Our Board


Melissa Levesque, a Prineville native, works as a Registered Nurse at St. Charles in Prineville. She also serves as the Vice President of the Crooked River Elementary PTA and actively works with 4H. She enjoys golfing, scrapbooking and spending time with her family. Melissa and her husband Nick have 3 children: Zachary, Mia and Madison. She believes that the programs of Central Oregon Youth Development are great assets to the community and that they make a positive impact on our youth. She enjoys serving on the Board to help ensure the success of these programs. Melissa has been a Board member since 2015.


Kathy Knower is originally from Fresno, CA and arrived in Prineville in 1988 after spending 9 years in Corvallis. She has invested most of her life in children: raising four of her own, volunteering for 20 years as the site coordinator for the SMART program at Crooked River Elementary, and serving faithfully in the Children’s Ministry at her church. Kathy and her husband, Dr. Michael Knower, have also frequently opened their home to students and volunteer staff of Peak7 Adventures and Rotary. Kathy became involved with Central Oregon Youth Development because it was a good compliment to her work with SMART. Since joining the board in 2015, Kathy’s focus has centered around After the Bell, which finds her interacting with many of the same students in both programs. She believes in the value of giving students safe, welcoming places to be after school, while also helping them learn to make good choices. In her free time, Kathy enjoys reading, gardening, being outside, and being involved in her church.


Duke Klein was born and raised in La Grande, Oregon and graduated from Oregon State University in Wildlife Science. He began his career in the Peace Corps in Central America, where he met his wife, Kate, whom he married in 1980. Duke recently retired as a wildlife biologist after 28 years with the U.S. Forest Service. He has three grown children, all of whom are happily married and have blessed him with two grandsons and a baby granddaughter. Duke moved to Prineville in 2011 and enjoys most things outdoors: hiking, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and playing tennis. He enjoys serving in his church in the sound booth, and hopes to become more involved in mission projects. In the past he has been actively involved in Little League and 4-H, as well as youth and missions programs, having gone on missions with Mfuge, Casas por Cristo, World Changers and to the Navajo Nation. In working with youth, Duke has come to believe in something that he read years ago: “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” Duke believes that so many children and young adults in the world need to know that they are valued, which is what Central Oregon Youth Development expresses through their programs, leadership and volunteers. Duke joined the Board in 2016.


Kate Klein grew up in southeast Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Forestry. She served as a forester in the Peace Corps in Honduras, where she met her future husband, Duke, whom she married in 1980. She then began working for the Forest Service in Michigan, with subsequent stints in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon. After moving to Prineville in 2011, she retired in January 2015 as the Forest Supervisor for the Ochoco National Forest & Crooked River National Grassland. Kate & Duke have three grown children, two grandsons, and a granddaughter (due in August 2016). Kate & Duke are often on the road visiting their children in either Arizona or Montana. Kate enjoys being outdoors: gardening, biking, hiking, playing tennis, identifying wildflowers, and hunting. She also likes to sew and read. Over the years, Kate has been a girls’ softball and basketball coach, a Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor, and a children’s leader at church. In addition to her involvement on the Central Oregon Youth Development Board, Kate serves in the sound booth at her church, volunteers at the Pregnancy Resource Center, serves as a mentor through the Aspire Program at the High School, and is a member of the Prineville Quilt Guild. Kate believes that it is important for young people to have safe and enjoyable places to be, and to be around positive, adult role models who love and protect them. She believes that COYDI offers these kinds of programs, and hopes that she will be able to contribute to the success and growth of this organization. Kate joined the Board in 2016.


David Carne was born in Roseburg, Oregon and lives in Prineville with his wife, Kristi, and their four children. David enjoys teaching Sunday School, running, cycling, hiking, and whatever his children are doing. As a general surgeon, David plays an important part in the health of the community. He is also very interested in supporting the youth of Crook County through the goals of Central Oregon Youth Development, Inc.


Katy Joyce grew up in rural southeastern Oregon, and has lived in Prineville with her husband and three children for almost 5 years. Katy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness from Eastern Oregon University, and works as the 4-H program Coordinator in the Crook County Extension office. She brings to the Board many years of experience working with youth from a variety of backgrounds. During her free time, she enjoys keeping up with her three children in their many pursuits, cooking, reading and hunting. Her involvement in the Central Oregon Youth Development board stems from a desire to support and work toward meeting the needs of the youth in our community. Katy joined the Board in 2016.

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Suzy Yecha originally hails from Newberg, Oregon and has lived in Prineville for 5 years. Suzy teaches reading intervention and alternative education at the Pioneer school and enjoys reading, quilting, running, and spending time with her family. Suzy “loves kids and the adults who have chosen to work with them” and helps conduct Central Oregon Youth Development Inc’s volunteer training.

Amy Hicks