About COREN

“The thought partnership we received from COREN helped us navigate the challenges of a highly diverse school environment. Their support allowed us to bridge together different worlds of our school community and build empathy for other people in ways that we can’t even articulate.”

Lisa Burgher

Principal, Hugh Hartman Elementary School

Central Oregon Regional Educator Network was established in January 2020 with the goal of improving aspects of the teacher experience, including recruitment, teacher development, retention, and leadership building. The COREN is especially focused on improving these experiences for our teachers of color.

The COREN’s Coordinating Body is a volunteer group of diverse stakeholders, including teachers, who are dedicated to supporting Central Oregon educators. We prioritize teacher voice and utilize a continuous improvement process to make changes in our systems that help teachers succeed.

The COREN supports projects (or Change Ideas) that increase the recruitment and retention of qualified and certified teachers who reflect the faces of our students. Support includes coaching, professional development, networked improvement, and funding. COREN funding must support projects that implement change to improve existing programs.

The Coordinating Body has established priorities and the areas we believe will move the needle toward our goal.  This group will eventually lead initiatives chosen by the COREN, ensuring that Change Ideas are supported and implemented with integrity.

So what’s a Change Idea? A Change Idea is a concept or idea to improve a process, system or project in order to enhance the teacher experience. Change Ideas are informed by the user (teachers) and start small with the potential to scale up to improve larger systems across the region.

Approved Change Ideas will be led by a team of district/school/community stakeholders referred to as the “design team.” The design team will implement the Change Idea at the local level. We believe those closest to the issue are the best suited to improve it so your design team should include at least one teacher. The COREN will assign a coach who will help you navigate the process of making your Change Idea a reality!

Have a Change Idea? COREN is inviting design teams to join Cohort 2 in the Spring of 2021 so now is the time to submit your Change Idea!

Let’s talk! To get started, you can connect with a Coordinating Body Member or contact our team!

Meet Our Team

Kimberly Strong, Director of Teacher & Student Engagement

Kimberly is the Program Director for COREN. Her primary focus areas include:

  • COREN Strategic Leadership
  • COREN Coordinating Body
  • Regional Partnerships
  • State Reporting & Funding Accountability

Kimberly’s Favorite COREN Initiatives:

‘Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity’ Book Study  I love hearing stories of how school staff work to create environments where all students and staff truly feel like they belong. 

Leaders Learning Together: Regional Admin Gathering  This one is new and I’m excited to watch it grow. We have heard how important it is for school leaders to have a space to ask each other questions, to learn about relevant topics for them, and to strengthen their leadership muscles. I’m proud that COREN gets to provide that.

Other Favorites:

  • Favorite Pizza: Jersey Boys “Jersey Devil”
  • Favorite Book or Author: Too many to count! I love The Nightengale by Kristen Hannah and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Favorite Hobby: Mountain biking and CrossFit

Jeannie Bloome, Continuous Improvement Coach

Jeannie’s primary focus areas include:

  • Design Team Coaching and Support
  • Group Facilitation
  • Continuous Improvement Methodology & Practices

Jeannie’s Favorite COREN Initiatives:

‘Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity’ Book Study I love leading the deeper discussions of the concepts from the book and watching the learning take place.  This book and the book study generate rich discussions and change thinking.  This then translates to changes in  the ways that participants approach their work and relationships.  It is inspiring.

Regional Exit Survey  – COREN created an exit survey for districts to collect data from educators when they leave.  This work filled a void and provided a tool where one did not exist.  COREN now partners with districts to analyze the data and determine strategies to improve retention.

Other Favorites:

  • Favorite Pizza: Anything with ALL the vegetables.  My kids say I eat a salad with crust.
  • Favorite Book or Author:  I do not have a favorite book or author.  I love to read anything that makes me think, with the occasional “fun book” thrown in.
  • Favorite Hobby: Anything outdoors – hiking, paddle boarding, mountain biking.  Growing a jungle of houseplants.

Hannah Hinman, COREN Project Manager

Hannah’s primary focus areas include:

  • All Things Logistics 
  • Small Group Facilitation
  • Identify & Develop Regional Offerings & Opportunities

Jeannie’s Favorite COREN Initiative:

I’m participating in the ‘Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity’ Book Study for the first time and am loving the opportunity to get to know local educators and learn from and collaborate with them about what inclusion and belonging looks like in their schools. 

Other Favorites:

  • Favorite Pizza: Anything with pesto.
  • Favorite Book or Author: Isabel Allende
  • Favorite Hobby: Reading! And, any physical activity I can squeeze in:  yoga, walking my dog, cross country skiing, or rolling around with my kids.