Q&A: Departing 2021 teachers reflect on time at Lincoln

June 13, 2021

Eight Lincoln staff members are departing this year. The Cardinal Times compiled several reflections from those staff members who are departing. Look for a full list below.

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Retiring: Nancy Abens (Art)

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Courtesy of Nancy Abens

Photography teacher Nancy Abens is retiring from Lincoln after 17 years.

What was your official position at Lincoln? How long did you work at Lincoln?

I have been the photography teacher at Lincoln since 2004. I have taught analog, alternative process, bookmaking and digital photography through the years. 

Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.

On a normal day-pre COVID-I would come to school, set up the darkroom, gather supplies for whatever project we would be working on, and get ready for a super active, somewhat chaotic day. My classes, particularly the advanced photography classes, were so active! Students using the computer, students out taking photos, developing film and working in the darkroom. I definitely got my exercise each day running up and down the stairs from classroom to darkroom. We always had music playing and sometimes even spontaneous dancing. I absolutely loved it. It was seldom quiet or calm. There was much joy. 

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?

I always enjoyed having my classroom in senior hall. At one time, all my students were juniors or seniors. I always had students hanging out during lunch. There were so many fun, informative, and quite deep conversations. 

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?

I have so many wonderful memories, I couldn’t just name one. There were times when something would be said or done where we would laugh so hard-deep, long lasting joyful laughs. The times where I would sit and work on the same art project with kids-so we were all just working and talking-was just the best. We would talk about everything and I learned so much about teenage life and what students had to deal with. At the end of each year, I would have a brunch or lunch at my house for my 5-6 students. They were usually all seniors and most of them had been my students for 3 years, so I knew them pretty well. It was always a very special time. After we ate, we would gather together and I would tell each student what I loved about them and their work. It was just such a love fest! That is the stuff that filled my heart throughout these years. The relationships I formed with students were, and still are, so meaningful to me. I am so proud of how many of my students are working artists and how many go into teaching. I am in contact with many of them still and love talking with them and seeing what they are doing with their lives as college students, post grads, parents, and those into their careers.  

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?

I will miss seeing many of my colleagues on a regular basis, and so admire them for the good work they all do. I do plan on coming back to sub, at least for a little while. 

What are your plans for retirement?

I am teaching a workshop this summer at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology and would like to do more of that. I plan on really focusing on my own artwork, my garden, spending more time with family and friends, taking trips, and becoming a fabulous baker! 

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln? 

I have loved teaching photography here and the wonderful young people and fellow teachers I have come to know. Change is good, hard, but good and I am excited to start a new chapter in my life.

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Retiring: Rick Tinling (Math, Computer Science)

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Courtesy of Rick Tinling

Math and computer science teacher Rick Tinling is retiring from Lincoln after 10 years.

What was your official position at Lincoln? 
Teacher of Math and Computer

How long did you work at Lincoln?
Only 10 years and I’ve been half-time the last couple.

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?
I think I had two favorite things. I was pretty lucky to teach subjects that had many inquisitive students. This made coming to school exciting and enjoyable. I also had a few colleagues in the math department who were brilliant at math and great teachers. I learned a lot!

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?
Going to robotics tournaments and watching the students do everything. It’s remarkable what students are able to do without you telling them.

What are your plans for retirement?
Oh, I guess I’ll say what every other retiree says: travel, play golf, do stuff with my grandchildren, scuba dive as long as my body holds out and learn how to make guitars.

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?
The best principal in the world and my colleagues. I will also miss the upcoming transition to the new school!

 Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?
Not really. I just wish that every student could find something they are passionate about and then give it their all. It makes life so much more interesting and fun. Advice I give to all my graduating seniors each year:

  1. Buy low, sell high. 
  2. Eat the main course first, then dessert.
  3. Don’t get married and don’t have children.
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Departing: Matt Reed (Social Studies)

What was your official position at Lincoln?

I taught US History: Ethnic Studies, IB Geography, ASL 1-2, Freshman Leadership & Inquiry, and I served as FLI coordinator for one year.

How long did you work at Lincoln?

3 years

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?

Due to funding and program changes, my position was eliminated. I am super grateful for the opportunity to get to learn and grow with LHS students, educators and school leadership. I will deeply miss teaching in this community. I’ll see you all in the future!

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Departing: Sam Roberson (Social Studies)

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Courtesy of Sam Roberson

Social studies teacher Sam Roberson is departing from Lincoln after 2 years.

What was your official position at Lincoln?

My official position was a Social Studies teacher, this year I taught Political Econ but last year I also taught Modern World History and Ethnic Studies. I was also a Junior Varsity 2 coach for the Lincoln Boys Soccer team.  

How long did you work at Lincoln?

I technically worked at Lincoln for 2 years, one year as a student teacher and this year as a full faculty member.

Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.

On a normal school day I would teach my synchronous classes in the mornings, have lunch, then teach my hybrid classes in the afternoon, followed by soccer practice after school. Throw in a few teacher department meetings and some one-on-one student help meetings, and that was my average day.

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?

My favorite part of Lincoln was definitely the students. I enjoyed seeing them, having conversations with them and generally getting to know them better.

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?

I have a lot of good memories from Lincoln, one that sticks out is being able to chat with some students about some sci-fi books we were reading recently. Nothing school related, just common interests that we all shared.

What are your biggest takeaways from working at Lincoln?

My biggest takeaway from Lincoln is: one that there is still a lot I don’t know and want to continue to get better at. And two, the relationships you make with your fellow admins, teachers, students, etc mean a lot to how much you enjoy coming in to work everyday. I had naively assumed before starting grad school that teaching was a much more isolated profession and my experiences at Lincoln has taught me otherwise.

What are your post-Lincoln plans?

I am looking at other Social Studies and coaching opportunities in the Portland area, maybe something closer to home in the Beaverton or Tigard School district.

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?

Mostly just the people. Although I was looking forward to the cool new building that is in Lincoln’s future. That seems to be a unique and rare opportunity to really create a building culture from scratch which is not something you get an opportunity to do everyday.

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?

Just that I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn for the past two years and I wish everyone the best of luck next year.

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Departing: Lauren Boubel (Math)

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Courtesy of Lauren Boubel

Math teacher Lauren Boubel is departing from Lincoln after three years.

What was your official position at Lincoln?

Math Instructor

How long did you work at Lincoln?

3 years

Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.

We would do lots of creative art projects, problems solving in groups, and in general exploring the creative nature of math and use it in real life.

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?

The community! The students are amazingly talented, motivated, and kind. My math department was beyond amazing. Everyone I work with has a great heart for students, a passion for education, and a wealth of knowledge. Our teams collaborated so well together. The administration was extremely supportive of everything we did, and made sure we had what we needed.

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?

My first year, I assigned a project based on the movie Hidden Figures, where students would compare how social issues have changed since the 1960s. It was incredible to see students come up with incredible evidence and  arguments about social issues in a math class. I was incredibly inspired by their work.

What are your biggest takeaways from working at Lincoln?

I would say the best takeaway is from Chuck Slusher, who has taught me how to teach without lecturing. He’s trained me to run a math class in an extremely active way that is exciting and incredibly meaningful for students.

What are your post-Lincoln plans?

I’m taking a position as the head of the math department at Saint George’s school in Spokane, WA. There, I hope to start a family with my partner.

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?

Everything? Mostly, I’m going to miss the relationships I’ve made with students and coworkers. I feel like my work has given me a family. I’m especially going to miss my work wife, Erin Mahony, who is one of the kindest and most inspirational humans I’ve ever met.

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?

This is the one thing I regret with my move, having to leave this school. I’m sure I’ll never find a community as inspiring, philanthropic, accepting, and intellectual as Lincoln.

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Departing: Michael Bulkin (Health)

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Courtesy of Michael Bulkin

Health teacher Michael Bulkin is departing from Lincoln after one year.

What was your official position at Lincoln?  

Health.

How long did you work at Lincoln?

1 year.

Tell me a little bit about what you did on a normal school day.

Wake up, turn off the alarm clock, get dressed, walk to the kitchen, boil the kettle, brew the tea, pour the tea into a cup, and sit down at the working desk and enjoy the tea. Enter class using Canvas. Use lesson materials and prepare for students to log into Google meet. Greet students as they come into the online class session. Give a discussion prompt in the chat and take attendance. Go through lesson content and ask for “shout outs” and ask for comments to be added to the chat regarding course content. Complete lessons by going over homework and reviewing due dates for assignments. Exit tickets used to reinforce/summarize lesson content. After class, have a nice healthy snack and begin reviewing and grading submitted assignments/homework.

What was your favorite part about Lincoln?

Hearing the voices of students and their thoughts and mindfulness regarding the health curriculum.

What is your favorite memory from all of the years you worked at Lincoln?

Receiving emails with positive feedback from students about our Health course.

What are your biggest takeaways from working at Lincoln?

Reviewing course agreements during each class session and selecting specific agreements to focus on for the lesson of the day.

What are your post-Lincoln plans? 

Seeking employment in an Oregon public high school.

What will you miss most about Lincoln after you leave?

I will miss the conversations I have had with students, and especially collaborating with Timm Goldhammer, PhD. 

Is there anything else you would like to add or address or are there any messages you’d like to share with the students or to Lincoln?

Stick with it, you all got this! Strengthen the community and yourself by being both an active member and engaging in class/school activities.

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Departing: Jerod Schmidt (Art)

The Cardinal Times was unable to get in contact with Jerod Schmidt. We wish him the best in his future endeavors. 

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