About the Bend Learning Center

Mike Marshall, M.Ed.

Mike Marshall has a passion for working with kids, be it on the ski slopes, soccer field, or classroom setting. As a licensed teacher in Oregon, Mike is excited about bringing his vast knowledge about how to engage, inspire and excite students to reach their full potential to his practice at The Bend Learning Center where he will be providing reading intervention as well as executive function coaching. Mike is acutely aware of the impact a learning disability can have on a child as he watched his own son struggle to learn to read. His son began having meltdowns before kindergarten and his once happy-go-lucky child took on a dark cloud. Mike and his wife brought their son to Sanford Shapiro at The Bend Learning Center. Their son not only began to read, but his transformation into a confident learner that 12 years later continues, compelled Mike to shift gears to become a classroom teacher.

Mike completed his Masters of Arts in teaching in 2010 and is identified as a highly qualified teacher for grades K-6th. He has a strong foundation in working with youth, which he has done for the past 30 years guiding raft trips for Sun Country, teaching skiing at Mt Bachelor and coaching for the Mount Bachelor Ski and Education Foundation. For the last 15 years Mike has been the “go to” instructor for taking active, challenging, and sometimes misunderstood 8-10 year old skiers and, with a strong understanding of their developmental needs shaped them into solid racers. Mike’s appreciation of the diverse learning and behavior profiles of his skiers fostered his curiosity about positive behavior management, social/emotional growth and learning disabilities which has paved the way for his journey to The Bend Learning Center.

Since 2010 Mike has been a sought after substitute teacher. His choice in subbing was a family decision, allowing him the freedom to meet his two son’s needs while his wife Sondra, worked full time. Mike eagerly sought out opportunity to work with students with learning differences and found success in connecting with them and engaging their learning curiosity. There is nothing Mike gets more thrilled about than seeing a student who has struggled, light up with excitement as he/she has achieved something that felt out of reach, including having a teacher treat him or her with dignity, respect and kindness. In fact, as important as using evidenced based instruction is, Mike believes that the teacher-student and teacher-parent relationships are of the utmost importance and necessary before any learning will take place.

Working with parents is critical as they are at the “point of performance” and need to feel confident in understanding their child’s uniqueness as well as how to help and advocate for him or her in the school setting. As a reading specialist Mike will educate parents about the underpinnings of reading disorders (such as dyslexia) as well as offer things they should (or perhaps in some cases should not) do with their child at home. As an executive function coach, Mike will work together with parent and child to assist them in establishing systems at home that will make doing things such as chores and homework more successful (which have been tried out on his own two children and definitely work!).

Mike and his family have lived in Bend since 1999, and while he took an 8 year sabbatical to Utah to meet his wife (who is also a partner at BLC), he has been a part of the Bend Community since 1980. Mike and his wife are eager to meet your family, help identify your needs and offer a continuum of services to ensure your child’s full potential is met.


Sondra Marshall, Ph.D.

Dr. Marshall has been a licensed psychologist in Oregon for 15 years. She has also worked as a French teacher, school counselor and school psychologist in the Bend LaPine Schools. Dr. Marshall completed her doctorate in Educational Psychology at The University of Utah in 1997. She worked under Dr. Sam Goldstein, internationally known researcher and expert in ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Autism, as well as Dr. Sally Ozonoff, a renowned expert in autism who is an endowed chair at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute.

Dr. Marshall has an extensive pediatric neuropsychology background, which she will be using to provide learning disability evaluations at the Bend Learning Center. Dr. Marshall will also be available for consultation to assist BLC providers in their work with clients. Oregon License #1443


Sanford Shapiro Founder

Sanford Shapiro, educational consultant and learning disabilities specialist, founded the Bend Learning Center in the summer of 2005.  Sanford’s  mission was to bring high quality educational and family services to Central Oregon for children and adults with learning differences.  From a career built as a teacher, teacher trainer, and independent school director, Sanford understood that children and adults with learning differences need both exceptional teaching and personal mentorship built on evidence, research and relational excellence.  Balancing research driven instruction with intuition and a deep understanding of social/emotional/motivation success is the formula to help children thrive.

Sanford Shapiro has over 25 years of experience as a learning and learning specialist, a therapeutic education leader, serving as an expert on disability matters and therapeutic education. Sanford has been a sought after consultant in areas that bridge the two disciplines. As a reading specialist trained by experts in Orton-Gillingham based approaches, the mission of the Bend Learning Center has always been to help children succeed in school by building basic skills, motivation through self-efficacy.  It was with excitement and pride that when Sanford and his wife decided to relocate to South America, he was able to extend this legacy to Mike Marshall and his wife and partner, Dr. Sondra Marshall.  Sanford stays involved in educational consulting and continues to advise families and schools.


Mandy Peoples

Mandy Peoples came to teaching the hard way: after several years as a corporate lawyer in New York and San Francisco. Once she began tutoring kids in East Palo Alto, the sun shone again and she decided to quit her day job to pursue a teaching credential. Since she had already attended highly competitive schools (Rhodes College, B.A., 1996; The College of William and Mary School of Law, 2002), every one warned her that she would be bored senseless with her teaching credential coursework. But the warnings could not have been more false: Mandy was blown away by Drs. Jonathon Lovell and Mary Warner, and the care they took mentoring their future teachers. After learning the particulars of what makes a worthwhile teacher, Mandy began teaching at Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, California, running the drama program and a few sections of honors freshmen English. When she and her husband moved to Bend in 2010, she soon found a job at Summit High School, running their drama program until her son Miles was born in January 2013.

Mandy is learning first hand how strained a parent-child relationship can get when parents seek to teach their own children (I know my son doesn’t talk that way to his teachers, so why with me??). She also knows that the teachers in our schools are overwhelmed with class sizes and simply haven’t the time to give writers the individual attention they need to hone their skills. She is enthusiastically jumping into the Bend Learning Center’s team to work with young writers who want to maximize their ability to communicate through the written word.