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Distinguished alumni

We are especially proud of alumni working to contribute in significant ways to better the state, region and world. If you are a distinguished alumni or know of one who is making a difference, please send us information and a photo to post here.


Link: Crystal Apple Award program of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation | Back to Teacher Education news


Distinguished COE alumni leaders

Debbie BrecknerDebbie Breckner


Director of Human Resources at Three Rivers School District in Murphy, Ore.


Last attended WOU in '92

Brian CrawfordBrian Crawford


Director of athletics and facilities at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie, Ore.


B.S. Education (social studies) '00 WOU; M.S. Curriculum and Instruction '05 Portland State University; pursuing Ed.D. at George Fox University.

Kris KibbeeLisa Harlan


Principal of Lincoln Elementary School, Corvallis, Ore.


B.A. Education '00 WOU

Kris KibbeeKris Kibbee
Assistant principal of Cascade Middle School, Eugene, Ore.


Master's '03 WOU; pursuing Ph.D. in teacher leadership at Oregon State University.

David Lovelin David Lovelin
Vice principal of
Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego, Ore.

MAT '02, B.S. Physical Education, minor Health '01 WOU. Pursuing doctorate in educational leadership at Lewis and Clark College.

Adam Matot Adam Matot
Assistant principal of Judson Middle School, Salem, Ore.


M.S. '03 and B.S. '99 WOU

Jamie McCarty Jamie McCarty
Principal of Sublimity School in North Santiam School District, Sublimity, Ore.

Last attended WOU in '98 

Scott McLeod
WOU adjunct instructor and retired Dallas School District administrator, he returned to the district in January 2010 as high school principal during a search to fill the spot.

M.S. Education '92, B.S. Education '79 WOU

Sandra M. Rands Sandra Rands
Elementary English language acquisition specialist, Salem-Keizer Public Schools. Has taught French, ESL, Spanish and English; been an instructional coach and high school ELAS.
M.S. Education '04 and ESOL/Bilingual endorsement WOU.

Bill RhoadesWilliam Rhoades
Superintendent of West Linn-Wilsonville schools, Tualatin, Ore.


Previously assistant superintendent for Office of School Performance in Hillsboro School District, chief academic officer of Bend-LaPine School District, and administrator in Woodburn School District.


Ed.D., M.S. Interdisciplinary Studies '84, B.S. Education '79 WOU

Nicole SmithNicole Smith


Nicole Smith, Ed.D., English language development teacher on special assignment, Reynolds School District, Gresham, Ore.


Last attended WOU in '99

Eric Swenson Eric Swenson
Assistant Superintendent, Silver Falls School District, Silverton, Ore.


B.A. Elementary Education '86 WOU.

Lucas TaroliLucas Taroli
Mountain View High School, Bend-La Pine School District, Bend, Ore.


Social studies - U.S. history, law, criminal justice, government, PBS team leader, curriculum and instruction leader, head coach boys golf. Last attended WOU in '03

Adam Watkins Adam M. Watkins
CAA, assistant principal and athletic director, North Salem High School, Salem, Ore.


Last attended WOU in '01

COE Alumni of Special Note

Kate Dickson

Kate DicksonSeptember 2011 - After serving as Vice President of Education Policy for Oregon's Chalkboard Project, Kate Dickson has been appointed by Chalkboard to head an initiative to apply what has been learned from Chalkboard's CLASS Project to teacher preparation programs.

Previously she has worked with the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), Business Education Compact, Oregon Education Association, Oregon Small Schools Initiative, and the Chalkboard Project. Those efforts have supported Oregon’s school and district professional development for teacher and administrator induction programs, teacher professional growth and evaluation programs, and university teacher and administrator preparation programs. She has also served as Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, COSA Assistant Executive Director, Assistant Superintendent of West Linn-Wilsonville School District, school principal, curriculum resource specialist, and classroom teacher in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.


She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Management from University of Oregon, M.S. in Education '77 WOU, and B.S. in Education from University of South Dakota, as well as administrator and superintendent credentials.


She recently said, "My graduate work at Western was high quality and established a strong foundation for valuing intellectual rigor, critical thinking, and problem solving complex public education issues."

Victoria Chamberlain

Victoria Chamberlain, winner of WOU Alumni Award of Excellence for 2010June 2010 - From a degree in education at WOU to leading Oregon's teacher licensing agency, Victoria Chamberlain is rooted in teacher education. For nearly 30 years, she has been closely connected to statewide education policy as educator, school boards advocate, community college association executive director, and community college administrator. She received the 2010 WOU Alumni Award of Excellence.


As Executive Director of Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, she establishes, upholds and enforces professional standards of excellence and communicates those standards to the public and educators for the benefit of Oregon students. As such she has achieved prominence in one of the highest leadership positions in the state. She is a proud WOU alumnus and frequently references the quality of her preparation and her high esteem for the institution. She holds degrees from three Oregon institutions: Doctor of Jurisprudence at Willamette University College of Law in1988, Master of Education at Oregon State University in 1986, and Bachelor of Science in Education at WOU in1980.


In addition to teaching physical education and health for five years at the Stayton high school and middle school, she was Multicultural Development Officer at Chemeketa Community College, OSU adjunct professor, staff recruiter, and legislative committee administrator. She is a member of Oregon State Bar, Oregon Minority Lawyer Association, Marion County Bar Association and American Bar Association. She was elected to Willamette Education Service District Board of Directors, served as Executive Director of Oregon Community College Association, was legislative advocate for Oregon School Boards Association, and volunteered at Marion County Jail. She served on governors' advisory committees, on the board of Boys and Girls Club, and as Foster Grandparent. A commencement keynote speaker at several community colleges, she also speaks on educational, legislative and legal issues to a wide variety of groups.

Cathy Carnahan

Cathy CarnahanJune 2010 - Congratulations to Cathy Carnahan, principal of Duniway Middle School in McMinnville School District, named Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year. She earned her Master of Science in Education from WOU in 1998.


The three overriding principles at Duniway are valuing relationships, engaging students and pursuing excellence. This year, Carnahan chose the theme "Whatever it Takes" for the school, complementing these three principles. This theme mirrors the fundamental focus of Duniway's teachers and administration, as they dedicate their time to meeting the academic and social needs of each student. Carnahan's leadership at Duniway is a vital uniting force, as she serves the students as well as the staff. She will be recognized, along with other state winners, at a fall ceremony in Washington, D.C. (From Oregon Department of Education Superintendent's Update #325, 6/17/2010)

Bruce Reynolds

Bruce ReynoldsApril 2011 - Congratulations to Bruce Reynolds, honored as the 2010 Oregon Elementary Principal of the year. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from WOU in 1978. He has worked in the Bend-LaPine School District for 33 years, both as teacher and administrator and is now principal of R.E. Jewell Elementary School in Bend.

This is the second state award to highlight the work of Reynolds and Jewell Elementary. In 2009 Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo named it a "champion" school for closing the achievement gap for student sub-groups. "Reynolds and his team at Jewell worked diligently for years to ensure the success of every child," said Bend-LaPine Superintendent Ron Wilkinson. "The results are fabulous, with 98 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards in reading and 92 percent in mathematics, in a school with over 50 percent of students being economically disadvantaged."

Reynolds and his wife (Tracy Crossway, '80 and '88) traveled to Washington, D.C., in October where he was recognized as a national distinguished principal.



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