Charlie Benitez, since 2016
Retired Migrant Director, ODE, and Social Service Counselor
Charlie managed the federal migrant education program for the Oregon Department of Education for many years. One of his achievements while there was developing a comprehensive Binational Teacher Exchange Program between Oregon and Mexico. In 1998, he was the President of Pueblo Community Services where he managed and provided Spanish speaking behavioral healthcare, including mental health assessments and therapy. Charlie also spent some time as a Guidance counselor in the Salem/Keizer school district. He counseled K-6 school children as well as mentored teachers in providing educational opportunities to developmentally challenged children. Charlie received his BA in Human Resources Management in 1992 and his Masters in Social Work from Portland State University in 1996. Charlie is dedicated to helping people and is passionate about our mission of supporting Latino families’ success.
Arturo Sarmiento-Linares, since 2016
Maintenance Business Owner & Radio Host
Arturo immigrated from Mexico as an adult, and comes from a family of educators in Mexico City. He is passionate about education and would love to become a teacher like his father and mother. He has an undergraduate degree in business in Mexico, has studied in community college here at Chemeketa, and is fully bilingual. He worked as an office manager in Mexico many years ago, and then went into counseling. In Oregon, he worked in the health care field as a CNA and now currently has a maintenance business, fights wildfires in the summer and volunteers at Hoover Elementary School as an assistant teacher in the winter. He also has a local Spanish radio show on KMUZ once a week, and has community connections in the Latino business community. He loves music and culture.
Fabiola Camacho, since 2017
Educational Programs Manager, FHDC
Fabiola is a parent from our original program, the Parent Organizing Project in 2005. She has a true ”grow your own” leadership story. After volunteering for several years, facilitating parent classes, coordinating childcare and learning to testify at the school board, she become so skilled that she was hired by FHDC, the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, where we had our offices and which was founded by PCUN Farmworkers Union. She often said and still says today that she was a mom with young children stuck at home, quiet, with a lack of self confidence, until she became empowered working with SKCE and helping so many parents. Her life changed, and so did that of her children. She was excited about her new-found energy and determined to provide a better life for her children. She became an ambassador for SKCE’s teachings to parents about the educaiton of their children, their rights and responsibilities, and helped others open doors for their children’s success.
Deborah Abello, since 2017
Retired Educator, Principal & Regional Migrant Director
Santa Clara and San Joaquin Counties Offices of Education
(503) 364-2631, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah has spent all of her career in education in Alaska and California, from preschool to middle school and on to administration. From 1995 until she retired in 2013, she moved from elementary school principal to district administrator in the Migrant Education Department, where she became Director over San Joaquin County and then Santa Clara County. She is a leader in data driven education improvement, and a passionate volunteer for civil rights and an equitable society. She joined the Salem Keizer NAACP and helped found the Racial Justice Organizing Committee whose mission is to be allies to organizations of color. After she retired, she and her husband moved to Oregon where her children and grandchildren live. Fluently bilingual in Spanish and English, she travels to Spain frequently, where her husband is from and family resides.
Chris Brantley, since 2017
Retired Educator, Principal, SKSD Board Member and Commissioner
Chris began his career in education by achieving his BA in Biology at Willamette University and his MS in Science Education at the Oregon College of Education. He taught high school Biology and Computer Science at Sprague for 13 years, then became a middle school principal and district administrator for 17 years. He then served on the Salem-Keizer School Board for 8 years. Currently, Chris serves on the Salem City Club Board, is a regional advocate for the Chalkboard Project and a member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee
Christi Ortiz since 2018
Staff Accountant, Carol’s Tax Service
Christi first came to the coalition as a mom in 2007. A recent immigrant from Mexico, she felt isolated and did not understand the school system in the United States. SKEC helped give her the tools to ask questions of teachers and the school office. She later went back to school and first earned an Associate Degree in Business in 2014 and then received her BA in Business with a focus in Accounting in 2016.