Former state legislator Rep. Peter Buckley, a longtime advocate for education and healthy families, has been selected as recipient of the Rogue Community College 2021 Outstanding Citizen Award for distinguished service to the college and community.
Buckley, of Ashland, currently serves as program manager for Southern Oregon Success as well as a trainer and administrator for the Southern Oregon ACEs Training team, an effort to raise awareness of the long-term impact of childhood trauma.
“RCC is proud to participate in this work through our Early Childhood Education program and Student Services, and we recognize Peter Buckley as a driving force in our region, making families healthier and more resilient,” said RCC President Cathy Kemper-Pelle. “Congratulations Peter, and thank you for your contributions to our community.”
Buckley served six terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, representing south Jackson County from 2004 to 2017. For eight of those 12 years, the District 5 representative served as House co-chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means, the legislature’s budget-writing committee. He also served on the House Education Committee, the Education Subcommittee on Education Innovation, and the Education Subcommittee on Higher Education.
As he transitioned from the legislature, Buckley devoted himself to Southern Oregon Success, a collaboration under the umbrella of the Southern Oregon Education Service District that brings together regional partners from all levels of education, health care, mental health care, human services, public safety and workforce development with a shared mission to promote wellness, academic and life success for children, youth and families.
Southern Oregon Success has evolved into a collective impact initiative that uses information from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study to raise awareness of trauma as a root cause of struggle in our region. Buckley became a Certified Master Trainer in the curriculum in 2017, and trainings are offered by the team at no cost.
Thanks to Southern Oregon Success, RCC has certified ACEs trainers and implemented in-house training for all Student Services employees and others interested in creating a safe and supportive environment for learning.
Under Buckley’s leadership, Southern Oregon Success recently established the goal that by 2025, all parents and caregivers in Jackson and Josephine counties will have the knowledge, skills, connections and support needed for all of our children to enter kindergarten ready to thrive.
Buckley was recognized with the 2021 Outstanding Citizen Award as part of RCC’s 50th Commencement. A video with highlights of the June 19 ceremony as well as pre-recorded remarks by President Kemper-Pelle and others will be released in the coming weeks.