From Harrison County to Alaska and back
Students at Corydon Central High School teased their new classmate about bringing the snow that fell, surprisingly, on Harrison County on Tuesday, April 13. It was Desiree Brooks’ first day at CCHS. She had just transferred here from Alaska.
The 17-year-old junior joined her mother, Roxane McEuen, and sister, Ceanna McEuen, 11, in their Corydon apartment. Roxane and Ceanna had moved to Harrison County in September.
But it’s not the first time they’ve lived here.
The family moved here a few years ago from the west coast and lived in the North Harrison Community School Corp. district, but unforeseen circumstances sent Roxane, with children in tow, back to her parents’ home in Alaska. (They’ve also lived in Oregon and Washington.)
After some time to think about her future life, Roxane said she decided to return to Indiana to make their home.
Roxane is a teller with National City bank in New Albany. She said she hopes to buy a house and a couple of acres of land.
Working in a bank is a far cry from what Roxane did in Alaska. After growing up on a livestock farm, she spent her summers working as a deckhand on a fishing boat in the Barents Sea, living away from home for months at a time while a nanny cared for her children. The money she earned allowed Roxane to stay home with them during the winter months.
What attracted Roxane back to Indiana?
‘I love the storms … they’re beautiful,’ said the 38-year-old, admitting that that fascination might seem a little odd to some people. ‘The only kind of lightning in Alaska is when the transformers ‘blow’ because they got too much snow on them,’ she said.
Besides storms, her family wasn’t used to spiders, snakes and ticks of Southern Indiana. They related the story of their first encounter with a tick that attached itself to Desiree; they weren’t sure what it was or how to remove it.
This is from a family whose next-door neighbors in Alaska kept an elephant for the circus.
Despite Alaska’s brutally cold winters, Roxane said the family grew up enjoying outdoor activities, like mountain climbing, camping and skiing. She recalled taking Desiree snow skiing as an infant, placing her in a carrier strapped to her body.
When she was two, Desiree was skiing by herself. She eventually placed sixth in a national slalom ski competition.
Desiree said she likes to play soccer and shop. (She had played on North Harrison’s co-ed soccer team, and she hopes to play on Corydon Central’s girls’ team next school year.) She just landed a summer job as a lifeguard at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville.
During her senior year, Desiree would also like to get involved in the CCHS drama department.
After graduation, Desiree wants to attend college, possibly on a soccer scholarship, in Hawaii or Los Angeles, then perhaps transfer to Stanford in Palo Alto, to study fashion design. She also aspires to be a model.
Ceanna, 11, is a fifth grader at North Harrison Upper Elementary School. She plays basketball and likes to watch TV. She’s also interested in horses; she and her mother frequently visit the Harrison County fairgrounds to see the horses there.
Their family includes two Chihuahuas, Felix and Pumpkin, and four cats, although one is missing at the moment. It’s a long-hair, mostly black with white paws and a white patch on its chest.
Roxane has a son, Colin, who graduated from North Harrison High School in 2002. Colin, 20, is studying international finance at the University of Alaska. He’ll be coming to Corydon for the summer.