Kelsie Barker

Kelsie Barker

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

My name is Kelsie Barker and I am excited to teach your son/daughter how to be the safest driver they can be!  I was born and raised in beautiful Bend, Oregon and learned to drive with a 1947 Jeep Willys on a hill with packed snow.  My Dad taught me the hard way!   I am proud to teach and be the example of the “Typical Bend Driver” attitude, respectful behavior, courteous manner, and polite communication.  I became a Driver Education instructor through HDDE to continue making a positive impact on adolescents life and am currently in my 2nd year, I love what I do!  I regularly attend Driver Education seminars/trainings to be able to teach the most up to date content to my students.   I am also currently in my 9th year teaching High School Health/PE and am known to implement the short and long-term health benefits of safe driving.   Thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach your son/daughter!
Charles Bechtell

Charles Bechtell

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Charlie has been with High Desert Driver Education since spring of 2014.  He likes working with high school kids and finding out about things they like to do. He enjoys mountain biking in his spare time.

Gary Campbell

Gary Campbell

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Bruce Carne

Bruce Carne

Kate Clason

Kate Clason

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

When I retired from 12 years teaching middle and high school to become a Speech & Language Assistant in elementary school, I missed working with older students. When the opportunity to teach driver education presented itself, I jumped at the chance! That was 10 years ago and it seems a perfect “fit”! It is wonderful to assist students with this exciting time in their lives. I am fortunate to be a part of the excellent Oregon driver education program, and we are committed to helping students become safe drivers.

It takes a village!

 

Kate

Sean Creighton

Sean Creighton

Diana DeLand

Diana DeLand

Classroom Instructor and Classroom Peer Coach

Hello, my name is Diana DeLand and I have been with High Desert Driver Education since 2015.  I spent 15 years with the Beaverton and Redmond School Districts working at the middle school level as a Media Assistant/Librarian and realized it was time for a change.  I really enjoy working with high school students and it is very rewarding to guide them toward this new level of independence as safely as possible.  I love to drive and hope to share my passion for road trip adventures with a healthy dose of smart choices and respect for low-risk driving behaviors with your student.

When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me with my husband Don on a golf course, or in a kayak or playing with our adorable granddaughter in La Grande!

Damian Fagan

Damian Fagan

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Damian has been a Driver Ed instructor since 2012. He has worked more jobs than most instructors, including stints as a wildlife biologist, National Park ranger, Bend Bulletin Special Projects freelance writer, author, COCC Community Learning instructor, and High Desert Museum Communications Manager. Just don’t ask him about his time working on the back of a garbage truck in Texas! He strongly believes in safety first and learning to be a defensive driver, especially as traffic increases in Central Oregon.

Sheri Fayal

Sheri Fayal

Classroom Instructor, Behind-the-Wheel Instructor and New Hire Coordinator

I’ve been a driver ed instructor since 2015 and I am honored to be apart of an exciting time in a teen’s life of getting their driver’s license. I tell my students that driver ed could be the most important course they take in high school, which I truly believe it is. My goal, as an instructor, is to help them become a safer and smarter driver for years to come. I commend you, parents, for enrolling your teen in the HDDE program and I look forward to being their instructor.

Nancy Haase

Nancy Haase

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Hi -I am Nancy Haase.  Being a true Gemini, I have always enjoyed trying and doing new things, usually several things at the same time! When I first applied for the Driver’s Ed position in 2011, I was working part-time as an Educational Assistant at Terrebonne Community School and teaching tap dance at Redmond School of Ballet.  I thought “here’s something I haven’t done – why not?”  And I have to admit the extra money was a draw as well.  I soon came to realize it wasn’t about the money but the importance of the position itself – giving young adults the knowledge and skills they need to be safe drivers (and it also improved my driving also!)  So I have since hung up my tap shoes, work full time as an Educational Assistant at Terrebonne Community School and spend my “extra time” teaching teenagers our amazing Driver’s Ed program.  Thank you for entrusting your child to us!

Samantha Hatch

Samantha Hatch

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

I am currently 26 years old. I am a Central Oregon native. I lived in Sunriver until the age of 13 and moved to Redmond in 2004. I am the mother of identical twin girls, born in August of 2016. Previously, I worked at the Deschutes County Courthouse in Bend as a court scheduler. After having two babies, we decided that it would be best for me to primarily be a stay-at-home-Mom. I was introduced to High Desert Driver Ed by my sister, Stephanie, who is the Assistant Manager of the program. I came on board in January of 2017 and have been an instructor for almost 1 year. I have such a passion for teaching teens the safest way to drive as I have a niece who is about to get her license. As she approached the driving age, I realized how important it was that she be as safe as possible behind the wheel. I know this is a common feeling amongst parents so we’re excited to have your student(s) as a part of our program!

Shannon Herringer

Shannon Herringer

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Lauren Houslet

Lauren Houslet

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Hi, I am Lauren Houslet. I have been a behind the wheel and classroom instructor for about a year. In addition to Drivers Ed, I also teach middle and high school math and science. I really love to work with this age of students and see them grow and mature. My favorite aspect of teaching drivers ed is to witness the progression from the nervous novice to the confident, competent and safe driver. I love to be a part of making the students ready for the freedom and responsibilities of driving.

Mayamba Ibrahim

Mayamba Ibrahim

Classroom and Behind the Wheel Instructor

Drivers Ed combines two things I enjoy, people and driving!  After high school in Nigeria I came to the US and got my Accounting degree from Portland State University in 1989 (tell your kids that yes, people were alive back then)! My perspective as an immigrant reminds me that we are equipping your drivers with skills they can use in any driving environment globally. My wife and I enjoyed raising our two daughters, and now I’m enjoying working on the management team of a small family business here in central Oregon, as well as having a lot of fun instructing drivers.

Teri Johnson

Teri Johnson

Michelle Jones-Conner

Michelle Jones-Conner

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Hello everyone, my name is Michelle Jones-Conner.  I recently retired from
Eugene Police Department and moved to beautiful central Oregon.

I realize how important safe driving habits are and embrace the
opportunity to work with young adults who are excited, nervous, full of
energy and malleable.  I look forward to making a positive impact on my
students and the safety of our roads.

Mike LaRue

Mike LaRue

Neil Mackey

Neil Mackey

Greetings…

My name is Neil Mackey, aka “Big Mac”, and I am proud to be one of the new Driver Ed Instructor at High Desert ESD!

I retired from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office with 30 years on in 2014. After enjoying my first THREE days of retirement, the Sheriff convinced me to come back, working part-time as a School Resource Deputy at Tumalo and Terrebonne Community schools.

After deciding to “re-retire” in June 2019 (lol…permanently, this time, at least from law enforcement!)  I knew I needed something to keep me occupied. I really enjoy spending time with students, teaching and spending time in the classroom, so coming on as a Driver Ed Instructor was an easy choice.

I look at this as a “win-win” … hopefully, I can relay some practical and vital information to new drivers based on both my personal and professional experiences. Additionally, I’ll be sharing the road with these new drivers, so anything I can do to help them develop and maintain good driving habits helps keep my family and I safe as well.

See you behind the wheel or in the classroom!

David Medina

David Medina

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Cathy Negret

Cathy Negret

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

As a retired US Navy “hard hat” diver, government security contractor and physical security specialist; I decided it might be time to try out a safer occupation. So, on a suggestion from a good friend, I joined the High Desert Driver Education Team as a Behind-The-Wheel instructor. While many parents shudder at the mere thought of teaching their kids to drive, I have found it to be satisfying, fun, and occasionally a little bit exciting. As I tell the kids around the time of their first lesson; “This is the one, seriously adult class that you will take in high school, so pay attention, it can save your life”. Watching the students take their classroom-acquired knowledge and my simple tricks, tips, and techniques and turn them into safe and responsible driving habits is rewarding in itself. Knowing that they will use these skills for the rest of their lives is even more so. Hopefully, they will share them with other family members too, as this is really good stuff. I look forward to working with our parents and students, for the mutual benefit of all who share the roadways. Best Regards.

Jerry Ohlson

Jerry Ohlson

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Greg Owens

Greg Owens

Classroom, Behind-the-Wheel Instructor, and Behind-the-Wheel Peer Coach

Retired police officer.  Been with DE four+ years.  The best part of the job is getting to know the students.  Most of them are amazing people.
Beth Pengra

Beth Pengra

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Hi! My name is Beth Pengra. I have been teaching Behind The Wheel for about 3 years. I became a Behind The Wheel Instructor because I enjoy working with young people and encouraging safe driving behaviors. Working with young people is a gift and privilege. To inspire this generation to become a safe driver is an exciting challenge. I was born and raised in the Seattle area. Learning to drive there prepared me for various situations that can occur. I moved to Oregon after graduating from EWU and met my wonderful husband of 27 years. We have 2 amazing adult children, who we are so thankful for. I also have been an Educational Assistant for several years at one of our local elementary schools. I have the blessed opportunity to teach children how to read and then later how to be safe drivers. I love what I get to do! I am also very thankful for who I get to work with.

Robert Penson

Robert Penson

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Tracy Pinkerton

Tracy Pinkerton

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

My name is Tracy Pinkerton and I have been teaching drivers ed for about 4 years. I think driving is one of the most important things that we teach young adults to do. I have coached sports for years and I am also an elementary PE teacher.

Teaching drivers ed gives me an opportunity to work with young adults and help them to become safe drivers, sometimes I even get students that I have taught in PE and they sure have changed 🙂

Teaching drivers education also gives me an opportunity to meet some amazing students!

Fred Roy

Fred Roy

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Tom Staley

Tom Staley

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Mark Swearingen

Mark Swearingen

Jack Thomas

Jack Thomas

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Jack is a licensed Physical Education teacher. Originally from Washington DC, loves explaining to students how different driving is there than in Central Oregon. Jack has been with High Desert Drivers Ed for 1 year and loves seeing the transformation of beginner driver to safety driver.

Rene VanTilborg

Rene VanTilborg

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Rene’ came to Bend, Oregon after retirement from a lengthy Law Enforcement career in California; where he taught traffic safety for ten years in addition to his Police Work.

Rene’ is passionate about teaching driver safety, especially for new drivers. “Protecting our loved ones from preventable highway death or injury is best taught from the ground up at the inception when new drivers want a license and want to drive.”

He has a Criminal Justice Degree, Business Management Degree and a Master Degree in Public Administration.  In December 2015, Rene completed his Oregon State Traffic Safety Educator Certification and joined the team at HDESD, Driver Ed.  

Mark Walls

Mark Walls

Classroom and Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

I have worked with High Desert Driver Education as a classroom and behind-the-wheel instructor for over 4 years.  I enjoy helping students through the process of learning to drive by building lifesaving habits they will carry forward throughout their lifetime.  It is amazing to witness firsthand the progression from beginning to accomplished driver with each student.  I strive to create new and innovative ways to guide students through the learning-to-drive process, utilizing games, activities, and other varied interactions to increase engagement.   I am a licensed teacher, and often can be found working in area middle school and high school classrooms in a variety of subjects.  While not busy with teaching, I work around my hobby farm, I truly enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, and I also stay busy with my two grandsons.

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. “

– Pele

Kayla Webb

Kayla Webb

Classroom & Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Chris Wilde

Chris Wilde

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Bio in progress – stay tuned!

Harl Williams (Buzz)

Harl Williams (Buzz)

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor and Fleet Manager

So, after failing retirement from UPS I went in search of something positive, constructive, and rewarding to do.  I found a new home at High Desert Driver Education.  For the past 10 years, I have been teaching behind the wheel driving and have experienced a feeling of great gratification in watching students develop safe driving skills.  Besides the improvement in driving, I’m amazed at the personal growth these young people have shown.  Buzz

Wes Witty

Wes Witty

Behind-the-Wheel Instructor

Wes has been with the High Desert drivers education since 2012. He attended high school locally at Bend High and Mountain View. He really enjoys giving back to the schools and making his hometown safer and the kids more professional behind the wheel!