Bruce Abernethy

Profile Updated: August 28, 2011
Updated since your last visit
Residing In:
Bend, OR USA
Spouse/Partner:
Mary Meador, MD
Occupation:
Grantwriter, Bend-La Pine School District
Children:
Naomi Wright (19) - graduated from high school in June 2010 and took a "gap year" where she spent 8 months in Senegal with a wonderful program called Global Citizen Year (GCY).

Aedin Wright (16) an energetic high schooler, she will be spending her junior year in Denmark through a Rotary foreign exchange program.

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Questions & Answers

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Attending Reunion

Yes

What have you been up to since high school:

Never quite sure whether to do this chronologically or from most importance to least so I think I'll do a bit of a hybrid.

Right after high school, I headed back east where I received a BA in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College and a MPP (Master’s in Public Policy) from Harvard University at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. In between those educational stints, I worked for 2 years at Swarthmore in their Development Office where I spent a lot of time working with west coast alumni and learning to write grants (which would come in handy later in life).

Most of my professional career has been in either the nonprofit sector or working for local government (as I somewhat sheepishly confess that I have never actually had a "private sector" job!) Although as you will see below I have held several elected positions, I am actually more interested in the policy aspect of the position rather than the politics (since I hate or am not very good at fundraising, talking only in sound bites and generally dumbing down the level of political discourse).

In the Spring of 1992, I moved to Bend, OR which is a wonderful community of 80,000 in the middle of the state, just at the foot of the east side of the Cascade Mountains. What drew me to Bend initially was its reputation as "Oregon's playground" and that is so true - with the NW's largest ski resort just 22 minutes away, world class rockclimbing, kayaking, windsurfing and awesome road and mountain biking trails this place is amazing! One of the laments here is that you never get really good at any one thing because you are always distracted by so many other fun activities.

I am currently employed by the Bend La Pine School District as their Grant Writer, a position I have held for seven years (which is a record for me!) This entails a wide range of responsibilities from ensuring millions of dollars of federal funds are accounted for and being properly spent to helping teachers and administrators apply for District and school initiatives around literacy, technology, science and education reform all the way down to helping Mrs. Johnson get a $100 grant so she can buy some microscopes for her 3rd grade classroom. I really like the people I work with and the District has been very accommodating of all my other community endeavors.

On the extra-curricular side, I have been very active in a wide variety of organizations and causes including serving on the Board of the Bend-La Pine School District, the Board of the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District, 8 years on the Bend City Council (including a stint as Mayor from 2007-2008) and I am currently on the Board of the local community college. I currently serve as President of Bend's Community Center (a local nonprofit which runs the largest food kitchen in the region), am on the Board of Serendipty West Foundation/Challenge Day (an anti-bullying organization), am on the board of Bend 2030 (the local community visioning organization), and Chair the regional 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. In 2006, I was appointed by Gov. Kulongoski to serve on the Oregon Health Services Commission. I also serve on the Board of the Surdna Foundation, a national foundation with headquarters in NY.

On the personal side, I met my wife, Dr. Mary Meador, in May of 1999 at a post-triathlon race party. I asked her out on a date a week later and we have been together ever since! She is a family practice physician who, about 10 years ago, limited her scope of practice to mental health. She has a private practice where she sees both individuals and couples and has recently become very interested in Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB). When we got married in 2000, I became the happy recipient of two wonderful step-daughters who have since grown into magnificent young women. Naomi is 19 now and a stellar student and very involved with art, drama, photography, you name it. She just got back to Bend after spending 8 months in Senegal as part of a "gap year" experience after graduating from high school. She will be attending Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in the Fall (we are delighted she is staying closer to home after being so far away for so long!) Aedin is 16 now and will be heading off to Denmark on August 5 for her entire junior year of high school as part of a Rotary foreign exchange program. A warm, bubbly person who loves to draw and volunteer at the local Humane Society, she is scrambling right now to learn Danish (Rosetta Stone - do your thing!) As you can see, these girls have been encouraged to explore the world (and figure out who they are) if nothing else!

Looking forward to seeing everybody and catching up at the Reunion!

School Story:

TBD





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