Eighth grade language arts and leadership teacher at Armand Larive Middle School

When and why did you move to Hermiston?

My first teaching job was in Pendleton. I was trying to get back “home” to Ellensburg, Wash. The closest I ever got was Hermiston. Charlie Stine met me in Prosser, Wash. to interview me and hired me on the spot to teach sixth grade at West Park Elementary school. That was in 1984 and I never made it any closer to “home”.

What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?

I do a lot of cooking at home but when we do treat ourselves, it is usually Ixtapa, Chen’s, or Kobe Sushi.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I don’t have a lot of it but when I do, I enjoy gardening, reading and watching my boys rodeo and play lacrosse. Anytime we spend time together as a family is a great time! If I have a longer time to get away, I love going to the beach.

What surprises you about Hermiston?

All the changes that have come with the growth. I am amazed how Hermiston continues to grow!

What was the last book you read?

I am reading “Forty Autumns” by Nina Willner. It is a family’s story of courage and survival on both sides of the Berlin Wall. My mom and her family grew up in that era and I have always found it fascinating. She recommended the book to me because it is so similar to her growing up. Having been to Berlin numerous times, some of the places mentioned are familiar to me.

What website or app do you use most other than Facebook?

Several weather apps...so we can “try” and plan for the weather when we travel for rodeos and games. I also use PowerSchool a lot checking on my kids’ grades and YouTube to fix almost anything!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I would love to go back to Germany. I still have family there. When I taught sixth grade, Egypt always fascinated me so that is on my bucket list also.

What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?

There are always amusing things that happen to you when you are a teacher, from falling out of your chair to mispronouncing words, to learning all the new dance moves at middle school dances. I think the funniest thing lately was the pie in the face for our ALMS fundraiser we held in April. I was one of several teachers to have the “honor” of a pie in the face. By the time students “pied” us, the whipped cream was total liquid and went everywhere! It was totally disgusting but fun and for a great cause.

What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?

There are going to be a lot of new challenges this school year and I want to be the best I can be to support my students. Building relationships with them is most important because when you have that, anything is possible.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Personally; my family and the growth my boys have shown as they continue to grow and mature. It isn’t always easy being a teenager today but they have grown into respectful responsible young men and you can’t ask for any more than that! Professionally; I am proud of the relationships I have built with my students. They continue to stay in contact long after they were in my classroom. I received the Geny Award (students nominate teachers who they feel have been instrumental in their success in academics in preparation for college) and awards that come from students are the best! It validates that my job is important and I can touch lives for the better.

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