Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lover of the Great Outdoors

Katie Jacobson was born in Eugene, OR. and has two older brothers and an older sister. Katie was able to spend her entire childhood growing up in the same home with her family. She describes herself as being very energetic as a child, a real "hands on" learner. She was constantly playing outdoors, mostly in the woods or she was in the gym, playing a variety of sports. Katie started playing basketball at age four, also playing soccer, softball, tennis, water polo and both flag and tackle football as she grew up. Katie was raised in a very sports-minded family and all of her friends were involved in sports. She said her childhood and school were really fun because of that. In high school she also held a job as a flower delivery person for a local Eugene hospital. After graduation, she headed to college at Florida State Univ. for one year. That was not a good fit, so she transferred to to the Univ. of Washington where her sister was also attending. UW offered a strong science program and she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Conservation, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Prior to her college graduation, she spent time traveling. Katie first traveled all through Western Europe, then to Central America. Her third trip was through Eastern Europe. She wanted to see the world first hand and journeyed with her friends, often backpacking her way through the countries that they visited. Katie graduated in 2002 from UW and then moved to New York. She got a job working for an environmental education center as an educator, leading trips with kids through the great outdoors. After a year, she moved to Portland to work for OMSI, leading backpacking trips for Pacific Marine Science Camps, then she worked at their museum as an educator. After six years with OMSI, she worked for the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership as a science educator for three years. She then moved to attend Northern Arizona Univ. to earn her Master's degree in Science Education. She simultaneously taught a college biology lab. Katie graduated and then headed back to work again at the Estuary Partnership. At this time she also began full-time substitute teaching at Corbett for Rhiannon Young while she was on maternity leave. In 2013, Katie was hired as an AP Environmental Science teacher at Corbett High School. During the summer of 2013 she and her mom went to Northern Spain to hike over 300 miles together along the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage. Her mom was 65 years old at the time! Katie is now married and they are a family of four, living in Portland with a dog named Roscoe and a salt water fish tank full of fish! Katie still plays basketball for fun and the family enjoys the great outdoors with a huge vegetable garden and lots of berries in their yard.

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Be Prepared"

Bill Harlow was born in South Carolina. At age two, his mom moved to Oregon with him and his sister. She remarried and then Bill was also raised with a stepsister. Bill's stepfather came into his life when he was five years old and introduced him to Cub Scouts. He eventually became his Scout Master, and Bill made it all the way to Eagle Scout, a feat only 5% of Scouts achieve. Bill enjoyed numerous Scout activities and learned to always "Be Prepared" in life. He grew to love the great outdoors and became an avid hunter and snow skier while growing up. Bill lived in the same Troutdale house until graduating from Columbia High School, which is now Reynolds High School. He joined the Army after graduation and was stationed in Nirenberg, Germany. His unit went to the first Gulf War and was stationed there for seven months. His total time in the Army was three and a half years. After leaving the Army, he began working at the Army Corp of Engineers and was attending Mt. Hood Community College simultaneously. His mom passed away shortly after he returned from being in the Army. Her death had a strong impact on him and he dropped out of school and began bartending at Tad's Chicken N' Dumplins. This is where and when he met his wife Samantha! They dated a year and then married. After meeting at Tad's, they both immediately left and moved to attend college. She attended the Univ. of Oregon and he began classes at Lane Community College. Bill finished his two year degree and then transferred to the Univ. of Oregon to earn his degree in Journalism. Bill graduated and they both moved to Los Angeles to find work. They lived four years in L.A. where he was an actor and did camera work. They eventually moved back to Corbett to be near Samantha's family. His stepfather remarried and he gained five additional stepsisters. Bill began attending Pacific Univ. to earn his Masters of Teaching degree. Son Aiden was born in 2007. Bill began working for Reynolds Middle School as a Learning Specialist for 13 years. Samantha's mom died, so they sold their Corbett home and moved onto the Corbett farm with her father to help care for the farm. Instead of raising cows like his in-laws, he and Samantha are raising goats. Their son Aiden is now a 6th grader at Corbett. A short time ago, an opportunity opened up at Corbett and Bill jumped at the opportunity to work in his home district! He is currently the Corbett High School Learning Specialist.  His family spends a great deal of time together. They cross country ski, fish, play board games and often just hang out on their farm!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Behind the Scenes

Paul Ghinga was born in Arad, Romania. He lived there for three years with his parents before moving to Italy. The family waited in Italy to receive paperwork enabling them to move to the United States. Paul's aunt and uncle were living in New Jersey, so Paul's parents met the requirement to have family already living in the U.S. in order for them to be eligible. Paul said his folks felt "so blessed" when they were finally given permission to move to the U.S. They moved in with his aunt and uncle until they could save for a home of their own. Both his parents worked two jobs in order to save. Paul was in the third grade when his parents decided to move to Oregon for a better housing and job opportunity. It was there his sister was born 11 years after his birth. His parents were able to purchase a house of their own and both kids were raised to speak both Romanian and English. Paul says he was very active, never sitting still for long. He loved to fish and be in the great outdoors whenever possible. He also played both the violin and trumpet in school and for his church orchestra, beginning at age ten. He briefly played football and wrestled as well. Paul's father worked for a bus company and the family received reduced price bus passes as a result. Paul says they got to travel all over the U.S. and he has very fond memories of all the places they got to visit. Paul worked at Courtesy Ford his senior year of high school, then graduated from Reynolds High School. He then attended Mt. Hood Community College and earned his Assoc. degree in General Studies. He then went to work as an apprentice electrician. He worked eight years before getting laid off in the slow economy. He worked numerous other jobs before applying at Corbett in 2013 for a janitorial position. Paul says he really enjoys the people he gets to work with and be around. He cleans the middle school and the high school gym. In his free time, Paul enjoys target shooting and mountain biking. He used to compete in mountain bike races but because of an injury, he is no longer able to compete. Paul is an avid hunter, fisherman, camper and hiker. He loves the great outdoors! He is currently living in Troutdale.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Devoted to Youth

Cathy Noles, born in Nissa, OR. is one of five girls born to her parents. Her parents were married 55 years before her father passed. As the fourth born daughter, Cathy's parents moved to Boise, ID when she was three years old. At age four, the family moved to Anchorage, AK after the major earthquake. At age 12, the family moved to Mercer Island, WA. At age 16 the family moved once again to Beaverton, OR. and Cathy later graduated from Aloha High School. She was the class president her senior year. Cathy's father worked for Bristol-Meyers Pharmaceutical Company and was transferred often for his work. Her mom stayed at home full-time with the girls. Cathy never sat still as a child and was very outgoing. At age 11 she began working as a babysitter and also as a berry picker. She was a born entrepreneur, always thinking of creative ways to earn money. She loved being with her sisters and never minded having to move so often. After high school graduation, she was hired at Nordstrom and was promoted quickly, becoming an assistant buyer at age 21 in downtown Portland. By age 22, she was a buyer in San Diego, opening three stores! She trained many employees as well as acting as a buyer. At age 21 she was in a wedding with her husband when they met. They married four years later! Cathy transferred with Nordstrom back up to Portland to be with Greg and two years after the wedding, they had their first baby. Cathy said goodbye to life with Nordstrom and went on to have three more babies! They have two daughters and two sons. They moved to Corbett from Boring in 1987. When their youngest started kindergarten, she began working with MESD in Corbett with autistic children. Prior to that, the family traveled a lot, so she home schooled all her children. The children eventually began attending school in the Corbett School District. MESD placed her into the Gresham/Barlow School District in 2001 for eight years. Cathy then took a year off to help family members. She was hired back by MESD in 2009 and was placed back in the Corbett School Distirct. Corbett hired her directly in 2015 as a Youth Transition Program Specialist. She currently works full-time for the district. Both Cathy and Greg are devoted to youth and after raising their four kids, they are pouring their lives into community kids. Greg has coached Corbett sports for over 20 years. Cathy serves her students well beyond the regular school hours. They love to travel and love to garden. They have had New Foundland dogs for nearly 25 years. Two of their kids are married, but no grandbabies ...yet!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Using her Education to Help Others

Jeanne Swift was hired this year by the Corbett School District to be the Student Services Director. She was born in Olympia, WA. She has a brother 20 years older and a sister 18 years older. Her younger sister is just one and a half years younger. Jeanne had a brother who was born between the older and younger siblings, but he died and there was never much conversation about his passing. Jeanne's mom stayed at home to raise the family. Her father was a Forester and an avid hunter and fisherman. There are many family memories of wet and cold camping trips! Jeanne was raised in a 100 year old farmhouse by parents that were impacted by the Depression. She began playing the violin in the 4th grade and also played the piano, and was active in Girl Scouts and ballet. Her father retired when Jeanne was in the 8th grade and they moved to Beaverton, Oregon. It was a culture shock for her parents to move to a city that seemed to be "progressive" compared to where they had lived previously. Jeanne and her sister loved it! Jeanne played the violin for the Portland Youth Philharmonic and was Principal Violinist for the youth version of the PYP. She graduated from Sunset High School in 1983 and then attended Oregon State Univ. to study Veterinary Medicine. She switched halfway through to minor in Elementary Education and major in Handicap Learner. She then received her Master's degree in 1987 in Special Education. Once she graduated, she moved to Boardman, OR. to teach Special Education. In the evenings, she taught ESOL (English as a Second Language). She also became involved with the community Latina events. On the weekends, Jeanne traveled to LaGrande to earn her Bi-Lingual ESOL endorsements. It was during her time in Boardman that she married and gave birth to two daughters. After eight years, she and her daughters moved to Hermiston and she began teaching Bi-Lingual Education for seven years. Jeanne then went on to the Univ. of Oregon where she earned her Administrative Licensure. She then moved to Portland with her daughters and began working for the Reynolds School District for eight years as the Student Services Director. She then was hired to be the MESD Special Education Coordinator for all the school districts for seven years. During these years, she also attended Lewis and Clark College's Doctoral Program where she earned her EDS in Education Leadership. She remarried in 2015 to a local fisherman who also works for the City of Gresham. She now has a stepdaughter and they all live in a newly purchased Corbett home. Jeanne says she looks forward to enjoying many years in the community and school and is focused on positive relationships and positive outcomes, giving students the best opportunities available.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Keeping Things Running Smoothly in the Corbett Office

Christie Dillard's parents met when they were students at Corbett High School. They married, and she and her younger brother lived with them in Portland until Christie was in the 7th grade. At this time, her parents decided to move the family to Corbett. Christie was shy as a child, but played volleyball, basketball and softball all through her school years. She enjoyed staying busy and being part of a team. As a freshman, she played Varsity in all three sports! After high school graduation, Christie  attended Mt. Hood Community College to study to become a dental hygienist. During high school, she worked at West Coast Bending and Fab Inc. as an office assistant. She continued to do this while attending Mt. Hood. During her time in college, her employer offered her a desirable position as an office manager. She quit school and accepted the job. She continued with that job until she was 28 years old. At age 19, Christie had met Rob Dillard through a friend. They began dating and married when she was 24 years old. Their first daughter arrived when she was 28. Emma was born in 2003 and Paige was born in 2005.  When Emma was born, Christie's office job ended with the demise of the company. A year later, she began work at Twelve Mile Disposal, Corbett's local garbage company. Christie and Rob were now living in Corbett. They had bought land in Corbett in 1998 and then their house burned in 2002. They moved in with Christie's parents who lived on Lucas Road in Corbett. They re-built a home on their land and have been there ever since. Emma is now a freshman and Paige is a 7th grader at Corbett. In 2008, Christie and Rob bought the Springdale Tavern from her grandfather. Christie ran it full-time while Rob kept his job. The recession hit them hard, so in 2013, Christie went to work for Alliance Plumbing as their office manager and bookkeeper for two years. She then started her own bookkeeping business and still owns that today. In 2017 she began working for the Corbett School District as their Business Office Assistant. She enjoys the friendly work environment and learning a new system. She says there is a lot of support for one another in the office and she appreciates seeing the students as well. Her extended family is large and they spend a lot of time together. Christie and Rob also love to spend time with just their girls going boating, camping, and just being together in the outdoors. She is looking forward to a big family road trip to the Grand Canyon next summer!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Stepping In When Needed

Callie Uleners was born in Visalia, CA and one of six children in her family. Callie is the baby of the family and her only sister is the oldest. Her father has passed, but her parents were married 38 years! When Callie was born, her brother was dying of cancer. It was a very stressful and sad time for her loving family. When she was just four years old, her brother died at age 16. The sadness continued after Bryan's death, so Callie spent a great deal of time in the outdoors playing and being creative in her play. Callie was introverted and yet was very expressive in her painting, drawing and writing. At age six, she also began to sing. She sang all through grade, middle and high school. She was in a choir called Up With Kids as well as a chamber choir in high school and the California Girls Choir. Only 30 girls were chosen from the state of CA for this choir, and they traveled to Belgium when she was 15 years old. The host family that she stayed with had a son named Roel and they became friends. They later began writing letters to one another. The next six years, they never saw one another, but they kept writing to each other. After high school graduation, Callie attended College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. She also took classes at Fresno State University, simultaneously. In 2000, Callie was working on her Art degree and at her parent's house when a knock on the door happened. Standing there to both greet and surprise her was Roel from Belgium! They realized they were deeply in love and ended up getting married in Belgium. They came back to CA and their family began to grow. After the first two sons were born, they decided to move to Belgium to be near Roel's family. After three years, they moved back to the U.S., landing in Oregon for Roel's job opportunity. Roel is a design consultant, speaking three languages and he gets the opportunity to work with many world leaders. Their last son was born in Oregon in 2011 and they lived in Forest Park. After visiting a July 4th celebration in Corbett, they decided they wanted to live in a community where people knew their neighbors and took care of each other. They purchased a Corbett home in 2013 and fully embraced the Corbett lifestyle. Callie has been a copy editor and writer since 2004, doing freelance work. She recently wrote her first workbook, a grounding meditation workbook created for people who are victims of trauma or who are highly sensitive people. She also makes plant medicine, using native and medicinal plants. She grows many of her own plants. In 2016, Callie was hired as a Classified Substitute for MESD. She works for the Corbett District, wherever there is a need, working at all four Corbett Schools. Callie is grateful that her sons are able to attend the Corbett Schools and she enjoys doing whatever is needed in the office, classrooms, cafeteria or playground when called in to cover for a regular employee. Callie and her family have plans to live in Corbett for many years to come!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Bringing her Energy BACK to Corbett!

Maggie Young is BAAAACK! She was born in Portland, but grew up in Troutdale. She has a brother who is 12 years older and a sister that is ten years older. Since birth, her family lived in the Sweetbriar neighborhood of Troutdale. When Maggie was eight, they moved just eight homes down the street to a larger home in the same Sweetbriar neighborhood! As a child, Maggie describes herself as being very outgoing and energetic, always playing outdoors and playing make-believe. She says she has always had a very creative mind. When Maggie was five, she started playing softball and then began playing volleyball in second grade. Maggie's father was the Corbett High School softball coach, and really liked the school. He wanted Maggie to transfer to the Corbett School District. It was an easy transition because she was already friends with several Corbett girls through her involvement with them on the Mt. Hood Volleyball Club Team. Maggie played both volleyball and softball all through middle and high school. In softball, she won "Player of the Year" her Senior year as well as All-League and All-State both her Junior and Senior years! In volleyball, she won 2nd Team All-League her Sophomore year and Honorable Mention All-State her Junior year. After high school graduation, she attended Mt. Hood Community College for one year and also worked at Tad's Chicken and Dumplin's. She then moved to Eugene and worked at a restaurant for a year. Maggie decided to  move back to Portland and attend Portland State Univ. for a year and work at a Montessori Pre-School. This was followed by a year of being a nanny full-time in Portland. Maggie then moved to Casper, Wyoming to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). After her time in Wyoming, she moved back to Troutdale and lived with her parents for a short time. She began work at a pediatric clinic in Gresham for 2 years. Maggie met her husband David when she was 14 years old through a friend. They began dating when she was 20 years old and when back from Wyoming, they eventually married. They currently have a five year old foster son. She loves exposing him to a variety of experiences. After getting married, Maggie began coaching volleyball at Corbett Middle School and also at Mt. Hood Volleyball Club. She then decided to to apply for a job at Corbett Schools in 2017 and was hired as a Paraeducator in Special Education. As a family, David and Maggie enjoy camping and doing things together outdoors. They are currently looking to purchase a home.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Paying it Forward

Born in Seattle, Wash., Holly McBride was adopted at birth. Holly's two sisters and brother were also adopted and raised in Pasco, Wash. Holly lived in Pasco her entire childhood and she was very shy as a child. In grade school she was tested for dyslexia and ended up being tutored as a result. Both her parents and teachers gave her support that she needed to succeed. This is one of the main reasons she now is paying it forward by helping other children in a school setting. As a youth, Holly was very involved with her church's youth group, drill team, volleyball, dance and drama. Her parents kept all of their kids social and active. Upon high school graduation, Holly attended the Univ. of Idaho for two years. She joined a sorority and that is what ended her shyness and brought her out of her shell. College advisers encouraged her to become a teacher, but she had no interest at the time, so she left the University. Holly began attending Bassist Institute in Portland to study textile and design, wanting to become a buyer. Holly met her husband David at church and she ended up quitting Bassist and transferred to Central Wash. Univ. and earned her degree in Consumer and Family Relations. Holly and David married just before her graduation and once she finished, they started their family. Patrick was born in 1983 and Matthew arrived in 1985. Holly was a stay-at-home mom until Patrick started kindergarten. Holly did in-home daycare. When Patrick was in 2nd grade, the family moved to Corbett. They wanted to live in the country, so they purchased 14 acres and then built their home with the trees on site. In the beginning phase, they lived in a tent from June until October, then moved into the barn. From there, they then moved into a single wide trailer until their home was ready to move in. Because they paid for the home as they built, the process took 12 years. During the boy's growing up years, Holly worked as a house cleaner, math tutor, and also as a home economics teacher at Portland Christian School. When that position was discontinued, Holly applied at Outdoor School as a cook. She loved it! Her next job was at Sam Barlow High, helping college bound students. In 2014, she applied at Corbett and was hired as both an aide and a school bus driver. She does both, making it a full-time position. Holly and David are still living in their home on Trout Creek Road. Her oldest son is an electrician, living in Hood River, working at the new Google plant. He served three tours in Iraq. The youngest son served five years in the Navy and is living in Baker City with his wife and four children.  Holly says she is happy working at Corbett, building relationships with the kids and seeing their "ah ha" moments when things come together for them with the learning process!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Bringing her Sparkle and Talent as Corbett's Music Teacher

Caroline Oakley was born in Upper New York State, near Buffalo. At age three, her family moved to Charleston, South Carolina. Her parents had three children, giving Caroline an older brother and a younger sister. Recently they celebrated 50 years of marriage! Her mother is English, so her parents spend summers in Europe and the rest of the year in South Carolina. Caroline says she started off shy as a child but became more outgoing as time passed. She played classical violin from the age of six until she was eleven. She then took a ten year break from music. Over the years she loved to dance, but had no formal training, ran track, played basketball, soccer and swam on swim team. Her father was a long distance runner and she ran often with him. To earn money during high school, Caroline worked at a neighbor's jewelry store. After graduation, she headed off to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, she saw a book on a coffee table with photos of Oregon. She was fascinated. She worked two summers at a Girl Scout camp in Florence, Oregon. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology, she worked for Girl's Inc., a program to empower low-income girls. Four years after graduation, Caroline biked solo from Denver to Portland. She tent camped the entire way and brought a fiddle to play each night. During the two month journey, she stopped to see and visit with friends that she had met at music festivals while in her 20's. A boyfriend from a bluegrass family had inspired her to play the fiddle at age 21. At age 25 she taught herself to play the guitar. When Caroline finished her bike trip in Portland, she got a job at the YWCA for five years. Caroline met Pete in 2000 while playing music. They married in 2002, moved to Portland and had three boys- Simon, Gus and Benjamin.  Caroline stayed at home for four years. When Gus was a year old, she started teaching a parent/toddler music program. She did this for ten years. She also has spent a decade teaching as an Artist-in-Residence in tri-county schools. Pete and Caroline moved the family to Corbett in June 2013.They have since separated and are raising the boys together. In 2016, Caroline earned her Master's degree in Elementary Education. She currently teaches music at Corbett Grade/Middle School and CAPS. She is also on the board at Corbett's Columbia Grange and organizes many of the dances held there. Caroline is well-known nationally as a community square dance caller and calls dances locally and at music festivals around the country.  She also works for several NW organizations that promote old-time fiddle music and community dancing. Caroline loves music, writing letters and physical activity. She is thankful to raise her boys in Corbett and teach what she is passionate about at the local school!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bringing his Love of Music to Corbett

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Ken Hoffman was raised with one brother and two sisters. His parents moved out of the city when Ken was in second grade, heading to the suburbs. His father was an accountant for Univac and his mom stayed home full-time. He says his dad was an Arthur Murray dance instructor and a real jokester while his mom was a Holocaust survivor and was in ballet as a dancer for many years. Ken was a Cub and Boy Scout and played Little League. Music started for him in the third grade. Initially he wanted to play the trumpet, but switched to the french horn in middle school. He then added tuba and trombone. He did quite well and was a part of several honor bands. Ken loved music and felt playing instruments came easy for him. He joined the choir in middle school and began also playing bass to accompany them. In high school he was in several musicals and was Technical Director his senior year for a play. In the midst of all this activity, Ken's father died of a heart attack when he was just 16 years old. It was then his mother began working at the school in the cafeteria. After high school graduation, Ken headed to Univ. of Rochester as a Chemistry major. Simultaneously, he was accepted into the Eastman School of Music in Rochester. He was able to study privately with Milan Yancich on french horn. It turns out he was not a strong math student and failed calculus. He lost his scholarship and had to head home at the end of his sophomore year. During college he had gotten his EMT certification and now used it to be a volunteer paramedic. For income, he worked security at a nuclear power plant. Later, he moved to CA and became employed as a paramedic. This is where he met his wife Elizabeth, an ER nurse. They moved to San Francisco and had three daughters. In 1990 he finished his Bachelor's degree with a Music major at Sonoma State Univ. He began teaching 4-8th graders. In 1998, they moved to Ventura, CA where he taught high school band, choir and orchestra. This was followed by four years in El Camino, CA then Chaminade, CA for six years. With 26 years of experience, Ken moved his family to Oregon and is now a Strings teacher at Corbett Schools for grades 3-12. His desire is to eventually have a full orchestra. Currently he and his wife and youngest two daughters are living in Hillsboro with two dogs and a cat. They are  looking to purchase a home closer to Corbett. Ken says he is excited to be in the Pacific Northwest and cannot wait for all that lies ahead with his position at the Corbett Schools.

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.