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.
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.
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.”
ITS3 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.
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!
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"!
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.