Posted by: Date: September 1, 2009 In:

Class Acts

The everyday triumphs, joys and challenges of eight dedicated educators – all Lutes – at a single bustling middle school. Who would want to teach hormone-laced, boundary-pushing, in-your-face, preteen and teenage students? The teachers at Cascade Middle School, that’s who.

Their number includes eight PLU graduates who have shown an uncommon passion for teaching, for making a difference in the world and, in some cases, for becoming surrogate parents to students in a school with a 43 percent free-lunch rate.

Some of these Lutes left high-paying jobs for this career. For others, teaching at the Auburn, Wash., school was their first choice. Most are up at 5 a.m. during the school year. Most coach after school. Some don’t finish the day until midnight, after papers are graded.

All of them chose this profession, these grades and this school.

None has any plans to leave.

7 A.M. Principal Johnson’s office, 45 Minutes until first period
7:15 A.M. Mr. Lee’s special education class
8:05 A.M. Ms. Dozier’s eighth grade literature class
9 A.M. Assistant Principal Heinen’s office
9:52 A.M. Mr. Homfeldt’s eighth grade history class
11:15 A.M. Mr. MacDougall’s seventh grade language arts class
11:20 A.M. Cascade Middle School cafeteria
1:05 P.M. Mr. McNeese’s gym class

Story by Chris Albert and Barbara Clements

Photos by Jordan Hartman