Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Farm Girl at Heart

Jean King was born in Minnesota and lived on a 500 acre farm with her family. One of five children born to her parents, Jean was born fourth in line. When she was in the sixth grade, her parents divorced, and she moved into town with her mom and siblings. Her dad stayed on the farm and is still there today. They raised cattle, pigs and numerous crops. When Jean was a youngster, she played outdoors almost all the time, biking everywhere. She is very drawn to the water and grew up swimming, waterskiing and ice fishing! Jean was also an active softball player as a girl and has numerous fond memories of that. Just before her senior year in high school, her mom decided to move to Oregon to be near her older sister who would be attending OSU. Jean spent her final year of high school at Aloha High and graduated from there. After high school, Jean worked in a restaurant where she met and married a man whom she spent seven years with. They had no children. Later, Jean went to work for First Interstate Bank. She started as a processor and later became a loan officer. At the age of 30, Jean met and married a local man. Together they had a daughter, and then 21 months later, a son. Jean was a stay at home mom for several years, loving every moment of it. Her kids began school at the Phonics Factory in Gresham while they were living as a family in Sandy on a farm. In 2007, both kids moved over to the Corbett Schools. Her daughter Alexia was in 3rd grade and son Bradley was in 1st grade. Jean began volunteering extensively at the school, beginning as a MESD employee, working only at the Corbett Schools. Jean is now a Corbett Schools employee, working full-time at the high school in the SPED department. Recently divorced, Jean continues to live on their Sandy farm with the kids. She loves to work at the high school because it brings her joy to work with kids that appreciate working hard and then seeing the results of their efforts. She believes in them and they know it. When not with her own kids at their many sporting activities, she herself loves to play the piano, work on the Sandy farm, play softball or most any water sport, camp or snow ski. Jean is not one to sit still for any length of time!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Who is Driving our Corbett bus?

Tobi Ervin was born in Vancouver, WA. but moved around a great deal before settling in the Corbett area of Bridal Veil when she was in the 4th grade. Her parents divorced when she was in the 6th grade, but she continued to live in Bridal Veil with her three brothers and two sisters. Tobi was the oldest girl in the family. Her parents both remarried and she ended up with a total of eight brothers and seven sisters. Nine of the children were raised together. As a child, Tobi said says she was extremely shy and kept to herself most of the time. She often would go to a quiet place to read. Still to this day, she is an avid reader. Tobi says she was always a hard worker at home, and learned how to work on cars from an early age. A highlight of her youth was attending a church camp in high school at Vancouver Island. After graduating from Corbett High School, Tobi married Fred Ervin and was expecting their first son, Calvin. They went on to have another son, Antonio. The boys are both grown now and Tobi has four grandchildren. Fred and Tobi raised the boys in Latourell, and Fred passed after 12 years of marriage. Tobi decided to apply at the Corbett Schools 39 years ago as a bus driver. She thought it would be a great job, and she was right. Today she is driving the Donald Duck bus and continues to love driving the kids in the morning and afternoon as well as take kids to different schools and places for sporting events and also help out with field trips. On occassion she also does some filing in the MS/HS office to help out. She enjoys being a part of the staff and is willing to help out where and when needed. Currently Tobi is living in Springdale with her brother. When she has time off, she loves to fish! Her most amazing time on the water was when she and her neice caught a total of 27 trout! She taught herself how to fish and loves to always take a good book for when the fish are not biting! In the summer, she lives in Boardman and helps care for her mom. Tobi loves both children and Corbett, so is quite content with being able to spend most of the year in Corbett near both her adult kids, grandkids and her Corbett kids!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The "Key" is Working TOGETHER

The oldest of three boys, John Paul (J.P.) Balbo was born in Camden, Michigan. He grew up on a lake in a small and rural farming community. All grade levels from K-12 attended school in the same building. J.P.'s parents are still married and live in the same home that he and his brothers grew up in! As a child, J.P. started playing sports as far back as he can remember. Although his favorite sport is soccer, he also golfed, ran cross country and played baseball. After graduating from high school, his parents encouraged him to attend college, and he enrolled at the local community college. He said he was not ready and did not like it. After one semester, he dropped out and went to work laying tile with his uncle. He also traveled with friends, camping in the Teton Mountains, the Finger Lakes area and many other gorgeous locations in the U.S. In 2009, J.P. felt "ready" to attend college and got "serious." He enrolled at Central Michigan University and graduated in four years with a Bachelor's degree in Social Studies and Elementary Education. J.P. played intramural sports all through school, but never got to have the "freshman dorm" experience since he started at an older student and went right into apartment living. He worked at golf courses for extra cash and met his current girlfriend along the way. Morgan graduated ahead of J.P. and went to work in Portland for Adidias. J.P. finished school, student taught for a semester in Michigan (5th grade) and then moved to Portland to be near Morgan. In Jan. 2014, J.P. taught at CLASS Academy in Portland , teaching a 4/5 blend. He was looking to teach in a community he felt was similar to the one he grew up in- small and rural. He applied to Corbett in May 2015 and was hired. Currently J.P. teaches a 6,7,8 blend at Corbett Middle School. Morgan is six years younger and they both live in Portland, loving the area. They have no animals, but are both avid outdoors people. They both love to camp, fly fish, golf, and snowboard. J.P. feels very comfortable and happy in Corbett with his classroom students. He says they work together to learn and it is a very enjoyable atmosphere to be in for both himself and the students. J.P.'s mother taught for over 30 years, and feels that the "key" is having fun along the way- "If kids are having fun, they WILL learn."

Friday, February 5, 2016

A World Traveling Teacher

Having grown up in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Abby Steichen's father was a CPA and her mom stayed at home. She and her older brother grew up in a home that her parents still live in after 44 years of marriage! Abby played both the oboe and the flute while growing up. She also loved to read, be a part of Girl Scouts and travel. After high school graduation in 2002, Abby went to the Univ. of Oregon to study Journalism, but switched to Sociology and graduated in just three years! Immediately after earning her degree, she moved to Portland. She began working at See's Candy Shop (she also worked for them during high school) and then she began working at a day care center. It was there that she realized her desire to be a teacher. She "couch surfed" through Europe with a girlfriend for two months before starting grad school. In 2006, Abby began at PSU and earned her MED "Masters in Education" in two years. It was at this time she struck up a conversation with another student about her trip to Iceland. Tom had also been, and after dating, they married in 2009. It was also in 2009 that Abby was hired at Corbett after substituting for a year in the Portland Public Schools. Abby taught a 4/5 split for three years at Corbett Grade School, and then CAPS opened. She was quite excited for the opportunity to work there, so she made the move and now teaches a blend of 3, 4. 5. Tom and Abby have three daughters and they also love to travel. Last summer they went to 11 states on a road trip! They also journeyed to both Maui, Hawaii and Tulum, Mexico and the surrounding area. This year her family will try to visit as many National Parks as possible! They also set a goal this year to hike a total of at least 300 miles. They hiked 22 miles in January, despite the cold and rain! Abby is a very busy wife, mother and teacher, but loves to read when she can find a free moment. She is one to fully embrace life and create as many memories as possible for her kids at home as well as in the classroom.