Thank you to Sally, Shairn, and Linda! Adding up their combined years of service yields 80 years dedicated to helping students – 40 of those years here in Hockinson. Although these staff members will be missed after their retirement at the end of the year, we’d like to say congratulations on creating an important legacy that stretches far beyond the Hockinson community.
Sally Dendel, 29 years in education
High School English Teacher
Sally Drendel began her career in education 29 years ago, working first as an English teacher at Centennial High School and then as an adjunct professor at Concordia University. 14 years ago, in 2007, Sally was presented with a choice between working at the Hockinson and Evergreen School Districts. Fortunately, she chose Hockinson, and ever since has enjoyed teaching English at Hockinson High School. What Sally enjoys most about teaching at Hockinson is interacting with students and hearing their commentary, jokes, and perspectives. Each student has a unique personality that helps to create variety and joy in the classroom, and you never quite know what will happen when 30 students are placed together and introduced to new ideas and content.
Shairn Paleccia, 23 years in education
Shairn Palecchia immersed herself in the field of education for 23 years in a variety of roles, including as a preschool teacher, paraprofessional, substitute teacher, and reading specialist. However, for the past six years, Sharin has worked as a school psychologist at Hockinson Preschool, Middle School & High School. She appreciates how her co-workers on the special services team share her heart for advocating for young people’s needs and rally around initiatives that support students. Shairn is also grateful that the Hockinson environment allows her to deliver direct services to students in creative formats, such as after-school game groups where she can provide an organic and authentic setting for developing students' social skills, confidence, and connections with others. Additionally, Shairn enjoys when she can make discoveries that pinpoint paths to a student's success and when she can help shift the conversation from problem-centered to solution-centered.
Linda Olsen, 28 years in education
Middle School Teacher
Although Linda Olsen first worked in the field of Zoology, she quickly realized her passion for teaching and began working in the field of education 28 years ago as an elementary school teacher in Castle Rock. Before landing at Hockinson, Linda also taught at the Mossyrock School District, where she was able to continuously learn and support the learning and discovery of her students along the way. Linda has since spent 21 years as a middle school teacher at Hockinson, although seven of those years were part-time so that she could focus on becoming a mother herself. Throughout her career at Hockinson, Linda has especially loved her experiences with individual students. Some of her favorite memories involve “being there” experiences—when students could learn through direct experience and discovery and Linda was able to get to know each student and their unique personality.