Behind the New Teachers at Lakes

Madison Wadleigh, Reporter

We’re back in school and just like new students, there are also several new teachers.  Our new teachers this year are Elizabeth Bergendahl, Laura Brewster, Kristin Carter, Cloe Easter, Jessica Elshire, Nick Hubeek, Caleb Kamalu, Riley Kent, Schafer Schafer, Rebecca Thornton, and Paul ‘Unga. And every one of these teachers has their own unique story and reason behind why they chose to become a teacher in the first place. The first teacher I talked to was Kristin Carter, who told me the reason why she became a teacher she explains, “I have always had a passion for learning and discussing languages. When I thought about how this would translate into a job, I chose to teach at the high school level because I knew the connections, I can make with students can inspire them to do their best in and after school, as well as make them feel valued for who they are.” Outside of school she has many hobbies she does to relax those activities include, reading fantasy novels, jogging, yoga, watching tv or playing games with her husband, petting her two cats, listening to the Chinese news and podcasts and cooking. And when it comes to how long she’s been teaching for, and this is her first year of teaching. Right before coming to teach, she had just graduated from PLU. Kristin Carter was born in Joplin Missouri, and grew up in Kansas City, MO. After she joined the Navy and was a translator for 10 years, she lived in Georgia, California and Hawaii. One final interesting fact about her is that she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and says how she’d love to talk to any other students who know the language. The second teacher who shared their story with me was Rebecca Thornton. After being asked why she sought out teaching as her career she tells me “The reason that I became a special education teacher was to help those who often don’t have a voice in their own education to find that voice and advocate for things they want to their lives, and to make the system move in a direction that they want it to rather than the path archaic schools have determined they must follow.”  For Rebecca Thornton this is her second career, previously she had worked as an auditor and internal controls controller as well as an accountant for a large international company. She has been in education for about 13 years. She previously taught at an elementary school and a high school in Oregon and has also taught in the Clover Park School District at Evergreen Elementary and Lakes High School which she left in 2015 before later returning. She taught in schools outside of the state as well,  an elementary school in Arlington, Virginia, two schools in Killeen Texas and most recently has taught at another high school in Brooklyn, New York. Something else interesting many others may not know about her is that she loves to travel, and travels to multiple countries every summer, and in fact this last summer her and her family visited three different islands in Greece and Switzerland. And the final teacher I decided to talk to was Cloe Easter, who was a graduate from Lakes High School and has lived here her whole life. She says her reason for becoming a teacher was that “I chose to become a teacher because I loved playing school as a kid!” This is only her second year of teaching but her first time teaching at Lakes, her first year of teaching she taught at Lochburn Middle School. And an interesting fact about her is that she really enjoys collecting Legos. Now that you’ve gotten to know some of the backstories of some of our new teachers here at Lakes, let’s be sure to show them an amazing time at our school.