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!