Leadership Circle

Presently leading the planning process for a charter high school are Illinois Valley educators Kaci Elder, Ryan Forsythe, and Gina Angelique. Read on to learn more about each.

Kaci Elder is an Illinois Valley teacher, SUN School summer nature camp co-founder and curriculum director at Rusk Ranch Nature Center, Children’s Programs Advisor of the Rusk Ranch Nature Center Board of Directors, and Steering Committee member for KXCJ-LP Community Radio Station in Cave Junction.

A summa cum laude graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Elder holds a Masters of Arts Degree and K-12 Oregon teaching license with endorsements in English Language Arts and English to Speakers of Other Languages. She previously taught high school at River’s Edge Academy Charter School in Rogue River, serving as English Department Head and Leadership Team representative. She currently teaches The Amethyst Kids, a multi-age upper elementary class at the Dome School in Takilma.

She lives in O’Brien with her family.

Ryan Forsythe is an accomplished writer, school administrator, and teacher. He earned his M.S. degree in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and served for many years as a college administrator (1996-2003). Since April 2015, he has served as Co-Administrator at the Dome School. He played a critical role in fundraising efforts for the recent $325,000 addition to the Takilma Community Building.

Forsythe also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Adult Basic Skills department of Rogue Community College, helping Illinois Valley residents earn their GEDs. He has also founded an independent book press, Left Fork, with a primary focus of celebrating the art and writing of the region. Since 2013, Forsythe has volunteered at the Josephine Community Library’s IV branch.

Gina Angelique has founded two exemplary arts education programs. In 1994, she founded The Eveoke Education Program in San Diego. For thirteen years, she served as Artistic Director for Eveoke Dance Theatre, a program which annually taught 6,000 low-income youth living in San Diego and the Mexican/American border.

Currently Angelique serves as Artistic Director of RiverStars Performing Arts, which she
founded in 2011, bringing a dance and theatre opportunity to Illinois Valley youth. RiverStars now serves more than 85 families from diverse class backgrounds. In 2017, The Oregon Community Foundation designated RiverStars a ‘Model Program,’ making it a case study for effective arts education in rurally isolated communities.

Angelique teaches pedagogy and arts integration to arts professionals and educators, and
implements a circular leadership strategy that is sustainable and motivating for all team members. Most recently she created KXCJ’s weekly Empower Hour, serving as the adult advisor for a teen-written radio show focused on relevant social issues. She also serves as the Articultural Director of dancefarm, a five-acre organic farm pursuing sustainability for both art and agriculture.