Debra (Debbie) Nash
Education background: PPC- AA, PSU-Bachelor in Speech Communications, PSU-Teaching license, PSU- ELD specialization certification, PSU-Masters in Education.
I have always enjoyed teaching and helping others. This interest started in middle school and continued as I began to work in the floral industry, the arts and in restaurants. Teaching gives me great personal satisfaction. I enjoy children and watching them learn and grow. I have a strong sense of responsibility to community and desire to help our students see that they can impact the world in a positive way.
I grew up in a family where only a high school educated father supported our family of six. This ultimately helped me to understand the struggles of limited financial resources and often limited expectations for growth. I understand the impact divorce has on family and the emotions that children and women struggle with during this time. I have lived the life as a single mother, returning to college, and barely surviving financially month to month. I’ve experienced firsthand the struggles that come when blending families. I also have a child with disabilities, which resulted in many years working with educators in the IEP process. I feel that these combined experiences provide me insight to many struggles our families are going through each day and make me a better teacher and child advocate.
I grew up in San Luis Obispo, California and moved to Oregon in 1989. I live in Sandy, Oregon on 30 beautiful, peaceful, acres. Most of my children are out of the home now, but I am involved with my family in as many ways as I can. Most of our children live in Oregon and between my husband and myself we have 11 grandchildren. I love them all dearly and love hearing about their education and teachers.
Who is Ms. Phillips?
Bachelor’s Degree: University of Arizona
Why I teach: I have wanted to be a teacher since a young age. I have many family members who were teachers and grew up with a passion for learning and education. However, I did not make the full commitment to pursuing a degree in Elementary Education until a unique volunteer experience. I volunteered for a summer at a local preschool in Arizona located inside a women’s shelter. To this day, this was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have ever had. I saw first hand the impact teachers can have on students lives and the positive light they can bring to a child’s day. Having the opportunity to greatly impact students lives and help mold the next generation is why I am proud to be a teacher.
A little about me: I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and taught first grade in Phoenix. After, I moved to New Zealand and taught at a local preschool for a year. When deciding my next life move, I choose to apply for positions in Portland and was excited to join the team here at Oliver! I taught 2nd grade last year and am happy to have moved up this year to 3rd grade. In my spare time, I enjoy playing sports, running, writing, and trying places to eat around town. I also have a passion for traveling and visited my 11th country this past summer.
Who is Mrs. Roden?
Rochele Roden Third Grade Teacher at Oliver Elementary
Bachelor’s Degree: University of Oregon 2010
Master’s Degree: Concordia University 2015
Why I Teach: I teach because I get to be forever a learner, one who must strive to keep her heart and mind wide open at all times. I teach because this journey as a teacher requires all the best parts of my humanity. I find incredible enjoyment in watching students grow academically, socially, emotionally, and physically throughout the school year. I hope to provide what each student needs to be successful!
What I Believe: I believe that classrooms need to be working, loving communities so that students feel safe to make mistakes, ask questions and learn from each other. It is my responsibility as an educator to create a rich learning environment that accommodates the diverse needs of my students. I also must be a vehicle for students to discover a love for education and become life-long learners that are prepared to be contributing members of society.
My Favorite Things: I like to keep busy and love doing many things, but most of all teaching! I do enjoy staying active with yoga and biking. I pass my free time in my garden and try to spend as much time as possible with my lovely cat Luna, amazing husband Kyle, and baby daughter Penelope.
A Little About Me: I earned my undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon and then spent a year living in South Korea as an English teacher. I completed my Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Concordia University here in Portland and I am thrilled to continue to be a member of the Oliver community.
The way I see things, the only moment you can do anything is the one in which you’re living. I try to bring this idea to the classroom and it really helps me to focus on what is important. I try to be present, embrace each breath, and laugh as much as possible.