Alumni Connection News
Bobby Nordlund Gets His Wings
Class of 2008
Bobby’s parents, Cathy and Robert Nordlund, recently attended his winging ceremony at the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas. Becoming a naval aviator is no easy task. Bobby has received his Naval Aviator “Wings of Gold” at the ceremony, recognizing his extensive aerial training. He has recently been assigned to fly the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at the Fleet Replacement Squadron in Lemoore, California beginning this June. Bobby is a 2012 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Thank you, Bobby for your dedication and service to our country!
Samantha Nordlund Serves with Open Arms
Class of 2010
Samantha graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014 with a B.A. in political science/international studies. Shortly after graduation, she traveled to Komga, South Africa to work with Open Arms Home--a place of refuge for 57 abandoned children. Open Arms Home was founded on the hope of providing love and security to children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in South Africa. Sam says, "Open Arms is pretty much a permanent 'place of safety' for these kids." Currently, Samantha lives on the property and she is on duty 24/7. Along with three other Notre Dame graduates, Samantha serves as an educational, medical and legal advocate for the Open Arms children. She teaches English and P.E. in their homeschool program, in addition to taking care of their basic needs. "Essentially anything that's part of running and managing a home, we do for these kids," Samantha says. "It's insane!" Finally, teaching children about kindness, empathy and leadership values, is an important aspect of Sam's responsibilities. She created a chore and leadership wall with a sign above it that reads, Minds to Lead and Hearts to Serve. "It makes me laugh to think that a piece of Oaks is in a rural village in South Africa," Sam adds.
Samantha plans to return to the U.S. this summer to look at companies with a philanthropic bent, geared toward charitable impact. She loves the idea of being somewhere warm, such as Southern California or Hawaii. Another interest she has is to work possibly in the state department--international relations, development or military focused. Pursuing this interest, however, may take her to D.C., where Sam says "Joining the reserves is not out of the question either."
Amazing work Samantha! We are very proud of you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
Haley (Hacker) Simon is a New Mom
Class of 2007
Haley is a new mom to her 5-month-old little girl Ellie. Haley graduated from Pepperdine University in 2011 and married her college sweetheart and baseball player (also from Pepperdine University), Nate Simon in 2012. The Simons currently live locally in Thousand Oaks and although Haley is a now a busy mom to Ellie, she does find time on the weekends to pursue her career as a wedding planner. Haley has wonderful memories as a student at Oaks Christian School. “I’ve made some lifelong friends at Oaks,” Haley shares. “In fact, my college roommate and maid of honor at my wedding also attended Oaks Christian. My Oaks friends have been very influential in my life. Now we have fun celebrating one another’s marriages and new babies!”
Drew Hacker Returns to OCS Baseball
Class of 2011
After playing baseball at Pepperdine University for three years, Drew is now spending time back on the OCS campus as a middle school baseball coach, alongside Justin Newman. “Being back at Oaks is great,” shares Drew. “Having the opportunity to work with individuals who have left their fingerprint on me is very special. There are remarkable people at Oaks and I respect them all.”
Drew will graduate from Pepperdine University this May with a degree in business administration, with an emphasis on aviation management. This summer he will be traveling to New York where he has accepted an internship position with Jet Blue Airlines and in the fall, Drew plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida for his MBA in airline management. Drew is excited about his future in aviation—something he has wanted to do since he was a little boy.
Tricia Hacker and Art History - An OCS TraditionRead More
Tricia Hacker (aka Mrs. Hacker) is a Pepperdine University alumna and one of the original teachers at Oaks Christian School. She was hired at Oaks before the school even opened! Tricia has been teaching sixth-grade art history for the past 15 years, continuing to teach the same curriculum. “For many years I had been asked if I would teach another art class at Oaks and the answer finally became YES!” Five years ago, an American art history class was added for all eighth-grade students, which Tricia is thrilled to be teaching. Each day Tricia shares her love of art and her desire to open the hearts and minds of young students to see the incredible beauty they otherwise may not know exists.
Tricia is so encouraged when she talks to OCS alumni who have pursued art history in college, and some even choosing it as a career. She also enjoys hearing from alumni who have traveled to Europe where they encounter historical pieces of art that they remember learning about in their sixth-grade art history class. “OCS students are fortunate to be exposed to some exceptional classes in both the middle school and high school, which allow them the opportunity to pursue some amazing careers available today,” says Tricia. She firmly believes that her children Haley and Drew were very well-prepared when they went to college, thanks to the OCS curriculum, talented teachers and amazing Christian mentors.
Finally, Tricia says; “I plan to retire from Oaks Christian School when I am 100-years-old!” Thank you Tricia for your unmistakable gift of teaching and your dedication to the OCS community.