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.