Executive Board


IMG_0171Nanci Strickland is the president of the Oregon Reading Association. She recently retired from after being a teacher in Cottage Grove for more than 30 years. Her passion is children’s literature, and she loves learning about and sharing books with kids and grown-ups alike. Nanci enjoys travel, movies, and is a proud OSU Beaver fan!


IMG_0413Barbara Low, past president of Oregon Reading Association, has served students, parents, and colleagues for 34 years in the Medford School District. Barbara’s expertise is providing intensive reading instruction for struggling readers. When she isn’t teaching, she is working on ways to help bring additional books into school libraries.


Katherine InmanKatherine Inman, treasurer and past president of Oregon Reading Association, has always loved books and reading, piling books on her bed as a child. As a teacher, she loved sharing fun children’s literature with her students. She loved seeing their faces respond as she read to them, and then saw how excited they were when they realized they could read stories themselves. Now retired, Katherine loves sharing her passion for books with her grandson.


photo (1)Carol Lauritzen, president-elect, is a mostly retired professor at Eastern Oregon University. Carol’s deep love for literacy has involved her in many projects. Current favorites include maintaining the little lending library in front of her house and sharing books with her 18 month old grandson. 



Carol BrownCarol Brown is ORA’s state coordinator. She is a retired elementary teacher who works part-time as coordinator of Expeditions, OSU’s pre-college program for talented and gifted third and fourth graders.



web photoRené Dernbach is currently the editor of The ORAcle, the Oregon Reading Association’s electronic newsletter. She has also served as ORA’s president and secretary, as well as being a board member for the Portland Reading Council. It is a pleasure for her to work with ORA, the organization that supported and guided her during her thirty years of teaching pre-k through college level students. Now that she is retired, she is devoted to her grandchildren and to learning to play the guitar, when she isn’t out swing dancing.


Diana Sohn is our membership director and currently teaches 5th grade at Amity Elementary School.  She is always searching for strategies to assist struggling readers become stronger literacy students.  Diana is fascinated by language and the importance of academic vocabulary in developing stronger readers.  In her spare time, Diana enjoys reading nonfiction, jigsaw puzzles, hiking, and puttering in her flower garden.

Mary Hawes, secretary, has taught in K-5 classrooms, Title 1 reading and ESL classes, and high school alternative education classrooms. She has been an active member of Three Sisters Reading Council in sunny Central Oregon for almost thirty years and joined ORA while teaching in Jordan Valley, OR in 1984. ORA has given her an organization that fulfills her passion for literacy. Mary has been a lover of books and libraries all her life. She also loves to knit, garden and hunt for wildflowers.

Beth Elliot, Professional Development