Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School

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Who We Are: Board President & Vice President

We’d like to introduce you to the people whose hard work behind the scenes makes Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School a wonderful place to learn: our board of directors. Board members give their time and expertise to guide our small, tuition-free charter school today and into the future. Get acquainted with Christa Billings, President, and Yessenia Jones, Vice President, and discover their “why” for choosing to volunteer.
Profile photo of Christa Billings, Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School Board of Directors President

Christa Billings, Board President

Why did you decide to serve on the Board of Directors for Arco Iris? 

I have always volunteered and been part of my children's school community for the past 12 years. I decided to apply for the school board when my job was changing and I no longer had daytime availability to serve on the PTO. I wanted to still be able to contribute to the school’s success and continue my volunteering. The board was in the midst of looking for a school building and we kept being told there were no options. My mom always raised me to not just take no for an answer, but to keep pursuing problems as they arise. Purchasing the school building is one of my greatest accomplishments in life. Not only did this provide a stable learning environment for my own children, but the hundreds and thousands of students that follow behind them.

What do you love most about Arco Iris?

I love the community family feel. Arco Iris is not just a school, but a community of parents and staff. With a charter school, you get very dedicated and involved families coming together to support the school, staff, and each other in not just our students' education, but also in life. We have 3 children, all of whom formerly attended Arco Iris and my last child just graduated from Arco Iris in June. It is a bittersweet feeling to no longer be an Arco Iris parent, but I am not ready to let go of the Arco Iris family quite yet. I’ll be continuing my board service for a little bit longer.

What do you do for your "day job"?

I work for Columbia Sportswear Company in the Global Customs and Trade department. I manage our US Customs compliance programs and work with trade agreements for all of our global regions around the world.

Tell us a little about you.

I am married to my husband Brock of 19 years. We have 3 children, all of whom are bilingual and attended Arco Iris. They will be in 8th, 9th & 11th grade next year. In my spare time, you can usually find me at a Portland Thorns game or on the sidelines at my daughter’s soccer games. Soccer has become my hobby and interest in this period of life.


Profile photo of Yessenia Jones, Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School Board of Directors Vice President

Yessenia Jones, Board Vice President

Why did you decide to serve on the Board of Directors for Arco Iris? 

After four years of serving on our school's PTO, I knew I wanted to do more. The pandemic really showed me how vulnerable our school can be if we don't have a strong board and school community. I also learned about our school finances more in-depth by attending the meetings and gained an understanding of why decisions were being made. I have a huge passion for bilingualism and multicultural experiences, as well as supporting underserved students, including students of color, those with fewer economic resources, and neurodivergent students.

What do you love most about Arco Iris?

Hands down–our school community. Many of the families I met when my child was in kindergarten have become like family. When I've been in a bind my Arco Family has always been there to help me, whether it be a ride to school, getting my kids out of the house for school, or, if I'm sick, surprising me with some delicious Caldo.


I also love how the students bond over the years. Yes, they will have their moments, but as a mom of a middle schooler, I see now how much Arco Iris kids look after their own even if they weren't in the same "friend circle" growing up.

What do you do for your "day job"?

I work for Nike in Store Construction as a Project Administration Manager for North America.

Tell us a little about you.

My husband Alex and I are parents to three boys ages 12, 10, and 2. My middle son is my only current student at Arco Iris and loves it there. We'll be sad to take a short hiatus when he moves to middle school next year. We also have a Great Dane named Thor and he's 140 pounds of pure love.


I enjoy taking fitness classes and being a "slower" runner in the summer months, trying the newest dessert places, and spending time with family. We do sports almost all year around but my favorite to watch is baseball–I love the energy and the family spirit. I also enjoy connecting with others in our community, whether by recommending a local business to someone new to town or by sharing my banking knowledge with people who are seeking a neutral resource.


It’s truly our community that makes us shine and Christa and Yessenia are a vital part of our success. We are still enrolling for tuition-free Spanish immersion if you are seeking a K-5 charter school with a family feel. Check out our enrollment page to get started for the 2023-24 school year. 


About Arco Iris

Arco Iris Spanish Immersion is a small tuition-free public charter school providing a rich, immersive Spanish language experience and robust academics in a true multicultural setting. Centrally located off 217, between SW Portland and Tigard, we serve K-5 students in the greater Beaverton area to become bilingual and biliterate leaders of the future. Come see why we’ve earned the title Oregon’s #1 charter school. We’re enrolling for Fall 2023-24.