Betsy Leighty-Johnson. photo provided
Betsy Leighty-Johnson. photo provided

Betsy Leighty-Johnson has stepped into the position of president (chairperson) of Sisters Graduate Resource Organization (Sisters GRO) effective September 1. Sisters GRO raises and administers scholarships for graduating seniors.

Leighty-Johnson brings a wide range of private and public service experience in the fields of education, human services and military service to her new role in leading Sisters GRO. She has a doctorate in human services from Capella University's School of Public Service Leadership, a master's degree in special education from Lewis & Clark College, a master's in teaching from Willamette University, and a bachelor of science degree from Eastern Oregon University. She is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.

Betsy has worked with at-risk youth, directing two juvenile boot camp programs; taught special education at the high school and elementary levels; and served as a support battalion commander in an infantry brigade.

Betsy is a third-generation Oregonian and has lived in Sisters for 20 years with her husband, Vern, and their children, Casey and Molly, who are Sisters High School graduates. She has served, and continues to serve, on a number of military-related boards and organizations, has served as her homeowners' association president, volunteered with the Sisters School District during her children's attendance, and has been serving as Vice-Chair of Sisters GRO over the past year.

Betsy succeeds outgoing chairperson, Karen Hensley, Sisters GRO co-founder, who ably led the organization since its establishment in 2008. Hensely will continue to serve the community as Sisters GRO vice-chair over the next three years.

"We're very fortunate to have Betsy leading Sisters GRO," Hensley said. "Obviously, she is well-qualified for this position and among other things, I have come to appreciate her dedicated professionalism, sense of humor, organizational, technical and communication skills, along with her big heart for kids and the Sisters Community. Betsy is exactly the right person to guide Sisters GRO through the next phase of growth and raise the impact of its mission to the next level."

Sisters GRO is a non-profit, non-sectarian 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to help Sisters High School graduates achieve their educational aspirations, inspiring them to give back by becoming more. Sisters GRO raises, receives and distributes educational scholarship funds to Sisters High School students and graduates, administers the scholarship process and helps Sisters students develop their future educational plans.