September 20, 2023
By PAES Principal

Getting to Know Ms. Fresse

Hello PAES Family! First, I wanted to make sure you knew that we have an open board at PAES which means that you are welcome to come and listen in…...
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Hello PAES Family!

First, I wanted to make sure you knew that we have an open board at PAES which means that you are welcome to come and listen in to any board meeting.  If you ever have an item that you would like to put on the agenda, please let myself or our board chair know.  David Kokiong is the chair right now ([email protected]).

Secondly, I just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself.  Many of you knew me as your child’s fifth grade teacher.  I started teaching 5th grade here in 2017 and have loved it for the last 6 years.  Prior to that, I was teaching in Arkansas as the 5-8th grade teacher and also the principal.  We had about 50 students in the school, over half of them were in our two preschool classes.  I loved it, but I noticed that whenever I had to choose between a teaching task and an administrative task, my desire always leaned toward admin.  I was excited when moving here that I would have the opportunity to focus on just the teaching aspect, but knew that eventually I would end up back in administration.  I just finished up my masters in Educational Leadership from Walla Walla university and graduated this last June.  When this position opened up a few weeks later, I felt strongly that God was opening this door and I was so very excited to walk through it.

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My very first year as a teacher was spent on the Island of Yap as a student missionary.  I was 19 years old and had not even been to college yet; I taught second grade for a year.  There were 12 boys and 4 girls and by the end of that year I wasn’t sure teaching was for me!  Two years later I went back out as a missionary to the island of Palau and taught 4th grade that year.  That is the year I fell in love with teaching and education.  I returned to the states and got my education degree from Andrews University in Michigan.  I spent a lot of time substitute teaching and also being a stay-at-home mom before landing the job in Arkansas. I have lived in Kansas, Alabama, Missouri (where my parents still live), Oklahoma, Maryland, Michigan, Ontario Canada, Louisiana, Arkansas, and now Oregon. I love to travel and see new places and meet new people. I’m currently starting year seven here in Oregon, and this marks the longest I have ever lived in one place my entire life.  I must say that I am ok with that and looking forward to being here as long as God sees fit!

I have been a foster parent, an experience that I loved passionately and that taught me so much about myself, about children, about trauma, and about the “system” that these children have to navigate when they go into state custody.  Adoption was the next step on that journey, and I am a blessed mama to my five children.  Last February marked 10 years since we became a forever family. If you’re curious, you’re welcome to check out that story on my personal blog, I did a post for our ten year anniversary. My oldest is headed into her third year at Pacific Union College, and my son is headed to join her for his freshman year.  I have two 11th graders (not twins, just birthdays lined up that way) and a 9th grader at Portland Adventist Academy this year.  All but my oldest graduated 8th grade here at PAES.

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Some passions of mine include eating healthy and homemade food (though my teens are enjoying their ability to make their own food these days and so we are a little more relaxed on the healthiness scale…).  I also enjoy natural products for body and skin and have even tried my hand at homemade soaps, shampoo (that was a disaster!), lotions, and more.  I love to write and occasionally find time to craft a new post for my blog.  I also love ministry and getting involved in my local church. My latest passion goes back to those roots in foster care, and that is understanding and learning about trauma and the brain.  We live in a complex and often sad world.  Even families who are doing it right have things happen that cause disturbances and conflict and even trauma.  So many students are struggling with self-worth and value, with confidence and social struggles.  I desire so much to be able to shine just a little ray of light and hope into the lives around me, whether that be my students, their parents and families, or the teachers and staff.

Most of that wasn’t new to those of you who had me as your child’s fifth grade teacher, but I just wanted to share with the rest of you a bit about me as the administrator of your child’s school.  And I just want you to know that I love this job.  I love working with our amazing students, our superstar teachers, and all of you wonderful family members.  This school year is off to a great start, and I am here to support you as you support your child.  Please feel free to set an appointment and we can visit sometime.  You’re also welcome to stop by as well, I just can’t promise I’ll be available in those moments.

Feels free to follow us on Facebook (https://facebook.com/paespanthers) or Instagram (@portlandadventistelementary), we try to post at least a couple of times a week to keep you updated with fun stuff we have going on.  Our latest adventure was the Squirrel King that we found and rescued – look it up or ask your child, we talked about it in chapel this past week!

Have a lovely afternoon and I look forward to seeing all your beautiful children tomorrow!

God Bless,

Ms. Fresse

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