Former students honor beloved teacher after sudden passing
A bright, beloved presence in the halls of Chehalem Valley Middle School died suddenly earlier this month. Sandy Shine's passing came as a shock to the CVMS community, who mourned her loss with a drive-thru memorial service on Jan. 9 at the school.
"Sandy worked at CV for many, many years," said Kathryn Worthington, who works in the Newberg High School Wellness Center and is a former colleague of Shine's at CVMS. "She was usually the first person in the building and one of the last ones to leave. She worked a lot with special ed students, but would also be on morning greeting duty where she'd say 'hello' to and chat with students as they came in. She also supervised lunches, after school activities and other things."
Students knew her as "Mrs. Shine," and staff and friends just called her Sandy. Regardless, she was a constant presence in people's lives, knitting them gifts or listening to some of the challenges they were facing in life outside of school.
"She probably knew most of the kids in the building on a first name basis," Worthington said. "She was always volunteering for activities and events whenever she could, including concerts and other performances. She was really dynamic and people loved her. I never heard anyone say a bad word about her, student or staff.
"She connected with all the kids where they were at, knew what was going in their lives, and after they left CV she still stayed connected with them. She would crochet beanies for staff members and students and hand them out, so a lot of people have Shine Beanies to hang onto as a memory of her. She loved her job and connecting with people in all these unique ways."
Shine was a longtime teacher and mentor at CVMS with students who typically progressed to Newberg High School. Worthington made a similar move with her job change and had connections with former CVMS students who became NHS students.
A handful of them reached out to organize the drive-thru memorial event, which included people donating beanies and other clothes for the NHS resource room, dropping off cards for Shine's family and signing their names on her car.
Cars full of her former students came by to pay their respects and honor a woman whose legacy lies with them and their successes.
"The students were so sad that because of COVID we couldn't do a normal memorial service, so they organized this drive-thru event that we held on (Jan. 9)," Worthington said. "Working for the high school now, I was contacted by a few of our students here who knew Mrs. Shine when they were at CV. They wanted to do something to honor her while understanding that we had to be safe, and they did a great job organizing it with our help."
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