Instructional personnel at the J Bar J Learning Centers 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 Buening

Rick is the Academic Director of J Bar J Learning Center.  He has worked in alternative education at J Bar J for more than 20 years. Rick received his Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Missouri and his MaBoys Ranch faculty bio-Ricksters 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”.

In his free time, Rick enjoys hiking, reading, and home improvement projects.  He has a special interest in the people and literature of the "Beat Generation".

JoAnne White

JoAnne graduated from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and Secondary Health Teaching Credential.  boys ranch faculty bio-JoAnneShe is certified in Oregon to teach secondary Health and multiple subjects at the middle school level.  She taught Health and Life Skills in the Los Angeles School District for three years and the private sector for two years.  While teaching in Los Angeles, JoAnne also facilitated Impact Gang groups and Tobacco Use and Prevention groups with her students.

JoAnne relocated to Bend in 2007.  During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.  She enjoys the outdoors, karate, and running.

Ryan Choate

Ryan studied Fine Art as an undergraduate and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Humboldt State University. While there, he worked as a volunteer for an at-risk youth program that would generate an interest in teaching and working with youth. Ryan spent several years as a working artist in Portland and enjoyed exhibiting artwork, as well as becoming immersed in the art community. Ryan went back to school in 2005 where he earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Eastern Oregon University. He has taught at public schools in Oregon, as well as Colorado, and most recently at a private emotional-growth boarding school.

When not in the classroom Ryan enjoys working in his art studio, skiing and biking in the mountains around Bend, and trying to finish his first novel.

Erin Villano

Erin grew up in colorado and attended the Universitiy of Colorado at Boulder. Here, she studied history, sociology, and criminology and received her Bachelor's degree in 2001. Soon after graduating she moved to Bend, Oregon to pursue her love of the outdoors. After working in the Juvenile Justice Department for the Boys and Girls Club, Erin furthered her education and received her Master's degree in Education from the University of Eastern Oregon in 2004. Since completing her degree, Erin has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and continues to grow and learn as a professional educator.

Erin enjoys spending time with her family, being in the outdoors, and living life to the fullest!




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