Everyday Heroes – Kim Kroeger, TuHS Teacher Extraordinaire

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 11:18 am

Kim Kroeger, Tualatin High School

By Jenny Lind Conlee

Kim Kroeger is in her twenty-first year of teaching choir at Tualatin High School, and her impact on our community is now multi-generational. Saying she’s a choir teacher truly doesn’t do this amazing woman justice; it barely scratches the surface of this woman’s role.

Mrs. Kroeger creates opportunities for her students that are once in a lifetime experiences that they will always treasure. She’s taken students to perform at Carnegie Hall where they’ve sung with famous orchestras and conductors. They’ve performed in Mexico, British Columbia and Jamestown, VA just to name a few. They’ve performed for presidents and dignitaries.

Mrs. Kroeger puts on a huge musical every year and includes as many students as she possibly can. She just wrapped Shrek the Musical in February, with approximately a hundred students in the cast, orchestra and tech team. Having had the theatre experience herself, she sees the value in doing this for her students. It builds camaraderie. It builds community.

Every year at the Christmas concert, she invites alumni to return to the stage and perform Ave Maria. It is moving when you see people get up from their seats and make their way to the stage. You feel the love and warmth that this woman has poured out for over twenty years. Her influence has inspired many former students to become music educators and performers all over the country.

Mrs. Kroeger’s longevity is a testament to her commitment to students, their families and our community as a whole. This is a legacy.

Jenny Lind Conlee is the wife of a Tualatin pastor, mom of twin boys, actor, singer, comedian and lover of donuts. You can follow her on Twitter @jennylindconlee or on her blog: thefivestages.wordpress.com.

Retirees Turned Volunteers Extraordinaire

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 10:24 am

Steve and Brenda Fivecoat

Some people wonder what to do when they retire, but not Steve and Brenda Fivecoat. These wonderful people devote time each week at Tualatin Elementary school in various volunteer capacities.

The pair volunteers as Reading Buddies – helping kids learn to read. They build relationships through Lunch Buddies – having lunch with students. For some students, the lunch they receive at school may be the only meal they count on. So, the Fivecoats also help with Backpack Buddies – which fills the backpacks of students in need with enough food for the weekend. When this couple isn’t serving at Tualatin Elementary, they find time to serve in their local church on the weekend. During the holiday season, the Fivecoats help organize Pounds of Love, which collected & distributed 5,795 pounds of food to bless 80 families, including gifts for 198 kids!

“Steve and Brenda serve our school, our students, and our families in countless ways. They step in to help without thinking twice. They fill backpacks with food, read with students, BBQ hamburgers for back to school night, play four square to build relationships with kids, help with math, and do it all with grace and joy! Our school wouldn’t be the community it is without them.” , Erin Gillam – School Psychologist/ Counselor at Tualatin Elementary

Sometimes to change the world all we need to do is take a look in our own back yard and see the need. That is what this amazing couple did. Thank you, Steve and Brenda Fivecoat, for loving your community and giving your time. You make Tualatin great!

Jenny Lind ConleeJenny Lind Conlee is the wife of a Tualatin pastor, mom of twin boys, actor, singer, comedian and lover of donuts. You can follow her on Twitter @jennylindconlee or on her blog: thefivestages.wordpress.com.

Katie’s Compassion & Protection

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Katie Frazer

By Jenny Lind Conlee

Back in September 2016, I shared with you about Katie Frazer – and 8 year old girl with a big heart to change the world. Katie was on a mission to raise $24,000 for Village of Hope to build another home for children. Katie was told she could name the house, and she named it Compassion – so that the children there would live in compassion. A profound thought from this fiery, redheaded girl.

Katie Frazer

Zachary & Katie standing with the completed goal chart for Compassion House

Her family nor I imagined this story would grab attention of our local KGW and KATU channels. The story spread like wildfire though social media as well. Katie was at $8,000 when the article was printed. Then just after Thanksgiving, Katie reached her goal! Her church honored her and her brother Zachary and presented them with a check for the remaining $5,000 she needed.

People continue to give in support of Katie’s efforts for Village of Hope Uganda through donations and purchases of hand made goods and beaded jewlery in her store at home. So much so, in fact, that funds have begun to add up to build an additional home! Katie has named this one Protection house.

Katie is too young right now to fully grasp what these kids in Uganda are being rescued from; sex slavery and child soldiers. Yet she possesses a compassion beyond her years. As someone thirty years her senior, I continue to be in awe of her and her family. Additionally, I am amazed at the kindness of strangers; people who responded to her story and gave. If you are inspired to help out with the Protection house – visit villageofhopeuganda.com.

Jenny Lind Conlee
Jenny Lind Conlee
is the wife of a Tualatin pastor, mom of twin boys, actor, singer, comedian and lover of donuts. You can follow her on Twitter @jennylindconlee or on her blog: thefivestages.wordpress.com.

Everyday Heroes – Beth Yancey: Teacher For Life

Posted on November 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Beth Yancey

By Jenny Lind Conlee

Teachers are superheroes without masks or capes. They give their time. They pour themselves out, teaching all that they know to hundreds of kids over the years, and often multiple generations. Beth Yancey is one of these heroes.

Beth’s career has always been unconventional. She taught fourth, fifth and sixth grade in Indonesia from 1973-1975. In 1981, she started assisting in her daughter’s preschool class in Tualatin. She was soon on staff as a classroom aide, then teaching the following year. She taught in the preschool for an accumulative seventeen years. During her time in preschool education, she wrote a book as well.

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