The Schoolhouse Supplies Snapshot Series continues – where we highlight members of our staff, board, and volunteers. This week you will learn about Courtney Berry, Program Manager at Schoolhouse Supplies.
Native of… and Portlander since?
I grew up in Billings, MT, though many summers were spent at our family’s cabin in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, so sometimes I claim dual citizenship. I moved to Portland in 2000 to attend college at the University of Portland and set up permanent residence after graduation in 2004.
When Did You Join the Schoolhouse Supplies Team?
I’m the veteran on staff: I started at Schoolhouse Supplies in August 2005! I worked as Volunteer Manager for three years before becoming the very first Program Manager.
What Were You Up to Before Schoolhouse Supplies?
I graduated from UP in 2004 and took an AmeriCorps position as a Service Learning Coordinator with the Evergreen School District in Vancouver. I chaperoned 8th grade community service trips and worked with high school students to meet their service learning graduation requirements. It was an amazing experience!
Favorite Section/Item In Our Store:
Oh man, that’s tough! I think I’d pick the Basics Aisle as my favorite. I loved picking out my school supplies when I was younger and still get excited when I see that shelf fully-stocked after a big supply drive. There’s nothing like a fresh box of crayons or a brand new notebook to feel like you’re ready to learn!
Teacher She’d Most Love to See In Our Store:
My mom taught Special Ed for almost 30 years in Billings and she’s so jealous they don’t have a similar organization there! She’s visited Schoolhouse Supplies twice and loves the resources we offer. If I ran the world, every teacher would have access to a Free Store and be able to fully-stock their classrooms without spending any of their own money.
What She Does In Her Spare Time:
I’m currently back in school getting my MBA in Nonprofit Management and have classes two nights a week, so that has taken up a lot of my free time. But I’m back at the University of Portland and have a great cohort of fellow classmates, so it’s been really interesting. The free time I have left is being spent planning my wedding in July! My fiancé Jeremy and I are getting married in Hood River and have been having fun getting all the details figured out.
What’s your favorite Schoolhouse Supplies story?
There are so many! One would be when a volunteer who was supposed to be Pencil Pete at a Portland Beavers baseball game didn’t show and I had to fill in and got to throw out the first pitch of the game as a 6ft tall pencil! It’s tough to hold a ball when you only have three fingers. I also remember when a semi truck showed up with 11,000 notebooks boxed up but not on pallets, they were just thrown in the back of the trailer, and we had to unload everything by hand! I think it was about 1,100 boxes and took the whole staff about 3 hours to unload. It was an amazing donation but took a lot of work!
Check back soon for our continuing series about the wonderful people who make Schoolhouse Supplies such an amazing community!