Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Current board members (left to right): Jada Rupley; Jane Jacobsen, Chair; Paul Speer; Rekah Strong, Vice Chair. (not pictured: Jeanne Bennett )

The Clark College Board of Trustees consists of five members who are appointed by the Governor of Washington. Members serve a five-year term and must live in the college’s service district.

The Board seeks to ensure the quality and relevance of college programs and provide stewardship of public resources. In this role, the Board is responsible for strategic planning; development and approval of college policies; and approval and oversight of the operating budget.

The Board of Trustees generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. 

Board Policies & Procedures Manual

For additional information about the Board of Trustees, contact the President's Office.

Related External Websites:


Board of Trustees

Jeanne Bennett

Clark College Board of Trustees
Jeanne Bennett

Appointed: 2019 Term Ends: 2021

Ms. Bennett is the retired CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington, a Vancouver resident, and a longtime community leader. She began her career working as a congressional staff member, first for Oregon Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse and then for Congressman Brian Baird in Washington. After that, she moved on to leadership positions in Evergreen School District 112's Youth Workforce Program, the Mount St. Helens Institute, and finally Workforce Southwest Washington, where she managed local investments of more than $10 million annually in individuals’ workforce skills training and development.  

In her retirement, Ms. Bennett remains active in her community, including efforts to develop a Children's Museum in Vancouver.

Community activities include:

  • Mount St. Helens Institute
  • Mount Adams Institute
  • Empower Women + Girls


  • B.S. - History - Portland State University 

Chair, Jane Jacobsen

Clark College Board of Trustees
Jane Jacobsen, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2016     Term Ends: 2019

Ms. Jacobsen currently works with Gramor Development and the City of Vancouver on the development of the Columbia Waterfront Park.

For more than 12 years, Ms. Jacobsen served as the founding executive director of the Confluence Project, now known as Confluence.

Community activities include:

  • Founding Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of Confluence
  • Board President, Friends of Fort Vancouver
  • Member of the Advisory Council with Columbia Land Trust
  • Former member of the Columbia River Gorge Commission
  • Former member of the Washington State Historical Society

 Awards and Recognition:

  • Certificate of Excellence - Switzerland Cultural Art Center - Zurich, Switzerland


  • B.A. - in Communications - University of Arkansas

Jada Rupley

Clark College Board of Trustees
Jada Rupley

Appointed: 2010    Term Ended: 2015
Reappointed: 2015    Term Ends: 2020

For more than 25 years, Jada has served in a variety of roles in Washington's education system. She has been a teacher, psychologist, principal, and an associate superintendent, where her focus was on innovative programs that create educational opportunities for all learners, early to adult. As a Governor's appointee, she served as Co-chair for the Early Learning Advisory Council in building the early learning system. The Southwest Washington Child Care Consortium was a milestone for families with young children providing over 2,000 quality child care slots in 28 centers in Clark County.

In 2012-2014, she was chosen by then Governor Kitzhaber to serve as Oregon's first Early Learning System Director implementing legislation for early learning and child care investments for children birth to 6 years.

Jada Rupley is now the Superintendent of the Clackamas Education Service District in Oregon. Ms. Rupley resides in Camas and has been a resident of Clark County since 1984.

Community activities include:

  • H-RoC Board Member, 2011-present
  • Clark College Foundation Board Liaison
  • Clark County Skills Center, 2003-2012
  • Co-Chair of Washington Early Learning Advisory Council, 2007-2010
  • Clark County Task Force on Aging, 2010
  • Clark County Planning Commission, 2001-2010 
  • Chair/ Board Member Leadership Clark County, 1996-2008


  • B.A. in Psychology/Education, Central Washington University
  • M.Ed. in School Administration, Seattle Pacific University
  • Certified Superintendent, Washington State University
  • Certifications for School Principal, School Psychologist, Elementary Teacher

Paul Speer

Clark College Board of Trustees
 Paul Speer, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2018     Term Ends: 2023

Mr. Speer has extensive experience and skills in strategic planning, nonprofit fundraising and capacity building. A resident of Clark County for the past 37 years, Speer has long demonstrated a commitment to his community.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Speer worked at Hewlett-Packard Company, where he retired as Vice President of Development Strategy in the Office of Strategy and Technology.

Currently, Mr. Speer is an executive advisor and coach, who also appears as a guest lecturer and panelist on topics including leadership, new business creation, business planning, venture philanthropy, sustainable energy, and encore careers.


 Community activities include:

  • The Historic Trust – Board Member
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting – Board Member
  • Social Venture Partners International – Past Board Member
  • Leadership Clark County – Past Board Member
  • Nonprofit Network Southwest Washington – Past Board Member
  • iUrban Teen – Advisory Member
  • Cascadia Tech Academy – Advisory Member
  • Superintendent’s Management Task Force for Vancouver Public Schools – Advisory Member
  • University of Portland’s Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council – Past Council Chair
  • University of Portland’s Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Board – Past Board Chair
  • City of Vancouver’s Aviation Advisory Committee – Past Committee Chair
  • Pearson Field Education Center– Committee Chair

Awards and Recognition:

  • 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from Leadership Clark County
  • 2013 Pilot of the Year award from the Washington Pilots Association


  • University of Portland - Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering
  • University of Portland - Master of Business Administration
  • Embry-Riddle University - Master of Science in Aeronautics

Vice Chair, Rekah Strong

Clark College Board of Trustees
Rekah Strong, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2012     Term Ends: 2017
Reappointed: 2017    Term Ends: 2022

Rekah Strong is currently executive director of Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF).

She has more than 16 years of experience working in public agencies and developing strategies to improve organizational cultural humility. Prior to her work for EOCF, she served as Chief of Operations and Equity at United Wayof the Columbia-Willamette. Before that, she spent 12 years working in various capacities for Clark County and the State of Oregon in their Department of Human Services. In 2010, she became the principal operator of her private consulting firm, Chemistry Development LLC.


 Community activities include:

  • We Reign Youth Foundation  -Board Member
  • Leadership Clark County Diversity -Trainer since 2008
  • American Society for Training and Development
  • Cultural Competency Team–Member/Advisor
  • Southwest Washington Chapter Red Cross - Board Member and Diversity Team Chair
  • Southwest Washington YWCA Personnel Committee–Member
  • Southwest Washington and Portland Big Brothers Big Sisters African American Advisory Committee–Member
  • City of Battle Ground Diversity Task Force–Participant
  • Greater Portland Vancouver Indicators Equity Team–Member
  • Portland State University School of Social Work Social Justice Committee–Member

Awards and Recognition:

  • 2007 NAACP Val Joshua Award
  • 2008 YWCA Social Justice Award Recipient
  • 2009 Delta Social Justice Award Recipient
  • 2009 National Association of Counties Innovative Program Award Recipient
  • 2010 Accomplished and under 40 Award Recipient


  • Portland State University - PhD. Social Work Research; pre-dissertation
  • Portland State University – Master’s Degree–Social Work/Administration - 2002 
  • Portland State University – Bachelor of Science Degree–Criminal Justice–1997