Retired in January 2015, Continues on as Adviser/Mentor
Teacher Chery graduated from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana with a major in physical education and a minor in education. Anderson is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of God. She did her fifth year work at Portland State University.
She taught physical education at the elementary level for a year and a half before marrying and moving to the Oregon Coast. During her three years teaching at the local high school, her first son was born. Her final year at the high school level was spent in Canby. Her second son followed as she spent several years substituting at all levels, kindergarten through high school.
Then with two small children, finding herself a single mother and inspired by the Holy Spirit, she organized and opened Chery’s Circle of Friends Preschool in September of 1980. She taught at locations away from home for the first three years before moving the school into her home where she was able to be a stay-at-home mom and teach at the same time! Chery saw this as a tremendous gift from the hand of God as her youngest son had a seizure disorder that seriously affected his daily life. God took him home to Heaven in 2003 where he is now in perfect health and his joy is full.
From the very beginning, Chery’s Circle of friends has been a joint venture between God and Chery. The school has grown steadily over the years, finally out-growing her home. During the summer of 2005, First Presbyterian Church opened their doors to Chery and a happy relationship has blossomed over the ensuing years. Chery’s Circle of Friends was renamed First Circle of Friends and became an official ministry of the church in September, 2010.
Teacher Chery’s passion in life is growing in the knowledge and wisdom of her Lord and God along with her love for her family and children. She now has a beautiful and enchanting grandson who lives in Phoenix with his mommy and daddy. She loves flying away at every opportunity to spend every hour of every day playing with him. In July 2011, a granddaughter is being added to her list of loves.
This teacher has an unlimited supply of energy left over from her years of cheerleading through high school and college. She has used this energy to complete eight marathons and numerous Hood-to-Coasts and Portland to Coasts. She can be seen race walking the streets of Oregon City many days a week. She brings this energy to the classroom where she is an energetic cheerleader for her 4-year-olds and kindergarteners, leading cheers and dances to celebrate their accomplishments!
She is quick to share that her cup is full and running over with the love she has experienced from the hand of God as well as the hands and hearts of the many children and families she has been blessed with knowing and teaching over the years.