Academic Faculty

A Unique Living and Educational Experience for Young Women

Rick Buening

rickInstructional personnel at the Academy at Sisters Oregon boarding school are selected for their commitment to individualized curriculum, educational excellence, innovation, and a willingness to motivate. All faculty are either licensed or have extensive experience in the areas they teach.

Rick is the Academic Director with our organization. He has worked in alternative education at the Learning Center for more than 20 years. Rick received his Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri and his Masters Degree in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He holds a Standard Oregon Teaching Certificate in Social Studies. Rick is a member of The National Council for the Social Studies and The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He is past Chairperson for the Oregon Advisory Committee for the Northwest Accreditation Commission and is currently serving on that committee. As an educator, Rick is committed to alternative education and to the idea that “all students are capable of being confident, self-directed, lifelong learners”. Rick enjoys hiking, reading, home improvement projects and spending time with his two grandchildren. He has a special interest in the people and literature of the “beat generation”.

Connie Peters

Connie PetersConnie Peters grew up in Virginia and attended James Madison University where she studied business, computer programming, and French. She also developed a natural curiosity and love of history in Virginia, home to so many historical places and people. Connie has lived in Oregon since 1995 and recently earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University. Along with teaching high school business classes and middle school math, Connie has been a substitute teacher in many classrooms throughout Central Oregon. She has also volunteered with groups including Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, SMART Reading, and many youth sports programs. Her interests include reading, sports and physical fitness, horses, and exploring interesting places here and beyond. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “All of life is a constant education.” Connie will enhance the lessons in our classroom community with the goal of cultural competence and an awareness of our connection to others throughout the world.

Vicki Strong

Vicki facilitates our SAT prep class. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. She also earned her certificate in Youth and Human Service Agency Administration. She has worked as a program administrator for the Willamette Council of Camp Fire Boys and Girls in Salem, developing and implementing programs in a six-county region. She was the Education Director for seven years for Project PATCH Youth Ranch in Idaho. Vicki is active in various community organizations, volunteering for a program to feed the hungry and assisting with programming for low-income children. She’s a past member of the Kiwanis Club in Salem, OR.

Theresa Beemer

Theresa has lived in Oregon since elementary school. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Oregon State University and a Master of Education from Portland State University. She also studied special education locally through Lewis and Clark College, with an emphasis on behavior disorders. Theresa taught middle school for several years outside of Portland before relocating back to Bend where she grew up. She substitute taught in public and private schools in Central Oregon prior to a stint as a contract specialist at an engineering firm. Her focus in science education is authentic learning and assessment, which is particularly suited to an alternative setting where the smaller class size allows for more individualized instruction. Theresa’s interests include spending time with her son and dog, reading anything she can get her hands on, yoga, Spanish, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Sarah Vincent

Sarah is our Physical Education instructor. She graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and a minor in Athletic Training. Sarah is passionate about the pursuit of health. She loves educating the girls about fitness and nutrition. Sarah believes in a holistic approach to wellness, incorporating fitness into the overall treatment program. She believes that feeling good abut oneself is imperative to one’s success. “Fitness is a healthy tool that our students can incorporate into their lives and take with them when they leave the Academy”, according to Sarah. Sarah facilitates many activities including yoga, weight training, running, and boot camp style work-outs. She has solicited community partners who work with the girls and who expose them to different types of physical activities. Sarah has shown horses, hunter/jumpers, competitively for the majority of her life. She has competed in body-building and figure competitions, the Warrior Dash, and Tougher Mudders. Sarah loves all that Central Oregon offers. She enjoys skiing, hiking, running, and anything outdoors. Sarah volunteers in the community with various organizations and is dedicated to helping girls succeed at becoming healthy, strong, and confident young women.