English teacher, counselor retire from TuHS


Photograph by Juliana Villanueva of TuHS English teacher Lori DuPuis who is retiring at the end of this school year after 22 years at TuHS.

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

For 22 years, English teacher Lori DuPuis has taught at Tualatin High School (TuHS). DuPuis will retire at the end of this year. She initially began teaching in 1992 in Pendleton before she joined the Timberwolves staff in 2001.

“I am going to miss the people that I teach with and all of the activities and energy that we have here at Tualatin. I’ll miss my students, too, but I get to miss them every year when they leave my classroom,” DuPuis shared.

DuPuis not only taught English, but she coached the TuHS cheerleading team from 2001 to 2012.

“[My favorite memories were] coaching and Friday Night Football,” DuPuis stated.

Other than coaching, she loved including butterfly projects for her tenth grade students’ Holocaust unit. Each butterfly represented a child who experienced The Holocaust. Towards the end of creating the butterflies, DuPuis revealed whether a specific Holocaust victim for whom a butterfly was created died or survived, which was always bittersweet.

Students were quick to say they would miss DuPuis next year.

“Thank you for making freshman year super fun for us. It was kind of draining to be online for so long, but we had a lot of times in English class where it was [enjoyable], so I’m grateful for that,” one junior stated. “I really enjoyed the bits and pieces of jokes that she would put up for us on the virtual board. I remember those very vividly. I smile looking back at those.”

DuPuis will move on to a new profession as an event coordinator at Youngberg Hill Winery, where she will plan weddings and events.

DuPuis’ colleagues agree that she will be missed. “You have touched so many lives in such
an incredible way, both students that you’ve taught and teachers that you’ve taught with,” McCaffrey said.

“You have been such a bright and important part of our school community. We’re going to miss you so much, but we’re happy that you get to start this new chapter.

Counselor Kat Toms is also retiring. Toms has worked with students in the counseling office at TuHS for 17 years. In addition to being a counselor, Toms has been the adviser for the Pacific Islander Club for many years and has helped the club with cultural events.

“Kat has shown so much dedication to her students of color, especially Pacific Islander students,” fellow counselor Holly Poulivaati said. “Her passion for her club has gone unmatched during her time at TuHS. She will be missed.”

Tualatin is all about family for Toms, whose son Woody is a coach with the football team and whose daughter did her student teaching with none other than DuPuis.

“Kat has made inclusion and empowerment her mission since she started at TuHS in the College and Career Center,” counselor Christie Langer said. “Her love for the Pacific Islander Club goes well beyond any regular school day or counselor duties. I cannot imagine how many hours she has dedicated to embracing and promoting the entire PI community. She believes in the power of education and isn’t afraid to call out and remove barriers that threaten access for all. Kat Toms is deeply woven into the fab-
ric of Tualatin, and we will deeply feel her void.”

Photo by Sam Dunn of Kat Toms who has been a counselor at Tualatin
High School for 17 years.