Here's a look at the teachers and other staff members new this fall to the Estacada School District.
David Komeiji - Part-time physical therapist, K-12
He graduated from the University of Hawaii with a bachelor's degree in zoology. He received a M.M. science degree in physical therapy, School of Medicine, from Emory University. He has worked as a physical therapist for more than 30 years. David was previously employed as a physical therapist at Columbia Regional and has worked with several students at the Estacada School District.
In addition to working at the Estacada School District, he has been recently appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber to work on statewide health care reform.
Sandra Walk - School psychologist working with elementary students
She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a bachelor's degree in special education, learning disabilities, and completed a master of education in psychology and counseling from the University of Missouri. She recently received an education specialist degree in school psychology at George Fox University. She is an experienced special education teacher, having taught for more than 10 years in Missouri, California and Oregon. She completed a one-year school psychologist intern program with the Clackamas Education Service District during the 2010-11 school year.
She has worked as a learning specialist in three different states but has found her 'forever home' here in Oregon. She has five children, three and a half grandchildren, two dogs, one husband, and she loves camping near Mount Hood.
Nathan Meik - Life Skills teacher working with secondary students, grades 7-12
He received a bachelor of arts in liberal studies from the University of Redlands, California, and a master's degree in special education from Point Loma Nazarene University, California. He is an experienced teacher, having completed five years at Woodlake Union High School, Lindsay Unified High School and Tulare City Elementary School in California. Nathan previously worked for the Estacada School District as an educational assistant during the 2004-05 school year.
He has been working in special education for the past seven years. He began his career in the field as an educational assistant in the Life Skills program at Estacada High School in 2004 and now returns to the district as the teacher in the Life Skills program. He looks forward to being a part of the community.
Jennifer Waibel - Part-time speech-language specialist for the Estacada School District
She received a bachelor of arts degree in communication disorder and science from the University of Oregon and completed a master of arts degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Kansas. She is an experienced speech-language specialist, having worked with students for more than 12 years at the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nev., the Vancouver School District and most recently for EBS Healthcare Inc. at Willamette ESD in Salem.
She was born and raised in Hillsboro and graduated from Hillsboro High School. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Oregon and a master of arts from the University of Kansas. She worked in Las Vegas for five years in a school district. She met her husband at her 10-year high school reunion and learned they have the same birthday. She and her husband live in Oregon City and have a rambunctious black lab they rescued from the pound.
Robert Franks - Physical education teacher at all three elementary schools
He received a bachelor of arts degree in physical education with a minor in health and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy with a literature minor from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn. He completed his student teaching internship as a physical education and health teacher at Central Middle School in Columbia Heights and Park Terrace Elementary School, in Spring Lake, Park, Minn. He has been a substitute teacher in for the past three years for Clackamas County schools.
He grew up in a small town in Nebraska, about the same size as Estacada, and this town was about the same distance from Omaha as Estacada is from Portland. The similarities bring back fond memories of his childhood. Some of his best memories took place on Autumn Friday nights at the local stadium as his high school heroes (including his older brother) did battle on the football field. 'That is the beauty of small towns and is one of my reasons for being excited to teach in Estacada,' he says.
Rebecca Rydberg - School psychology intern studying at Lewis and Clark College
She will work in the Estacada School District under the supervision of Dr. Richard Rosenberg. Primarily she will work at Estacada Junior High but also may also be found at Estacada High School and at River Mill Elementary. Her past experience has been primarily in urban settings working as a social worker in the Reynolds and Portland school districts. She has also worked as an advocate and tutor at Gresham High School as well as in an elementary school in the David Douglas district.
She chose Estacada as an internship placement largely due to the extremely positive experiences of prior Lewis and Clark interns. She is excited about her first opportunity to work in a small district where relationships are the most important part of the job.
Jessica Boykin - One-year temporary educational assistant in the special education classroom at River Mill Elementary
Jessica is a graduate of Sandy High School and she holds her bachelor's degree in social work. Jessica brings to the district many years of successful experience working with disabled children and teens. She promotes a safe and healthy lifestyle and is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of students.
Beverly Harless - Cook/baker at River Mill Elementary School
Beverly graduated from John Rogers High School. She has served many years as the kitchen supervisor for a major technology institute, serving meals to approximately 2,000 students per day. Beverly recently relocated to the Estacada/Eagle Creek area to be closer to her family.
Stacey Alexander - Cook/baker at Clackamas River Elementary School
Stacey is a graduate of Sandy High School and has also attended Clackamas Community College. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for four years as well as Friends of Rosa Park foundation for five years. In her spare time, Stacey enjoys spending time with family and friends.