EAGLE POINT, OR — We end our back-to-school series in Eagle Point.
Fourth grade teacher Julie Bidwell just started her 35th year as an educator; 30 of those years have been at Shady Cove School.
“It feels great, lots of things have changed over that time, but I’ve gotten to work with some really amazing kids and families,” Bidwell said. “I’ve had the privilege of being able to work with a lot of really talented and special people.”
Bidwell and her family moved up to Southern Oregon after spending the first five years of her career in San Diego.
She applied for a temporary job as a fifth grade teacher.
29 years later, Bidwell rotates between that and 4th grade, and loves the age group.
“They’re old enough to do a lot and still young enough to have fun,” Bidwell said. “I love their thinking; I love their learning.”
Bidwell said with her love for working with kids, she wouldn’t want to do anything else in life.
“My kids went through that school and through this district and graduated from Eagle Point,” she said. “It has a very special place in my heart.”
It’s that same compassion that led Dean MacInnis to his job in the eagle point school district.
He’s been working for the district office for three years after previously working in senior healthcare.
“I really have a big heart for humanity and (working with) kids is just an excellent steppingstone to move from senior health care,” MacInnis said. “There’s such a direct line to working with students.”
The MacInnis name has also been in the district for decades.
MacInnis graduated from Eagle Point High School in 2002, and said his mom worked at the front desk of Hillside and Eagle Rock Elementary for over 30 years.
“It was out with the old MacInnis and in with the new MacInnis,” he said. “It’s just been a blast being back and getting to know people.”
MacInnis said watching his mom be so passionate about her job made him want to give back to the community he grew up in.
He said he loves his job because every day he gets to be the reason why someone feels seen, welcome and valued.
“As soon as I showed up and started doing the things that she used to do with these kids, it was like bam, it just clicked,” MacInnis said. “There’s that passion that I watched my mom have for so many years, coming out of me.”
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