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Meet the Leaders

Uplift Central Oregon Current Leaders

Cassie Johnson - Director

My name is Cassie.  I have been married to my husband since 2002.  Together we have three children from 14 - 8 years of age.  Pre children I was a real estate broker for many years, and before that my dream was to be a missionary.  I was trained in a school of ministry in Colorado and traveled around on short term mission trips.  Years later, its fun to see God moving in my life working in the mission field in my own town.

We moved to Bend in 2007.  Prior to having children I did not know I would homeschool, but as soon as my oldest got close to that age I new this was the only option for our family, so I have now been homeschooling for the past 11 years.  I am grateful I have been able to stay home with my kids this entire time.

Uplift started in 2022.  I did not know this was God's plan until the ball was already rolling and I got caught up in it.  I am grateful to be apart of Uplift, bringing faith, connection and opportunities to our community.  Leading with my friends and amazing woman is for sure a highlight!  It is such an honor to be connected to the youth, they are pretty cool kids :)

Sara Jones - Operations director & Community Day Class Coordinator
My name is Sara Jones. I have three children and have been homeschooling
for the past 11 years. We love our Bend community and have lived here
for almost 15 years. Before having children I was a public school
teacher. I love watching my children learn and grow as we do life

Cammie Bray - Redmond director
Hi, I am Cammie I am married to Joe. We live in Redmond with our 11 (yes, you read that right) children. We own and operate a handyman business, homeschool, enjoy being creative and most of all, we love Jesus!

My oldest is almost 22 and the baby is 4. We have a split of 6 girls to 5 boys. We have been homeschooling from the start. I have tried numerous curriculums and styles of teaching over the years. It has been different with each child and season of life. But it is a joy to see, as my children grow, just how much homeschooling has benefited them. 

I have been with Uplift as a leader for about 2 years. I love seeing the community grow! I am encouraged by the relationships being built and all the connections made. I am always available for questions, so feel free to reach out!

Nicole Zollman - Redmond director - Class Coordinator
My name is Nicole. My husband, Keith and I married in 2005, the same year we moved to Central Oregon. We have 4 sweet and silly daughters. As a child, my own mom homeschooled my 3 siblings and I. I ended up going to public high school and graduating in 2004 in Klamath Falls. Having been homeschooled myself, it was always on my heart, and in 2020 when our 2 oldest daughters were in public school, I was deeply convicted by the Lord to take the leap to homeschool them. At that time, in addition to the world looking so different, and experiencing a challenging pregnancy with our 4th daughter, we were desperately looking for support and community in our new and scary endeavor. God answered our prayers and we found Uplift. We instantly fell in love with the program and what they stood for, and knew this is just what Redmond needed. We love the new friends and connections we have made and look forward to our homeschooling future!

Kelsey Burns - Redmond leader during Community Day

Hi! I'm Kelsey and I am married to Brian. We have 3 lovely Little Women under 5, and a pup named Davy. Brian is the teaching pastor at Redmond Christian Church and I get to work in the office part time and help out. We have both had a heart for homeschooling since before we were parents, even though we both went to public school growing up. We have just started our homeschool journey in the last few year and love the family time and excitement of learning that every day brings! I have a background in children's ministry, music education, and musical theater. I have always enjoyed teaching kids of every age group and I am so excited to be on the journey of now educating my own alongside a wonderful church community and a wonderful Uplift Co-op community! 

Jenna Sheridan - Bend early development director

Hi! I'm Jenna. Danny and I have been married 12 years, and we have 5 boys.  I planned on homeschooling my kids even before Danny and I met, so it's what we've always done.  We have partnered with local charters from the beginning. Helping fellow homeschoolers troubleshoot their curriculum, find connection, or be aware of all that is available to them is something I love doing.

Early childhood is my passion.  I have worked in education for over 20 years and even longer with preschool age kids.  So if your kids are older than 6, there's a good chance I haven't met you.  ;)  My goal in our early childhood department is to help your kids LOVE coming to Uplift each week, and to help you have some moments of rest during your break.  We are a self-contained classroom so that you can finally have that hot cup of coffee.

Uplift Teens

Christy Villa - Uplift Teen Director 24/25

Hi Uplift Community, my name is Christy Villa and my husband and I have 4 boys aged 9-18 years old. We’ve been married 22 years and moved to Redmond last summer. My journey with homeschool began in my own childhood when my parents pulled me out of traditional school in 5th grade and continued homeschooling me through highschool. I’m so grateful for my homeschool experience and knew I wanted to homeschool my own kids someday. I’m now in my 13th year as a second generation homeschooler getting ready to graduate my oldest son in June. My experience with homeschooling with my own kids has been vastly different from my own. From the first year I began homeschooling my kids, community has always been a huge key to navigating the diverse and sometimes complex needs of my 4 boys. We’ve pretty much done every type of homeschooling including independent homeschool, psp (in our former state), charter school, and our youngest son has also been in traditional school. We believe homeschooling is an ideal way to educate but at the same time we need to listen to God’s direction for each of our children because ultimately he knows what’s best for each one. 

When we moved to Oregon last summer we were so blessed to find the Uplift community. From the first conversation I had with Cassie I felt that we had a very similar perspective and vision for what a good homeschool community is. Prior to moving I had been running my own homeschool support group for 2 years and God provided an amazing mom to take things over when I left. Getting involved in Uplift was never a question of “if” but more of a question of when. Our family needed this year to transition to this new area and get our oldest kiddo graduated! Years ago before I began homeschooling my own kids I taught classes for different homeschool groups and worked with a youth theater for several years. I have a degree in Music Education and 20+ years of private music teaching experience. I’ve been involved in different ministries with church and love serving however I can. My oldest son has really enjoyed the HSI classes this past year and I’m so excited to use my experience to support Uplift in helping grow and build this program. Mary has been such an amazing administrator for the site in helping to create a really strong foundation to build on. My goal is to continue to build on what is already working and tailor this program to meet the needs of our students. I look forward to getting to know more of the families and your wonderful students! Let’s be in touch as we prepare for next year!