SLC Staff

Executive Director

Debbie Lukas (she/her/hers) works as a Clinical Herbalist and Herbal Pharmacist with 25 years of experience. She founded the family business Siskiyou Mountain Herbs, and propagates and grows many medicinal plants on the Frog Farm in Takilma, Oregon. Debbie teaches classes emphasizing respect for the land, ethical harvesting techniques and propagation of rare medicinal plants. She has been involved in various nonprofits over the years as staff, board member, and

volunteer. She dreams of uniting diverse people in the Illinois Valley in the quest for sustainable living. She raises chickens, vegetables, herbs and hope! In 2006, she founded the Spiral Living Center with her husband Steve Orr to provide education and support to those living in the Illinois Valley. She currently serves as Volunteer Executive Director.

Admin & Events Coordinator

Caitlin Deane (she/her/hers) is a sculptor, homesteader, and lover of all nature-based skills & crafts. She comes from a fine arts background, having received her BFA in Ceramics from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. Her reverence for clay and natural materials led her to studying natural building and permaculture at the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture from 2012-2019. Over the last decade, Caitlin has worked with several nonprofit organizations as an instructor, tour guide, and program coordinator, bringing together both

urban & rural communities. She has been living in the Illinois Valley since 2019, and since 2020 has enjoyed providing creative solutions to SLC and pivoting events to virtual and hybrid formats during the pandemic, such as the 2020 Local Foods Dinner and the Virtual Skillshare Series. She aids Deb Lukas in managing the SLC social media accounts, writing newsletters, writing grants, and organizing our board meetings and files.

Program Manager

Amy Schell-Lapora (she/her/hers) grew up on the shores of Lake Ontario in Northern New York. She was drawn to the wild rivers and mountains of Southern Oregon almost 20 years ago. Her background is in outdoor education and she loves getting kids into the woods. Amy is a passionate gardener, and the mother of two boys. She enjoys being an active and

involved parent, coaching youth soccer and serving as Team Mom for Little League. She believes in giving back to her community through active community service. Amy is also a local Soccer Coach and Illinois Valley Little League Board Member. Amy is a graduate of the Ford Family Foundation Leadership Program and has served on the Spiral Living Center Board for 5 years and was brought on as Program Manager in 2022. She aids in managing the Earth Scouts! Program, IV Gleaning Project, and our Book and Tool Libraries.

Teen Program Coordinator

Johanna Higgins  (she/her/hers) has a true passion for experiential education for all ages. She admires teens for their ability to creatively strive in the outdoors. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and an Outdoor Leadership minor. College is where she learned about North Carolina

Outward Bound School and persevered to become a lead instructor. To gain outdoor skills and knowledge, she became a lead instructor at a wilderness therapy program in the Adirondacks in New York. Her perseverance paid off and she became a lead instructor at North Carolina Outward Bound School for ten years. She also participated in many educational outdoor programs on the west coast. She settled in the Illinois Valley eight years ago and has since called Southern Oregon her home. She enjoys organic farming, reading, making dried flower arrangements, hiking, swimming in our beautiful rivers, and taking part in many different types of music festivals. She is excited for the opportunity to be a part of Spiral Living Center & taking on the role of Earth Scouts Teen Program Coordinator in 2022.

Bookkeeper

Kate Deschamps (she/her/hers) founded and led the growth of her own consulting firm providing accounting software solutions and systems along with financial advise to professional corporations. Kate currently serves as Secretary and Board of Directors Member of Bumblebee Marketing Services, Inc. Previously, Kate  served as Vice President of Finance for M&T Publishing, a company that published Dr. Dobb’s Journal as well as other technology publications located in the San Francisco Bay area. Kate was also Western Region Manager of internal accounting for KPMG Main Hurdman, a CPA firm (now part of KPMG) and worked in their New York and Chicago offices. Kate has business degrees in Accounting and Finance.