Crystal Alway got her start in the dental industry 23 years ago while attending our Dental Assisting program. She join Cascadia Tech Academy in 2011.
Crystal has worked in several dental offices in a variety of positions, including Office Manager, Lead Dental Assistant, Clinical Coordinator, Patient Care Coordinator, Dental Ordering Specialist, Insurance Billing, Accounts Receivable & Collections, Scheduling, and Patient Care Representative. Crystal also served as president of the Washington State Dental Assistant Association from October 2017 through October 2019.
Crystal is currently a Registered Dental Assistant, a Dental Instructor at Cascadia Tech Academy, an American Heart Association BLS/Heart Saver CPR and First Aid Instructor, a member of the American Dental Assistant's Association, and a volunteer for the Free Clinic of SW Washington Dental Clinic.
Crystal enjoys the outdoors, music, and crafts, and cherishes time with her family, friends, and in her career. She feels blessed to have her father living with her, which allows her to be his caregiver. They love watching movies and football together. Crystal has two fur babies, Thor and Zeus, who are her children.
Crystal prides herself on being a lifelong learner and enjoys empowering her students to be lifelong learners as well. She shares that being a teacher at Cascadia Tech Academy is like being part of a very large family. The staff and students inspire Crystal on a daily basis. Crystal absolutely loves teaching! She is honored to have the opportunity to help educate our future dental professionals.
Michele Anderson, BSN, RN
Applied Medical Sciences Instructor and Program Director
Aviation Technology Pro-Tech
Jeremy Baenen joined the Cascadia Technical Academy Aviation Technology team during the 2017-2018 school year as a Professional Technician. Jeremy brings over 32 years of aviation experience from multiple agencies into the aviation program. Jeremy began his aviation career at age 16 by obtaining his student pilot's license followed by his private pilot's license at age 17. He was selected to attend the United States Air Force Academy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. Following graduation, Jeremy attended the Air Force's Undergraduate Pilot Training program and upon completion was assigned an F-15 fighter aircraft. Jeremy logged more than 3,000 flight hours and over 20 years of flying in the F-15 and was an instructor pilot, mission commander, evaluator pilot, test pilot and commercially rated pilot. While serving, Jeremy also graduated from the United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School and obtained a Master's Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle University. He continued flying general aviation aircraft throughout his career and retired from the Air Force in 2015.
Jeremy shares his love of the outdoors with his wife and three children. He is an active volunteer in several local charities and civic groups.
Jeremy loves the students at Cascadia Tech and cherishes the opportunity to instill a love of aviation in each and every one of them. He finds immense satisfaction watching the students grow and display a passion for aviation that expands beyond the classroom.
Fire Science Lead Instructor/District 3
Applied Medical Sciences Pro-Tech
Special Education Liaison
Dental Clinic Manager
Aviation Technology Instructor
Student Success Advocate
Hospitality and Tourism Instructor
Culinary, Baking & Pastry Arts Instructor
Chef Jason DeLeon joined the Cascadia Technical Academy Culinary Teaching team as the Executive Chef Instructor in the 2016-17 school year. Jason brings over 15 years of varied industry experiences into the Culinary, Baking, and Pastry Arts program classroom.
Jason’s culinary pedigree includes graduating from Southern California School of Culinary Arts in South Pasadena, working in the award winning high-end restaurant industry in Las Vegas, Nevada, and as an acclaimed Sysco Foods Marketing Associate. After several years of developing and opening multiple high volume restaurants in the Las Vegas area and studying under Chef Emeril Lagasse, he relocated to the Pacific Northwest. Chef Jason was captivated by the fresh, local, and sustainable culinary movement of the region.
In his personal life, Jason enjoys all types of sports and officiating high school sporting events; with an ultimate goal of becoming a college officiant. After years of coaching middle and high school team sports, Jason brings this skill set into the classroom, in his role as Chef Instructor. His coaching expertise results in instant rapport and trust with the students, creating meaningful teacher student relationships - which is the foundation of all types of learning opportunities!
Chef Instructor Jason is enjoying teaching and is excited when his students learn a new concept, tackle a difficult culinary task, or hears “oh, that’s delicious!” Additionally, he is beginning the steps toward becoming a Certified Culinary Educator with the American Culinary Federation. Receiving this prominent distinction will allow him to continue to lead Cascadia Technical Academy culinary students in the 21st Century.
Fire Science Lead Instructor/District 6
Student Services Secretary
Construction Technology Instructor
Fire Science Lead Instructor/Clark Co Fire & Rescue
Fashion Design Instructor
After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Clothing, Textiles, and Design from the University of Idaho, Kim started her own business out of her home. Working at a variety of jobs while building her own business and raising a family, Kim gained experience in costuming through various theaters, designing custom clothing and home interiors, managing retail outlets, providing customer service, and mentoring and managing teens through fundraising and non-profit development. Her most rewarding clothing design experience was to be the pattern engineer for a client developing a design to submit for a patent, which was obtained, and has grown into a successful on-line and boutique-clothing item. Kim also furthered her pattern making abilities by studying Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Kim moved to the area over five years ago, began to volunteer at Cascadia Tech in the Fashion program, and applied as soon as the position became available. She joined Cascadia Tech Academy as the program instructor for Fashion Design in 2016. She continues to work for Clark College as the costume designer for the theatre and often is able to extend that experience to students who want to volunteer and learn more about costuming. Because Kim has lived and worked around the United States, bringing her business wherever she moved, she is able to share a unique and varied perspective with teens, helping them to widen their vision of the possibilities for them and their future careers.
Her passion for mentoring young adults to find their passion in their career drives her each day at Cascadia Tech. She feels it is not just learning about fashion and the industry, but also about giving people the tools to be creative in their thinking and their problem solving skills that helps them become well-rounded, employable adults. No matter what path students choose, what they can learn through fashion, sewing and fashion promotion will stay with them throughout their adult lives.
Joan shares the same story as many of our students: she attended Cascadia Technical Academy (Clark County Skills Center) her junior and senior year of high school. After graduation, she attended Mt. Hood Community College and received an Associate Degree and Technical Certificate. At age 20, she started working at Cascadia Tech as a school secretary, where she stayed for nine years. Joan also taught computer applications during summer school and decided she wanted to become a business/marketing teacher.
Joan taught business/marketing and publications at Mountain View, Heritage, and Woodland High School. Early on in these years, she attended WSU Vancouver and earned her Business Administration degree. She then became a Career Guidance Specialist at Union High School. During this time, Joan returned to school to complete her Master of Educational Leadership.
After becoming a certified administrator, Joan worked as an assistant principal for two years at Cascade Middle School in the Longview School District. She returned to Cascadia Tech as an associate director and was appointed director just one year later.
Joan lives in Woodland with her husband and black lab, Luna. She has three adult daughters and a 16-year-old stepson that attends Mountain View High School. She is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking, and climbing mountains. She also enjoys spending time on the water with her family.
Joan knows that all of our students have the opportunity to change their lives by learning technical and professionalism skills in their programs. Once they graduate, their opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed are endless.
Joan says, “I also appreciate our staff. Our teachers come from industry and are excited to share their knowledge with our students. We are very lucky to have committed professionals teaching our students.”
Foundation Development Director
Melanie began working here at the start of the 2000-2001 school year.
She has also worked at Farmer's Insurance Management Group for thirteen years and at Sears for three years respectively.
Melanie enjoys playing with her two young granddaughters, reading, and gardening.
She enjoy the students most of all here at Cascadia Tech Academy. The students exude enthusiasm, excitement and a sincere interest in what they are learning.
Construction Technology Instructor
Automotive/Diesel Technology Paraeducator
Brea McAllister, LPN
Applied Medical Sciences Instructor
Automotive Technology Pro-Tech
Culinary Program Coach
Info Tech Instructor/Building Technology Coordinator
Ray started teaching at Cascadia Tech Academy in 2010.
Ray has lived and worked in Vancouver his whole life, graduating from Hudson's Bay High School and Clark College. He completed his Bachelor's Degree at Western Washington University, majoring in Economics. He has spent his career working in Information Technology and customer service. Ray brings fifteen years of industry experience after working with First Independent Bank and First American Title Insurance Company. He was a regional and national supervisor leading teams in service desk, systems administration, project management, phone systems administration and application administration. Over the past two years, Ray has obtained certification in CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and CompTIA Security+ to help bring the most current skills and knowledge to the classroom.
Ray is married and has two cats. He enjoys doing yard work as it gives him time to connect with nature and grow food that tastes better than store bought. Ray loves sports, especially basketball. His current focus is on kayaking, weight training, golfing, and Virtual Reality boxing. He has also coached basketball in the HotShots league and assisted a local high school team. He was a basketball official for five years. Ray also officiated volleyball until he became a teacher. His ability to adapt to all forms of sports results in a natural flexibility to work in the constantly changing technology Industry.
Mr. Nelson enjoys teaching and inspiring students to use, learn, and love technology. He believes relationships matter, and when students can develop relationships with those who have similar goals, they become willing to learn and grow from their mistakes.
Ray loves working at Cascadia Tech because all the instructors have overcome challenges in their learning to become experts in their industry. They share those experiences to inspire future leaders in our community and country. He is proud that we constantly strive to keep our programs cutting edge for each industry.
Diesel Technology Pro-Tech
ITS3 Network Support Tech
Dean of Students
Tami joined the Cascadia Tech team in July 2019.
In 2000, Tami started teaching at Cascade Middle School as a science and health teacher. At Cascade she coached athletics and was the ASB Adviser. In 2011 she moved to Mountain View High School as a Dean of Students. Tami then moved to Endeavour Elementary as the Associate Principal for four years. Prior to working in the educational field, Tami worked as an event planner.
Tami is married with one daughter. She loves to go boating and surfing. Tami previously was a “show water skier” and did this for several years before she started her family. Tami and her family also run a local nonprofit called Isabella's Wake the World. Each May, she and her family host an auction and raise funds to take local foster families boating for the day and then host around 30 families for a fun day on the water. Visit her website (www.IsabellaWTW.com) to learn more about this fun charity.
Tami loves the diversity of students on our campus and the diversity of programs we offer. She believes Cascadia Tech provides such a unique experience for students where they can earn credits for high school and college all while doing something they love. She feels our students are incredibly driven, polite, and respectful--some of the best students from all parts of Clark County!
Criminal Justice Pro-Tech
Criminal Justice Instructor
Office Secretary/Culinary Pro-Tech
Karen has been involved at CTA, in some capacity, since 1993!
She has a Bachelors of Arts Social Sciences from Washington State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Karen loves the staff, the mission of Cascadia Tech Academy, and especially "Team Culinary"!
Aviation Technology Instructor
Culinary, Baking & Pastry Arts Instructor
Administrative Office Professional Instructor
Automotive Technology Instructor
Automotive Technology Instructor
Criminal Justice Instructor
Pre-Engineering Design Technology Instructor
Career/Instructional Coach & CTE Teacher Certification Coordinator
Heidi Steigmann was born into a Marine Corps family and was later welcomed into her Clark County family when her dad retired. Her family tree—with sizeable Steigmann and Johnson clans—connects her to a considerable chunk of Southwest Washington residents. Heidi attended Battle Ground High School for a time before completing her diploma at Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound and was awarded both her teaching certification and master’s degree from Washington State University-Vancouver.
After many adventures teaching abroad, Heidi is grateful to now work with the dedicated faculty and staff at Cascadia Technical Academy where she is the coordinator of the Career, College & Leadership Office as well as the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Certification Program. Through the leadership opportunities provided to her by Cascadia Tech, Heidi has found her calling. Her greatest pride is helping other educators build beneficial relationships with their students, thereby improving overall learning.
Heidi maintains an active schedule outside of normal working hours. Each week she walks dogs at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington; paddles with a women’s dragon boat team, the Sirens Paddling Club; and enjoys pub trivia and local hikes with her boyfriend, Bill.
Coordinator of Administrative Services
Jan graduated in June 1972 from Hudson’s Bay High School. Her favorite class in high school was Office Practice where they worked on packets related to the operations of an office, hence…She Loves What She Does!
After graduation, Jan enrolled in Chase Business College, but instead went to work for the Federal Reserve Bank. She worked from July 1972 until August 1990, leaving to work for the Battle Ground School District as the budget secretary for the Vocational Education Department. Some of the highlights, she was asked to pilot the training in a new purchase order system ESD 112 wide; she also was asked to assist in managing the budget for “The School to Work Grant” for the Clark County Skills Center Consortium, which included the nine member school districts. This is where Jan became familiar with the operations of the Clark County Skills Center under the direction of Michael Bjur.
Jan was hired on October 1, 1999 at the Clark County Skills Center as the Coordinator of Administrative Services. Under this position, she has assisted four directors in the operations of the Clark County Skills Center/Cascadia Technical Academy, has loved every minute of it, and there is no other place she would rather be!
Jan, her husband Mike have a very busy and fun filled life with their three sons Bryan, Kevin, Kyle; Daughter-in-Laws Brooke and Amy and Granddaughters Natalie and Lily. Jan and Mike enjoy maintaining their farmhouse on two acres (which includes maintaining the yard, flowerbeds and garden), entertaining, cooking, traveling in their motorhome and just hanging out with family and friends.
Jan loves the culture at Cascadia Tech Academy. She looks forward to every day coming to work and being with our staff and students, they are the best!
Diesel Technology Instructor