If you ask students at Sandy High School their thoughts on new teacher Steve Becker, most students describe him as fun and entertaining, but what you didn’t know is that Becker comes from a past of severe hardship and challenges that have shaped him into who he is today.
“I am an example of a person who came from nothing and made something of themselves,” Becker said.
Becker was born into a poor family with three older half-brothers. His situation made life very difficult from a young age, but he worked hard and succeeded through the most difficult circumstances.
“We were so poor there were sometimes when we didn’t have food in the house at all growing up,” Becker said.
Despite all of these challenges, Becker became the first in his family to attend college. He received his Bachelor’s from Gonzaga University, his Masters in math from Oregon State University, and his Master’s in Education from Portland State University.
“I came from all that and now I live with my wife on a beautiful acreage with a beautiful home. After the trials and tribulations both my wife and I have gone through, and now we are in a comfortable spot,” Becker said.
Becker has been teaching a total of 22 years with 19 of them being in high school. He was teaching at Oregon City High School for the past 18 years until he decided to make a change and join the SHS Math Department.
He chose to become a teacher for so many reasons, but the main one was he wanted to help students reach the next step in their lives and education was a great place for that. After he finished his Master’s degree, he had a big decision to make to either teach at a university or to become a high school teacher. Ultimately he chose to do high school because he could make a more personal connection with his students.
“I have always wanted to try to help people get to the next step in their lives and education was the best place to do that,” Becker said.
For students going through a similar experience as Becker growing up he offers this advice, “Never give up, and never dwell on the bad days. A positive outlook and a strong work ethic will get you so many places in life that right now you would never even imagine could be reached.”
Becker hopes with his past experiences that he can support students and make a difference in their lives one small step at a time.
“I just really want to make a difference, and I don’t just mean in the understanding of math for my kids. I want to be a person my kids can always expect the truth from, always see as a moral example, and always be willing to listen when they need an ear,” Becker said.
Becker hopes to make a small difference in students’ lives so they can all have success stories.