Wednesday, December 23, 2015

FOUR College Degrees?!!

New AP Literature teacher for the high school, Bryan Estes was born in Spokane, Washington. Bryan lived with his parents and brother who is 11 months younger, for five years in Spokane. When Bryan was five, his folks divorced and he moved with his dad and brother to Rathdrum, Idaho. His dad remarried when Bryan was eight. At age 12 his family moved to a remote log home in Rathdrum. He spent his childhood hunting, making art and tree forts. He was very creative, always thinking up new ways to explore his surroundings and create whatever was important to him at the time. Bryan says he was not a "strong student" and just got by with good enough grades. He felt his teachers were "sleepy" and did not make learning very exciting. Summers and holidays were spent with his mother and he graduated from high school in Rathdrum. He then went off to junior college to start a degree in mechanical engineering. Bryan took a philosophy class along the way and everything changed! He also got married and had a daughter, Paige. She is currently a student at the Univ. of Idaho. The marriage was short lived. After junior college, he joined the army for two years. After his military service, he went to the Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo to get his bachelor's degree in Philosophy. While Bryan was in Hawaii, he did a student exchange to Texas and stayed one year after graduating. It was during this time that Bryan drove an 18 wheeler! He said the experience gave him plenty of time to ponder what he had learned in school. After a year, he relocated to Bellingham, Wash. to get another Bachelor's degree from Western Washington Univ. His degree was in Literature. It was at this time that he became an avid rock climber and stayed in Bellingham three years. An opportunity in Japan opened up for Bryan to teach both middle and high schoolers at local Fuqui schools. After this experience, he went to Southern Illinois Univ. to get an MFA degree (Master of Fine Arts). He taught classes while he was a graduate student for three years. It was at this time that Bryan realized that he wanted to be a teacher. He found teaching to be a very happy and creative process. Bryan moved to France and lived there seven months. He met his current girlfriend on a Greyhound Bus and they have now been together nine years! Bryan eventually moved to Portland and went to Portland State Univ. to get another Master's degree. This time it was a Master's in Education. Rachel, Bryan's girlfriend, is currently attending Lewis and Clark Univ. studying Pyschology. In the Spring of 2015, Bryan interviewed at Corbett and fell in love. He says he felt comfortable right from the beginning. He currently is living in Portland with Rachel and their cat, Mau-Mau. He is an avid reader and usually turns to non-fiction.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

From the Oregon Coast to Corbett

Amanda Dudley was born in Coos Bay, Or. but actually grew up in North Bend, Oregon. Being raised with a younger brother, Amanda was very active in sports while growing up and played volleyball, softball and basketball. Family vacations centered around attending her tournaments. She also spent years singing in choirs at the schools she attended. It was as early as first grade that she remembers wanting to become a teacher. Amanda has always loved learning and done well academically. After high school, she attended Concordia University on a volleyball scholarship. She earned her degree in Secondary Education with an endorsement in Advanced Math. While at Concordia, she was very driven academically and was focused on playing volleyball for the school and signing in their choir. She was able to tour Europe for two weeks with the choir. From Concordia, she went directly on to graduate school at Portland State Univ. In two year's time she earned her MST- Master of Science in Teaching Mathmantics. This was a degree specifically geared towards teachers. Amanda became a teaching assistant while going to grad school as well as becoming an assistant volleyball coach at Concordia. Amanda graduated from PSU in 2007 and became an adjunct teacher at both PSU and Concordia. In 2008 she started teaching at Oregon City High School. It was here she taught math for four years. In 2012 Larry Swanson contacted her about a teaching opportunity at Corbett. Amanda had student taught at Corbett her senior year at Concordia. Corbett hired Amanda right away and gave her the opportunity to teach Algebra I, Algebra II and AP Statistics. She says that she is thrilled to have the opportunities given her at Corbett and loves the small community school atmosphere. In 2014 Amanda and her two single girlfriends ventured onto an online dating site. This is where she met her husband, Benjamin. They married on 12-13-14 and she is now a stepmother to his four children! They recently purchased a home and acreage in Sandy and share it with two puppies and two cats. At Corbett, Amanda has coached middle school volleyball and most recently coached JV Volleyball at the high school. She continues to stay in great physical condition and is looking forward to having all four of their kids fly in for the holiday season!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

At Home in the Corbett Middle School

Helping students in the Corbett Middle School as a Paraeducator, offering support as needed, is what Cami has been doing the last nine years. Cami Paul grew up in in Helena, Montana. She is the third of four kids in her family. The family camped a lot and enjoyed being together. Cami's parents are still living in the same house after 47 years! This was their first house and will most likely be their last. As a child, Cami was not a rule follower, being very independent and willful. She loved playing volleyball and also worked at Baskin Robbins during her high school years for 2.5 years. After graduating from high school in Helena, Cami went to Rick's College in Rexford, Idaho. She studied Pre-Med and met her husband her second year of school. After getting her Associates degree, she married David in 1990. Cami went to work to then help support Rick while he went on to the Univ. of Idaho to finish his engineering degree. In 1993 Cami and David moved to Alaska for 6 months to work in a gold mining camp. Best thing was that they saved and bought a house once David graduated in 1994. They moved to Woodburn, Oregon. Babies started coming in 1996. Clancy was born in 1996 and Clayton in 1999. In 2004 they moved to Corbett and have been here ever since. One day in 2006 her kid's bus driver, Lynnette Waldo shouted out the bus doors that "You should apply at the Corbett Schools!" She did. She has been a Paraeducator ever since. Cami continues to go to numerous workshops and conferences, taught by specialists to enhance her learning. Cami loves to hike with her family in her down time and also spends time as a 4-H Livestock leader. Her family has goats, chickens and pigs at home. Cami also has a loom and enjoys spinning, knitting and weaving. "Family is most important" is what Cami stated as we wrapped up the interview.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Second Generation Employee

For all who enter, Erin's beautiful smile greets them as they walk into the Corbett Middle School and Administrative Building. Erin was born in Portland and moved to Corbett at the tender age of 3, moving into a home on NE 365th. Currently a Corbett Grade School teacher lives in her childhood home. Erin attended Corbett Schools from K-12 along with her one sibling, an older sister. Graduating in 1990, Erin went on to Mt. Hood Community College. She also worked at Jean Machine, but then left both school and the clothing store to work full time at US Bank for seven years. Meeting her husband Jeff at age 17, they married in 1996. Goofing around as teenagers, he jumped into her car and introduced himself. The rest is history! When Erin gave birth to their one daughter Courtney, age 16, she stayed home full-time. It was not until Courtney was in the 4th grade that she began to work again outside of the home. It all began as being a substitute, working in the office, on the playground and in the school kitchen. In 2013, Erin was hired as the secretary of the Corbett Middle and High School. She is kept plenty busy with answering phones, registration, record keeping, mailing out progress reports, preparing for substitute teachers, working on student files, ordering graduation items for seniors, delivering notes, passing out ice and band-aids and also building relationships with students. Erin's mother Jan worked at the school for many years, also working in the front office. Corbett is now a closed campus, and Erin tries her best to keep track of all the comings and goings of students. She laughingly says that she and her family sleep in Gresham, but she lives in Corbett! :) Her goal is to one day move back to the community that she has always loved and appreciated so much. When she is not managing 700 plus students, she focuses on supporting her daughter Courtney's many activities which include horses and volleyball. On the rare occassion of having nothing on the calendar, she says she loves to snuggle on the couch with a good book!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Teacher by Day, Musician by Night

Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Chris Phillips actually grew up in Chicago. Chris was raised by a single mom who worked multiple jobs to keep the family afloat. His older sister was a strong mother figure to him in her absence. Chris grew up playing sports and spending time in the principal's office. Not a student who focused on academics, Chris found himself getting into trouble on a regular basis. Besides sports, Chris loved music and wanted to be Bob Dillion by the time he graduated from Ottawa High School. As Chris grew up, he crossed paths with two men in the academic world who saw who he was and provided both opportunity and direction for him. Filling a need for male leadership, these men made a definite mark on his life. Chris had a high school advisor that put him in a room to write music. Having played guitar, he now switched to piano. Another mentor encouraged college, and his sister actually lent him $2K to get started. This is when he also began formal piano lessons. After spending two years at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, he earned an Associates degree in General Science. He continued playing the piano and transferred to Portland State University. At this time he tried to switch to Jazz Studies and then that door closed. It was here he met musician Darrell Grant. Chris ended up graduating from Portland State Univ. with a Geology degree and a minor in Jazz Music. After graduation he had a desire to teach and so went on to get his Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University. Chris had a desire to "pay it forward" to give students the extra boost of belief and guidance that was so generously given to him. Knowing Corbett teacher Chad Clark, he heard about a teaching opportunity in Corbett. He interviewed for and was hired as an Intermediate Teacher at CAPS in 2012. When talking about the kids in his classroom, he gets a bit emotional. He said they mean everything to him. He said their families have had him to dinner in their homes and he cares about them as if they are his own, trying to encourage and guide them as he was by teachers that truly cared. When Chris was playing music in Illinois during his first two years of college, he met a waitress at a restaurant that he and his bandmates often stopped at for catfish. When he left and moved to Portland to start college, he heard from bandmates that she was also making a move to the area. They decided to meet up for coffee, and the rest is history. Louisa is the love of his life! Teaching by day at CAPS, Chris plays music in the evenings to fill a passion in his heart and also help pay off big student loans!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Corbett now has a FULL time Technology Director!

Jeremy Judson has moved to Corbett and returned to his roots of living rurally. Jeremy was born and raised in a rural area of Santa Cruz, CA. As an only child, Jeremy describes his childhood personality as being headstrong and precocious. Jeremy's mom was a homemaker and his stepfather was a cabinet maker. After graduating from Harbor High School, Jeremy went to work with his stepdad as a cabinet maker and finish carpenter. While doing this for 10 years, he met his wife Sarah through a mutual housing/rental arrangement. They became fast friends when she rented housing from his parents while attending college. They fell in love and ended up bouncing all over the West Coast until settling down to marry in Pebble Beach, CA. in 2008. While living in San Diego, Jeremy began attending college at Mesa College, studying Business and Information Technology. After attending for two years, he and Sarah moved to Portland where he began attending OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology), pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Applications Development. Sarah graduated in 2012 with her Master's degree and Jeremy will finish his degree in Spring 2017. Three years ago, daughter Emma blessed their lives with her arrival. Emma is now attending Corbett Pre-School.The family moved to Corbett and purchased a home with a very large barn and arena for the family horses. Jeremy applied earlier in the year for a position as Corbett's first ever full-time Technology Director. He was hired to cover what various teachers had covered in the past on a part-time basis. Jeremy is excited to give Corbett Schools (CAPS included!) the attention they need and deserve with attention to the growing demand of technology for learning. Jeremy says he just loves and appreciates both the community and the school community, saying it is the BEST working environment he has ever experienced. In his down time, Jeremy enjoys camping and fishing, but is always drawn to technology. He has built several computers and is hoping to one day offer a course for Corbett students interested in Computer Science, possibly creating a hardware lab!

Friday, October 30, 2015

WHO is Driving the Bus?!!

Born in Seward, Alaska, Lynette Waldo was born before it was actually a State! Born in 1957, Alaska was a Territory, becoming a State in 1959. The youngest of four children, Lynette played outdoors most of her childhood. She was very active and loved the fresh air. After completing high school, Lynette went to the Univ. of Alaska for two years to major in Biology. Wanting to visit another state, she transferred to Northland College in Wisconsin. Taking a break from academics, she applied at Timberline Ski Resort and was hired at the front desk. This is where she met the man of her dreams! Mike Waldo was working Ski Patrol on the mountain and Lynette said he immediately caught her eye. After dating for three years, they moved to Fairbanks to get married. They were both adventurous enough to purchase a log home with an outhouse and NO running water! In 1986 they moved to Oregon and decided to develop some property that Mike had previously owned on Trout Creek Road in Corbett. First they lived in a trailer as the building began and then moved into the garage. Ben was born in 1988 and when his brother Adam was born in 1990, they were able to move into the house that had been completed. It was in 1994 that they moved to Alaska to care for Lynette's aging mom. She had given birth to Lynette when she was 45 years old! In 1999 both of Lynette's parents had passed so they moved back to Corbett. Before coming back home, Lynette had trained and started driving a school bus for the local school district. When she came back to Corbett, she decided to apply as a bus driver and.... they were hiring! She has just started her 16th year! She not only drives, but after her second year in the Corbett District, she also began working as an Instructional Aide. When CAPS started, she began working as the shuttle driver, but no longer does that. Lynette drives a morning and afternoon route and then works at CAPS as an Aide. Ben married a Corbett sweetheart and now Jessica has made Lynette a grandmother! Jessica was working at the Corbett Schools and yet has taken a leave of absence due to the birth of Bode. Adam is living in Seattle as a photographer. Receiving a new knee in June, Lynette says she loves to hike, snow ski, quilt, and garden. The physical beauty of Corbett is amazing for her, but Lynette loves most the staff and kids that she gets to work with in Corbett. Her job is a joy and she even puts in extra hours on occasion. For this year's Hood to Coast Corbett Staff Team, she was the one chosen to drive their shuttle bus!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Once a Realtor

New to the Corbett School District this year, Kerry Dockter comes from Arizona, although she was born in Red Oak, Iowa. Kerry has one brother and one step brother and sister. Kerry's parents moved to Arizona when she was ten years old and then divorced shortly after the move. Kerry was a shy child who played the violin and read a great deal. After graduating from high school, Kerry went to community college with a plan to graduate with a major in journalism. She ended up going to work as a Realtor! After three years, she changed over to becoming an escrow officer. This ended up becoming a twelve year career. When the economy became unstable, she decided she wanted to go back to school and find something more "solid" so that she could have a steady income. Kerry first attended Mesa Community College and then transfered over to Arizona State University and earned her Bachelor's degree in Education. Kerry became dually certified in Special Education and General Education. Kerry graduated Summa Cum Laude while also working 40 hours per week in escrow! The first job Kerry landed after graduation was as a substitute teacher in East Valley Phoenix. She was then awarded a full-time position in a self contained Special Ed classroom. One day Kerry was having lunch with a co-worker and the gal suggested Kerry meet a speech pathologist that the other teacher had not seen in six years! Kerry agreed to go on a TRIPLE date with Travis to a local brewery. The rest is history. After dating for nearly three years, they moved to Fairview, Oregon and married this summer. They have two cats and one day hope to have a large family. Kerry works in Special Education for the Corbett School District and works hard to do her best for the kids that count on her. She says that the Corbett School system is amazing and she is blessed to be a part. She truly believes this is a "dream job" for her. In her limited free time, Kerry loves to sew costumes and clothes, and she also still enjoys reading as much as time allows. Another way she loves to spend her time is simply being in the great outdoors, exploring nature with her husband.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Our new Business Office Assistant

Sarah was born in Minnesota, moved to Massachusetts and then landed in California! Born as the middle of three children, Sarah's father is a neurosurgeon. He attended OHSU medical school and did his residency at the Mayo Clinic. Sarah's mom is from Lake Oswego and met her dad while earning her Master's of Psychology. When Sarah was living in Calif., she practically lived on the back of a horse. When she did not ride horses, she was showing them. She also played all kinds of sports- running, swimming and triathlons. Sarah went to American University in Paris for one year and then attended UC Santa Cruz and earned a Bachelor's degree in Plant Biology. It was at this time that she met her husband, Jeremy (Corbett's Technology Director). Sarah and Jeremy moved to Seattle where she worked at a plant nursery and then was a horse trainer for four years. Sarah and Jeremy married in May 2008, and then Sarah started graduate school at UC San Diego. It was here she earned her MBA- Master's of Business Administration. She also simultaneously did all required course work to earn her CPA license. Sarah went to went to work at a financial firm for five years in San Diego. She was a Sr. Accountant for a hedge fund firm. Daughter Emma was born in San Diego in 2012. The following year the family looked for horse property in CA, but came up empty handed. At the end of 2013, the family came to Oregon. It was Corbett where they eventually found the horse property that they had dreamed of. Sarah wanted to have a place to board horses. In April 2015, Sarah applied for her current position at the school. Sarah appreciates the culture of the school, being in an educational industry and likes to use her position to benefit a positive purpose of educating children. Currently, daughter Emma is in the pre-school here at Corbett. In her free time, Sarah loves nothing more than spending time with her family and riding her horses.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Forever Corbett

Did you know that the current Adidias building was once Kaiser Hospital? This is where Maureen "Sis" Childs started her life. Sis is a fifth generation Oregonian who grew up in the Alameda neighborhood of Portland for part of her childhood, and then moved to Portland's Laurelhurst neighborhood. Living across the street from Laurelhurst Park, Sis grew up in a family with five children. She was active, social, and family life centered around church. Graduating from Concordia Lutheran High School, Sis went to work for her father as an office manager at the family business, Burton Engineering. Being heavily involved in starting New Hope Church on I-84, Sis's family was close with Phil (Big Bear) and Judy Dufresne. At age 20, Sis married their nephew, Mark Haley. At age 22, she became pregnant with twin boys. Sis and Mark were living in Corbett and her parents had moved there as well, following their friends, the DuFresne's. Sis stayed home full-time with her sons until they went to first grade and had Mrs. Bonnie Lilly as a teacher. Sis then got a job with Cascade Earth Sciences, which is now the Dearixon's home! She worked with Steve and Linda Wilson for six years. She then went to work for an environmental consulting group for the next seven years. Sis was also on the Corbett School Board for seven years during this time period. In 2002, life changed. Sis quit her job and also went through a divorce. At this time she went back to school and got a degree in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, the same campus where she had attended high school! Later she went on to get her teaching license for the state of Oregon. Sis married Stuart Childs on Sept. 3, 2005. For three years Sis was a teacher and co-principal at ARCO Spanish Immersion Charter School. She then went to the Montessori Charter School in Damascus for three years, doing a multitude of things, but not teaching full-time in a classroom as she so desired. In the spring of 2015 she quit her job, for the very first time ever not having another job lined up. Sis put in an application at Corbett, where she had now served a total of twelve years on the Corbett School Board. She is a huge proponet of multi-age education. Sis knows Corbett schools inside and out and wanted to teach at a place where she had a real passion. When Mrs. Neely stepped away to have her baby, Sis was hired as a K-2 teacher at Corbett! There are eight classes of K-2 students in Corbett, and Sis feels she has found her DREAM job! With 24 children in her classroom, she is excited to get up and go to work. Currently her twin sons have provided her with four grandchildren, so when not teaching, she LOVES to be with them. She also enjoys riding bikes with Stuart when she is able. She ran for over 20 years, and now her knees are ready for a rest. She recently went on a 45 mile ride to Jantzen Beach and back! Sis loves this area and plans to be in Corbett, forever.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Here We Go Again!

WELCOME BACK! I am so happy and thankful to welcome the fall season. After a very hot and dry summer, it is refreshing to see rain and hear the excitement of the kids beginning a new school year in Corbett. There are several teachers I was unable to interview last year due to time and scheduling. This year I am hoping to reach ALLLLL of the remaining teachers and staff in the Corbett School District! It is a pretty immense goal with the time commitment, but I am determined and want to share with everyone the INCREDIBLE lives of all who make up the district. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Time to Put Up the Pen!!

Once again, the season of spring has arrived, and I need to "put up my pen." Real estate has me working 12 hour days and I need to put my interviews on hold until fall, when I will once again get back to interviewing all the teachers that I didn't get the chance to interview this past year. THANK YOU for ALL of your support and encouragement with this blog. As most of of you already know, I LOVE, LOVE LOVE people and think Corbett is pretty amazing as well!! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Servant's Heart

Our Music and Intervention teacher at CAPS is also the teacher of middle school choir for the district school. Meet Linda Fast, a gal who was born in Portland, but moved to the Philippines at age one with her family. Linda's parents were missionary teachers with Faith Academy in Manila. Linda loved to both sing and travel with her family as a child as well as be outdoors and with people. Linda always wanted to "help" on some level. Her parents showed by example how to serve others through a variety of methods, such as cooking, sewing, or providing other levels of care. Linda's parents and two older brothers lived in a village on the outskirts of Manila where housing was varied, ranging from rough and basic shelter to much more elaborate. At age 16, Linda moved back to the states with her family and attended Portland Christian High School her senior year. Linda then went on to Multnomah Bible College in Portland to earn her Associates, Bachelor's and then Master's degrees. This educational journey spanned sixteen years, as Linda was also working in the business end of the medical field for 11 years. During this time, Linda also did NINETEEN service mission trips to different countries as well as the U.S. to serve others in need. During her trips of service, she sang, did drama, provided medical assistance, built homes and was involved with a great did of relief efforts. Linda taught in the Philippines for three years and then came to Portland to earn her MAT degree. She student taught at Corbett Grade in 2012 and was then offered a job at CAPS. Through friends at church, Linda met her husband and they married in Gresham in 2014. Together they love to be with friends and family. No animals or babies, but Linda continues with her love of travel, singing and being outdoors. Being at CAPS has been an ideal fit for her!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Dream Team!

Erika Pace started life in Corbett on NE 365th, located just off the Scenic Hwy. Her parents raised her with an older brother, and she spent the first 18 years of her life on the property.Being quite shy, Erika says she rareky spoke up, and loved to be outdoors with all her animals. The family raised cows, horses, ducks, pigs and chickens. Graduating from Corbett High in 1995, she went right back to the Corbett School District as an employee in January 1996 as a Kitchen Assistant. Erika went into the kitchen to work with four older ladies, helping make all lunches from scratch each school day. After graduation Erika not only started her career, she met her husband. Erika met Allen Pace, seven years her senior at the Springdale Bible Church in Corbett. Allen was also from Corbett. They married in 1997 and moved across the road from the Corbett Grade School on Cascade Utilities (Now Reliance Connects) property. Daughter Brittany was born in 1999 and son Christopher in 2001. It was in 2003 that they moved to a home on the end of Rohrbach Road in Corbett. They later moved to a home on Clara Smith Road, and just recently purchased a beautiful home in Gresham. The Culinary Arts Program started in Corbett in 2007. It was then Erika went to school to become a teacher, first earning her Bachelor's degree of Social Science and now she is just shy of graduating with her Master's of Education Degree. She will graduate July 2015! Erika has only taken 1.5 years off from work since she started in 1996. What has been the best part of her job thus far? Erika says that working with the children of kids she herself went to school with has been the best part. She says it is really special to get to know entire families and add value to their school experience. One of Erika's favorite changes that has taken place? "Coming back full circle to the HOMEMADE meals that were made when I first started in the kitchen in 1996." Husband Allen Pace was a bus driver and student aide three years ago at the Corbett Schools, but he has now moved into the kitchen! Prior Culinary Arts teacher, Jenny Radulusk has moved into the high school to teach, so Allen is stepping in to now work with Erika. Erika says this is ideal since Allen KNOWS the kitchen well and understands the process. Besides, Erika says they are best friends and work well together. At the school there are 6-700 meals prepared each school day and and everyone seems to love being in the kitchen as they learn and work together. Not only do they make breakfast and lunch for the students, they also make cookies for board meetings and staff dinners on conference evenings. Despite the hard work, everyone seems to be having FUN!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Magnificent Mark!

When Mark McIntire was born, his father was in the midst of working on his doctorate. They lived in Ann Arbor, MI and Mark had two older brothers help welcome him home from the hospital! The family moved to Florida when Mark was a year old and then to Vermont when he was five years old. Mark was an "outdoorsy" kid from the beginning- playing soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse and skiing. Mark's mom was a music teacher, so his life was rich with education, sports, outdoors and music. When Mark graduated from Burr and Burton Academy as a teen, he then moved to Argentina as an exchange student with the Rotary Club. Mark lived out of the country for a year and then came home and attended St. Lawrence Univ. in Upstate New York. Both of Mark's parents and both of his brothers attended school here as well. Mark played soccer all four years and also double majored in Spanish and Music. Currently, Mark sings and plays both the trumpet and guitar. After college, Mark moved to Burlington, Vermont to play music. It was here he met a guy who was on his way to Portland, Oregon to start a band. The year was 2005 and Mark followed along to be a part of the Indie Folk/Rock band. The band actually ended up traveling all over the U.S. to perform! While in Portland, Mark started working with Special Ed. Life changed, and Mark moved to O'ahu, Hawaii and enjoyed a wonderful experience with his girlfriend. Mark says that there was a change in plans when they realized they were going to be a family! They moved to Portland and Mark joined the Master's program at PSU to earn his MED (Master's of Education). Mark graduated and also was licensed in Special Education and as a Spanish teacher. Getting married in 2013, Rachel and Mark now have two boys- Quincy is three and Bodhi is 7 months old. Rachel is home full-time with the boys but also is a photographer that owns her own business. As a family, they enjoy hiking, museums and travel. They especially love going to the beach! It was the local job fair that brought Mark to the Corbett School District. He started as a Learning Specialist in 2013. Mark has started a middle school rock band since his arrival and loves working with both the kids and staff in the district. He also is the middle school girl's soccer coach. He and Rachel live in NE Portland and Mark plays bass in a local band when he has the time.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An Alaskan Transfer

Carrie Church was not only born in Cordova, Alaska, she lived there for the first 20 years of her life with her four siblings and parents. Carrie was pretty shy as a girl, yet loved to be in the great outdoors whenever possible. She also enjoyed swimming, being on the high school team for all four years. When Carrie graduated from Cordova High, there were a total of 14 boys and seven girls in her graduating class! It was when she was in high school that she began dating her husband Kenan, who was also from Cordova. Carrie attended the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks for two years then transferred to Indiana State Univ. to be with Kenan. They both decided to transfer after a year and ended up at Western Michigan Univ. in Kalamazoo. Kenan graduated with a degree in engineering and Carrie got a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with minors in Math, Science, and English. Kenan and Carrie married in 1991 back home in Alaska, then came back to Michigan to live and work. Son Kyler was born in 1998, Claira in 2000, and in 2003, Katie. In between births, Carrie earned her Masters of Arts in Reading Instruction from Western Michigan Univ. When Katie was just eight weeks old, the family moved to Italy! Kynan was offered a job assignment, so off they went. Carrie says the time in Italy was amazing on so many levels, for everyone in the family. Carrie had been teaching through the years, yet when in Italy, she stayed home full-time with the children. When the family moved back to Michigan, they were back in the same town, but in a new home. Carrie went back to teaching once again. In 2007, Kenan was transferred to Vancouver, Wa. for work, so the family purchased a home in Corbett. After nearly 25 years of marriage and three children, Kenan and Carrie are happily settled on their acreage with their animals and farmhouse. They are an outdoors loving family that like to also travel when they are able. Last summer they went back to Michigan for two weeks. Carrie has also led travel groups for the Corbett Middle School, four different times. Twice she took kids to the east coast and twice they traveled to Europe! She loves being a middle school teacher. Carrie says that with extended family in Portland and Hood River, she cannot imagine her immediate family leaving Corbett anytime soon. Their feet are "firmly planted!"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Coming from West Point Academy

Living in Berea, Ohio until the age of eight, Becca Hart moved with her family to Damascus, Or. when her father received a job transfer. Becca's only sibling is a younger brother who is currently headed into the Air Force. Becca grew up playing soccer and T-ball, and participating in competitive gymnastics and dance. Her hard driven sports of gymnastics and dance as a young child caused tendonitis, so she switched to track and field in middle school and then high school. Becca participated in triple jump, long jump, and 100 meter hurdles. Becca graduated from Barlow High School and then was awarded a scholarship to West Point Academy! Attending boot camp in New York for 4 months was "really, really tough." Becca says that she respected the intense physical and emotional challenge, yet also came to realize that it was not the right choice for her. What she is thankful for is that she realized that she can indeed do far more than she ever realized. Becca came back to Damascus and attended Mt. Hood Community College. She became good friends with the track coach at the college. She then transferred to Seattle Univ. and graduated after three years with a Bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in Italian. After graduation, she called her track coach and friend from Mt. Hood Comm. College and asked if he was interested in having her as a Jumps coach. She also became a site supervisor at the college as well. As they say, the rest is history! They ended up dating and in September of 2014, they married. In 2012 Becca started at Concordia, as she had made the decision to become a teacher. She also worked part time as an aide at Powell Valley Elementary School during this time. Becca graduated from Concordia with a Master of Arts in Teaching and an endorsement in English, Social Studies and Health. In Jan. 2013 she began student teaching at the Corbett Schools with Tim Cooper and Victoria Hubler. It was this last year that she began teaching full-time in Corbett at the middle school. Becca says she has a passion for teaching Health, English and Language Arts. She finds that middle schoolers have a fun and wonderful energy and enjoys getting to know each of them better. One thing she appreciates about Corbett is that she gets to stay with a student for three years. This she says, is great for developing trust. A favorite past time of Becca's is reading. She says she is a voracious reader and this past year has read more middle school novels than ever! Becca and her husband currently have a cat, yet no children. Becca laughs that she better think about it soon though- her husband who teaches at Mt. Hood is 15 years older than her!

Friday, March 13, 2015

From a Harley to Twins

Born in Topeka, Kansas, Brian Lutes was raised with a younger brother. When Brian was three, his folks moved the family to Eugene, Oregon. Brian absolutely loved sports and the great outdoors all through his growing up years. The main focus in sports was football and track when he entered middle school. All throughout those years and into high school, Brian excelled at both sports. As a freshman and again as a senior, Brian had to have reconstructive surgery on his shoulder as a result of sports injuries. It was devastating for Brian to not be able to play college football as a result of the two surgeries. He counts this as one of the biggest heartaches he has faced. Brian attended Western Oregon Univ. and earned his Bachelor's degree in Education. Eventually he earned his Master's degree of Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State Univ. by attending night school and taking summer classes. One of the joys in Brian's life during this time was riding his Harley motorcycle. The freedom of the open road and being outdoors was hard to turn down. When the opportunity to ride was there, Brian took it. Brian came to Corbett after going to the job fair and seeing Larry Swanson, his previous 5th grade teacher! Larry said he was currently teaching 5th grade at Corbett and was going to bump up to the high school level of teaching. Corbett was looking for a new 5th grade teacher! Funny side note, my son was going to be entering 5th grade at the time and Mr. Lutes became his teacher! On July 7, 2007 Brian was on a camping trip with friends when he was introduced to his wife, Audrey. He was immediately attracted to her green eyes and "zest" for life. They married one year later on July 8, 2008 at 8 pm. Fast forward to April 29, 2011. Audrey gave birth to twin girls. Jocelyn and Annika are the joys of their lives and Brian is still surprised that they had twins since there are no records of twins in his family or Audrey's! Currently they are living in Tigard where Audrey is a dental hygentist. Their goal is to move to Corbett one day soon. More than anything, they want to raise their girls in the "great outdoors" that Corbett offers. Things have changed a bit since the girl's were born. The Harley does not nearly get the attention it once did. Brian said he feels that his focus and energies are on his three girls and he wants to make sure they are his priority! As the girls get older, he says then he will go back to riding more often. Right now he is busy with teaching, and taking the girls to gymnastics and swimming when he isn't making the long commute to Corbett. Brian moved to the Corbett Middle School in 2008 to teach and says it has been a great fit. He says it is fun to remember being that age and he really appreciates his students, saying that he is defintely NEVER bored! :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Corbett Resident, Teacher, Wife and Mom

Born and raised on the Oregon Coast, Rhiannon Young has three older sisters she did not live with full-time, and both a brother and sister she grew up with. As a child, Rhiannon spent many, many hours reading! She also had more than one teacher who made school and learning a wonderful experience. Rhiannon was involved in track while in high school. It was at this time that she met a track member from the "rival" high school, Newport. Rhiannon formally met Anthony Young while she was still in school, but they did not begin dating until after she graduated from Taft High School in Lincoln City. Having a "crush" for several years, when they actually began dating, Rhiannon says they both KNEW it was LOVE. They dated seven years before tying the knot. After graduation, Rhiannon attended the Univ. of Oregon, but then transferred to PSU to be near Anthony. She graduated from PSU with a Bachelor's degree in Economics, and then continued with graduate school. She THOUGHT a Master's degree in Environmental Law would be her direction for the future. After much contemplation, she realized just how much she LOVED school and wanted to pursue becoming a teacher so she could "always" be in school, and share her love of school with her students!! Rhiannon student taught at an environmental middle school in Portland. She then was hired full-time in 2002 at Corbett Middle School. Feeling that she has found her passion with working with middle school aged kids, she has no plans to leave. Anthony and Rhiannon married in Hood River on August 8, 2004. Daughter Olivia was born in 2008, Henri in 2010 and Edwin in 2013. Currently both Olivia and Henri attend the Corbett Grade School. In 2012 Rhiannon moved with her family to Corbett and could not be happier. They love having the kids "run free" and enjoy as a family being in the outdoors. Rhiannon says she could easily spend the day planting trees, tending to their chickens and dog and playing with the kids on their acreage near the school. Rhiannon also loves to travel and has taken the Corbett middle schoolers on two major trips and will again when her own children are older. Anthony is teaching at the Corbett High School and Rhiannon says she some days cannot believe what a DREAM job and life she has here in Corbett, Oregon!

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."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Natural Fit!

Jen DiMaggio is indeed related to Joe. He is her father's first cousin, making him her third cousin. Speaking of cousins, Jen grew up with 15!! cousins in addition to her older and younger brother. Born in the Bay Area, Jen spent her early years in Pleasanton, CA. When she was in the 7th grade, her family moved to Oregon as a result of her father's job transfer due to a promotion. Jen continued to play sports throughout her youth, enjoying soccer, softball and basketball. She was also a voracious reader. Graduating from Lakeridge High School, she then went on to San Deigo State Univ. for six years. Because of her strong math skills, she was going to be an accountant, but later switched to Elementary Education. Jen had begun babysitting at age 12 and never lost her love for being around children. Moving back to Portland, Jen became an instructional aide for five years, working with parenting students. Jen was able to not only teach the students academic skills, but life skills as well! Jen worked in the infant room and built strong relationships with many of the girls and their children. In 2008, Jen decided to go a step further with her education and earned her Master's in Teaching (MAT) from George Fox University. Upon graduation, She became the lone elementary teacher for the grade school at Estacada Web Academy. Jen spent five years teaching for the academy. It was at a Caregiver's Nanny Agency that Jen met Rachel Dolkas and was connected to a part-time position available at Corbett Grade School. Jen took on the position of a full-time sub working two days a week- job sharing with Ms. Dolkas! It was this year that Jen was hired full-time as an intermediate teacher at Corbett. Jen appreciates greatly that her teaching position includes an amazing staff that supports her. She said the teachers work very well together to share ideas and give support to one another. "It is like being a part of a family!" Jen met Bill Amos at a Kentucky Derby party. They were both part of running groups that attended the party that fundraised to offer assistance for another. They dated for a year and have now been engaged for a year. They plan to elope to Europe- soon! NO wedding. They want to hike the Tour de Mont Blanc! Bill is an avid mountain climber and has climbed all over the Northwest. Currently both live in John's Landing and have two dogs. They enjoy running and hiking together- anything outdoors that includes their dogs.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Our Beloved Grade School Principal

DeeDee Hanes comes from a family of five girls- born within seven years of each other!! Born in Idaho, the youngest of the five daughters, DeeDee's family moved to Alaska when she was just three years old. She well remembers being stuck in a major snowstorm and having the Alaskan Highway Patrol come and rescue them! When DeeDee was in the fourth grade, her family moved to Seattle as a result of her dad's job transfer. Her father has passed now, but was in pharmaceutical sales. When in the 8th grade, DeeDee moved once again with her family, this time to the Portland area. Graduating in 1980 from Aloha High School, she then went on to Oregon State for five years, taking time to participate in an exchange program with the Univ. of Delaware. DeeDee met her husband Rick while in college. Rick was two years older and from New Jersey. Graduating in 1985, DeeDee earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading. She started her first job in 1986 in the Gresham/Barlow District and then married her college sweetheart. Rick and DeeDee welcomed their son Andrew into the world in 1988. As a soon to be family, they moved to Corbett just two weeks before Andrew was born. DeeDee said she would not recommend moving just prior to giving birth, to anyone! Her and Rick have loved the rural lifestyle Corbett offers. Originally, they moved in right across the road from her sister, but have since moved to another home in Corbett. Before daughter Krissy came into their family, DeeDee and her family of origin purchased and ran the Royal Tea Garden in Gresham. For three years the family operated the Tea Room before closing the chapter on that adventure. DeeDee then went back to teaching and daughter Krissy was born in 1993. She began teaching in private schools and also became a breast cancer survivor in 1996. It was in 1998 that her neighbor, Michelle Dawkins mentioned that a part time position was opening up at the Corbett Middle School for a Reading Specialist. DeeDee was hired, and then moved to the Corbett Grade School the following year. After holding many positions at the grade school and having many years of experience, in 2012 she became "just" the Corbett Grade School Principal. For years she juggled many roles, simultaneously! In 2006, DeeDee was an assistant administrator and a teacher. In 2009, she was a full-time administrator, special education director and the grade school principal!  During these years she also helped raise two children who both graduated from Corbett High, and she earned her Master's of Science degree in Education Administration with a special endorsement in Special Education. DeeDee loves to cook and entertain, mostly for her extended family of almost 30! Her mom is still living locally and is very connected with their large, extended family. Rick has been the Supervisor of Horticulture at the Portland Zoo for the past 28 years and is continuing to coach the Corbett High School softball team. Andrew is living in LA and working, while Krissy is finishing up her college degree. DeeDee says she loves being an empty nester with Rick, as they enjoy exploring local attractions. Corbett is blessed to have such a warm and welcoming principal who is also an amazing role model for her staff as well as students!

Friday, February 6, 2015

She Found her Calling!

Born in Gresham, Desiree was fortunate to live from birth to just after high school graduation in the same home. Today her mom and older sister are still there! Desiree is one of seven children raised by her parents. She is right in the middle, age wise, and says she has always loved being a "caretaker" for everyone. Growing up, Desiree  found time to play several sports, with softball being her favorite. School was always a focus as well, working hard to earn good grades. After graduating from Gresham High, Desiree went on to George Fox College and earned her Bachelor's degree in Education in just three years! She was on the "fast track" since she was paying her own way! Applying at Corbett and other districts as well after graduation, Desiree chose Corbett and has never looked back. In 2000 she was hired as a 7th grade teacher, and has remained in the district all these years. Desiree is now currently the Director of Student Services. She oversees Special Education (ages 0-21 years old), Health Services, English Language Development and Intervention Services. Desiree has earned a Master's of Science degree in Education Administration with a Special Education endorsement. She says she has "found her calling" as she just loves working with a team at Corbett that is dedicated to supporting all students in the most inclusive manner. Having an older sister who is 41 years old who experiences Down Syndrome, Desiree says she is passionate about Special Education. Desiree met her husband Jack at a book group. After meeting at the group, they dated 15 months and then married. Today Jack and Desiree have two sons, Jordan 4 and Jackson 5. Both attend school at Corbett. Jack was born in Taiwan and currently speaks three languages. Before the boys were born, they did a great deal of traveling together. Now as a family they love to play outdoors at a nearby park, ride bikes, and play baseball. Desiree also enjoys cooking with her youngest son Jordan, creating projects with her older son Jackson and reads whenever she can find some quiet time! A huge priority for the family is to sit down to dinner together on a regular basis. Coming from a large family, Desiree understands the need for time to share and interact with each other over a good home cooked meal!

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Twin!

Amy Lewis grew up in the SE Portland area- Mt. Tabor to be exact. Amy has two sisters and a brother, and one of her sister siblings is her twin! She laughs that people still can get them "mixed up!" While growing up, Amy played saxophone, piano, sang and did drama. She also played basketball. Describing herself as shy and an average student, she loved growing up in a large family and attending Portland Christian School from grades 8-12. Amy went on to Warner Pacific Christian College, earning a Bachelor's degree in Christian Education after her four years at the school. Amy has always been drawn to youth. After college she worked within churches as a Director of Children's Ministries and a mentor for youth ministries. In 2009 Amy got her Masters of Arts degree from Concordia. Today she and David share four beautiful children ages 8-14.  They are kept quite busy with David working full-time as a Corbett teacher and herself working part-time as a Corbett Grade School Intervention Teacher. Amy has been at Corbett for two years and currently job shares with Rachel Dolkas. Amy and David's entire family are runners. The three oldest children are officially on a track team and run on a consistent basis, but the youngest as well as Amy and David also run as time allows. Their oldest daughter is currently a freshman at Barlow High School and one of their top runners! Amy laughs that they all time their runs, and she is now officially the slowest runner in the family! The family is also involved in their local church and spends lots of time with their extended family. Amy also still loves to sing and play guitar. Right now the family is focused on eating a Paleo diet, and Amy spends a great deal of time cooking lots of fresh meals to keep her family healthy and happy! She is fascinated with the relationship between the brain and food, studying nutrition on a regular basis.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dynamic Duo

Tiffany Pearsall is part of a dynamic duo. She and Nikki Hjelm work together in the Corbett Preschool at the Corbett Grade School. Together, these two women bring a beautiful blend to the classroom for teaching and learning in a fun and creative atmosphere. Tiffany was born in CA., but soon after moved to Bend, OR. where she was raised as an only child. She was extremely close to her grandmother, who lived next door. Tiffany's parents are in the computer industry and so she spent hours after school and her summers with her grandmother. She would read constantly, and would often use workbooks to go over different subjects and then grade herself! Her grandmother was a research librarian, so she learned a great deal about reading and organization from her. Graduating from Bend High School, she then went on to Reed College for four years, averaging about "four hours of sleep a night" between school and working at the nuclear reactor on campus. She also helped children in a science outreach program. While at Reed, Tiffany began dating Kurt Pearsall, also from Bend. Graduating with a degree in Biology, she then began her Master's degree program just two weeks after finishing at Reed! Receiving her MAT (Master's of Teaching) from Lewis and Clark, she then went on to teach at a small preschool in West Linn. The following year she taught at a SE Portland preschool. Looking for a new job online, she came across an opening at Corbett. Not even exactly sure where Corbett was located, she clicked on the application and filled it out. Soon after she was offered an interview and was hired in 2012! During this time, her boyfriend of seven years proposed and they married a year later in Bend. Currently living in SE Portland with their dog Tomato, and their cats Ace and M, they both enjoy outdoor activities. Tiffany also admits to being quite crafty, spending lots of time on Pinterest to get ideas for the classroom as well as herself. She says she loves preschool because it was "meant to be fun." Tiffany is a strong believer in play-based education, giving the children the tools needed to explore and learn.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Corbett Preschool

Each school day at Corbett Preschool, there are up to 20 children that show up to enjoy either a half or full day of fun, adventure and learning. Children need to be at least three years old and "mostly" potty trained. Nikki Hjelm is one of the two teachers that greet the children each day. There is both before and after care, but Nikki and her co- teacher are there 8 am -3 pm each school day. Nikki helps to teach the children "soft skills" which includes raising your hand to ask questions, standing in line, cutting open a package of fruit snacks, etc. Nikki just loves to see the twinkle in the eye of a child that "gets it" when a connection is made on how to find success with the many, many soft skills that are taught. Of course, children also learn academics, yet it is through a fun and exploratory manner that things are taught. Nikki was born in Charlotte, NC and then eventually moved to Oregon to grow up in the SE Portland area. There was a short move to The Dalles and then in 8th grade Nikki spent the rest of her school years in Gresham, OR., graduating from Gresham High School. Nikki laughs when stating that she was always a teacher's pet in school, wanting to help and organize classrooms with her teachers. Nikki also pretended to "teach" her siblings when growing up! After high school, Nikki explored several options for careers. First, she became licensed in the state of Oregon as a cosmetologist. During her three year run at this, a client introduced her to her son. Knowing "of" him, they formally met and started dating. Married in 2006, today they share two sons, ages 8 and 6. Working in cosmetology for three years, her sister was involved in a very serious car accident, and Nikki stepped aside to care for her disabled sister for two years. When her boys were babies, Nikki wanted to stay home, so she started an at home day care. It was in March 2012 Nikki was hired as an aide after volunteering consistently. In 2013, Nikki was hired as a full-time Corbett employee. Currently living in Corbett with her husband and two sons, they enjoy camping, floating on the river and at home movie nights. When Nikki has quiet time for herself, she love to  crochet, recently making a dress for her niece!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Grateful Heart

Dorthy Hayden was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was the fourth of five children born to her parents, and the only daughter. At a very early age Dorthy moved with the family to Northern Calif. When Dorthy was 12 years old, her world turned upside down and inside out. Dorthy's mom was murdered . The next several years were a blur, as her father married another woman and the family was uprooted, moving numerous times to different states. Dorthy and her brothers had to attend several different schools as a result. Dorthy's new step mom was not fond of her and let it be known. Dorthy got a job at Taco Bell when the family moved to Gresham and kept herself busy with long hours at work and at school. Graduating from Barlow High School, she then got a waitressing job at Burns Brothers in Troutdale. It was here she became friends with a mechanic, Mark Hayden. After a year, Mark asked Dorthy on a date. They married in 1977 and have now been married 37 years! Anxious to have a family of her own, Dorthy became pregnant one month after getting married and then again 9 months after their son was born. Today they have their son and daughter and three grandchildren, ages 13, 7 and 6. Family is everything to Dorthy and she is grateful beyond words to have a tight knit family that she is close to and even vacations with. Not remembering a great deal of "fun" in her childhood, at age 28, she began playing on a women's softball team that her husband coached. Playing for several years, one year, they ended up going all the way to the regional playoffs, getting second place! In 1985 Dorthy decided to leave waitressing behind and get a job that put her on her children's schedule. She was hired at Corbett Grade School by Principal, Fred Martin and she has been there ever since! Hired originally as an aide, they asked if she could drive a bus for 3 months as a sub. That turned into a 20 year gig! She is now back to being a bus driver only as a sub and works full-time as the GS Secretary. Dorthy's husband Mark will soon be retiring as an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad, but Dorthy says she is NOT ready to leave/retire from Corbett! Mark attended Corbett Schools, their kids attended and now their grand kids are attending.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Woman of Many Talents!

Debbie Baker wears many hats at the Corbett Schools! Debbie is the Health Assistant, Special Ed. Secretary, and also the Asst. Secretary for the grade school office. The regular RN comes in twice a week, but Debbie is there full-time to cover several bases!
Born in Portland, she has just one sibling, and her brother is 16 years younger! Sharing the same parents, Debbie said she feels she was basically raised as an only child since she graduated at age 18 from Reynolds High School and then left for college. Before leaving for college, she worked as a camp counselor at Trout Creek Bible Camp. It was here she met the love of her life. Debbie started college at Lewis and Clark and then transferred to Mt. Hood Community College. She wanted to be near Tim Baker, whom she met at the Bible Camp in Corbett! They married when Debbie was just 19 and she moved to Corbett (Aims) to be near his family, who has been in the area for over 100 years! Debbie finished the program in Accounting at Mt. Hood Community College and became the bookkeeper for the family logging business that Tim purchased in 1989. Growing up, Debbie's grandmother was a strong influence, teaching her to sew and create many different arts and crafts. Over the years she has created and sewed numerous costumes for Corbett Children's Theater, Mt. Hood College Theater and Oregon Children's Theater. Together Tim and Debbie have raised four children together. Their youngest is attending Corbett High, their oldest daughter just gave them a grandchild, and the two middle sons work for the family logging business. Debbie loves working at the Corbett schools and said she came after getting laid off due to budget cuts at Hartley Elementary. Debbie says that as long as she is able to work with and be around kids, she is very happy! In her free time, she loves to be with Emma, her granddaughter, enjoys gardening, cross country skiing and doing sewing, arts and crafts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dr. Phil

Our Corbett High School Principal was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1968. At age two, his parents divorced and at age five his father remarried. Phil Pearson was raised by his father and stepmother, Jane Graf. He also has a half sister that currently lives in Phoenix. When in high school, Phil was an outstanding student, only getting one "B" all through the years. He also was involved in drama and cross country running. At age 15, his father divorced again. His dad tended to be very detailed and his birth mom a true "free spirit." He also had the strong influence of his step mom. When in 3rd grade, they moved to Oregon to allow for his step mom to attend graduate school. Phil graduated in 1986 from Cascade High School near Salem. He then went on to the Univ. of Oregon for five years. It was at this time that Phil was heavily involved with Young Life, a Christian youth organization. Phil spent two summers with them as a hiking guide in B.C., Canada. This was a very tight knit group that Phil shared some very intense spiritual, emotional and physical life experiences with. It was at this time that a mentor, Ron Saur had a major impact on his life. At the age of 19 Phil met his wife, Angela. They began dating within a few weeks of meeting and dated all through college. Phil and Angela became engaged just before he graduated from U of O in 1991 with a degree in General Science. Just out of college, Phil started working at a church and with Young Life, full-time. Angela and Phil married in Sept. 1992 at the church he was working at. After two years, he resigned his position and decided to go to graduate school. Phil attended Oregon Graduate Institution, which is now a part of OHSU. After two years, he earned a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering. Phil was then hired to work for OHSU as a research assistant which was field work in Oceanography. This was in many ways an ideal job, and Phil stayed a total of six years. Then he saw a movie, and his life changed. Seeing "Mr. Holland's Opus" was a huge game changer for Phil. It was after the movie that he realized that the legacy Mr. Holland left was the PEOPLE whose lives he had touched. In 1999 Phil went back to school and got another Master's degree in Education. He wanted to leave footprints on kid's lives and felt teaching was for him the best way to accomplish this. In April 2000, he went to the Job Fair and met Bob Dunton. He was offered a teaching position with two different school districts, and chose Corbett because he felt Corbett was on a road to excellence and had vision to get there. Hired by Mr. Dunton for the position of a math and science teacher, Phil says he has NO regrets about his decision to choose Corbett. He reflects back on the many, many footprints that so many have had on his life and vice versa. As many challenges as there has been, there has been just as many opportunities. In 2005, daughter Eleanor was adopted. Angela and Phil flew to China and adopted Elie at age one. Elie is currently a 5th grader at the CAPS School in Springdale. They are very happily a three person family, plus a dog, living in the Park Rose area. Phil graduated from PSU in June 2014 with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.The degree was not intended for career advancement, he just genuinely loves to read, write and learn! During his free time, he enjoys being with Angela and Elie as well as riding his bike and swimming at the Park Rose High pool. He is also currently trying to figure out how to make the perfect hard cider!

Friday, January 9, 2015

World Traveler

Born in Redmond, WA in 1979, Cassie Duprey is the oldest of three children born to her parents. Her parents are still living in WA, and still married after 41 years! Cassie grew up in Everett, WA and graduated from Mariner High School. One of her fondest memories is having her mom load up all three kids in the car and drive ALL over the United States to explore. Her father owned his own drywall business so found it difficult to get away. Not only did they take numerous long car trips all over the U.S., they traveled the world. Cassie's mom is Greek, so they went to Greece. They also did a 31 day tour of Europe when she was 13. They even spent an entire summer in Mexico! When she applied to Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA., they gave her a box of sweet onions. Enjoying the college (and the onions?!) so much, she stayed all four years and earned two degrees. Cassie majored in Politics and Gender Studies. Having the "travel bug" from her youth, Cassie went to South Africa to participate in a study abroad program during her junior year of college. After graduation, Cassie joined "Teach for America" and went to Mississippi to teach for three years. Teaching both 4th and then 5th grade, Cassie was taken back at the level of needs the under privileged children had. Many came from homes with dirt flooring. After her time in Mississippi, Cassie moved to Santa Cruz to earn her Master's degree in Politics. Her favorite part of graduate school was teaching the undergraduates. Because of this, Cassie applied for a position at KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) which is a special charter school in Oakland, CA. It was here that kids in challenging home situations were in school M-F, 7:30 am-5 pm and every other Saturday. The summer break was only 6 weeks long! Cassie taught here for five years. Along the way, Cassie met Aaron Sprinkle. They dated for several years. While working at KIPP, they got engaged.  When Cassie got pregnant with their first son, Cassie realized she could no longer put in the long hours with KIPP, so took a year off. Cassie decided to attend Concordia College and get her Master of Arts degree in Teaching (MAT). Cassie then student taught at Corbett and loved it! The love was mutual, as she was immediately hired after her student teaching was completed. She is currently the Dean of Students at Corbett High School. Aaron and Cassie were married in 2010 and second son Quill was born the same year. The family of four are currently living in Cascade Locks and LOVE to read comic books together! On her own, Cassie enjoys reflective, calm and quiet activities such as going to Powell's Book Store, the Portland Art Museum or a fun hot springs spot somewhere nearby. Cassie enjoys traveling with her children, as she is able (sound familiar?!). This summer she camped with the boys all the way to and from Minnesota. She is also busy working on getting her administrative license, enabling her to one day become a principal!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

From Interior Design to Teaching

Born is South Africa, Jenny Meadow's family moved away in 1986 when she was two years old. After a move to Massachusetts, her family eventually "landed" in the Pacific Northwest. Jenny grew up in the suburbs of Beaverton with a brother who is two and a half years older. Her parents divorced at age five and Jenny and her brother lived "half time" with both parents. Jenny graduated from an alternative high school- NRST, best known as Natural Resources of Science and Technology High School. Graduating in just three years, there were just 43 students in her graduating class. After taking a year off to work and explore, she attended Marylhurst University in West Linn, OR. and in five years graduated with a BFA degree. During college, Jenny worked at Men's Warehouse and then United Tile. Upon graduating, she worked as an interior designer at Opsis Architecture for two years. There she was designing elementary schools, universities and community centers. After getting laid off, Jenny was excited to get back to school to become a teacher. While attending Concordia for a year to get her teaching degree, she met her husband. After dating for one and a half years, they married in 2011. Both are not only in love with each other, but with the Gorge as well. They married in Parkdale and both are now teaching full-time. Jenny student taught for a year, substitute taught for a year and then taught at the Corbett Charter School for three years and is now a 3,4,5 teacher at the Corbett Grade School. Living in a floating house on Hayden Island, she and her husband recently remodeled the home so they could stay near the water and birds that they both enjoy. Jenny loves to draw all the birds she sees from their home and also spends time cooking, sewing, gardening, and both swimming and hiking in the Gorge. At this time, the "baby" in the family is 11 year old "Kujo" who is a Shitzu Sheltie. Her passion? Teaching art and history to her students.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

From the East

In April 1983, a teacher was born. Dan Barnard entered the world in Northampton, MA. At age 8 months, his family moved to Jeffersonville, VT. The family purchased a local store, naming it "Barnards Country Store." A brother was born four years after Dan's birth and the family stayed in Jeffersonville despite the closing of the family store. Dan began snow skiing in first grade and continues to this day, loving both the sport and snow. Graduating from Lamoille Union High School in Hyde Park, VT., Dan's parents divorced the same year. Dan ended up going to a small liberal arts college in Boston, MA. for four and one half years. He graduated and majored in both  Humanities and History, with a concentration in Elementary Education. After college, Dan student taught for a year at a K-8 school where there were over 700 kids and over 50! languages spoken by the kids in attendance. Dan then taught full-time at a school in Braintree, MA., teaching 5th graders for two years. In 2007 Dan decided to take a trip out to Portland, Oregon to visit friends. Unexpectedly, he fell in love with the area. He decided to apply for a teaching position in the area and was actually offered two teaching jobs. After interviewing at both Mosier and Gresham, he took accepted the Mosier teaching position. In Mosier Dan taught a 3/4 blend and then a 5/6 blend, teaching a total of four years. It was during this time that Dan earned a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State Univ. He also earned a reading endorsement. Hector Kent was a good friend and mentioned to him that Corbett may have a teaching position available. Applying in 2012 at CAPS, he was not hired, but Lori Luna passed his name and resume on to the grade school. DeeDee Hanes saw the resume and interviewed Dan for a teaching position at the Corbett Grade School. Dan is now teaching his third year for a class of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Dan's girlfriend of nearly four years also comes from the east coast. Dan and Chelsea met at a Hood River restaurant and both reside in Parkdale. Dan refers to his dog Finley as "Super Mutt." Finley was adopted from Kennewick, WA. and loves the attention and care he receives! Dan is an outdoors man, enjoying hiking, snow skiing, backpacking and camping with Chelsea. They also enjoy attending concerts together. After teaching at different schools in different states, Dan says that he most appreciates the family environment at the Corbett Schools. He stated that teachers are well respected and regarded and work together as a team. With 26 different personalities in his classroom, Dan says he is never bored, as they all learn to work together!