Christy Scattarella, M.A., Founder & Executive Director
Christy Scattarella, M.A., founded The Shadow Project when her son, Alex, was in second grade and struggling with dyslexia and ADD. What started as a two-classroom project has since grown to 34 schools, serving more than 8,000 children. An innovator in special education, Christy is a dynamic speaker who has been honored locally and nationally, including Portland’s Making a Difference in Education Award; Hero of the Month on KATU television; Education Citizen of the Year by the Oregon Education Association, and as one of Nabisco’s “100 Extraordinary Women.” A former reporter for The Seattle Times, she is the author of the award-winning children’s book The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Black Heron Press, 2014), which chronicles Alex’s courageous school journey and provides the backstory for The Shadow Project. Christy has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Lewis & Clark College.
Quynh Nguyen, M.A., Program Manager
Quynh has a tremendous heart for children in special education, combined with a deep understanding of this vulnerable population in public schools, having a sister with special needs. Quynh was the Asian/Pacific Islander family engagement specialist for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization in Portland, and she also has experience as family services coordinator for Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services in Honolulu, as a special education teacher in Waipahu, Hawaii, and as senior development officer for the Honolulu chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. A Vietnam native who moved to Portland during grade school, Quynh has a master’s degree in peace and conflict transformation from the European Peace University in Austria, and a bachelor of arts in education from the University of Portland.
Sydney Clevenger, Communications & Development Manager
Sydney became familiar with children’s education and health needs during her years in Washington, D.C., writing on behalf of The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and its outgrowth Stand for Children. As editor of the monthly CDF Reports, Sydney had the privilege of ghostwriting for Founder Marian Wright Edelman, and was lead reporter during the two-day kick-off of Stand for Children events across the country. A former radio and television anchor/reporter, Sydney was longtime communications coordinator at Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Dentistry, as well as communications coordinator for OHSU’s OGI School of Science & Engineering, and senior communications coordinator for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. She has been a contributor to Oregon Historical Quarterly, the Oregon Encyclopedia Project, the Olympian, and Catholic Sentinel, among other publications, and she is the author of Swifty’s Big Flight (Tiger LLC, 2008) under the pseudonym Lee Jackson. Sydney graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in communication (broadcasting) from Washington State University, and has a minor in English.
Alejandra Gurrola, Volunteer & Program Coordinator
Benefiting as a child from speaking two languages and enjoying physical activities such as dance, swimming, and tennis, Alejandra knew she wanted to help improve the lives of others. Most recently, Alejandra was a community engagement specialist at Metropolitan Family Services through the AmeriCorps program, based at Salish Ponds Elementary in the Reynolds School District. There, she developed and taught health and wellness to students K-5, and coordinated events and workshops to engage families. She has also been a pre-school teacher, a 4-H research intern, and a caregiver at a childcare center. She has a bachelor of science in kinesiology/exercise science/health promotion, and a minor in child development from Humboldt State University. She is fluent in Spanish.
Christie Pierce, 2016-2017 AmeriCorps VISTA
Christie realized in college that she was a hands-on learner and had to work harder than her peers to succeed. Because she believes she would have benefited from sensory tools in school, The Shadow Project’s mission struck a chord for Christie, and she hopes to help students with learning challenges, especially those on the cusp of a special need who have the potential for success, but not the means. Her interest in educational equity was furthered during the summer of 2016 while serving at Portland’s David Douglas, prepping at-risk incoming freshmen for high school. An Indiana native, Christie recently was volunteer coordinator at a museum, supervised at various coffee houses, and taught English in Korea. She received a bachelor of art in history and international studies from Indiana University in 2012, and has a CELTA (certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages) from Cambridge University at their Teaching House campus in Chicago.