Troy Frystak: River Otters Teacher (5th/6th grade)

Growing up in a tropical Hawaiian rainforest, playing in crashing waves on a little piece of styrofoam, and fooling around in my Dad’s chemistry lab developed my love of science from an early age. As a kid, I played soccer, basketball, volleyball, body-boarded, and got around everywhere on my bike. At 15, I started coaching soccer with gang of 7-year-old boys. The fun I had with those boys planted the seed to become a teacher many years later.

At Lewis and Clark College in Portland, I studied Business Administration and founded and coached the Men’s Volleyball Club. After college, I started coaching youth soccer again and soon realized that I wanted a career focused on kids. I enrolled at Pacific University in 1995 and received a Masters in Teaching while student teaching in Sherwood.

I left for the sunny skies of Southern California and began my teaching career in San Marino where I was a 6th grade Science and Math teacher as well as a volleyball, soccer, basketball, and track coach. I got married and had one son, Nathan Sawyer.

A year after Sawyer was born, my wife, Kris, and I decided to move to Thailand to live in the country where she grew up. We endured floods, strange foods, the loudest bugs and frogs you have ever heard, and had an amazing time in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After four years in the tropical heat and humidity, we decided to make Oregon our new home.

Each year I look forward to bringing my love of science, kids, and the outdoors to all my students.