Administration & Professionals - "Red Shirt Staff"

Join our "Red Shirt" Professional Staff as an:

  • SLP Supervisor

    • No CFY positions

    • AAC experience preferred

  • "Buddies Bridge" SLP

    • No CFY positions

    • AAC experience required

  • OT Supervisor

    • for Fieldwork I Graduate Students

  • General Camp Class Instructor

    • Masters Level Teachers and SLPs Preferred

    • CFY ok

  • Junior Camp Counselor (JCC) Program Instructor

    • Masters Level Teachers Preferred

    • Middle School teaching experience preferred

    • Special Education experience required

  • Yak Apprentice Program Instructor/Supervisor

    • Masters Level Teachers and SLPs Preferred

    • High School Teaching/Intervention experience preferred

    • Special Education experience required

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All Staff, Interns, Graduate Students, & Volunteers

Must Be Fully Vaccinated By the Start of Camp.

*** We prefer to hire for the full 4-weeks of camp but often have "substitute" positions open for 1-2 weeks to fill in where needed. 

Our Professional "Red Shirt" Staff

2021 Camp Directors

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Elise Renning, M.Ed-Special Education 

Camp Director

Elise has served at Camp Yakety Yak for the past 6 years as Special Education Consultant, Curriculum Coordinator, Buddies Instructor, and most recently Special Programs Director, overseeing programs such as Buddies, JCC’s and Yak Apprentices. She also serves as an advisory member on the Board. She is a Social Communication Center teacher specializing in Autism at a local school district and has worked in the field for 12 years. In addition to her time in the classroom, Elise has supported those impacted with Autism from early education to adulthood, through both in-home services and in the nonprofit sector. Elise is extremely passionate about mindful inclusion, equitable practices, and trauma-informed care for all humans. Elise is an Arizona transplant who moved to Oregon 8 years ago. She is married with one amazing 11-year-old son who loves attending camp as a neurotypical peer.

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Heather Eason, MS, CCC-SLP

Clinical Director

Heather started at camp as a volunteer, then served as a Clinical Supervisor, and now holds the position of Clinical Director and is an advisory member on the Board. Heather is a school-based speech-language pathologist in a rural, bilingual school district and has worked in the field for 5 years. In addition to her state licensure, she holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the National Governing Board, ASHA, and has completed two graduate-level certificate courses of study in Autism and High-Functioning Autism. Heather is a New Jersey native who has loved living in Oregon for the past 25 years. In addition to her Masters in Speech-language Pathology, she holds degrees in Anthropology and Graphic Design and finds that they both come in handy as an SLP.  Heather has two high-school aged daughters, who keep her busy when she isn’t at work or camp.

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Don Kunstel, MAT

Director of Operations

Don has 28 years of educational leadership as both teacher and administrator in the North Clackamas School District.  He has an MAT in Curriculum & Instruction at Lewis & Clark College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona.  Don lives in West Linn with his wife Diane, and together have an incredible daughter, a graduate of the University of Oregon in 2019 and an awesome son who graduated from Oregon State in 2015!

 

This is Don's third year working at Camp Yakety Yak after retiring from public education in 2018.

2021 Administrative Staff
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Jamie Kading

Activities Coordinatior

Jamie graduated from George Fox University with a Master of Arts in Teaching with an endorsement in Special Education.  She has been teaching in the Woodburn School District as a case manager for the Learning Resource Center at both elementary and middle school levels.  Jamie lives in Wilsonville and outside of work enjoys playing soccer, basketball, doing art projects, and spending time with family.

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George Padilla

Technology Coordinator

George has a passion for teaching, photography, and film making and is a student in Special Education and Math at Portland Community College.  George is married and has two dogs!  He also works as n Instructional Assistant in a local school district working with children with Special Needs.

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Alicia Riddle

Staff Support Specialist

Alicia is returning for her 5th year at Camp!  She has many years of experience working as an educational assistant for special education programs in public schools and a school/home liason.  Her specialty is supporting children with more significant delays.  Alicia lives in the Portland area and is the mom of two adorable boys, both with special needs who attend camp.

Kailey Frazier

Media and Communications

This is Kailey's second summer at Camp Yakety Yak and she is so excited to be back! Kailey will be working as the media and communications coordinator for camp 2021, she previously worked as an intern during the summer of 2019. She recently graduated from Pacific University with a bachelors in social work and a minor in spanish. Kailey's most recent employment was an in-home caregiver to a child with down syndrome. Outside of camp she likes to go to the beach, read, and play sports.

2021 Clinical Supervisors -
 
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Hannah Thies, OTD OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Hannah has a doctorate degree from Pacific University and is currently working as an occupational therapist in the Lake Oswego School District.  She grew up in Hillsboro and now lives in Forest Grove, she loves coming home to the farm fields and sunshine!  Hannah is looking forward to working with and training our new OT this year at Camp Yakety Yak, meeting new kids and families, and hopefully seeing some familiar ones.

Katherine St. Jule

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Occupational Therapist

Katharine graduated with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University in 2021. In the past, she has taken on many roles working with children with special needs, including group leader in a social and recreational program and teacher’s assistant in a one-to-one classroom. She grew up in New Jersey and recently moved to Portland with her husband and their dog. She is very excited to join the Camp Yakety Yak team and meet all the campers, families, and staff this summer

2021 Camper Support Team -

Marianna Whitney

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Camper Support Team

Marianna Whitney is a special education assistant for Northwest Regional ESD. She has worked for over 12 years in various mental health arenas providing individualized supports, including residential assistance, vocational training, private behavior support programs and consulting.  Since 2013 Marianna has worked with elementary aged students in a self-contained classroom and continues to support students with severe emotional regulation, communication, sensory and behavioral needs; specializing in students on the ASD spectrum. 

Kris Smith

Camper Support Team 

My name is Kris Smith. I'm a special education teacher for Woodburn SD. I've been teaching for 6 years in self contained classrooms. I have 3 kids, 2 of whom are special education teachers as well! My husband and I enjoy traveling and eating out. I love cats, ice cream and chocolate

Brian Haggard

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Camper Support team

Brian Haggard began at Camp as a high school volunteer over 5 years ago and has kept returning each and every year to continue working. He is passionate about supporting campers with emotional regulation and behavioral needs so that they can thrive at camp. He is excited to begin his path towards a Sociology PhD at Cornell University this Fall.

Lizzie Benson 

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Camper Support team

Lizzie Benson has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Portland State University. This is their first summer with Camp Yakety Yak, and they are excited to get to work in this environment with the kids. Previously, they have worked at the Portland Children's Museum and Boys & Girls Club. In their free time, they enjoy going on hikes and hanging out with their cats. 

Gretchen Noelle Birky

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Speech Language Pathologist

oelle graduated from Cal State East Bay in 2013 with a Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. During the school year Noelle works as a speech-language pathologist for Multnomah Education Service District in their Functional Living Skills program. For the last 6 years Noelle has specialized in working with individuals with complex communication, physical and behavioral needs. Noelle is passionate about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) including everything from printed symbols to high tech speech generating devices. In her free time, Noelle enjoys spending time with friends, hiking, and finding the best places to get tacos in Portland

Itzel Villagomez, MS, CF-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Izzy has a background in sociology and disability studies and in June 2020, she graduated from Portland State University’s graduate program in speech and hearing sciences. In June 2021, she wrapped up her clinical fellowship year as a speech language pathologist. Come fall, she will begin her second year working with West Linn, Wilsonville School District, serving one primary school. She is a simultaneous bilingual and has experience working with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Outside of work, Izzy enjoys painting, discovering new restaurants, and most recently - boxing. This will be Izzy’s first year working with Camp Yakety Yak! 

Kathy Mincer

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Speech Language Pathologist

Kathy Mincer has been a school speech language pathologist for 21 years working with students in K-8 for 18 years, and for the past 3 years has been working with students from grades 6-12 and post-high school. Kathy’s goal is to support students in being as independent as possible, and ready to live life as an adult in the community. In her spare time, Kathy performs improv at Curious Comedy Theater with house team LoveJoy. “I love bringing improv into teaching to support students in exploring the possibilities!” We’re going to have a great time in the Yak Apprentice program!

Camp Yakety Yak Class Instructors -
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Cassi Moore

Yak Apprentice Instructor

Cassi graduated from Portland State University with a teaching license in Special Education. She has been working in the Hillsboro School District as a Structure Learning Center teacher. This will be her seventh year with the camp. Cassi has had many roles at camp and is looking forward to being the cooking class instructor again this year. She can't wait to teach campers some great kid friendly recipes, how to describe food textures, kitchen safety, and teamwork skills.

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Skylar Johnson

JCC Instructor

Sky has over 18 years experience in various mental health professions and has extensive experience in case management and administration.  She is in her 5th year of working with Beaverton School Districts K-8th grades as a Para Educator II. Her focus has been in Social Communication Centers (SCC), Independent Skills Centers (ISC), Emotional Growth Centers (EGC), and Academic Learning Centers (ALC) where she performs mental health support as well as a variety of physical assistance to students with disabilities.  Sky supports students with severe emotional regulation, communication, sensory and behavioral needs, and specializes in students on the ASD spectrum and ADD/ADHD.

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Vicki Barnes

JCC Instructor

Vicki completed her Special Education teaching endorsement at George Fox University and has 2 classes to go to complete her Master’s in Education.  With almost 20 years in education, she finds the last 3 years in special education to be so incredibly rewarding.  She loves the outdoors, working in her garden, family time, Friday night movie nights, and cuddling with our family’s pets – 2 dogs and 2 bunnies.  She’s worked several years at camps while earning her BA and is super excited for this camp experience!  

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Haley Anderson

Buddies Program Instructor

Haley will once again be working in our Buddies Program and we couldn't be more excited about it! Haley is a graduate in Special Education from the University of Portland. She teaches at Woodlawn Elementary School in a communication and behavior classroom serving grades 3-5 in Portland Public Schools. Haley first came to camp in 2017 as an Intern. She is an avid rollerblader and loves to hike. 

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Carla Kostek

Yak Apprentice Instructor

Carla lives in Portland and is a licensed Special Education teacher. She has worked in education for close to ten years in and around the Portland area. She brings her experience in teaching in both the middle and high school levels and is really excited to be part of the Yak Apprentice program this summer.

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Tiffany Herndon

Yak Apprentice Instructor

Tiffany has a masters degree in Special Education from Portland State University, and taught high school for 10 years, She has worked with teens and young adults for 20 years, helping them develop the necessary skills to successfully navigate the adult world. During 2020, she took the opportunity to start her own business; Teen Life Coaching and Tutoring, allowing her to be at home and present more with her own teenage children, and an ever growing number of cats and plants. Tiffany has prior camp experience as the Assistant Teen Program Director at a summer camp in upstate New York, and graduate work at Kiwanis Camp, here at Mt. Hood. This will be Tiffany's first year at Camp Yakety Yak, and she is looking forward to being part of a memorable and fun camp experience for the Yak Apprentices.

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Liliana Morales Rodriquez

Friendship Instructor

Liliana, is looking forward to starting her first year at CYY as a class instructor. She recently earned her Master's degree in Speech-Language-Pathology from Pacific University. She has completed her practicum experiences in the school settings serving linguistically-culturally diverse students with a wide range of communication needs in both English and Spanish. Prior to graduate school, Liliana worked at a pediatric outpatient clinic as a billing assistant for SLP/OT/PTs, she also worked as a Personal Support Worker for children with disabilities providing support for families and individuals in activities of daily living and/or relief care.

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Samantha Reed

Play Instructor

Samantha has volunteered and worked at camp for eight years, throughout high school and college. She is an occupational therapy graduate student at the University of Puget Sound. She is passionate about helping campers have a fun and safe experience at camp. Samantha is excited to have fun in PLAY class with new and returning campers!

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Julia Takahashi

Discovery Class Instructor

I’m Julia!  I’m at student at the University of Hawai’i and this will be my first summer helping out  at camp. I love doing anything adventurous or active, and my favorite spot is by the ocean or in the water! In my free time you’ll catch me doing lots of arts and crafts and crocheting.

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Trish Narimatsu

Yak Academy

Trish Narimatsu has worked as a licensed substitute teacher for Northwest Regional ESD and  Beaverton School District for 4 years.. Trish holds a BA in International Relations and her post-bacc studies have included courses on speech development,speech disorders and autism.  Trish lived and taught English in Japan for 9 years. Trish lives in Beaverton with her husband, college bound son, high school daughter and beloved chiweenie, Tia. Her passions include travel and studying different cultures. Trish has enjoyed working for and leading summer camps in both Oregon and Idaho.  She is looking forward to meeting all of the campers this summer and creating new memories.

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What does our "Red Shirt Staff" do?

Besides coordinate and communicate with families and staff, Red Shirts design curriculum, supervise "Blue Shirt" student volunteers, model best practice instruction, counsel campers, act as cheerleaders and play!

Going to graduate soon with your Masters in Speech Pathology?

We would love to have you at camp!

 

Here are the steps to securing your Conditional License from the Oregon Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology before working with children at our camp.