Shannon Pugerude, M.Ed - Trauma Sensitive Developmental Specialist/Teacher

Asked to describe herself, she would say “I am just Shannon” and those who know her tend to agree, she is one of a kind.  Shannon has a huge heart for all and believes in the Collaborative Problem Solving philosophy that “we all do well when we can” and if we can’t it’s because we have some unmet needs, things that we’re still learning and need some support.  Shannon knows we are full of diverse abilities and that we THRIVE when we have the opportunity to “soar with our strengths and manage our weaknesses” with compassionate supports.  Although she believes what has truly made her who she is today are the amazing opportunities she has had to raise two spunky youth and the gift of knowing and walking beside so many incredible youth and their families in her professional life.  Professionally, Shannon holds a Masters in Child Development and Early Childhood Special Education, she is a Licensed Special Education Teacher in Oregon ages birth -  Grade 8, Shannon has taught for 20 years, she was a founder of Wyldwoodz Resource Center, Oregon Family Support Network Regional Director and Certified Peer Support Specialist and Trainer.  She offers trainings on various topics, she is a Think:Kids Collaborative Problem Solving Certified Trainer, and is a Make Parenting a Pleasure Certified Trainer.

Shannon’s offerings include:
Peer Support
Youth and Adult group learning opportunities 
Shannon’s individual rate is $80 an hour, group rates vary.  This rate covers her administrative support, space rental, material costs, mileage and other miscellaneous costs.  Shannon offers a sliding scale co-operative option to families and organizations in need of alternatives.  
To schedule an appointment with Shannon please call Julie at (541) 408-2577‬

Board Members 


Samara Staff, Board Members, & Advisors

Heather Chatem

Founder/Center Director & Lead Teacher

A teacher since 1996 and a person with learning disabilities and ADHD herself, Heather Chatem believes strongly that there is no "one size fits all" and that we all need to learn to "Soar with one’s strengths; manage one’s weaknesses"...which is why she created the Samara Learning Center.  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, Oregon Special Education teaching credential preK-12, and finished up her Initial I Oregon Administration Program.  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), co-facilitator and presenter for Central Oregon ADD support group, board member and presenter for  Decoding Dyslexia, Central Oregon 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!