Portland Christian Schools Preschool - Grade 12

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Teacher Feature: Deleana Coyle-Ray

Mrs. Coyle-Ray


Why did you choose to work at Portland Christian?

First, I am so grateful that our wonderful neighbors introduced us to PC. Initially, I wanted my daughter to attend PC elementary because of how they raved about it, but finances were not lining up for her fifth grade year, so we opted for our neighborhood school. After the horrendous year at our neighborhood school, I decided we would apply again and I would find a job (not teaching) as I was in a gap year after moving from Vancouver to Portland. When I asked about volunteer hours, I mentioned that I had been an English teacher and would love to tutor (with ZERO intention of working at a school in the foreseeable future). At this time, I was settled on focusing on our little family. As it turns out, God other plans, and even though I was not going to be in town during interviews, I was offered an interview anyway. After prayerful consideration, and all doors opening in an amazing God-way, I was hired to teach 8th grade, ELL, and Learning Labs. Fast forward, and I've just begun my eighth year here at PC (seven of which have been in the high school), and it has been home since day one. I'm so glad PC chose me.

What do you enjoy most about working / teaching at Portland Christian?

We are tiny but mighty. The staff here loves PC, and it is absolutely evident. There are some veteran teachers that are 10, 20, and even 30 years into loving this place. It is really inspiring to see the love and dedication to the ministry that PC offers. I love the students, the chaos, the support, the worship, the community, friendships, and the experience that PC has afforded to my own children.

Why did you choose your specific area of teaching?

Honestly, I asked what I was able to teach after my BSHD degree, and the academic counselor said social work or teaching. Because I had a high school teacher, whom I greatly respected, tell me to consider teaching, it seemed like the natural fit. And, 23 years after high school, I'm still the biggest kid in the room.

What’s the best thing about being a teacher and working with students?

The best thing about being a teacher is helping kids navigate through critical thinking...the ah-ha moments, the humor, sometimes the tears, and the feeling of knowing that "today made a difference" is really fulfilling to me. To know that God has brought me here and kept me here is such a testament to His love for me, and I feel honored to be chosen to do this work.

What is your favorite part of the school day?

My favorite part of the school day: class. I really love teaching! I have great content and great kids.

How have you experienced God at PCS?

Every single day. God has used my toil as fruit. I did not have an easy life, nor an easy adulthood, and yet, all has prepared me for this day.

Favorite scripture verse?

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

Tell us a little about your family, please!

I am married to my husband, Daniel. We have been married for nine and a half years. I have been blessed with five beautiful children. Gwendolyn is 19, and she spent 6th through 11th grade here at PC. I have two elementary school kids (Veronica and Aurora) who LOVE going to school at the elementary campus. And I have two tots (Addison and Preston) who can't wait to be big (enough) kids to attend here as well. We have four fluffy dogs whom we love, but there is a lot of hair. We wouldn't have it any other way.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

We love the zoo. When we can't go to the zoo, we find ourselves at different farm festivals, or the mall. We love movie nights (if we can get the kids settled and interested), and we have fun painting when we have the time.

Tell us something the students don't know about you: 

I was a cheerleader and a football player my senior year of high school.

Anything else you would like to share? 

God is good. He really is.