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By Pat Doody
Welcome Hostess 

Meet Your New Neighbors


December 3, 2022

Kip and Laurie Herrington arrived in Tehachapi in August, just in time to prepare for their new teaching positions at Edwards Air Force Base. Kip is teaching science and biology at Desert Junior/Senior High School. Laurie is teaching first grade at Bailey Elementary School. Their daughter, Olivia, is a nurse at Edwards, and with her husband Billy, is the mother of Kip and Laurie's first grandchild and the primary reason for their move to California. They moved here from Mississippi where they had lived for 30 years.

Kip was born and raised north of Detroit, Michigan. He has an older brother who is a retired chemistry professor from Ohio State University. Kip attended Michigan State University. Laurie was raised in Ontario, Canada, the youngest of five children. She said they all grew up in Amish country where some of the citizens still used a horse and buggy. She met Kip when they were both working as missionaries in New Hampshire. They were married in Ontario, Canada in 1992.

Kip said he worked construction in Nantucket and as a cabinet maker in New York until he and Laurie tired of the New England winters. He developed carpal tunnel which forced him to give up cabinetry. They decided to move to Mississippi. Both of them got teaching credentials and taught in the Mississippi school systems for 25 years. All of their children are nurses. The oldest, Shelby, is in, Jackson, Mississippi. The youngest, Sam, is 6'5" and is a nurse in Tennessee.

Laurie's mother also lived in Mississippi and they helped to take care of her until her passing in 2021. They said they still have two houses in Mississippi, so buying a home here may have to wait a bit. In the meantime, they are in the perfect place to pursue their love of biking, hiking and Bible study. Laurie is also a quilter and is looking forward to connecting with local quilters.

A big "welcome to Tehachapi" to Laurie and Kip.

Christina Mellein arrived in Tehachapi in September with her 4-year-old daughter Dalasina and 2-year-old son Cassius from Tri-Cities, an area of southern Washington. According to Christina, she was lucky to find a house in today's market and she credits her local Realtor for the find.

For Christina, this is a return to Southern California. She was born was born in Ojai, California and raised in Ventura, the youngest of 11 children. She has five brothers and five sisters. One of her sisters lives in Chicago but the rest are all in California. She married soon after school and they moved to Washington about four years ago for her husband's job. Both of her children were born there. When her husband passed away about six months ago, Christina wanted to return to California with her children. She said the coastal region of the state was not an option for her financially; however, her parents have friends in Tehachapi and they urged her to look for a home here where she would still be relatively close to the coast.

Earlier this year Christina adopted a 6-month-old Doberman mix. Now nearing the age of 1, Dagny is a good-sized ball of energy who loves to play with the kids or anyone else who is willing. Christina loves to work in the yard and has already discovered Mountain Garden Nursery. While she was in Washington, she worked as a hospital volunteer. Here in Tehachapi, she is looking forward to going back to school and is interested in the paralegal program at Cerro Coso Community College.

We're delighted to have Christina and her very active family as part of our community.


If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts, as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess, contact our office at (661) 822-8188.


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