Off Beat: Educator's endeavors cover the age spectrum

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photoJada Rupley

As a longtime educator and active civic participant, Jada Rupley seems to be one for the ages. Pretty much all the ages.

That was illustrated when she had overlapping stints as a community leader a while back. The Camas resident was co-chairwoman of Washington's Early Learning Advisory Council at the same time she was a member of Clark County's Aging Readiness Task Force.

That's just about as far as you can stretch the demographic bookends.

It started when Rupley was involved in organizing the state's early-learning program. The assignment certainly was within her area of expertise. Back then, Rupley was associate superintendent of Vancouver-based Educational Service District 112.

During that stretch, she was invited to join the Aging Readiness Task Force.

Rupley has filled in a lot of space between those bookends, by the way. She is a member of the Clark College board of trustees.

She also is a board member of The Hand that Rocks the Cradle; the new political action committee was created to finance and mentor women running in local elections.

Now director of Oregon's Early Learning System, Rupley said there is more connection between the extremes of early learning and healthy aging than we often realize.

Successful early-learning programs can help children get off to a good start, which hopefully will lead to comfortable retirements.

And, some of the best resources for early-ed programs are retired people with time to volunteer.

"I'm trying to get seniors engaged in some of that work," Rupley said.

"There is a lot of circling around on this," she said.-- Tom Vogt

Off Beatlets members of The Columbian news team step back from our newspaper beats to write the story behind the story, fill in the story or just tell a story.