With warning of a big earthquake coming soon, preschoolers in Head Start herded under desks chaotically. The two substitute teachers at the time panicked at the sound of the intercom, doing all that they could to lighten the mood while keeping students safe. After a long while of waiting, they began to notice other students walking the halls and learning in class as if nothing had happened.
At that time the substitute teachers realized that they were supposed to be performing an earthquake drill, and that a real earthquake was not due to hit them anytime soon. The panic melted off of everyone, including the preschoolers as they giggled at the silly mistake. One of the substitutes was Crystal Foutz, now an educational assistant at Sandy High School.
Foutz, known to many as “Mrs. Crystal” has worked in the district for the last seven years, and has made a large impact among students in her time at SHS.
“She’s so bright and full of positive energy; she brightens up our class and makes sure that everybody is interested and having fun. She shows that she genuinely cares about making connections with students,” senior Ella Davis said.
Foutz initially started with a non-profit called Todos Juntos based out of Sandy Grade. During this time, she worked with schools and other community organizations to help promote positivity among students. Todos Juntos strives to help students engage in positive and productive outlets when they aren’t in school. This provides a system of support for the families and youth in Clackamas County.
Accustomed to working with younger children, Foutz had a large adjustment when coming to work at SHS.
“Everyone’s taller here, considering I usually worked with younger kids. I feel like working with high school students gives me lots to learn from, as everyone has their own perspectives and opinions,” Foutz said. “Out of all of the different schools, I thought Sandy High School would be the best one because I really enjoy being with students at this age. It’s nice to have engaging conversations, and hopefully positively impact somebody before they’re launched into adulthood,” Foutz said.
Foutz’s impact does not go unnoticed by students, as her positivity travels farther than her uplifting stickers and smiles. Even students have noticed a change in their classrooms with the presence of Foutz.
“Mrs. Crystal always brings optimism and fun to our class. She’s one of those teachers that you can see really cares about the students she works with. It’s always a good time when she is around. I’m very grateful that she is in my senior advisory class this year,” senior Alexis Cumiford said.
“I feel that just getting to know everyone helps me to find what their likes and dislikes are. We have a lot of commonalities. I think that everyone here is pretty great at reaching out to each other and creating a community. However, I still want to try my hardest to promote and strengthen positivity and community at SHS,” Foutz said.
As Foutz continues working at SHS she gains more and more experience with different age groups, and personalities. Thankfully, threats of an earthquake have stayed fairly quiet, so Foutz can take a break from earthquake drills for a while.