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Terry Koepke

Terry Koepke – 2964 Eucalyptus Avenue

I was born in Watertown, South Dakota, and spent my early childhood years in the nearby town of Estelline (popusation 700).  As early as I can remember I loved to wander out of town along country roads and rivers enjoying the freedom and the beauty of nature.  When I was 12 years old I moved to Long Beach, CA with my family.  I attended Stephens Junior High, Long Beach Poly High, Long Beach City College, and graduated from Long Beach State University in 1971 with a degree in Sociology and my teaching credentials.  I began my teaching career at Birney Elementary in the fall of 1971 in a second/third combination grade classroom.  I then went on to team-teach first, second, and third grade with Lois and Coby.  Coby suggested we take a painting class, and then my love for oil painting began.  In 1986 my love for nature encouraged me to teach at Hi Hill Outdoor School for the Long Beach Unified School District.  At the time it was where all sixth graders spent one week learning about outdoor science with a hands on approach.  After three years at Hi Hill I returned to Long Beach and taught at Riley Elementary for three years so one of my six god children (Anthony) could live with me and attend a Long Beach based school.  When Anthony was ready for middle school he returned to Los Angeles and his family.  I returned to Hi Hill and taught there for the next 17 years where for 15 of those years I lived in the beautiful town of Solvang, CA.  When the school district closed Hi Hill, I retired to Solvang.  Being so far from family and friends prompted me to move back to Long Beach.  My new home is on Eucalyptus Avenue; a few blocks north from the same street I bought my first home in early 1970s.  I am living in the Birney School neighborhood where I first taught and am living next door to one of my former students from Birney.  I am living a blessed life and continue to enjoy every minute of it.