Build Beyond Limits: Strategic Partnerships for Successful Projects

Room: D135-136

Furnished by: Meteor Education

Audience: Educators

Meteor Education

Call to Action: As bond-funded initiatives face uncertainty, we need innovative solutions. Let’s collaborate with stakeholders, community leaders, and legislators to explore nontraditional funding avenues. Together, we can make a lasting impact on our communities.

Abstract: This presentation will highlight two distinct projects. The first project involves establishing a Student Health Center for Gresham Barlow School District (GBSD), in Oregon. By partnering with Wallace Medical Concern as the medical provider and Oregon School-Based Health Alliance (OSBHA), GBSD gained community and board support to complete a new health center. The second project focuses on creating the Natural Resources Learning Center in Washington State. The Center is a careers-focused partnership between Kalama School District, Cascadia Technical Academy, and RSG Forest Products. Notably, both initiatives are funded through nontraditional means, relying on grants and legislative funding instead of the conventional bond approach. The success of these endeavors owes much to the exceptional leadership demonstrated by educators and administrators, who have effectively leveraged strategic partnerships. The panelists will engage in a conversation about:

  1. Better defining project needs through stakeholder engagement;
  2. Establishment of partnerships to address broader community needs;
  3. Strategic identification of nontraditional funding sources; and
  4. Creating communication strategies to create support for the project as a much-needed community asset.


Amy Vohs, AIA, ALEP Principal, SAJ Architecture
Jonah Jensen, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, SAJ Architecture


Gresham-Barlow School District Student Health Center
Carla Gay, Executive Director, Innovation and Partnership, Gresham-Barlow School District
Lisa Cline, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Wallace – a Community Health Center
Kalama School District Natural Resources Learning Center
Cory Torppa, CTE Director, Kalama School District
Joan Huston, Director, Cascadia Technical Academy

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify project needs through a comprehensive engagement process.
  2. Establish community partnerships to better address needs.
  3. Find non-traditional funding sources to support projects.
  4. Develop effective communication strategies to gain buy-in from the community, stakeholders, and legislators.
Carla Gay
Carla Gay
Carla Gay, Executive Director, Innovation and Partnership, Gresham-Barlow School District

Carla is an innovative and strategic equity driven, student-centered leader at Gresham-Barlow School District. She has a strong commitment and background in creating and implementing systems of support in public education for disconnected and historically underserved youth with a focus on high expectations for college and career readiness. She has worked as a teacher, social worker, and administrative leader in both K12 and community college settings for nearly 20 years.

Lisa Cline
Lisa Cline
MPH Chief Executive Officer, Wallace – A Community Health Center

Lisa is the Executive Director for Wallace – A Community Health Center. She strongly believes in creating support services to assist in creating healthy and thriving communities. Her guidance in working with Gresham-Barlow School District to strengthen their community support through education, prevention and advocacy has provided a strong support platform for the district to provide the services students and families need.

Cory Torppa
Cory Torppa
CTE Director, Kalama School District

Cory is the director of Kalama School District’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program. His advocacy for his students and the CTE program has gotten him to a 2023 seat at the State of the Union address in Washington DC and a $100,000 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2022. Cory has been teaching high school skilled trades in Washington for 20 years. He currently teaches construction, engineering design, and manufacturing at Kalama High School.

Joan Huston
Joan Huston
Director, Cascadia Tech Academy

Joan serves as Director of Cascadia Technical Academy, a technical high school serving juniors and seniors. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Washington State University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from City University. Committed to students’ futures, Joan believes in the transformative power of technical and professionalism skills. At Cascadia Tech, she ensures every student has the chance to thrive, knowing their potential for lifelong learning and success is boundless.

Core Competency

Community Engagement
Leads the internal and external communities through a discovery process that articulates and communicates a community-based foundational vision, forming the basis of a plan for the design of the learning environment. The vision is achieved through a combination of rigorous research, group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys and workshops. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.

LearningSCAPES 2024 Conference in Portland, Oregon


Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232


October 16-19, 2024


+1 480.391.0840