Our New Teacher, The Pig Farmer


Teacher, Brenda VanderZanden helps one of her many freshmen

Dylan Hansen, Reporter

Growing up Hillsboro with about 30,000 people and very few housing developments, Brenda Vanderzanden and her friends called themselves the pig farmers. Since intel had opened up less than a decade prior, Hillsboro had almost no infrastructure. Tanasbourne was only developed in 1978 after all, and it only had a movie theater with a handful of stores.

Vanderzanden started her high school career in Hillsboro and wound up graduating in Billings, Montana. There was a lengthy gap in her education after that because she spent 17 years as a counseling secretary for Century High School in her home town of Hillsboro.

After raising a couple of kids of her own, and spending about a third of her life with other people’s children Mrs. VanderZanden decided she wanted to go back to school and become a counselor. She had a bachelor’s of science from PSU.

As someone that enjoyed high school students, VanderZanden made the decision to wrap up her education with a masters in teaching from George Fox.

She quickly found out that social studies teaching jobs are scarce and there is a glut in the market so to speak. She began applying everywhere. Mrs. V said that she didn’t want to drive any farther than YC. VanderZanden said “I drove out here and I loved it, I left hoping they’d pick me.”

She got the job. Not only does she teach social studies, but she is the Leadership teacher and oversees almost every activity in the school. In turn meaning that she is in a position to get a comprehensive scope of school spirit. She says that “Coming from a large school I am used to a lot of spirit, but it is most likely the same percentage wise.” However, she has said that she would like to see more support at sporting events and a more enthusiastic crowd during assemblies.

As someone that worked in a much more urban area Mrs. VanderZanden finds that the students here are a lot less liberal. There is more of a balance on the political spectrum. She finds it “more relaxed.” Citing that the students all have jobs after school and work hard. VanderZanden confessed “I feel bad that they work so hard.”

Among her many duties as a teacher and advisor Mrs. VanderZanden likes to unwind watching football, beachcombing(looking for shells and walking along the beach, and going antiquing.