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!