By: Jordan Cresswell (4th grade) and Bennett Cresswell (2nd grade)
Ms Andersen teaches First grade in Room 10. This is her ninth year at Candalaria, and it's the only school she's taught at. Former principal, Mr. Gertenrich, hired her right out of teaching school, and she's been here ever since. Her favorite subject to teach is reading, because once a student gets the reading bug then they're begging for books and staying up late to read. There's nothing better than seeing a reader take off because it just feels good to them. Ms Andersen’s favorite subject to learn is Spanish because it's a challenge for her.
Ms Andersen grew up in Salem and went to South Salem High School. After high school graduation, she went to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and later transferred to Oregon State University where she finished her degree. About 15 years later, she went back to Willamette University where she got her master's in teaching.
Before Candalaria, she worked for a school called the National Outdoor Leadership School, which is a hiking and wilderness school, in Wyoming and Arizona. Then she was a stay at home Mom when her son Tommy was younger, before she went back to school to get her teaching license.
Students often wonder why she walks around with pencils in her hair, and the reason is simple. She always knows where they are when she needs them and she has her favorite kind (Ticonderoga with erasers). Also, she knows that the pencils in her hair are germ free.
Outside of school, Ms Andersen loves spending time with her 14 year old son, Tommy. They play tennis together and enjoy biking and occasionally hiking. Her favorite activity is kayaking. Once, she went kayaking in Canada and would love to go back and do it again. She'd also love to kayak in Mexico and Hawaii one day.
Although she currently has 2 cats, Ms Andersen’s favorite animal is a dog. She has previously had Labradors, but doesn’t feel she’s home enough to have a dog right now. Her 2 cats are Wildfire and Milo. Her students all know that Milo doesn't have any teeth because he was allergic to them, and the veterinarian had to remove them. Now he’s getting along just fine and enjoys laying on the papers Ms Andersen brings home to grade.
When asked about her favorite superhero, she suggested a new one: “Book Girl,” who could magically show up and deliver books for kids whenever they need a new one. The Giving Tree is her favorite book. She loves that story and it still brings tears to her eyes, so much so that she has to have a friend read it to the class for her. Her favorite color is blue.
Ms Andersen loves being at Candalaria and thinks there's nothing better than being out in the community and seeing kids who recognize her from school. She said, “Candalaria is an amazing school where we have parents who support kids, and kids are happy to be at school and they work hard. It's a great school. Candalaria is fun. We work with amazing teachers. Everyone is happy and upbeat, which is infectious and helps kids learn.”
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. Westfall was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon. She has a history degree from Whitman College, a Masters in Special Education from the U of O, and a teaching endorsement from Portland State University. She taught special education, as well as 3rd, 4th and 5th grades before taking a break to raise her children, who are also Candalaria students! She returned to teaching as a sub three years, ago and now feels incredibly lucky to be teaching at Candalaria on a permanent basis.
Mrs. Westfall loves spending time with her kids, Kate and Lucas. Together they enjoy reading, cooking, playing with their pets and spending time outdoors together. During her free time, she also loves to play tennis and plays on a tennis team on the weekends.
Mrs. Westfall thinks Candalaria is an amazing school and loves the community feeling here. She believes the students, parents, staff and neighborhood all create a great environment of a wonderful school. This year she hopes she is able to help her students love learning and enjoy school. During her time with them in the afternoons, she hopes to help them bring out their inner mathematicians and scientists.
Mrs. Lembcke started her teaching career in Minnesota and Texas, before taking a break to raise four children. She has been teaching in Salem for the last twelve years at Washington Elementary, where she taught 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.
Mrs. Lembcke loves swimming, hiking, boating, playing games, and going to the Oregon coast, and she especially loves to do all those things with her friends and family. She is a big football fan, and cheers for both the Ducks and the Beavers. She also loves to travel, and last summer she had the chance to travel through Europe with friends.
Mrs. Lembcke is looking forward to building “Team 4” into a happy, healthy team that cares about and supports one another. She wants her students to learn the value of growing in all subjects. She quickly learned how wonderful Candalaria is, and calls it “teacher heaven!”
Mr. Bosch grew up in Salem and went to Sprague High School. After high school he attended the University of Idaho and then came back to Oregon to teach. He earned his Masters Degree in Education through Western Oregon University. Before he came to Candalaria, Mr. Bosch worked at Wright, Washington, and Pringle Elementary, as well as coaching track and field at South Salem High School for the past 18 seasons. Mr. Bosch is a University of Idaho Vandal at heart, he’s also a Beaver fan goes to OSU football games with his dad.
Mr. Bosch says “I love to be active. There is a good chance you will see me riding bike anywhere in Salem or out walking with my puppy, Eddie. On the weekends, I like to get to the beach as much as I can. I love to go surfing at Otter Rock or Pacific City. All my free time revolves around me being active. I love movement and I hope that shows through the way I teach and the activity level your child has in PE.”
One of Mr. Bosch's goals for Candalaria is to start an Intramural program for the 4th and 5th graders at lunch recess. They just finished a Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. Next will be soccer league with a single elimination tourney, followed by beach ball volleyball and hockey. We are looking forward to these exciting changes and to getting to know Mr. Bosch better!
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!
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