The work to date would not be possible without the dedication and commitment from our early champions. These individuals represent our entire region, multiple sectors and unique skill sets. We share our sincere gratitude and invite you to stand with them to continue to momentum forward.


Early Champions

  • Bruce Abernethy, Grant Writer, Bend-La Pine School District
  • Dr. Paul Andrews, Deputy Superintendent, High Desert ESD
  • Jason Carr, Communications Director, NeighborImpact
  • Annette Chastain, Parenting Educator & Mental Health Consultant
  • Jerry Colonna, retired Superintendent, Oregon Schools Administrators
  • Brenda Comini, Director, Crook County Human Services
  • Keith Eager, Human Resources Manager, Contact Industries, Prineville
  • Shawna Elsberry, Director of Retention, Central Oregon Community College
  • Stefanie Garber, Superintendent, Culver School District
  • Barb Garland, Director of Special Programs, Jefferson County School District
  • James Golden, Superintendent, Sisters School District
  • Wayne Hanson, Membership Development Manager, Mid Oregon Credit Union
  • Cheri Helt, School Board Member, Bend-La Pine School District, Business Owner
  • Martha Hinman, Executive Director of Student Services, Redmond School District
  • Dr. Becky Johnson, Vice President, OSU-Cascades
  • Jim Kirkbride, Director of Support Services, St. Charles Health System
  • Roger Lee, Executive Director, Economic Development for Central Oregon
  • Mike McIntosh, Superintendent, Redmond School District
  • Dr. Shirley Metcalf, President, Central Oregon Community College
  • Dr. James Middleton, Past President, Central Oregon Community College
  • Rick Molitor, Superintendent, Jefferson County School District
  • Jennifer Newby, Instructional Dean, Central Oregon Community College
  • Patti Norris, Community Leader, Crook County Schools, Small Business Development Center
  • Jane Reynolds, Director of Enrollment Services, OSU-Cascades
  • John Rexford, Superintendent, High Desert ESD
  • Hillary Saraceno, Early Learning Development Manager, Deschutes County Health Services
  • Courtney Snead, past Madras Campus Administrator, Central Oregon Community College
  • Jon Stark, Redmond Manager, Economic Development for Central Oregon
  • Kristi Steber, Executive Director, Shelk Foundation
  • Scott T. Steele, President, Steele Associates, Architects, LLC
  • Dr. Steve Swisher, former Board member, Deschutes Children and Families Commission
  • Amy Tykeson, former CEO/President, BendBroadband
  • Alan Unger, Deschutes County Commissioner
  • Kate Wells Director of Community Health Dev., PacificSource/CCO
  • Laurel Werhane, Central Oregon Manager, WorkSource Oregon Employment Department
  • Ken Wilhelm, Executive Director, United Way of Deschutes County
  • Ron Wilkinson, Superintendent, Bend-La Pine School District
  • Dr. Duane Yecha, Superintendent, Crook County School District

Better Together

Working together to increase the number of students graduating from high school, continuing their education & training after high school, and ultimately beginning work in a career they find meaningful.