Board Members 


Janelle Travis-Musson (aka Janellybean)
Music Teacher/Tutor & Consultant

Janelle is a music teacher, performer, and business woman.  She is the founder of the Bend Oregon Family group, and she homeschools her two children.  Janelle has also worked with many public and private schools in Central Oregon teaching all grade levels.  She has seen the problems and challenges that parents, children and teachers sometimes go through.  Over the years of teaching, she has gathered many tips she feels that would help parents that are looking for advice in using that teachable moment, such as when paying the bill at a restaurant, the tutor needing a supply or advice for a certain child, or for those parents looking to homeschool their child full time. She is also the founder, lyrisist, and musician of the Central Oregon based business, That Jingle Company. 

Jamie Allemand
Elective Teacher & Consultant

Originally from the New Orleans area, I've lived in a couple of other states before making Oregon my home with my family.  I have a degree in Fashion Design, a background in dance and performance, and years of experience managing businesses and training staff.  Along with continuing my design work, I also work at the Bend Circus Center teaching at the Circus Camps, as well as performing for parties and events.     

Jay Carlton

Tutor & Consultant, Founder and Artist of Mr. Ferguson's Greeting Cards

Jay Carlton was born and raised under the sun, at the beach, and in the water. At the age of five his nose received a delightful sunburn that he has managed to maintain for 30 years. By the time he was seven, he could daydream better then any of his friends, and by 12 he could effortlessly pay less attention to school work then all the other students. His talents continued to develop at an alarming rate, and on his18th birthday he was considered a master at doodling in the margins. Upon graduating Jay set out on an adventure that continues to this day. His curiosity has lured him to places like India, Thailand, Cambodia, Russia, Turkey, China, Japan,Malaysia, and Egypt. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon and a Masters Degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, as well as his special education teaching license. He spent time as a surf rat in San Luis Obispo and a ski bum on Mammoth Mountain. Amongst all of Jay's adventures and during his schooling, Jay was a high school special education teacher teaching mathematics, history, science, language arts, the arts, and was the athletic director at the Frostig Center in Pasadena, CA. He was the illustrator for Frostig's Life Success for Children with Learning Disabilities  Jay is a successful adult with dyslexia, an amazing teacher, and as far as his artistic ambitions are concerned, Jay is still a daydreamer and spends the majority of his time stumbling through his imagination while growing his custom drawing, branding, and greeting card business.  

Jennifer Murphy

Consultant, Founder of Motiv8c3

As a lifelong advocate for defining health in new ways, Jennifer’s career has been devoted to how both the behavioral health industry and the exercise industries (now called movement) aid health and bring people together in meaningful ways.  With 25 years’ experience in both, Jennifer is a: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor, Certified Personal Trainer and Registered Yoga Teacher.  Prior to deciding her clients were ready for a merger, Jennifer did both occupations separately while planning Motiv8C3: a combined movement behavioral health program.  Born and raised in MN, Jennifer received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Masters in Social Work from both Boston University and University of Minnesota. Her experiences are vast in understanding social policy that keeps people poor (or unhealthy: and often correlated) and clinically how a person’s mind can sometimes close off to new experiences when a lack of exercise and support occurs.  In addition to working with all age groups throughout her career, Jennifer also specializes in working with people through bereavement and believes that movement helps people grieve, manage illness, addictions, trauma, abuse, and stress alike…most importantly, fueling a healthy brain. Jennifer states, “In addition to continuing education, my number one passion is to meet people where they are at: both in terms of their physical, mental and behavioral health (issues) with and towards their own definitions of health.  Sometimes it feels like our culture consistently asks people to do more with less time, energy and resources; and skews the images of what health ‘should look like’. I want to help people create more texture with and for the process of well-being in our lives.”  In addition to merging movement into behavioral health, Jennifer believes strongly in the power of support groups and has facilitated over 14 years of support (& psycho-educational) groups ranging from grief support of all ages, medical issues/diagnosis to any almost any aspect of mental health symptom management. 

Helping youth create things (or services) that they can sell is another skill set Jennifer is excited to share. Jennifer’s thesis (as a Research Fellow for the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs) developed a model for youth (entrepreneurship) to develop their own program for saving money (while most importantly learning to become financially “literate”).  She has helped several communities/organizations create Youth Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) that youth usually prefer to call Youth Job Clubs.  Jennifer is excited to offer a complimentary Youth Financial Literacy curriculum to our Summer Success Tools For Young Artists Program for Middle and HS students and act as a behavioral health liaison at the camp giving a seminar on mindfulness techniques beneficial for all young adults as they travel their own challenging paths to success as our society’s future.  

Michele Risso

Lead Teacher & Tutor 

In the summer of 2005, my family and I moved to the Central Oregon area, leaving behind my connection to a life lived in California for over 43 years. I earned my Associates degree in Social Science at Delta Community College, in Stockton, California in 1988, my Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Exceptional Youth and Children, in 1995 and my Multiple Subjects with cross cultural certification at the California State University Stanislaus in Turlock, California. For the years 1992-1997, I worked with special education students of various ages in a variety of settings, including The Children’s Home of Stockton, and at Stagg and Edison high schools in Stockton, California. I was awarded my teaching credential and started my first year teaching intermediate students for Stockton Unified in 1997. I worked for Stockton Unified for a total of 13 years before moving to Oregon. After moving to Central Oregon I worked for two more years as an intermediate teacher, I then made the decision to return to college at Lewis and Clark to pursue my endorsement in special education.  During that time I subbed in a variety of special education classrooms at different grade levels to gain experience in this field. I knew to truly become qualified to teach best practices in special education I needed to achieve my Masters degree, and on June 1st, 2014, I was awarded my Masters degree. This summer I worked in Hillsboro as a student teacher doing my practicum with adult ESOL students, in order to receive this very important endorsement to my basic teaching degree. The advantage of having this endorsement paired with my special education endorsement is I am trained to distinguish the difference between a learning disability and a language disparity, and provide necessary services to those who have a dual diagnosis.    I am looking forward to providing the tutoring and leadership our students at Samara and M.A.P.L.E. require for academic and personal success. I hope to bring my own unique experiences and knowledge to the students who attend, so they may benefit in their immediate lives.

Rebecca Burleigh

Lead Teacher - Upper Elementary & Tutor

Hi, my name is Rebecca Burleigh-Morgan, and I am a certified teacher for students kindergarten through eighth grade in multiple subjects.  I am also trained in the Orton-Gillingham technique and have over seven years of teaching experience with students with dyslexia.  Since I was trained by Diana K. King and fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, I've received comprehensive and sound guidance on how to work with students with varying learning differences and challenges.  I am also a trained yoga instructor.  

Candace Theberge

Gretchen Sanislo

Heather Ashley

Heather Chatem

Stacy Lawhead

Arelene Gibson

Bob Ras mussen 

Elaine Drakulich

Marshall Raskind

Sarah Persha

SAMARA Staff, Board Members, & Advisors

Heather Chatem

Founder/Center Director & Lead Teacher

As a teacher for 20 years and a person with learning disabilities and ADHD herself, Heather Chatem believes strongly in the idea of soaring with one’s strengths and managing one’s weaknesses.  She has worked in general education, inclusive, resource room, and all day special education school settings.  She specializes in working with kids with executive functioning challenges, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), and high functioning autism. The majority of Heather’s career was spent at the Frostig Center in Pasadena, CA, a non-public school for students with learning differences.  She was the head of the Middle School Department, a lead teacher, substitute administrator, and, on the average year, taught Math, English, Social Studies, Science, and Study/Social Skills to 6th-8th blend classes where she could have students reading at the 1st grade through college level.  At Frostig she worked with kids from over 20 different districts and with almost that many different Individual Education Program (IEP) forms.  She has a B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Special Education & Rehabilitation with a specialty in learning disabilities, special education teaching credential K-12, and is finishing up her Oregon Administration license.  Heather has been involved in various parent and teacher education opportunities and organizations, such as:  Master teacher (mentoring new teachers), a board member and presenter for ten years for the Foothill Division of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD), a presenter for the Central Oregon ADD support group, board member for the Bend Decoding Dyslexia Information and Support group, and board member for Rise Up International, which includes Bend Roots and Ukes for Youth. She has been part of multiple of education research projects, including a project based after her own theories. Heather is also a contributor to the book, The 6 Success Factors for Children with Learning Disabilities: Ready-to-Use Activities to Help Kids with Learning Disabilities Succeed in School and Life, published by Jossey-Bass. - See more at:    Heather appreciates all the amazing support and encouragement that has been given to the development of the Samara Learning Center!