About
Higher Elevations Learning Place

Higher Elevations Learning Place is built on a simple but lofty goal of transforming Early Childhood Education in the greater Portland area.  We believe that learning and growth come from the hard work of pushing limits and challenging ourselves.   We utilize a play-based curriculum that creates challenging moments for our children, encouraging them to stretch their abilities, grow and learn.  

For Desi and I, the mountain in our logo is a touchstone of our own personal story and we wish to share the ideal to those in our school.  Its a reminder that success is almost always intertwined with failure.  That for every pound of hard work, we also need a few ounces of compassion and assistance from those around us.  When we look out for each other, higher elevations are obtainable.  

shutterstock_582394888.jpg

OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM

IMG_5931.jpg

Ru Coyne

Director

With 10+ years of experience in the building doing everything from grocery shopping to being on field trips to running the distance learning school-age program, Ru is excited for the opportunity to help the visions for HELP-PDX come to fruition.

 

Education has always been her focus, as she knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher. While she spends less time in classrooms now, she still finds opportunities to connect with the children in the center. 

 

She spends much of her free time adventuring with her dogs, Remi and Tillie, visiting estate sales and thrift stores, and spending quality time with her family. She also has a space at an antique store at the coast that she shares with her mom.

shutterstock_53545189.jpg

Mike Villani

Director of Special Programs & Projects

Mike has over 15 years of experience working in children’s program coordination and operations management. He started his career in corporate fitness before becoming a Director at the YMCA in Florida running youth fitness, sports, camps, and special events. He was there for five years before moving to Washington, DC. 

 

Mike worked for Arlington County Government in community center facility management and program management for youth through seniors. His primary focus for seven years was youth development, teen health and fitness, as well as specialty camps and after school programs. He also worked with grants, procurement, and budget management. Mike worked for Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District as a Program Coordinator for childcare, youth sports, dance, art, specialty programs, and special events. It is where he found his passion for childcare. Mike and his spouse became certified foster parents in 2019 and currently has two foster children.

Mike enjoys hiking, going to the gym and spending time with his family and dogs. He is excited to bring his knowledge and experience to educate and develop the children of HELP!

.

KC.jpg

K.C. Hudson

Owner, Operations Mgmt

Kurt has spent twenty-five plus years in Operations Management in a number of industries.  Having served at both large companies and small business, he's incredibly excited about this new chapter at Higher Elevations Learning Place PDX.  

 

Much of his free time is consumed by his two littles, Wesley and Tillie, both students at HELP-PDX.  They run him ragged in the best of ways while re-educating him in the areas of patience and humility. 

Kurt spent quite a few years as a high school head wrestling and football coach in California, Montana and Oregon.  He's the sports nut of the family.  

DH.jpg

Desi Hudson

Owner, Finance/Business Strategy

For the last decade plus, Desi has been operating a successful small business she and a business partner created, Moso Graphics.  Moso is a leader in the retail environments space, specializing in the furniture industry.   

An avid hiker and outdoorswoman, Desi is constantly drawn to the mountains for her getaway time and inspiration.  She conquered the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail with her dad a few short years ago.  The PCT is a 460 mile trek definitely not for the faint of heart.  

Desi is without a doubt a "wonk", any subject matter she has set her inquisitive mind to gets the royal treatment when it comes to research and education.