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State Board Members

State Board Members

Anthony VelizAnthony Veliz, Chair

5th Congressional District

Term: 3/15/17-3/14/21

The son of farmworkers, Veliz has always understood the importance of an education. He carried his passion from the classroom to the community where he lives and works today. In the beginning Veliz served as a former school board and city councilor where he earned the trust of the community and worked with diversity, he then became the Director of Parent & Community Relations for the Woodburn School District.

Veliz has an array of work experiences in both the public and private sectors. His work as the former Community Relations Manager for the Beaverton based giant NIKE provided him both local and national perspectives. As the Director of College Access Programs while at Chemeketa Community College, Veliz was able to assist first generation, low-income and migrant students.

Today, Veliz is the founder of the annual Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast and Networkin’it, a diversity and inclusion professional after-hour networking event. Anthony earned a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Portland State University in Portland, OR.

Kimberly HowardKimberly Howard, Vice-Chair

3rd Congressional District

Term: 7/1/16 - 6/30/20

Kimberly Howard heads Education Initiatives as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility Team at Portland General Election and serves as Program Officer for the PGE Foundation. Prior to coming to PGE Kimberly was the Trust manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust for five years, managing director at Portland’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center before that and education/outreach director for Artists Repertory Theatre. She current serves on the boards of The Center for Performance and Civic Practice, Portland Playhouse and Oregon Humanities. She has previously served on the board of Business for Culture & the Arts and currently represents Oregon on the Western States Arts Federation's Regional Multi-cultural Advisory Committee. Other committee work includes the CTE-STEM Employer Coalition, Oregon Learns and the Ninth Grade Counts Taskforce for All Hands Raised. Howard is an accomplished actress, with credits in New York, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and several Portland theaters. She has been an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre for several years and received a Drammy Award (Portland’s version of the Tony Award) for her work in its production of Tartuffe: The Visitor. After attending Wellesley College, Howard received her BA from Pacific Union College, where she majored in business. She holds an MFA in acting from Columbia University and has taught theater at Walla Walla University.

Board Member Modesta Minthorn

Modesta Minthorn, Second Vice-Chair

At Large Member

Term: 9/26/16 - 6/30/20

Modesta Minthorn is currently serves as the Education Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and has worked for the Education Department for 16 years. Prior to becoming the Education Director she worked as the Tribal Linguist where she was a licensed Umatilla/Walla Walla/Weyiletpu Language Instructor for 10 years.

Modesta received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1993 and Masters of Arts in Linguistics in 2005 from the University of Oregon. 

George RussellGeorge Russell

At Large Member

Term: 7/1/16 - 6/30/20

George Russell was the Superintendent of the Eugene Public Schools 4J in Eugene, Oregon from March 1998 to July 2011. His educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Social Psychology from Howard University in Washington, DC; a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Golden Gate University in San Francisco; and additional graduate work in education policy and administration from the University of Oregon. Additionally, he completed the Superintendent Leadership Program (SLP) at Harvard University, a collaborative project between the Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Education and has served as a mentor superintendent for the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Urban Superintendents Program and on the advisory board. Mr. Russell previously served on the Oregon Quality Education Commission, and the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board and continues to serve on a number of community boards. He has received numerous community and professional awards, and was recognized as Oregon Superintendent of the Year for 2005.

Jerome ColonaJerome Colonna

2nd Congressional District

Term: 07/01/18 - 06/30/22

Jerome Colonna recently retired from a long career in public education after serving as Superintendent of the Beaverton and Redmond School Districts and as Director of Secondary Education for the Eugene School District. Prior to working in administration he was a high and middle school science teacher in Alaska, California and Oregon.

Mr. Colonna was on the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators, was President of Education Northwest (Ed.NW) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) and Chair of the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. He is a past recipient of Oregon’s Superintendent of the Year.

He lives in Bend with his wife, Linda, who is a retired science teacher. His daughter, Ann, works for Oregon State University’s Food Innovation Center. Currently Mr. Colonna is a part-time education consultant for COSA, Ed.NW and school districts in Oregon.

Charles MartinezCharles R. Martinez, Jr.

4th Congressional District
Term: 7/1/17-6/30/21

Dr. Charles R. Martinez, Jr. is a clinical psychologist, professor, and department head in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership at the University of Oregon, where he also directs the Center for Equity Promotion. He served as the University of Oregon Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity from 2005 to 2011, and also served as a senior scientist at the non-profit Oregon Social Learning Center where he founded and directed the center’s Latino Research Team beginning in 1999. He has served as a publicly elected member of the Eugene, District 4J School Board and is currently serving as a Governor appointed member of the Oregon State Board of Education representing Oregon's 4th congressional district.

His substantive interests center on identifying factors that promote healthy adjustment for families and children following stressful life events, (e.g. changes in family structure, socioeconomic status, physical and/or emotional health, acculturation, and immigration status), taking into consideration the cultural contexts in which families operate. He has led numerous NIH and internationally funded research projects designed to examine risk and protective factors involved in linking acculturation to education and behavioral health outcomes for Latino children and families and to develop and test culturally specific interventions for at-risk families in the U.S. and in Latin America. His main areas of published work include substantive and methodological topics related to cultural issues in prevention science, Latino education and behavioral health disparities, links between acculturation and discrimination on substance use and academic failure prevention, culturally specific family based interventions, the role of biosocial stress markers on family outcomes, and family process. He is a nationally known consultant on organizational diversity issues, cross-cultural research, and community engagement.  He teaches courses in equity, multicultural education, leading for diversity, prevention science, and Latino family health and education. Dr. Martinez has received numerous national, state, and local awards for his work, including the “Community, Culture, and Prevention Science Award” and the “International Collaborative Prevention Research Award” from the Society for Prevention Research.

Ex Officio Board Members

Secretary of State Dennis RichardsonSecretary of State
Dennis Richardson

SOS Board Designee Kim Sordyl

Dennis Michael Richardson is Oregon’s 26th Secretary of State.
Born July 30, 1949, Dennis grew up with the core belief we all have an obligation to serve our community and be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.

As a young man Dennis deployed to Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot in the Army. His service engrained the values of courage, commitment and leadership for a lifetime. After his military service, Dennis married his wife Cathy and attained a Bachelor’s of Arts and law degree from Brigham Young University before settling in Central Point, Oregon.

Married 43 years, Dennis and Cathy are parents to nine children and volunteer their time mentoring job-seekers and serving on the Board of ACCESS, the Community Action Agency of Jackson County.

Secretary Richardson practiced law for three decades and first held public office on the Central Point city council in 2000. He then served six terms in the State Legislature from 2002-2014, rising to a leadership position on the Joint Ways & Means Committee, where he successfully led the state out of a $3.5 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. That biennium concluded with the largest ending-fund balance in state history.

State Treasurer Tobias ReadState Treasurer
Tobias Read

Oregon's 29th State Treasurer

Tobias worked in the U.S. Treasury and as a liaison between designers, engineers and manufacturing units for Nike Inc. In 2006, he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives, where he served a decade and championed legislation to invest in public education, improve state financial management, finance critical infrastructure, and to help Oregonians save for a more secure future. He was elected Speaker Pro Tempore and earned the chairmanship of the Committee on Higher Education, Innovation, and Workforce Development.

As a legislative leader, he pushed to strengthen the state’s rainy day fund, which was a key factor that helped the state to earn a credit rating upgrade in 2011. He also helped lead the coalition that ultimately approved full-day kindergarten, underscoring that one of Oregon’s best possible investments is in our kids.  

In 2015, he was a chief sponsor of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, which will be the first operating state-sponsored retirement program when it launches in mid-2017. The plan will enroll Oregon workers who lack access to a retirement savings option through their employers.

Tobias earned his bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and his MBA from the University of Washington. He has been a volunteer for Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), a youth sports coach, a member of the Willamette University Athletic Director's Advisory Board, and a founding board member of Hoopla, Oregon's largest three-on-three charity basketball tournament. 

He lives in Beaverton with his wife Heidi and their two children.

State Board Advisors

Superintendent Advisor Dr. Gustavo Balderas

Dr. Gustavo Balderas is the superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon. He became the district’s 23rd superintendent in 2015.

Dr. Balderas began his life as the child of migrant farm workers in eastern Oregon and developed his love of learning and passion for education in Oregon public schools, from kindergarten through his doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon.

Dr. Balderas has been an educator for more than 25 years. He started his career in education as a high school teacher and counselor in the Hillsboro School District. He moved on to elementary and middle school administrative roles and then served as an area executive director overseeing a cluster of K–12 schools and coordinating district curriculum, as well as serving as an assistant superintendent of support services, also all in the Hillsboro School District.

His career highlights include improving equity and cultural proficiency in the state’s K–12 instruction through the Oregon Leadership Network and the Oregon State Action for Educational Leadership Project, and developing equity systems around instruction, student behavior and hiring practices in the school districts where he has worked. Dr. Balderas was appointed to serve on the Oregon State Board of Education in 2018.
Being engaged with the community is important to Dr. Balderas, and he serves on several local and state educational and civic boards to develop and grow community partnerships. In addition to serving on the Oregon State Board of Education, he is a board member of the Oregon Department of Education English Learner Advisory Group, Connected Lane County and Early Learning Alliance. Dr. Balderas also is a volunteer consulting superintendent for national organizations, the Educational Research and Development Institute and the Suburban School Superintendents. He is the co-founder, past president and current board member of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators.

Dr. Balderas also serves on the boards of United Way of Lane County, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Community Health Board. He collaborates with other government agencies, area businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the highest quality of education and care for students.

State Board Student Advisors

Kudzai Kapurura

Student Advisor Kudzai KapururaMy name is Kudzai Kapurura and I am a senior at South Salem High School.

One of my biggest passions is equity which is why I am a member of the Salem Keizer Superintendent's Student Equity Committee which works toward diversity and equity and inclusion in the Salem Keizer school district. I also have a passion for inclusion which I was able to exclaim in my TED Talk which was about the dangers of prejudice which leads to negative stigma.

My future plans are to go to college and major in economics. As I continue to grow and go on to college, and as I participate on the board, one of my biggest hopes for education is to one day see equity practiced freely in order to create paths to success for all students.

Azure Sensabaugh

Student Advisor Azure Sensabaugh

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