Juan Saldaña Since 2019
Advising Specialist, Chemeketa Community College
Juan Saldaña is the son of immigrant farmworkers from California. His early years were spent traveling between Migrant camps. After graduating high school in Porterville, CA, he came to Salem Oregon to join family. His involvement with the world of education and nonprofits began with his job as Fiscal Administrative Assistant at OCDC (Oregon Child Development Coalition). He began college at Chemeketa and graduated from Western Oregon University with his BS in Psychology and a Minor in Organizational Leadership. For the last four years, he has worked to mentor and connect youth with college resources at CCC through CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) and TRIO (federal student outreach and services), and with HECC’s Summer Bridge Program (Higher Education Coordinating Committee). His passion is helping students overcome barriers to their educational attainment. He currently mentors low-income, first generation college students, and students with disabilities. He is also a graduate of the first Cohort of People’s Rep, a project of Capaces Leadership Institute.
Carol Ann Crum since August 2020
Legislative Assistant in the Oregon Legislature
Carol is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Oregon with her Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy and Management with minors in nonprofit administration and global health. Over the last several years, she has been involved with fundraising for the UO College of Education, helping teens get their basic needs met at Looking Glass Community Services, promoting temporary and transitional housing programs with the City of Springfield, reviewing grants with United Way of Lane County, and running a sexual assault prevention shuttle on the UO campus. Currently, Carol is a legislative assistant in the Oregon Legislature. As an unhoused teen growing up in poverty, Carol credits the teachers and staff who believed in her for her successes in school. She believes education is a powerful tool to help people break the cycle of poverty and change the trajectory of their life, but it needs to be coupled with addressing systematic barriers. This is why she is a strong believer in the way SKCE works with families, schools, and the community to ensure the educational success of children.
Jonathan Castro Monroy since 2020
Managing Partner, Castro Monroy Group, LLC
Jonathan was born in Tulancingo Hidalgo, Mexico and moved to Salem, OR at the age of seven. He attended Salem Keizer Schools, Chemeketa Community College and Oregon State University, where he received his BA in Political Science. Jonathan’s bi-cultural background and drive to better his community has led him to volunteer for numerous organizations and community leadership roles. His past roles include the Chair of the City of Salem Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission, Vice Chair of the City of Salem Parks and Recreations Advisory Board, Director of the City of Salem Community Police Review Board, Board member of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Inspire Foundation, and former Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors- Salem Chapter. In addition to now serving as the Treasurer of the Salem Keizer Coalition for Equality, he currently he serves as the founder and Director of Progreso Hispano, serves on the Board of Directors of Chemeketa Community College Foundation and Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, and as a Commissioner of the City of Salem Citizens Advisory Traffic Commission. Jonathan is grateful for his family and the amazing community we live in, and looks forward to contributing to the well-being of Latino/a/x families through his work with SKCE.
Chris Brantley since 2017
Retired Teacher and Administrator
Chris was a high school biology and computer programming teacher for thirteen years in Salem-Keizer before becoming a middle school administrator for seventeen years in Salem-Keizer and North Santiam School Districts. Since retirement he has served in many capacities, including Executive Secretary of OMLA; Technology Trainer for a COSA program (funded by Gates Foundation); adjunct instructor for PSU’s Administrative Licensure Program and Willamette University’s Masters of Arts in Teaching. He has been a Commissioner on the Oregon HECC and TSPC, and served two terms on the Salem-Keizer School Board; Currently, he is also a member of the Salem City Club Board and the Chemeketa Community College Budget Committee. Throughout his career, Chris been an advocate for students who do not adapt easily to “academia.” He believes in helping students learn through “real world” experiences to find success in our schools. He brings to SKCE the belief that strong, supportive families can be highly effective advocates in schools that adapt to students rather than expecting students to adapt to “the way it’s always been done.”
Alejandra Rodriguez Avelizapa since August 2020
Mother and teacher of three children during COVID-19
Alejandra recently joined the SKCE Board of Directors as the new Parent representative from our Parent Leadership Group. She is the parent of three children in the Salem Keizer School District and is the Secretary of the North Salem High School Latino Parent Club. She is also a member of the Latino Business Alliance and owned her own business, Red Apples Juicery, for six years. Alejandra did not have the opportunity to graduate from high school and her number one goal has been the educational success of her children. Her two younger children are 14 and 16 at North High, and her oldest, a North High Graduate, is a Sophomore at Chemeketa Community College. She is tri-lingual and already is in demand for her translating skills in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. Her goal is an ASL Degree from WOU. Alejandra has passed down her passion for learning and wants to bring that passion to SKCE as a board member.
Leonardo Reyes, since December 2020
Program Manager, Northwest Senior and Disability services
I am a first-generation undocumented immigrant and DACA recipient. Coming at the age of 10, I faced the challenges of learning English, living with poverty as a student, and the barriers of being undocumented. I was raised in a strong single parent household. My mother, who beamed with pride at my academic achievements, also found herself limited in the ways in which she felt she could contribute towards my progress and success. It is my core believe that access to equitable education is a foundational need for low-income migrant families to thrive. I also believe that such equity cannot be achieved without providing parents the tools necessary to engage with and advocate for their children as they navigate our education system. I am a graduate of Chemeketa Community College where I was the Student Representative at the Diversity Advisory Board to the President. I also co-founded and led the Oregon DACA Coalition, advocating for immigrant youth, but more importantly creating a space for youth to advocate for themselves.