10-20-17 – Eastvale – Meet Heidi Oberdank! She is a Language Arts teacher at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS).
Heidi grew up in Riverside County. She attended Norco Elementary, Garretson Elementary, Corona Fundamental Intermediate, and graduated from Corona High School.
“I’ve been a part of CNUSD most of my life, with a brief hiatus for college,” she said.
Her goal was always to work for CNUSD.
“I never even thought of teaching in a different district,” said Heidi, “My goal was always to come back. Every experience I had throughout my schooling in the district was positive, some stand out more than others, but I have that same feeling now that I teach here.”
Heidi has taught English at ERHS for 12 years.
“This is the only place I have ever worked as a teacher,” she said.
Heidi loves being a teacher.
“At the end of the day, I appreciate my position,” she said, “I have a job where I can encourage young people to realize their potential, and I can encourage them to think independently.”
She is always growing and learning new things.
“I’ve never been in another profession,” said Heidi, “But I think this is something that makes teaching pretty unique.”
Her favorite part about working at CNUSD is the people she has met.
“I’ve been able to meet amazing people, many of my best-friends are fellow teachers at ERHS,” she said, “Both colleagues and students have inspired and motivated me in all aspects of life.”
Heidi has had many memorable experiences during her time at CNUSD.
“We have great moments to choose from here at ERHS,” she said, “From our amazing staff Halloween costumes, our decades-themed staff meetings complete with dressed up administrators, to the crazy successful clubs and sports on campus.”
Her most memorable experiences are the ERHS staff rallies.
“From our three staff talent shows to our build a bike challenges,” said Heidi, “The best thing about ERHS is our staff’s willingness to support each other, no matter what.”
When asked what she does for a living, she always gets one of two reactions.
“A cringe or give a sympathetic response about the nature of teaching,” she said, “I always respond with, it’s actually a pretty rad job. I get to spend time discussing really important topics with young adults who are about to go into the real world – and most of them have something to say.”
Heidi gets to spend time collaborating with an amazing group of colleagues at ERHS.
“I’ve only worked at one site, in one district, but my experience here has made me believe I’ll be here until I retire,” she said, “My students, and colleagues at ERHS have made my time here pretty awesome.”
Heidi has multiple favorite quotes.
She has had a “quote a day” calendar on her desk every day for the past five years.
“I tear them off and hang them around my room if I love them enough,” said Heidi, “I encourage students to read them if they have time and if they love one, take if off the wall. I’m happy to say I don’t have to extend my quote space often because my kids take them so often, it makes my heart happy.”
One of her all-time favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln; whatever you are, be a good one.
“I stress work-ethic and growth in my class, so this is one of my all-time favorites,” said Heidi, “I always tell my kids, I don’t care what your profession is, or what class you’re in, what matters is that you’re there, you might as well be the absolute best you can be at it.”
Heidi and her husband, Nick, have one daughter. Her name is Tyler Marie; she is 6 years old.
“She’s an only child and you can tell,” said Heidi, “She’s 6 going on 16.”
Two of her favorite hobbies include reading and working out.
“Surprise, surprise, the English teacher loves to read,” she said.
She loves reading mystery books. Her favorite author is Stephen King.
“I also like working out at Orangetheory,” she said, “It’s kind of my happy place, I spend an hour there relieving stress, and not thinking about anything else.”
Heidi is an animal lover. Her family has two cats and two dogs.
“I’ve always grown up with cats but I married a dog person,” she said.
A few words of encouragement from Heidi:
“One thing I try to focus on in my class is being a good human. Be kind. Try to leave a place better than when you found it. I do not think it takes much to be kind to one another. If we all do this, I think everyone benefits.”