was in 1987 that she was hired to teach 5th grade in Corbett. Holly says she taught at the school that was across the road from the Corbett Water Dept. that has now burned to the ground. Teaching for 10 years, she met her husband Phil when he was a bus driver for one of their school field trips! It was at this time that Phil was a volunteer firefighter at Corbett and looking to be hired as a paid firefighter in Portland. After dating off and on for several years, they married in 1993. Their first daughter Alicia was born in 1996. It was at this time that Holly made a change in her employment, stepping away from full-time teaching to be at home with their new daughter. Holly was given the opportunity to work part-time as the Curriculum Coordinator for Corbett. Having their second daughter Clare in 1998, Holly continued working part-time and is still there today, enjoying both the position and the opportunity to be a part of the Corbett School District. Holly has a great love for the outdoors. She can often be spotted running (literally!) around Corbett. Having lived in the same Corbett home since 1993, she has twice run from home to the top of Larch Mountain! The trek is over 16 miles long, and she says Phil was kind enough (both times) to pick her up once she reached the top! :) Holly also loves to hike and backpack.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Music Man....of Corbett~!

Born in West Seattle, Tim Killgore lived in the same house from birth until he married! Tim's parents have both passed, but he was close to them and his three older siblings while growing up. His father was a minister and an accomplished trumpet player, playing at numerous churches and on radio programs. Everyone in the Killgore family was musically inclined and each played at least one instrument. But! Tim will tell you that he had a passion for the outdoors ever since he can remember. He never had any intention of being a professional musician, let alone a music teacher. After graduating from Chief Sealth High School, Tim attended Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland. This is where he met and fell in love with his wife, Patti. They dated and then married just before Tim graduated from Multnomah with a degree in music. After college, Tim worked in a cabinet shop for many years, joyfully creating beautiful cabinets. Tim also had a love of photography and attended the NW School of Professional Photography in Seattle. He did his photography on the side. Fulfilling his love for the outdoors, Tim spent eight summers as the director of a wilderness camp for kids in Canada. In the midst of all this, he and Patti had four children together. Today Cara is 35, Jamie 33, Loren 31 and Peter is 21. Their first grand baby is due in May 2015! Looking back, Tim chuckles how he became the music teacher at Corbett.....In 1995 he and Patti were renting a home in Springdale and went to his daughter's band concert at the school. It was at the concert that Tim KNEW he wanted to teach music. He immediately began taking evening classes at the Univ. of Portland. When it came time to student teach, he came under the mentorship of Chuck Bolton at Sam Barlow High. Tim says he was a fabulous mentor and is still a fabulous friend. Tim had the good fortune of being hired as a sub for the position of choir director at Corbett his first year. In 1997 he was officially hired as the Corbett Secondary music teacher. Currently he is teaching both instrumental and vocal music for grades 4-12. In his fourth year of teaching, he entered the band into their first ever competition and they got third in the state!! Over the years, the Corbett Band has consistently placed in the top five in the state, every single year since Tim began entering them in competitions. Hiking and backpacking with Patti is one of the very best things he loves to do in his time off. He also loves to spend time with their adult kids, work in his wood shop and continue to work on the Corbett home that he and Patti bought several years ago.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First Paycheck Came at Age 8

Born in Iowa, Aaron and his family lived there until he turned five. Making a move, the rest of his childhood was spent in Galion, Ohio. Being the youngest of five children, his folks divorced when Aaron was in the second grade. It was at this time that he learned first hand what it meant to work hard. He earned his first paycheck at age 8, cleaning out brushes for a nearby beauty salon. He also got a paper route. His single mom was now raising all five kids on $6K per YEAR. All the children were expected to work and help contribute. By the age of 26, Aaron estimates that he had held over 40 jobs! and he had NEVER been fired! Aaron states that he and his siblings were not able to get any fancy clothes or toys as kids, but, they never went hungry. In school, all the Long children got excellent grades. Aaron states that he felt like a failure because he was the only one in his family to not graduate in the top three of the graduating class. Aaron was #20 in a class of over 200 students. Being determined, he used the Pell Grant and scholarships to attend college in Ohio where he was the editor of the school newspaper for 2.5 years and wrestled all four years. He was the first ever student at Findley Univ. to be an All-American in the sport of wrestling! Aaron went on to be a TWO time All-American. Aaron's siblings ALL graduated with a college degree, and three have also gone on to get a Master's degree. Aaron has two. Aaron went on to the Univ. of Montana to get his first Master's degree in Poetry. This is where he met his wife, Kris Fink. They dated nearly four years and then went on to marry and have three children, now ages 7, 5 and 2. The family currently lives in Portland, where Kris is also an educator at PCC. Aaron went on to get his second Master's degree (MED) once married. He has been teaching Corbett Middle Schoolers since 2003. He started on the main campus and then made the move to Springdale and  is currently teaching grades 6,7,8 at CAPS. When not teaching or coaching the Corbett High School wrestling team, Aaron loves to be with his wife and kids. He is a Steeler's fan, loves to garden, make things out of recycled materials, and cook. His specialty? Tri-tip roast!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's All About the Bike!

Born in Evanston, Illinois in 1964, John Neighbors literally spent his entire childhood in the same location.The middle of three boys, John did not move until he was 18 and leaving for college. When looking at numerous college choices, Lewis and Clark College in Portland seemed to be the best fit. It turned out to be true, as John attended school all four years at Lewis and Clark, graduating with a BS degree in Communications. Ever since John was a boy, he loved to ride a bike. Once he got started, he never stopped. After college, John became a bike mechanic. That led to sales, management and then design, all in the bike industry. Bicycling has always been a positive for John. John met his wife as a set-up by a friend. The first date was a bike ride and then he and Susie married a year after dating! Together they have a 12 year old son and live in Portland. As the bike industry began to change, John was going to be required to do a lot more traveling to China. He did not want to be away from his wife and son so often, so he began teaching at night at ITT Tech. Although he did not have a degree in engineering, he taught engineering and design. Through this experience, he realized how much he enjoyed teaching, and decided to go back to school at Concordia and get his MAT- Master of Arts in Teaching. John did his student teaching at Corbett, then worked as an Aide and was then hired at Corbett Middle School in the fall of 2011. Teaching grades 6,7,8, John moved to CAPS in the fall of 2013 when the need for a second teacher for this level of students was needed. John says it is a natural fit for him, as he gets along well with the other 6,7,8 teacher, Aaron Long. They are often collaborating! When John is not riding his bike by himself or with Susie, he is at his son's many soccer games. He also loves to cook! He says pizza is his specialty and he makes numerous types. His other specialty? Blueberry pancakes!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From Volunteer to Administrative Assistant at CAPS

WHAT is CAPS?! CAPS is the Corbett Arts Program with Spanish housed in the historic Springdale School two miles west of the main Corbett School campus.They are not a charter school, but rather a part of the Corbett School District. The most noticeable difference for this K-8 school is the thoughtful decision to incorporate the arts throughout the curriculum as well as provide Spanish instruction for all the students. Nancy Gyerko is starting her third year at CAPS, after beginning as a parent volunteer at the Corbett schools about 10 years ago. Her volunteerism turned into being an "on call" aide position. Nancy was never a full time employee of the district until she started at CAPS. What exactly does her job involve? Nancy is a health assistant, does lunch service for all the students, takes care of the attendance, does needed clean-up (think child illness in the hallway) and calls for maintenance help for building issues. Nancy also organizes the facility use for all of the Corbett School buildings, does background checks on all parent volunteers, manages the DQ to Springdale buses, builds relationships with all of the students, and assists both Lori Luna (Principal) and the teachers as needed with various tasks. Nancy was in the medical field prior to working in Corbett. She met her husband, Peter when she worked at Suburban Medical and he was a doctor. Together they have two children. Ella is 17 and Riley is 14. Both kids have been in the Corbett Schools since Ella was in the 2nd grade. Currently the Gyerko's are living in Troutdale, and love outdoor activities as a family. Nancy is the youngest of seven children (same parents!) and grew up mostly on the Oregon Coast in the Newport area. She appreciates family, fun and furry friends! They have two dogs and several chickens. "Nothing better than FRESH eggs" laughs Nancy!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Corbett's Athletic Director

Jean Paul Soulagnet was born in 1963 to a father that was a milkman and a mother who stayed at home to raise the children. "JP" has an older brother and sister, and moved to Walla Walla, WA  with his family when he was in the 2nd grade. The Mayflower company that his father worked for was bought by Darigold and his dad became a manager in Walla Walla. JP remembers loving the heat and the onions! At age 10, the family moved to Seaside, when his dad was transferred to Astoria, OR.  It was at this time his mom started in real estate, working for Pete Anderson. JP was an excellent athlete in high school, playing basketball, baseball and football. Upon graduation, he headed to OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology) to try his hand at electronics. "NOT a good fit," and he left after one term! He then transferred to Mt. Hood Community College for 2 years. This is where he first met his wife, Linda. After finishing at Mt. Hood, he transferred to OSU. After completing two terms, he got mono and was bedridden for a month! It was at this time he decided to join the Army and "get some direction" in his life. His dad and brother had both served, so he was ready to do the same. At age 22, JP started in Missouri, went to CA, Texas, Mass., and then back to CA for the "Green to Gold" program to become an officer after four years. After going through the training, the military was downsizing, so JP decided to get out and finish his college degree at PSU, getting a BA in Physical Education. He then went on to earn his MED- Master's of Education. After subbing for a year in East Multnomah County, a job opportunity opened up for him in Corbett in 1993. After being hired, JP has been here ever since! JP married his college sweetheart after dating Linda for four years. A little known secret? They married TWICE! They eloped, then telling only their parents. A year later on the exact same day, they married again with all their friends and family present! JP and Linda have three grown children who have all graduated from the Corbett school system. With Linda working as a flight attendant since before they married, JP says over the years it has been good to play "Mr. Mom" when she was out of town flying. He grew to have a HUGE appreciation for all that Linda did with the home and kids on top of working!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Corbett to the Core~!!

Megan Shaw is a Corbett K-2 teacher who was raised in Corbett since birth with her parents and twin brothers, who are 13 months younger than her. Megan's parents are still married and living in Corbett. Megan spent her childhood in the area of Latourell Falls and graduated from Corbett High in 1996. A main focus for Megan growing up was working at her mom's produce market on Powell Blvd. Megan started at age 12 to work and save for college. Her life was filled with friends, family and work. After graduation, Megan attended Mt. Hood Community College for two years and then transferred to Portland State Univ. for two years, majoring in Social Science. After school, Megan traveled for a year along the East Coast as a nanny. Upon her return, Megan went back to PSU to get her Master's Degree in Education. Her teaching career began with jobs as a substitute teacher around the East County Area. In 2005, Megan was hired at Corbett Grade School and has been there ever since. When she received the job opportunity call from Penny Jordan on April 1st, she was hoping it was NOT a joke! Megan has been married for 11 years to Chris Shaw, whom she met in Corbett. They dated for three years before marrying, and now have two children together- Ethan, age 6 and Ellie, age 4. Currently living in Troutdale, their goal is to sell their home in the spring and purchase in Corbett! Megan loves the outdoors- especially hiking with close friends.  She also loves baking cookies with her children. Chris is a chef at Multnomah Falls, so she is happy to let him share in making meals. :) One of the greatest joys for Megan is seeing her students smile with joy when things "click" for them in the classroom. Bubbling with joy, Megan says she has a very "blessed" life and tries never to take that for granted.