Employee of the Month
Congratulations to Rachel Frede, our October Fern Ridge School District Employee of the month! Mrs. Frede has been a teacher for 10 years with 6 of those years being with FRSD at Elmira Elementary School.
Mrs. Frede is married to Mike Frede and they have three amazing kids, Jackson (13), Eleanor (2) and Leo (10 months) In her spare time she loves being with her family, traveling and is an avid runner. She has completed multiple marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2013 and is currently training for the Silver Falls Half Marathon.
She explains that her favorite part about her job is watching her students love for learning grow and expand and being their guide through this process. She also values building strong relationships with students. Her classroom community is a place where both she and her students learn and grow together each year, “They challenge and inspire me just as much as I do them. They keep every single day interesting!”
For the 2018/2019 school year, Mrs. Frede teaches a blended classroom. This means that each day she prepares to teach all subject areas in both 2nd and 3rd grade. Some of what she teaches is easy to prepare for all of her students but other skills are specific to each grade level. Math is an example of a subject that requires planning and preparation for both grade levels along with collaboration with other EES 2nd and 3rd grade teachers. She serves on the Elmira Elementary School Math Committee and loves to make math fun and challenging for other teachers and all of the students. She also works on the annual talent show that Elmira Elementary Students present each year. Thank you Mrs. Frede for your dedication to all of your students and best of luck in your half marathon!
Mr. Greg Baker has worked in the district since 1998 and recently received his 20 year service pin! He was also awarded the 2018 Distinguished Confidential Employee for Fern Ridge School District. He first started with the district as a substitute custodian and then worked his way up to his current position as Director of Facilities. He oversees the custodial crew and the interior maintenance of all Fern Ridge School District buildings. Work for our custodians continues year round and while most of us are enjoying our summer, spring and winter breaks, Mr. Baker and his crew are busy re-surfacing gym floors, cleaning lockers, deep cleaning carpets, painting and doing the thousand of other tasks that enable our district to function.
Mr. Baker along with his wife Janet (who also works for the school district) and their four children are all Elmira High School graduates. The next generation of Bakers have arrived in the school district with 3 of their 7 grand children attending Elmira Elementary.
When Mr. Baker is not working you can usually find him spending time with family or adventuring abroad with his wife Janet (they traveled to Panama in 2017.) He is also an avid reader and enjoys hiking; often planning hikes of 50 miles or more! He approaches his job with a high amount of integrity and is always willing to go the extra mile for staff even if it means working longer hours to get the job done. His dedication to the staff and students of our district is appreciated and we are excited to honor Mr. Baker this month.
Traci Davis-Whiteley has been selected as our June Employee of the Month! Traci has worked for the Fern Ridge School District since October of 2010. She is married to Jeff and they have a daughter, Jayna.
Traci’s stepson recently completed his military duty so he, his wife and their 2 year old are living with Traci and Jeff temporarily. This makes things very busy at the Whiteley house but Traci is enjoying the grand-baby! In addition to spending time with her family, Traci loves horses, horses, horses and more horses, dogs and other critters.
In her position as a Teacher on Special Assignment for the Special Education Department this year she performs a variety of tasks. Currently, her case management list is made up of 12 students out of district and 30 students in district. She assists with extended assessments, behavior support, she helps out when needed with the Woodcock Johnson testing and other evaluations. She also recently completed coursework to add the autism specialist endorsement to her license. Traci is always willing to lend a helping hand where needed as the day progresses and loves the variety that her position brings each day. She does a lot for the students of our district and we are excited to recognize her hard work this year. Thank you Traci!
Ms. Kathy Langley has been selected as the Fern Ridge School District’s May Employee of the Month!
Ms. Langley came to the district in August of 1999 and has been a Social Studies teacher at Elmira High School ever since. Ms. Langley notes that the favorite things about her job are interacting with the students. She says there is no such thing as a “boring teenager” and goes on to mention that she enjoys seeing them succeed as well as their huge smiles on graduation night.
Ms. Langley has done too many things here at EHS to mention them all. At the urging of a student, she started the Key Club here at EHS and was their advisor for 6 years. The club focused on care packages for soldiers, school kits for a community in Africa, Easter baskets for kids at the Eugene Relief Nursery, as well as several local projects here in our community. Ms Langely currently serves on the School Safety Committee, Site Council and the District Calendar Committee. Ms. Langley was also one of the founding teachers of the annual AP debates between the Democrats (Juniors) and Republicans (Seniors) that is held every November here at EHS.
In her free time Ms. Langley likes likes to spend time with her family, reading a good book, and she also enjoys photography. The Fern Ridge School District and Elmira High School are lucky to have Ms. Langley here to serve our students. Thank you for all you do Ms. Langley!
Mr. Ryan Chambers has been selected as Fern Ridge School District’s April Employee of the Month!
Mr. Chambers came to the district in August of 2014 as a counselor at the Fern Ridge Middle School and has been an invaluable asset to the our district ever since. He says that a favorite part of his job is helping kids and the fact that he never knows what the day is going to bring.
In addition to serving the student at FRMS as a counselor, Mr. Chambers is also adviser to the school leadership class and the chair of the middle school’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Committee. He also spends his time coaching track at the middle school and soccer at the high school.
Traveling, attending live musical concerts and starting a record collection are a few ways he enjoys spending his free time. Mr. Chambers also loves to read with his favorite book of all time being The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. He is married to the talented Jennifer Chambers who is a local author as well as a substitute instructional assistant for the school district. Their three amazing kids all attend school at Fern Ridge with Keira at Veneta Elementary, Quinn at Fern Ridge Middle School and Riley at Elmira High School.
Mr. Chamber enriches the lives of students everyday at the middle school. Thank you for all you do Mr. Chambers!
Becky Dube’ has worked in Fern Ridge School District since September of 2015 as the District Student Data Specialist. Becky was raised in this community where she and her husband Jamie raised two kids. Madison is a graduate of Elmira High School and Jackson is currently a sophomore at EHS.
Becky was key in making the transition to the new schedule at the middle school a few weeks ago. She put in countless hours along side FRMS staff to accomplish this huge task. On a daily basis, Becky provides support to each building with their student information system, she prepares required state reports and also organizes work order requests for the maintenance department.
Her office is located inside the District Office where she spreads her easy smile and fun loving attitude to everyone who comes through her door. In addition to her work in the district, Becky has also been a long time volunteer for Territorial Sports Program, having been involved for over 10 years!
When she is not working Becky enjoys spending time with her family which include her two boxers, Cash and June. We appreciate her and the great job she does for our district. Congratulations Becky!
Nick has been the Elmira High School Head Boys Basketball Coach since June of 2006. He explained that the relationships he develops with the kids and his coaching staff along with other school staff members are some of his favorite things about the job. “The excitement of the games and watching high school players grow into successful, hard-working young men is very rewarding as well.”
As the head coach, Nick plans the daily practices, attends required meetings and makes sure he assists wherever he is needed. He tells us that the kids and coaches make the job really fun. “The kids give me energy and keep me feeling younger and, hopefully my coaching staff and I provide them with some good character building and we all are better people for having worked together!” His enthusiasm for his team is often apparent in his “kick moves” that fans have come to expect when the Falcons are playing well.
When he is not working with EHS athletes, Nick plays slow pitch softball (for the past 36 summers!) and spends his time working around his farm. He likes movies (comedies and action) and enjoys reading and listening to mystery/thriller books, especially on his drive to Elmira from Cottage Grove and back during basketball season. Nick has been married to his wife, Konnie for 29 years and their daughter, Kaylee is a senior at the University of Oregon.
We want to thank Coach Garman for his years of coaching and enriching the lives of countless student athletes and this community.
Congratulations to our January Employees of the Month!
Kasey Cutsforth from Veneta Elementary School and Jennie Herbert from Elmira Elementary School
Kasey Cutsforth is one of January’s Employees of the Month. In addition to being a first grade teacher at Veneta Elementary, Kasey is also one of our elementary CATCH Champions. As a CATCH Champion, Kasey plans and organizes PE lessons for the school, and spearheads the implementation of the yearly CATCH grant.
Kasey has a long history in the Fern Ridge School District. She attended Veneta Elementary during her grade school years, then went on to Fern Ridge Middle School and graduated from Elmira High School. After high school, she went on to study elementary education at Northwest Christian University. Along with her studies, Kasey also played basketball and softball in college. When the time for student teaching came around, Kasey came back to her roots here at Veneta Elementary and completed her student teaching with her kindergarten teacher, Liz Zegar. When Liz retired after many years in the district, Kasey was hired to replace her. She’s now worked as a teacher here at Veneta Elementary for 11 years. Kasey says that the relationships she has built in our local community are one of the things she loves most about her job.
Kasey is married to another Elmira graduate, Todd, and they have two children, Connor, 6, and Kara, 3. Outside of her time at school, she likes spending time with her family, being outdoors, and participating in sports of all types. She enjoys running and has participated in several half marathons and has even completed one full marathon! Kasey is positive, upbeat, and an incredible asset to the Fern Ridge School District.
Jennie Herbert is also our January Employee of the Month. She has taught second grade at Elmira Elementary for over fourteen years and is a CATCH Champion for Elmira. Many hours have gone into organizing PE equipment and helping to plan activities that are part of the CATCH grant.
Jennie was a student at Elmira Elementary before becoming a teacher, even painting some of the mural that remained on the walls of the old Elmira building close to where she would later teach her own students. Her favorite part of her job is watching students grow throughout the year and seeing the excitement as they surpass their goals, especially in reading. She loves their hugs and how happy they are when they see their work on display in the classroom and around the school. Her students look forward to many special activities in her second grade class but the highlight has to be the annual Sweet Creek Falls hike in the spring.
This year her day includes teaching a classroom of 35 students in all subject areas including music and PE. She serves on several committees including the PTA, Leadership, TAG Grant Writing and Enrichment Club, Assemblies, Family Fun Night and is a Booster Club Member at Elmira High School.
When Jennie is not working hard for her school community you can find her enjoying time with her husband and two sons. Cobyn is a freshman at Elmira High School and Trentyn is a sixth grader at Fern Ridge Middle School. Jennie also loves to camp, work in the garden, ride her horse, raft, bake, run and spend time at the beach.
Jennie enriches the lives of her students every day and is an invaluable asset to Elmira Elementary and the Fern Ridge Community.
None of us at FRSD could do the jobs that we do without the support of our maintenance, facilities and custodial staff. These men and women keep our schools clean, safe and maintained. While some of us are off for Winter Break these folks are working hard to ensure every building in our district is being taken care of.
We would like to honor two individuals who are a critical part of this team
Jeff Thiessen has been the with Fern Ridge School District since 2004 and has been our Director of Maintenance since 2008. Jeff spends his days doing a large variety of tasks that might include concrete work, carpentry, plumbing, water testing and just about everything in between. When he is not keeping our schools looking great and functioning for students he enjoys spending time with his wife, three sons & daughter-in-laws and is a proud Opa to four grandchildren.
Jeff enjoys being outdoors, hunting and his wife tells us that he can craft “really cool things – mostly with wood.” She also let us know that he does not like clutter, cucumbers or being stuck inside. He is really good at problem solving which is a skill that he uses almost daily in his job with Fern Ridge. We appreciate Jeff and the great job he does helping to take care of our district.
Mike Mazzei has worked in Fern Ridge School District for 4 years. The Mazzei family is well known within the district as Mike’s brother is a current employee and his dad recently retired from the custodial crew. Mike spends his day working
with Jeff in maintaining our school grounds. He takes a lot of pride in his work and is always willing to go the extra mile for staff no matter how big or small the request.
When he is not at work Mike participates in cross-fit and works on his property in Noti. He is also a talented multi-media producer, video editor and a certified Apple/Mac guru! He takes on any challenge that comes his way and always goes above and beyond in his work.
Our district is fortunate to have Mike and Jeff on our staff and we want to thank them for the hard work and dedication they give to our students and staff every day.
Fern Ridge Middle School has been lucky to have Mrs. McBride as a Physical Education Teacher for over 10 years. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and serves on the Fern Ridge Middle School Leadership Team as well as the Fern Ridge Middle School Climate Committee.
Mrs. McBride exemplifies the active lifestyle that she loves to teach to her students; she is an avid bicyclist and often rides 25 to 50 miles each day on the roads around Fern Ridge. She also goes on hikes and enjoys being outside in nature which includes camping trips with her husband, son and two dogs, Ziggy and Jax.
Her son, Keegan, who is also a student at FRMS, wanted everyone to know that his mom is a great gardener and is currently growing strawberries and raspberries. He also let us know how much his mom loves chocolate but not necessarily raspberry ice cream or any combination of raspberry and chocolate. Thanks for the tip Keegan!
Fern Ridge School District is fortunate to have such a great addition to our staff. Congratulations Mrs. McBride!