I actually grew up in the other Portland—Portland, Maine. I was born there, and I lived there until I graduated from high school and attended a university in Arkansas. During the summers, I would go back to Maine to live with my parents and work at a minor league baseball park and doggie daycare.
I have two older sisters (I’m the baby of the family). We are all spread out across the country. My dad jokes that he has three daughters in three different time zones—and it’s true! My sister, brother-in-law, two nephews, and niece live in New Mexico, and my middle sister lives in Iowa. But here is always where I assure people that I love my family, and we weren’t trying to get as far away from each other as possible. It’s just where we all ended up. In fact, we try to all meet up at least once or twice a year, usually in Maine, but last summer I got to show them Oregon! We went to Crater Lake, Haystack Rock, Powell’s Books, Multnomah Falls—it was awesome!
In college I studied Early Childhood Education. After graduating with my BA, I taught Pre-K and second grade in two rural Arkansas schools. I am currently working on my master’s degree in Library and Information Science, which is how I came to be the Library Media Assistant at Candalaria Elementary. This job combines two of my favorite things—teaching and reading! It’s great!
In my free time I like to watch my husband coach football, read books, go hiking with my dog, and explore the beautiful Oregon coast.
My favorite thing about Candalaria is the people! Everyone has been very kind and welcoming. I’m already beginning to feel at home here. My goals for this year are pretty simple: remind students that reading is fun! Books are adventures in portable form. They allow us to be creative and imaginative. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, designs, and content. My job is to help your child find the right match. As the wise Dr. Seuss said, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
Mrs. Hallowell was born in Hollywood, California, but was grew up in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. She and her husband moved to Oregon around 1980 to help with a family business.
Mrs. Hallowell has two children, Sean and Sara, who both attended Candalaria and graduated from South Salem High School. Sean went on to Brown and Columbia where he received a PhD in musicology. He lives in San Francisco and is getting married in April. Sara, who is a WOU grad and an interpreter, recently moved back to Salem from New York. Mrs. Hallowell is so happy to be closer to her grandchildren, Reid (4) and Lily (6)!
She spends a lot of time taking care of her aging mother. In her spare time, Mrs. Hallowell likes to garden, sew, craft, scrapbook and spend time with her grandchildren.. She also likes to travel and is particularly looking forward to her trip to her son's wedding in April with her daughter and granddaughter. .
Mrs. Hallowell worked for Salem-Keizer's Student Services department for 22 years before coming to Candalaria. She remembers thinking, back when her kids went to Candalaria, that the Candalaria office would be a fun place to work. She is so happy to be on the Candalaria staff now, and loves to see the smiles of the students each day. She says being at Candalaria "just feels right!"
Where are you from?
I am from Idaho. I moved to Oregon after graduating High School in 1997. I miss all my family there but have enjoyed my life in Oregon.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to do all kinds of things. When the weather is nice I love working in my yard or garden. When the weather is not so great, a good book is always relaxing. I have even had times of doing sewing projects. Although things done by myself are great, I love to do things with my children. We do things like board games, puzzles, movie days, going hiking(we love the outdoors and to enjoy nature) and just have fun doing whatever together.
What do you enjoy about Candalaria?
Candalaria has a great student body and the kids just make coming to work a joy. They seem to appreciate even the little things I do. And lets not forget about the amazing staff here. They have made me feel so welcomed. Although all the stairs can be quite exhausting, I think this is a great place to be.
What is your dream vacation spot?
My dream vacation would be to go to Venice. I have always wanted to experience the true gondola ride and getting to experience the culture. I would also love to go check out all the beauty the land has to offer as well.
Do you have any kids or pets?
I have three awesome kids. My oldest is Savannah; she is 15 and is a sophomore at McKay High School. Steven; is 14 and an eighth grader at Waldo Middle School. My baby, Sydney, is seven and is in second grade at Swegle Elementary School. Sometimes when asked about kids, I say I have three, but feel I have four sometimes. My biggest kid is my husband, Myron. He works as an IA in the EGC (emotional growth center) room at Waldo Middle school. We have been married for 16 years and it has been an amazing ride so far.
Pets are another joy in our lives. We have what my husband calls a mini zoo. We have three dogs (one is a foster), three cats (one is a foster as well), three guinea pigs and three chickens.
Are you a duck or a beaver?
I am a Duck fan. In fact I am a season ticket holder. I was never into sports the way I am now. My husband turned me.
Mrs. Holmstrom is a native Oregonian. She grew up along the coast and graduated from Taft High School in Lincoln City. She also attended Irrawang High School, located in Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, as well as a Master of Science in Education, specializing in English language learners, from Western Oregon University. From Portland State University, Mrs. Holmstrom received her Administrative License. She also studied at the University of Bangor, in Wales, and the University of Arizona in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Prior to becoming the Effective Learning Teacher at Candalaria and McKinley, Mrs. Holmstrom taught at Mary Eyre and Myers Elementary. She was also an Instructional Coach (similar to her current position) at multiple schools in West Salem, spent time as a Teacher Consultant for National Geographic’s Oregon Geographic Alliance, and was the Undergraduate Education Advisor at Western Oregon University.
Mrs. Holmstrom loves spending time with her family, which now includes a five-month-old Yorkshire puppy, traveling, hiking, and being outdoors. She also enjoys watching her favorite sports teams, especially during football season.
Mrs. Holmstrom is excited to be at Candalaria this year. She’s looking forward to working with the outstanding staff, students, and families that make our school such a great place to learn and grow.
Mrs. Dow was born and raised in Southern California. In middle school she was the Ventura County finalist for the National Spelling Bee! Her family moved a couple of times, so she finished high school in Kentucky. She has a Business and Administrative Management Degree from St. Mary’s College, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from George Fox University. She had a private counseling practice for 5 years, and worked as a Mental Health Counselor and Crisis Intervention Counselor for 5 years before becoming a School Counselor. Mrs. Dow has worked in Salem Keizer schools for the last 14 years. Mrs. Dow also volunteers with the American Red Cross as a Disaster Mental Health Responder.
Mrs. Dow enjoys gardening, backpacking, hiking, and bicycling. Every year, with her husband and son, she backpacks into wilderness areas for 5-10 nights. She and her husband also ride the 65-mile charity MS Bike Ride in Monmouth every summer. Mrs. Dow’s husband and son are both high school and community college instructors.
Mrs. Dow feels blessed to be at Candalaria. She is excited to be working with the competent and caring staff, and amazing parents and students. One of her goals this year is to begin building the PBIS support system at Candalaria to enhance all of the good work that is already taking place.
In the Spotlight
Over the course of the year, we will spotlight various teachers, staff, clubs and activities. Feel free to suggest a topic or person to spotlight!
Looking for School News Updates? Click here.