Board of Trustees
Cascades Academy is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is governed by a voluntary Board of Trustees. The board is made up of parents, educators, and professionals whose time and talents greatly contribute to our school.
The board's major responsibilities include:
- Determine the school’s mission and policies
- Hire, support and evaluate the Head of School
- Set strategic direction of the school
- Ensure fiduciary health of the school
We invite you to learn more about our board members below:
- Julie Amberg - Head of School
- Chris Arathoon - Trustee
- Pam Carty - Secretary
- Mike Congedo, Trustee
- Jennifer Delahunty - Trustee
- Jenny Green - Honorary Trustee
- Blair Jenkins - Chair
- Chuck Johnson, Trustee
- Tory Junkin - Trustee
- Holly Wylam Klein - Vice-Chair
- Craig Ladkin - Honorary Trustee
- Scott Mendenhall - Trustee
- Dave Naftalin - Trustee
- Danielle Nye - Vice-Chair
- Suzy Peterson - Treasurer
- Kathleen Phillips - Trustee
- Shelley Schwencke - Trustee
- Jill Wimberly, M.D. Ph.D. - Trustee
Julie graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Her early business career had many paths including sports marketing and event coordinating. Julie later switched gears and pursued her interest in education working as a private high school teacher for two students in Switzerland.Her international experience soon introduced her to Backroads, an active travel company specializing in hiking and cycling vacations worldwide. In her early years at Backroads, Julie lead trips throughout Europe and South America including in her favorite of all destinations, Patagonia. Later, Julie remained in France and was the operations manager for nearly 30 itineraries and 50 staff members in nine different European countries.
She and her husband moved to Bend in 2005 so that they could begin a life together living on the same continent. Julie once again pursued her interest in education and discovered Cascades Academy. Here she found a place that embodied all of her personal values - exceptional academics and wonderful life experiences. Like many Central Oregonians, Julie loves to do anything outdoors including backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, yoga, and cycling with her husband and two children.
Chris was born in Guatemala and moved to Bend when he was 10. He attended Sunriver Preparatory School from 4th grade through graduation. Through his education at SPS, he understands and appreciates the value of experiential education coupled with a true community of learners.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Mike arrived in Bend with his family in the summer of 2014 to enjoy all that Central Oregon has to offer. His son, Matt, began his high school career at Cascades Academy and his wife, Toni, also contributes much of her time to the school.
With over 25 years of experience as a financial professional, Mike has worked in the fields of consulting, healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing and has extensive experience in healthcare and not-for-profit finance and operations. Mike is currently a Consulting Director with BDO, a professional services firm with over 60 offices across the United States, also operating in over 150 countries internationally. Mike received a BS in Business Administration from Villanova University in 1991 and a MBA in Finance from New York University in 1996.
After having experienced the benefits of Cascades Academy’s mission and core values firsthand as a parent, Mike is excited to serve on the Board of Trustees to preserve the Cascades Academy experience for future students and families.
As an avid skier, Mike enjoys spending time with his family on the slopes and trails of Mt. Bachelor. Mike also enjoys golf, mountain and road biking, hiking and other outdoor activities in and around Bend.
Jennifer Delahunty joined the Cascades Academy board in 2015 and serves on the Trustees and Facilities Committees. A native of Minnesota, Jennifer attended Carleton College and the University of Arizona, where she earned both a Bachelor's degree in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing. She has worked in higher education since 1982 in a number of capacities, including admissions but also teaching writing at the University of Arizona, Central Oregon Community College, and Kenyon College. She lived in Tumalo from 1997-2003 and left when she took the position as the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kenyon. She became the Associate Dean of West Coast Admissions for the College in December 2014 and returned to Central Oregon. Jennifer lives in Sisters with her partner Tracy and their dog Rocky.
Jennifer has played a leading role in the movement to restore humane values to the admissions process. A founding member of the Education Conservancy, she is quoted frequently in the national press on admissions-related issues. She edited an anthology of essays aimed at parents navigating the admissions process, written by parents who have been there before. "I'm Going to College, Not You: Surviving the College Search with Your Child," was published by St. Martin's Press in 2010. Her op-eds and articles have appeared in the New York Times and other publications.
Jennifer is the mother of two adult daughters, both of whom live in Portland. She loves cycling, hiking, gardening, writing and reading. She has previously served on the Central Oregon Arts Association board and currently serves on the Waterston Desert Writing Prize board.
Jenny traveled across the country from her native California to Burlington, Vermont to earn her BA in Art History from the University of Vermont. She continued her travels east to London earning a post graduate degree from Sotheby's in the Fine and Decorative Arts. She returned west and continued graduate work at the University of Wyoming before settling with her husband in Bend in 1994.
Jenny is no stranger to the educational community of Bend. She worked at a private school when she first arrived in Oregon and taught Art History at Central Oregon Community College before shifting gears in 2003 to become one of the founding board members of Cascades Academy.
Blair Jenkins served Cascades Academy as Head of School from 2009-2015, and then as Co-Head of School until 2016. Previously, she served as Head of School at the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and has over 35 years experience as teacher, Dean of Students, and Middle & Upper School Director at independent schools in Colorado, New York, and Connecticut. Blair has served as President of the Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) and as Commissioner of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accrediting agency. Blair earned her B.A. in history/government from Wells College and her M.S. in Educational Administration from Vanderbilt University.
He is thoroughly impressed with the learning philosophy of Cascades Academy as evidenced by the growth of his four grandkids and is excited to serve on the board.
Born and raised in the Chicago area, Tory moved to Bend, sight unseen, in 2001 with her husband to open their first restaurant together, Parrilla grill. Having graduated from Denver University she knew she felt most at home near the mountains and clear blue skies.
Tory left her family's plastic manufacturing business behind in the midwest and opted for a more long distance role as Advisor on the Board she had created for her father, the owner. Thanks to this role she continued to travel extensively over the next ten years helping to oversea all forty international locations, while also supporting her husband's new endeavor as a restaurant owner and enjoying the unique Bend lifestyle.
After having two children, selling Parrilla to their manager and friend, and opening Jackson's Corner, Tory and her husband discovered Cascades Academy. The small class size, storyline, and outdoor learning was different than anything she had seen offered in Central Oregon. It took only one year at the school for Tory to feel deeply connected, enough to accept the offer to be on the Board of Trustees. She is especially thrilled to be an active member during this exciting time of growth for Cascades Academy.
Craig Ladkin, a FOCUS Managing Director, has twenty-five years of experience managing complex financial transactions between private, public, and non-profit sectors in a variety of industries and international jurisdictions. He has advised on transactions from the very large - for clients such as the World Bank, IFC, the Treasury Departments of more than a dozen OECD nations, along with their state-owned and power and utility companies, down to the very small - angel level investments, small city urban renewal projects, and private school campus development.
Mr. Ladkin holds an MBA in International Finance and Marketing from the London Business School in London, England and a B.Sc. in Geotechnical and Petroleum Engineering from the University of British Columbia.
We are saddened by the loss of Scott Mendenhall on March 10, 2018. He was a beloved member of our community and will be deeply missed. Please see the Bend Bulletin for the obituary and service details.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the school. Please visit our giving page for more details on ways of giving and an online form.
Cascades Academy was the biggest surprise in all of Central Oregon for the Naftalin family when they moved to Bend in the summer of 2012. Dave and his wife Leah were immediately attracted to the opportunity to be part of a community that mirrored their own beliefs regarding core values, trust, commitment, accountability, and experiential learning within the dynamic natural world we live in.
Dave served as the Director of the Global Supply Chain and Logistics team at Humm Kombucha. He was a core member of the company, playing a large role in creating, maintaining, and adapting the culture of Humm Kombucha through its fast paced global growth.
Dave received his BA from Dickinson College in Political Science and his MS from Frostburg University in Natural Resource Management. In their free time, Dave and Leah have a ranch in Tumalo with alpacas, llamas, sheep, and goats as well as a greenhouse for produce. They enjoy camping, skiing, and all water sports Central Oregon has to offer with their three children.
As a trustee, Dave is committed to being of service to the Cascades Academy community.
Danielle Easly Nye founded DANI Naturals, a Bend company that creates natural home and bath products with the purest ingredients available. DANI Naturals is sold online, in spas, gift stores and natural food stores nationwide and can be found in-room in boutique hotels like The Oxford. In 2012 along with husband (and business partner) Sanders Nye, the business was sold and is continuing to flourish in new hands.
A graduate of Portland's Catlin Gabel School, Danielle credits the experiential and inspiring education she received there to her entrepreneurial spirit and love of the natural environment. She is honored to serve on the Board of Trustees for Cascades Academy to support the mission of the school and the significant role it plays in Bend's community. Along with her co-chair Jenny Green, Danielle played an instrumental role on the Capital Campaign committee to build the school's new campus.
In an effort to further serve her community Danielle also serves on local chapters for other non-profits.
Danielle received a BA in English Literature from the College of Idaho in 1991 and an MAT in Elementary Education specializing in Middle School from Oregon State University in 1995.
Danielle embraces the outdoor lifestyle Bend so naturally encourages and enjoys snowboarding, skiing, hiking, camping and roasting marshmallows in addition to reading, knitting and spending time with her husband and three children.
Suzy and her family made Central Oregon their home in 1992. After residing in the Pacific Northwest for twenty years, Suzy and her husband Mark made the move from Portland with the desire to raise their children close to the outdoors. Suzy has over thirty years of bookkeeping and office management experience. She and Mark founded Designer Woodworking cabinets and fine furniture in 1987 and co-founded More Green Restorations, sustainable remodeling in 2010 with partner Mark Hereford.
Suzy has volunteered in numerous positions; she served as registrar and treasurer for the Sisters soccer club for seven years, camp coordinator for U.K. Soccer Camp for six years and Office Manager for COSA soccer for two years.
Suzy has been a long time part of the Cascades Academy family acting first as Parents Association class representative and more recently serving on the Board.
In her free time Suzy enjoys down hill and cross‐country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, cycling, boating, reading and spending time with her four children and two grandsons
After living in Las Vegas, Santa Monica, Denver and San Francisco, Kathleen and her husband Paul were looking for the perfect place to live. They visited, and fell in love with, Bend and have been here since 2007. Kathleen feels lucky to stay home with her daughters, and to live in this beautiful place where they can attend such a wonderful school.
Kathleen joined the board in 2011 and enjoys working on the development committee. Her favorite parts of Cascades Academy are all of the wonderful families and the shared sense of community.
Kathleen grew up in Northern California, then moved to San Diego to attend UCSD. After graduating, she worked on the business side of restaurants.
Kathleen loves traveling, practicing yoga, hiking, reading, cross country skiing, Halloween, playing Scrabble, healthy food and any type of theme party! She can usually be seen on campus wearing something orange and would love to say hello.
As a young adult, Shelley landed in Bend - knowing no one - and promptly began her love affair with the town she would never leave. Throughout her time in Central Oregon, Shelley has been a student, working professional, wife, business owner, and mother of two.
Prior to embarking upon her professional real estate journey, Shelley co-founded Make It Green, a home energy auditing and residential retrofitting company, which specialized in energy efficiency, energy upgrades and encouraging healthy homes through education. Shelley has also worked in the young adult residential treatment industry and in college admissions, where she excelled in helping students across the nation rebuild their academic stories.
Jill grew up in a family that prioritized educational opportunities and valued developing our minds. She took this to heart and spent 26 years in formal education programs and 4 years in post-graduate training programs before settling into a career of Anesthesia. Now that she has a family of her own, she and her husband and have maintained these values. They chose to move to Bend in 2004, not just for its active athletic lifestyle, but also for the exceptional educational opportunities that Cascades Academy of Central Oregon had to offer their two sons who were just embarking on their formal education journey.
Jill and Tom were intrigued by CACO's unique program that blended a classical college preparatory curriculum with a progressive, experiential teaching and learning style.
As a Board member, Jill's goals are to ensure that the school maintains its excellence in education and provides Central Oregon families with a choice for a education for their children.