SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / September 2007 / Steve Pine
New Faces in School Improvement
Steve Pine – Coordinator of Career and Technical Education
Congratulations on your new position as Coordinator of CTE. It is great to have you join SOESD. This interview is for our Learning Matters newsletter so we can introduce you to our staff and the region.
Where did you grow up?
I was a military brat so we traveled around. My father was an officer in the Air Force. I spent my younger years in Taiwan and graduated from high school in Japan. In between we lived in Nevada, Arkansas, Utah, and California. After high school graduation where did you go to undergraduate school? I was admitted to the Air Force Academy and ready to go. I have a hearing deficiency in my right ear, probably from shooting too much skeet and not wearing the proper ear protection, and could not qualify to be an Air Force pilot, so I changed my plans. I attended Utah State then joined the Air Force for four years. I was stationed in Alaska and Germany. While in Germany I met a principal who was setting up a new Department of Defense school and I liked the lifestyle and working with kids. After my military service I attended Oregon College of Education (OCE), now Western Oregon State, majoring in Sociology/Psychology and minoring in Education and German.
How did you earn your teaching certification?
I stayed on at OCE and attended the Masters in Education program with a focus on handicapped learners. I got my first teaching position at McLoughlin Jr. High. I taught alternately in Medford and Department of Defense schools in Europe for many years.
What interested you in a career in teaching and education?
My first inkling was when I was stationed in Germany and interacting with DOD schools and my friend was the principal of the school. I was always interested in working with at-risk kids and alternative education. One of the alternatives to traditional education was hands-on classes and experiences in vocational education. Vocational classes meant learning with a context. It is applied academics. I love getting kids excited about applied academics. I helped students build a skate park in California. Recently, in Butte Falls we got students into building sailboats. Those boats are now in a student-run business at Willow Lake.
What do you like to do recreationally?
I love any outdoor sports. I like staying in shape by running, riding my mountain bike, hiking and kayaking. Then there is my motorcycle.
What about your family?
I have a 25 year-old daughter who manages restaurants in Germany with her boyfriend who is a five-star chef. I am recently married with a 5 year-old son. He is keeping me young.
What do you find the most satisfying part of working with schools?
I love enticing the potential out of students. It is exciting to see them turn their interests to careers and learning. I think this is a great opportunity to work with schools, staff, and students, and particularly through the SOESD, in an area that I am passionate about.