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Heather Chatem


Founder, Executive Director, Lead Teacher

As an administrator, special education teacher, writer, researcher, and speaker with ADHD and dyslexia superpowers herself (with a few corresponding challenges), Heather Chatem is inspired daily by being part of students' journeys as they find their individual pathways to success. She has a B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Special Education & Rehabilitation with a Specialty in Learning Disabilities, Autism Authorization Training, Special Education Teaching Credential PreK-12, and her Administration License. She has worked in general education, inclusive, resource room, and all day special education school settings. In addition to her roles at the Samara Learning Center, she is also a co-facilitator for two information and support groups (Central Oregon Attention Deficit Disorder - COADD and Decoding Dyslexia Central Oregon). She also continues her work with Bend Roots Revival, which raises money for children’s music and art programs. Heather feels lucky to be part of the  amazingly collaborative and supportive community of Central Oregon.


Sarah Compton
(She, Her)

Lead Teacher, Special Education Tutor

Sarah aims to enrich the lives of both neuro-typical and neuro-divergent youth. She holds a B.A in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Her M.S. is in Education.  Sarah has ample experience working in public and charter schools as well as private tutoring. These make her ideal for her new position as Lead Teacher, and Special Education Tutor for Samara Learning Center.  Sarah's previous roles include Substitute Teacher for HDESD, Executive Functioning Coach, Orton Gillingham Tutor, Exceptional Children's Department Assistant, and Educational Assistant in Humanities, STEAM, and Math. 

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Jay Carlton
(He, His)

 Special Education Tutor

Jay and his
 family live in Central Oregon. If you ski in the winter and camp in the summer, you have probably crossed paths. You may have also connected within the Bend-La Pine School District where he worked for the past seven years. Cumulatively, Jay has work as an educator for over 25 years.  His primary focus has been in Special Education. However, he has taught nearly every subject to neuro-typical and neuro-diverse students in mainstream classrooms. Jay is currently exploring community organizations and supporting youth through non-profit work. When asked about why he is interested in joining Samara's team, Jay stated: "I enjoy teaching very much and am grateful for the ability to connect with and educate young people on their journey to adulthood". 


Julia Frichter

Julia is a Florida transplant who has loved getting to know the youth of Bend,OR in her time here so far. While getting her BA in cultural anthropology, she worked tutoring math to children of every grade level. In fact, it is still her favorite subject, and she loves the opportunity to share her joy of math with kids! She is a substitute teacher for HDESD with a penchant for alternative education styles such as Montessori and Expeditionary Learning. Outside of school, Julia is a curious soul with a strong love for music and dance, painting, and enjoying the natural splendor of the Deschutes area. She hopes to bring a love of learning and life to every student she meets!


Tony Taylor


 PE Instructor, Tutor

Tony is experienced in teaching Physical Education and tutoring to children of all ages. He loves nature which led to getting a B.S at Humboldt State University in Kinesiology. Living in Bend the past 5 years, he taught a PE class at the Bend Athletic Club and worked with Soccer Shots which uses soccer as a tool to teach life values and skills. At Samara Learning, Tony is expanding his knowledge of helping children grow and develop life skills that will help them achieve their goals and dreams.


Kristina F. Mylne 

Administrator Assistant

Kristina is a curious and nurturing individual. These qualities led her to acquire a B.S. in Recreation Therapy. She has directed her skills toward guiding adolescence through the intricacies of social and emotional functioning. She has supported youth in residential and community settings, educational and psychological institutions, and wilderness camps. In her former assignments, Kristina evaluated client's functional abilities, created goals, adapted existing programs and/or created programs to meet the needs and interests of the population being served. These analytical and organizational skills now foster growth within Samara Learning Center. 

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