Judy Pickens, Team Spotlight

Nov. 29, 2021

How long have you been working for RSD, where and what roles?

I started working for the Redmond School District 23 years ago as a teacher’s assistant in the Chapter One Preschool located at the Edwin Brown Education Center. Many of the families that we served in the program spoke Spanish as their home language, so I served as an interpreter. In addition to the Chapter One Preschool, I also interpreted for the Family Access Network (FAN). As the population grew in Redmond, the needs of Spanish-speaking families became more immediate. In 2003, I began serving RSD at a greater capacity to include connecting families with administrators, teachers, counselors, nurses, and specialists. All of these positions led me to my current position as a Community Liaison. 

What made you want to be a Community Liaison?

When my own children were in school at RSD, I was an English learner myself. I struggled to navigate and understand the school system because there was nobody to help bridge the language barrier that I faced. When I had the opportunity to step into the role of Community Liaison, I could recall what it was like for me to be in the position of feeling disconnected from my children’s school and I was happy that I could use my newfound knowledge and skills to help connect families like mine to the necessary resources that they need to feel welcome in the RSD community. This gives me great satisfaction because I am able to change the difficult experience that I faced in the 1990s to a more inclusive and barrier-free experience for our families who are culturally and linguistically diverse. 

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of this job is seeing the pride of the families I serve when their students overcome challenges, graduate from high school, and go out into the community to achieve great things. I love when families share the accomplishments of their children like earning scholarships, attending college and discovering their passions. The families I serve represent many different cultures from across Mexico, Central and South America. Their children speak various dialects and languages in addition to the English that they are learning in our schools. Our bilingual and bicultural students bring such an asset to their classrooms and it is so wonderful that RSD is constantly working toward building pathways to success for all of these students and their families. 

What is the biggest challenge of your job?

The biggest challenge in my work is finding my voice in advocacy. It is not always easy to assist in some of the needs because they feel beyond my scope and job description. A big part of my job is to provide guidance and support for families to empower them to find their own voices and be their student’s greatest advocates. 

What is your goal for what a community liaison does for the school and the school district?

My goal as Community Liaison in the Redmond School District is to bridge the gap between families and the district so that there is an equitable stream of information of services, events and opportunities to all families regardless of their home language. I also want families to know that they have a trusted resource to turn to when they need to communicate with teachers, schools, and programs in the school district. The result of this is that all students have access to the resources they need to thrive as learners and feel a sense of belonging in our community. 

What else would you like to share about your experiences working for RSD?

It is remarkable to see how much our community has grown and changed over the 35 years that I have lived here. It pleases me to see more families like mine finding their way to Redmond and sharing their diverse experiences, customs, and talents. My hope for RSD is that we continue the work to provide equitable opportunities for families who come to Redmond and that we acknowledge that there is always more work to be done to ensure that all students grow and find success in Redmond. 

What else should we know about you? 

I immigrated from Mexico to Oregon in the 1980s.

I have three grown children who went to school in Redmond and one grandchild who is currently attending a Redmond school. My two oldest graduated from Redmond High, and my youngest graduated from Ridgeview.

My two daughters are educators — my oldest is a bilingual specialist here at RSD. 

In my free time, I enjoy crafting, gardening, and spending quality time with my friends and family. 

“For 21 years, Judy has been a tremendous support to families in Redmond, making sure they have what they need to fully participate in their students’ education. Judy is a passionate advocate for the success of all children and goes the extra mile to ensure they can be successful in and out of school. Her warm, friendly personality makes families comfortable engaging with her. She is a true asset to our school district, and cares deeply about our kids.”
— Brittaney Cocciolo, Assistant Director of Student Services  

“Judy has been Sage’s Community Liaison for the past 12 years. She is a valued member of our Sage family. Judy has been instrumental in bridging the home and school community together. Her knowledge and experience is a priceless gift to the Sage staff and our families. ¡Gracias Judy, por todo que haces para La Escuela Primaria de Sage!”  — Carolyn Espinosa, Sage Elementary Principal

Judy is one of the most important people on our team! She is a bridge between us and our Hispanic families. Judy gives her heart and soul to supporting the success of our Hispanic students and shares with us valuable knowledge of their needs and life situations. THANK YOU Judy for making a difference at MA Lynch!! We appreciate you! — Rayna Nordstrom, M.A. Lynch Elementary Principal

Redmond School District | 145 SE Salmon Drive. | Redmond, OR | 97756 | P: 541.923.5437

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Redmond School District is committed to equal opportunity and non-discrimination in all of its educational and employment activities.

The District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination:

District 504 Contact:
Tami Nakamura, Executive Director of Student Services | Email | (541) 923-8258

District Title VI, Title IX, Age Discrimination & American Disabilities Act Contact:
Tracie Renwick, Director of Human Resources | Email | (541) 923-8922

View our Discrimination Complaint/Grievance Procedure