Monday, September 25, 2017

Living Life to the Fullest!

Becky Young was full of energy from the beginning! Born in Sangus, CA, she moved with her family to Oregon at age 1. Three sisters and one brother joined Becky in being raised in Gresham. Becky describes herself as being a "tomboy" from the beginning, always playing outside for hours on end.  She skateboarded, rode dirt bikes, climbed trees, got dirty and always kept up with the other boys. Attending Orient Schools, she graduated from Barlow High School. While in high school, she remained physically active by playing volleyball, basketball, softball, running track and snow skiing for Barlow. Becky went on the Mt. Hood Community College for two years to get her Associate's degree. She then went on to Portland State University to earn her Bachelor's degree in Social Science. Without missing a beat, she went on to earn her Master's degree in Education. During graduate school, she reconnected with a childhood friend and they began dating. He wanted to marry and she said "not until I finish school!" She was determined not to let anything take her attention away from finishing her Master's degree! Ty and Becky married in 1996. Becky's first job was at Orient Grade School in Gresham, teaching 5th grade. This was where SHE attended as a child. The following year she taught at Powell Valley Grade School and stayed for 17 years. After her first four years of teaching, Becky gave birth to their first daughter, Payton. Daughter Taylor was born soon after. Ty stayed at home with the girls while Becky taught. Now he manages a restaurant. When Payton was in the 4th grade, the girls began attending the Corbett Schools. Becky was so impressed that she decided to apply for a teaching job in Corbett. Thankfully she was hired and now says she absolutely loves working in the positive and uplifting environment at the Corbett Grade School as a 4th/5th grade teacher. Becky's daughters are as involved as she was as a student. They play water polo, softball, volleyball, are in Sea Cadets and do target shooting. Becky's family currently lives in Troutdale and they have a chocolate lab named Kona and a kitty named Cabella. Their python is named Pliskin.  The family loves to camp and have been to numerous places including Yellowstone and Crater Lake. They are going on their first cruise this December to Mexico. Ty's family (22 of them!) are going to travel together and they are excited!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Working Her Dream Job

Tia Hunter-Gillies was born in Portland and has a younger brother and sister. Tia spent her entire childhood in the Park Rose area of Portland. Outgoing as a child, Tia began playing the flute in the middle school and played into high school. She also was a sprinter in high school. Tia's family moved out to Gresham her senior year of high school, so she graduated from Gresham High. Tia worked at Papa Murphy's Pizza and also at Christian Supply while in high school. At age 23, Tia gave birth to daughter Addyson. When Addyson was in preschool, Tia met Jaron, who also had a daughter, Amira, in preschool. They eventually began dating and together now have a son, Miles, age 3 and a half. Tia's children both attend Corbett Grade School where she is an Educational Assistant. Tia works with kids as an intervention assistant in both math and reading. She began as a sub and that turned into a full-time position. Tia loves being able to work at the Corbett Grade School and appreciates the fact her kids are there as well. As a family, both Jaron and Tia enjoy visiting new places. Some of their favorite places have been Crater Lake, the Oregon Vortex and the Winston Wildlife Safari. Two years ago they were able to visit Maui and explore the beaches and the Road to Hana. Currently living in Troutdale, their dream is to live in Corbett and have a pasture full of animals!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Youngest of Seven

Marleen Carroll is the youngest of seven children, born to parents that have now been married over 50 years. Marleen grew up with two brothers and four sisters on a farm in Silverton, Oregon. Her father raised organic beef cow. Her mom worked as an auditor for the Federal Government in addition to raising the children and helping with the farm. The oldest and youngest siblings are 18 years apart. Marleen loved living on the farm and has fond memories of visiting Portland on weekends with her mom to go to the library. She says finances were often tight, but the love was always large. Marleen played basketball, volleyball and softball up until high school. Sports came to an end when one of her brothers died in a car accident. His death had an enormous impact on Marleen. Her focus on community service became a focal point of her life. After graduating from Silverton High School, she began studies at Willamette Univ. in Salem. Marleen loved her time there and and double majored in Religious Studies and Psychology as well as minoring in Art Studio. While there, Marleen also studied abroad one semester in Ecuador. She lived with a family that spoke only Spanish. Marleen only knew the language from course work, so it was a challenge! After college graduation, Marleen went to Europe alone to backpack. She ended up taking a class while in Greece for a month. Relying heavily on Planet Travel Guides, she was away for 3 months, traveling Western Europe. Arriving home, she began working at the East Portland Boy's and Girl's Club, running the afternoon program for the David Douglas Elementary School. It was here she met her husband, a teacher at the school. Sam Wallace was teaching 5th grade and they shared several kids who were in his class and her program. After dating just two months, Marleen decided to go to South Africa for three months to be a World Teach volunteer for 4th and 5th graders. The relationship with Sam endured and Marleen took on another position with the Boy's and Girl's Club after her arrival back. After three years at the Club, she decided to get her Master's degree in Teaching from the Univ. of Portland. She began her teaching career at Mill Park Elementary in Portland. She also began her ESOL endorsement with OSU at this time. In 2011 Marleen took a position at Corbett Charter School teaching 4th and 5th grade. After three years, she was offered a position at Corbett District School as an ELD Specialist. Sam and Marleen have a daughter who is two years old and another is on the way! The baby is due in April. Both Sam and Marleen's mom take turns watching their daughter while they teach during the week. The family lives in NE Portland and they have three dogs. They love visiting nearby parks and being in the great outdoors.

Friday, September 15, 2017

From Chicago to Corbett!

Mariah was born in Evanston, Illinois but lived in Chicago until age 8 with her parents and older brother. The family then made a move to Evanston where her father was a marketing manager for an electronics company and her mom was a Special Education teacher for the Chicago Public Schools. Mariah describes herself as being a very quiet child who always enjoyed listening to music and going to concerts and movies. As a teenager, she worked at both a library and at a movie theater. Mariah loved getting to see free movies and be with her friends. After HS graduation, Mariah attended Columbia College Chicago to study film video. She was involved with a few reality shows during college and said it was quite interesting! Her BA degree was in Film Video. Not wanting to move to LA to be in the hot spot for film, she got a job at Standard and Poor's as an analytical support, supporting a team of financial analysts. At this time, she met her husband Paul through friends. They married just before she decided to change career paths by attending graduate school. Mariah attended graduate school at Univ. of Illinois at Chicago. Her mom had a strong influence on her decision to do the two year program for Special Education. Graduating in 2015 with a Master's in Education, she did her student teaching in Chicago Public High Schools. Paul and Mariah decided to move to Portland because of family. Mariah soon got a job at Reynold's Middle School as a Learning Specialist. Hearing great things about Corbett, Mariah applied in 2017 and was hired! Mariah and husband Paul have two cats, Magoo and Glen. Together they enjoy music, movies, travel and living in beautiful Portland! Mariah, Learning Specialist, is looking forward this year to working with middle schoolers and building continual confidence in her students!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Starting Up Again!

My pen will be "back in action" mid September. I have NUMEROUS great interviews lined up and I cannot wait to share them with you. Stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Giving the Pen a Rest for the Summer

After seven years of writing this Corbett Connector blog, I am once again taking a few months off to focus on my real estate career during the VERY busy months of May-October. I have LOVED talking with so many of you over the years and will look forward to being back once the school year begins in the fall. Please enjoy reading the interviews and share the site with others. If you are interested in LIVING in Corbett, you can reach me at 971-221-9655.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Touring the World as an Athlete

Chad Clark started life in St. Joesph, Missouri. He is the oldest of three boys born to his parents. After a few moves, the family ended up in Colorado where Chad spent most of his childhood. At age five, Chad began nordic ski jumping and playing soccer. Both proved to be good choices, as he excelled at both. Chad ended up trying out for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Although he did not end up making the team, he did go on several world tours as first a soccer player and then a coach. He traveled to both the South Pacific and Europe! While growing up, Chad's father was the general manager of a sausage company in Denver and his mom taught at both elementary and middle schools over the years. When Chad graduated from high school, he attended Quincy College in Illinois for 1.5 years, playing soccer for them. He later transferred to Colorado State Univ. in Fort Collins, leaving his soccer career behind. Chad graduated with a degree in Watershed Science and then decided to stay in Denver and work as an enviromental engineer for two years. He left and went on to hold a variety of other jobs including insurance and high tech. Eventually, Chad moved to Oregon and became a busser at a restaurant in the dot com bust era. It proved to be a blessing, as this is where he met his wife, Leia. Leaving the restaurant business, he started a remodeling company, doing this for nine years. Getting married in 2007 on Sauvie Island, he and Leia now have two children, Calvin (10) and Remy (7). They live in SW Portland. Doing his remodeling work, Chad injured his back. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity for him to consider pursuing his dream job of teaching. He went back to school at Concordia University to earn his Master's degree in the Art of Teaching. Completing his degree in 2011, he applied at the Corbett School District. After student teaching with Mrs. Wold, Mrs. Shaw and Mrs. Dawkins, he started full-time teaching in 2012 at the Corbett Grade School. He now teaches grades 2-3 and thinks it is a perfect fit. He loves the relationships that he is able to develop with the students, helping them to grow and learn. Chad says he sees purpose in teaching- seeing the results of his efforts to inspire each of them. In his off time, Chad loves to garden, camp and travel with his family. He also loves to both hunt and fish. The family is currently awaiting the arrival of their new Golden Retriever puppy.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Just when we THINK we having our best listening ears on...... I was told today that John is NOT READY YET to retire. OOOOOOOOPS. My apologies, folks. "Welcome Back, John!"

Saturday, May 6, 2017

August 17, 1998- Closing in on Retirement

John Ghinga was hired on August 17, 1998 by the Corbett School District. This spring he will be retiring after 20 years as one of the best custodians Corbett has ever had. Born in Romania, John brought his wife and young son to the U.S. at the age of 33. John's sister had made the move first and encouraged her brother to come. He agreed- never believing it would or could happen! Grateful to leave a communist government, John took the opportunity awarded to him to move his family to New Jersey and got a job working for a bus company, doing maintenance for 4.5 years. When his sister moved to Oregon, he decided to follow after. She told him it was beautiful and looked a lot like their home country of Romania. John and his family moved to Oregon where he purchased a home and his wife turned it into an adult care facility. John and his wife added a daughter to their family and they loved Oregon! John got a job working at the Boring Saw Mill as a Backing Saw Operator, cutting logs to different dimensions.  There was going to be a layoff due to a lack of BIG logs no longer coming to the mill, so John started looking elsewhere for work. He applied at the Corbett School District and was hired! He has been at Corbett ever since and loves it! He has worked in all the buildings and says it has been a good job to have over the many years. His son Paul is now grown and also works at the Corbett School District as a custodian. His daughter works in a real estate office and both live locally. His wife passed away from cancer in 2013. They had been married for 35 years. John says that when he retires he will keep busy with his gardening, beekeeping and metal detecting. The best thing he ever found with his detector? A gold ring in Seaside, Oregon!

Monday, April 17, 2017

From England to Corbett

Lauren Collins was born in Montgomery, AL but has lived in many different places as a result of her father's job. Lauren's mom is British and met Lauren's father when he was stationed in England as a medical doctor for the Air Force. Together they had Lauren and another daughter and moved several times. The family lived in England while her father was serving in the Bosnian War. As a child, Lauren loved all forms of art and was involved in theater, acting in several plays. She also did ballet for 15 years. In England, she had a horse and rode often. When her parents divorced, Lauren went to live with her father in Annapolis, MD. She was 15 years old and eventually graduated high school in MD. After high school, Lauren attended the Univ. of Tampa, graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. She loved the sunshine Florida offered, but was ready to move to a "beautiful" state to begin work. Lauren had never been to Oregon, but had seen photos and read books on the state, so she moved here in 2007 on her own. She loved it from the beginning! She began substitute teaching then got a full-time job at a small private Christian school in St Helens. She taught a 2nd-3rd grade blend for four years. Always loving fashion and design, she decided to follow her dreams and move to Paris. She attended fashion school and then got a job doing fashion PR. She did not like the job or France. Lauren then moved to NYC and worked in fashion again. With high stress and no level of peace for the work being done, Lauren came back to Oregon and got her old job back in St. Helens as a teacher. She also earned her Master's degree from Portland State. She felt like now her work mattered once again- she was impacting children's lives, making a positive difference in the world. Lauren attended a job fair in 2014 and landed her "dream job" at Corbett Grade School, now teaching grades 2 and 3. She absolutely loves the working environment at Corbett and knows she is where she is supposed to be, with the kids she loves! Lauren just purchased a condo in Portland and enjoys travel. She will be going to Chile this summer for three weeks with National Geographic as an educational trip. She also enjoys being a part of a book club and decorating her new home!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Keeping Things Running Smoothly!

Steve Salisbury was born in Portland and was born to build, fix and create! He is the youngest of three boys and has two sisters. He was raised in Sandy until his mom met and married Dick Wand, from Corbett. Steve moved with his mom and brothers to Corbett and began attending the Corbett schools when he was just eight years old. His stepdad was a home builder and also installed septic systems and did land surveys. Steve learned early on to drive and operate a back hoe, tractor, and bulldozer. When Steve was not working with Dick, he played basketball. He loved the sport and played all through middle and high school. He also loved to be in the great outdoors. After graduating from Corbett High School, he began working at an art foundry, doing welding. When he was on a hunting trip to the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Eastern Oregon, he met a girl on a horse. She was hunting with her family as well and it turns out she also was a Corbett High graduate! Trudi Becker was two years older and they had known of each other, but were not friends. They got back home and started dating! Steve began work at NAPA Auto Parts as a truck driver and one who loaded and unloaded freight. He worked nights for five years. Steve and Trudi married in 2005 and currently have four children, ages 12, 8, 3 and 8 months. Trudi is a Portland firefighter and they live in Estacada on acreage with their seven horses. After working at NAPA, Steve went to work with his step dad, doing construction. The recession hit in 2008, so he then went to horse shoeing school for two years. He and Trudi are devoted parents who love raising their children in the country. In 2013, Steve applied for a maintenance position at the Corbett School District with Mark Wilson. Together they fix and repair just about everything imaginable! Steve loves the fact he is back on campus where he is quite familiar with the buildings since attending school there years earlier. He appreciates the fact that each day is different and there is always something to work on!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

One of EIght!

Wendy Hatton was born in Portland, one of eight children! There was always  a playmate and plenty of activity in the home. The family lived in the same home until Wendy's father passed, and then her brother purchased the home. As a child, Wendy loved to sing and was involved in their neighborhood church with lots of activities such as sunday school and youth group. After graduation from Franklin High School, Wendy went off to NW Bible College in Kirkland, WA. She then went on to live with her aunt and uncle for a short time. Eventually she went back to Portland and held various jobs. In 1981 she married the man she had met as a teenager in the church she attended. The babies started coming in January 1983. There were a total of four girls and one son. Wendy's son had a genetic disorder and passed away at the age of just 14 months. Her four daughters now range in age from 21 to 34 years of age. The first grandchild is due to arrive in April 2017! Wendy home schooled her daughters at different times and each daughter ended up graduating from a different high school. Wendy chose to be a stay-at-home mom for many years. The family always loved to travel and continue to make trips today. Wendy says that traveling is an adventure that takes plenty of work to plan, especially when going out of the country. Going on vacation means very little planning and lots of free time and relaxation. Her and husband Robert love to do both! One of Wendy's favorite places to go is Australia. In 2013, Wendy started as a long-term sub at Corbett and that turned into a full-time position as a Paraeducator in 2014 at the Corbett Grade School. She said she loves to help kids get a solid grasp on both reading and writing, as they helps set them up for a life time of success!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

An Available Resource for ALL

Rafael Cortada was born in the Bronx, New York. His two older sisters are twins, who today are a nurse and a teacher. Rafael's parents were both educators and Rafael's father has been president of numerous colleges in the US, making for plenty of moves for the family. Rafael has lived in Brooklyn and Yonkers, NY, Wash. D.C., Baltimore, MD, Minnesota, Ohio, and Redondo Beach, CA. No matter the location, Rafael has always played sports. He has been on award winning teams and teams that were completely awful. He says it didn't really matter, he always tried to make the best and most of every situation. His favorite sports were football, rugby and cross country. As for academics, he favored history and psychology. He attended both private and public schools, and again, just made the best of wherever he was. After graduating high school in CA, he attended Loyola Marymount University for four years, majoring in Psychology. After learning to play the drums in middle school, Rafael had become quite good and played in several bands. When he graduated college, he was ready and serious about becoming a real- life rock star. Life happened and he instead went on to graduate school at the Univ. of District Columbia. He graduated with a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rafael did work as a drug and alcohol counselor during his graduate school years. After graduating, he began work for U.S. Courts as a Pre-Trial Services Officer in Virginia. During this time he also married and had both a son and daughter.  Work was always important to Rafael, as he wanted to make his life count in helping others, just as both his parents had modeled for him. The next job opportunity was working for the Maryland Dept. of Corrections then Fredrick County Sheriff's Office. There was a big move to the Pacific Northwest in 1996. He took a job with the U.S. Courts in Oregon as a Pre-Trial Services Officer. In 1999 he worked in the Multnomah County's Sheriff's Office as a deputy. As a deputy, different assignments have included Canine Deputy, Transit Police, Search and Rescue, Green Hornet Trail Rescue Team and Rapid Response Team. In 2014 he was informed of a position at the Corbett School District as a Resource Officer. He was immediately interested and applied. He wears "many hats" in the position and enjoys being a resource for many of the kids, teachers, staff, parents and community. In his free time he loves to be with his dog and be in the outdoors, possibly running yet another marathon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Keeping Everything Clean and Looking GOOOOOD!

Who do we thank for keeping the Corbett school buildings looking so clean? Aaron Sprinkle is one of the guilty. Aaron started the Corbett custodial position in 2013 and ended up dropping over 60 pounds with all the deep cleaning he has done! Aaron is not only a husband, father of two and a custodian, he is also adding to his bachelor's degree with further schooling. Aaron is attending school part-time to become a biomedical engineering tech, trouble shooting and fixing hospital equipment. Aaron was born in Iowa City, Iowa. His parents moved his younger sister and him to San Diego after tiring of the cold weather of Iowa! Aaron's mom made SURE they purchased a home near a public library. She was a voracious reader and wanted her kids to be also. Aaron loved fiction, but also became fascinated with comic books and Super Heros. At age 13, Aaron started writing short stories. He worked hard on developing that skill. Aaron's father was an engineer and his mom ran a nearby college tutoring department.  His father was also a musician and taught Aaron to play the guitar at age 10. He is currently teaching himself how to play the piano! Aaron has played in numerous bands over the years and still is very passionate about music. Aaron also loves to draw. When growing up, it was mostly pencil drawing and mostly action figures, collaborating often with his friends. Aaron earned his Bachelor's degree in Modern Literature from the Univ. of CA at Santa Cruz. Soon after, he met his wife and Corbett teacher, Cassie Duprey at a job interview. At the time, Cassie was also working on her Doctorate degree. They ended up working together at Kaplan, where they had both applied, for 1.5 years. They then moved to Oakland for Cassie's teaching opportunity. Aaron found work at a warehouse that put together medical kits for orthopedic surgery. They became engaged and married in 2010. First son, Quill came along the same year. They then moved up to Portland, finding a home to rent. Cassie went back to school to get her Oregon teaching credentials and Aaron was a stay-at-home dad. Second son, Malcolm was born in 2013. In 2015, they purchased a home in Troutdale. Both their sons are currently attending the Corbett Grade School, and they are happy to ALL be a part of the Corbett School District!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Great Addition!

Adam Crouse says he was raised as a "military brat" that moved all over the United States. Born in Riverside, CA., he is one of five children born to his parents. He was the fourth child, one of three boys and two girls. His father was a military man, and Adam followed in his footsteps. While living in Wyoming, his parents divorced when he was a child. He then moved to Portland with his mom and siblings. Following his older brother James, he joined the Sea Scouts, the nautical division of the Boy Scouts. Adam liked the structure of the group and learning leadership skills. He loved boating nearly every weekend and especially liked the strong family atmosphere that the group provided. Adam was also involved in the choir at Gresham High before graduating. Meeting his wife at summer school at Mt. Hood Community College, they married in 1993. Together they have two children, Kaylynn 17 and Zachary 14. In 1996, Adam joined the Coast Guard. After going to boot camp, he was transferred to Maine, attending a specialty school to become a mechanic. After this, he was transferred to Astoria, OR. in 1999. Adam then chose to leave the military. At this time he and his wife moved to Perrydale, OR. where he found warehouse work. Adam soon went back into the Coast Guard, moving to New Jersey, California, then Michigan. One more time he left the military and went back to school to get his Associates degree at ITT Tech in Computer Networking Systems. He eventually found work with MESD, working as a substitute at Corbett. He was eventually hired as a full-time Paraeducator at Corbett. He is now currently working on his Bachelor's degree at Warner Pacific, focused on a degree in Business Administration. Adam enjoys staying in good physical condition as he runs regularly and enters half marathons on a regular basis. He is currently looking forward to a family vacation to the Grand Canyon over Spring Break. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Corbett District Senior Teacher

Meet the Corbett School District's Senior Classroom Teacher. The position was certainly not awarded based on age! Kristin Wold was born in the Gresham area and grew up in the same home her entire life. She has both a younger brother and sister. Her father passed away a few months ago and her mom is now living in the Puyallup, WA. area. Kristin attended the Gresham schools in the grade and middle school years, but asked her parents if she could go to a smaller high school. They agreed upon Portland Lutheran High School. Kristin says that although school came easy for her, she was not focused on academics. She says that she loved to read, play outside and be creative. Both middle and high school years were spent in choir as a lower alto and sometimes even a tenor! She also did stats for different sports teams just so she could be a part of the team since she wasn't much into athletics. After graduation, she got her first job at the local grocery store, Teals. It has since become a Safeway. She was hired to bag groceries and carry them to the car for folks. It was here she met her husband- 12 years her senior! Carl was a pharmacy clerk, and they began dating. It was at this time that Kristin also began teaching sunday school. It was here she fell in love with teaching! Her and Carl got married and Kristin decided to go to school and get her degree so she could become a teacher. It took six years, but she went to Portland State Univ. and got her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She begand scanning the newspaper to find a teaching position! She circled all the ones of interest. Corbett was her second interview. She was their #2 choice for the first grade position. Quite disappointed, she later received a phone call stating that the 5th grade teacher retired and now the position was available. Was she interested? She was a bit nervous to teach the "older" kids, but she accepted! Fellow teacher, Holly Dearixon helped get her through the first year of teaching at the school that has since burned down. Kristin says the building was so old, the boiler pipes clanked all throughout the day in her classroom! Kristin was moved to 4th grade the following year and then 3rd grade the year after that. In 1996 they moved to the brand new grade school where she got to choose her room. She chose the "view room" and has loved that space ever since. She is currently teaching a K-1st blend and could not be happier! In 2000 Kristin gave birth to daughter Juliana, who now is attending Corbett High School. The family of three live in Carl's grandmother's previous home in NE Portland. Kristin's family LOVES to travel and have visited Easter Island, Japan, East Africa, Pacific Islands and numerous other spots. Kristin enjoys studying geography and has a 50 year old pen pal in Japan that has helped her understand the culture. Kristin also has a private tutor that teaches her the Japanese language on a regular basis. What does Kristin love most about Corbett? "It has continued to evolve into a place where there is an abundance of happy energy. Teachers are grateful to be there and they collaborate regularly. The administration treats teachers as professionals and with respect." With such an upbeat attitude, no wonder colleagues appreciate having her in the position of Senior Classroom Teacher of the entire district!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Everyone Has a Story

Maddy Bunnell's life began in Eugene, OR. She is the oldest of three girls born to her parents. Her father was attending school at the Univ. of Oregon when she was born, working on attaining a degree in Political Science. Upon completion of the degree, they moved to Spokane, WA. When Maddy was three, the family moved to Portland for her dad's work. Both parents were from Portland and anxious to "get back home". As a child, Maddy admits to being shy and athletic. She played basketball from 5th-8th grade and volleyball from 6th-12th grade. Graduating from Central Catholic High School in Portland, Maddy then traveled to China on a select volleyball team to play tournaments with several Chinese teams. That fall she attended Oregon State Univ. After her freshman year, she transferred to Concordia University to complete her degree in Elementary Education. Maddy began working as an office manager for a company that helped schools with fundraising efforts. At this time she also began attending night classes at a dental assistant school. Busy with work and school, she found the time to go on a blind date that her friends had set up. After dinner at Edgefield's, she knew she had met the man of her dreams. After dating two years, Mark and Maddy married in 1997. After four years as an office manager and after completing her dental program, she began working as a dental assistant for the Multnomah County jails, helping inmates with their teeth and dental hygiene. This is where Maddy realized "everyone has a story". She loved listening to the inmates talk about their lives. She appreciated their ability to share freely and openly. Maddy's daughter was born in 2000 and she then chose not to go back to work. Mark is a corrections deputy and supported her decision. Maddy's father ended up offering her a job just two days a week at his office while family watched Emily. Two years later, Mark and Maddy were expecting another baby. She continued to work for her father in accounts payable at his office. Maddy's father sold his company in 2013, and she needed another job. Both their kids began attending the Corbett Schools after being at Open Door Academy in Troutdale. Maddy began to volunteer at Corbett as a parent, helping out in the classrooms. Eventually she was asked to work full-time at Corbett as a Paraeducator. She is now in her second year, and loves it! She said that the kids also have their own stories, and she loves listening to and working with all the kids in both the grade and middle schools. She says there is "never a dull moment" and she loves that! When at home with her husband and kids, she loves to bake, especially chocolate chip cookies. They have one dog and two guinea pigs at their Gresham home. The family also loves to travel- each summer they head down to Southern CA to visit Mark's grandparents. Last summer they went to Europe and loved every moment! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

From Illinois to Corbett

Born in a rural farming community of Illinois, Susan Hoffman has an older sister and a younger brother. Her folks divorced when she was two and both parents remarried. She grew up in both homes and was an active and outgoing child. Susan was involved in Brownies, Pom Pom in middle school and then track, drama, magical group and choir in high school. Susan graduated from Princeton High School and then headed to community college for 1.5 years. Matthew was her high school sweetheart and they decided to marry in 1995. They moved to Arizona for his schooling. They lived in Arizona for 1.5 years before moving back to Illinois. It was at this time their first daughter was born. Ashton arrived in 1997. Soon after, they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan for Matthew's work. Daughter Haley was born in 2002. Susan chose to be a stay-at-home mom with their daughters and loved it. In 2007, Matthew was offered a job in Portland and the family moved. Their first home was in Gresham and then later, Troutdale. Susan has always loved both children and education. She served as a PTC president for two years at Ashton's school, volunteered in classrooms and was on the Northview Education Board. Susan also taught at Mt. Hood Christian Pre-School. While teaching pre-school, Susan met Wendy Hatton, who connected her to subbing at Corbett Grade School.  Susan is now in her third year as a full-time Paraeducator at Corbett Middle School. Her oldest daughter is attending Mt. Hood Community College and her youngest is at Corbett. In her free time, Susan enjoys reading, crafting, gardening and hanging out with her family. They have two dogs, several cats and three bunnies. Delialah is the school bunny who actually sleeps at the Hoffman house. Susan says the bunny is a comfort to all the students and staff, as she loves to be held and petted. It is a win-win for all!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Author, Musician, Gardener, Athlete and Corbett Teacher!

Born in Bend and raised in Madras, Oregon, Lucas Houck is the third of four children born to his parents. Lucas loved his childhood. He was raised in a small town of 3,000 with just one school district. His parents are still living in the childhood home he was raised in! They are in the midst of retiring and are planning a move to the Portland area. As a child, Lucas remembers visiting family in Corbett and loving the fact his relatives lived in a real log home! When Lucas was growing up, he tried everything from sports to music to Scouts to academics. Originally starting a band with his brother, he was in a band all thoughout his teens and 20's, playing the drums. After his high school graduation, Lucas headed to Eugene to attend U of O. He lived in Eugene for five years, but was in school three years and eventually came to Portland to complete his degree at Portland State Univ. While in Portland, he met the love of his life while working in a coffee shop. Meeting in 2007, both he and Star shared many passions. Lucas did a great deal of writing while in Portland, mostly poetry. After getting a degree in Liberal Arts, he then attended Concordia University to earn his Master's degree in Teaching. Lucas is currently in his eighth year of being a middle school teacher at Corbett. Star and Lucas married in 2010 at the Umpqua River, making it a four day "camping wedding" with close family and friends! Lucas has continued to write, completing his first novel and now is working on a second. He read the completed novel to his class of middle schoolers and they loved it!  In Sept. 2015, son Milo was born. As a family, they enjoy fishing, camping, cooking, reading and gardening. The three live in Portland and have an abundant garden, growing peppers, squash, tomatoes and beans. Lucas has another passion- shooting pool. After his son was born, he bought a pool table for their house so that he was able to be at home while enjoying his hobby! In addition to teaching, Lucas also coaches middle school soccer and track. He and Star hope to one day purchase a home in the Corbett community.