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!