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State Board Members

Kimberly Howard, Chair

3rd Congressional District
Term: 7/1/16 - 6/30/20
Email: Kimberly Howard

Kimberly Howard heads Education Initiatives as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility Team at Portland General Electric 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 currently 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.

Guadalupe Martinez Zapata, Vice Chair

At Large Member
Term: 12/17/18 - 6/30/2020
Email: Guadalupe Martinez

Guadalupe Martinez Zapata is one of six siblings and the daughter of working-class parents with the highest aspirations and regard for education and civism. Guadalupe inherited this love and commitment to education and service and has made a life-long career of creating pathways of accessibility and equity for nontraditional student populations. Her firsthand experience, as well as being the parent of an underrepresented college student, has strengthened her advocacy for parents and students of color.

Guadalupe has been a college instructor at several institutions of higher education in Oregon for the past 19 years. She has served as full-time faculty in the counseling department at Clackamas Community College since 2000, as well as teaching Chicanx/Latinx studies at Portland Community College and Portland State University. Prior to instruction, Guadalupe worked in student services administration at Oregon State University, University of Oregon and California State University, Chico.

Guadalupe led the Oregon Leadership Institute for Latinx youth in the Clackamas Community College service district for seven years, graduating over 100 young leaders and providing peer and academic mentoring to each, as well as at PCC during the 2015-2016 academic year. She has been invited to speak and conduct trainings on issues of Latinx history, Chicana feminism, equity and access to higher education at a number of local and regional conferences, including the Cesar Chavez Leadership Conference, The Student Success and Retention Conference, TedxPacificUWomen Talk and the Women of Color Community Empowerment Conference at PCC, Rock Creek. Lupita, as her mother insisted people call her, served on the Oregon State University Alumni Association Board and the Clackamas County OSU Extension Board.

Ms. Martinez obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oregon State University.

Bridgett Wheeler, 2nd Vice Chair

Term: 9/23/19 - 6/30/2020
Email: Bridgett Wheeler 

Bridgett Wheeler is an enrolled member of the Coquille Indian Tribe and the current director of the Tribe’s education, culture, heritage and learning programs. In this role she works to develop and enhance their priority areas of education and culture. Bridgett has worked for the Tribe for 18 years in a number of capacities, including social services where she served as an advocate in multiple Department of Human Services’ advisory groups. She enjoys the opportunity to develop and shape policy- her true passion. 

Bridgett is a fervent advocate for the underrepresented, especially relating to needs for the Native American population. She understands the biases and issues that face minority populations, even those that cannot be studied, understood or articulated.

Bridgett holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with the majority of her undergraduate courses in elementary education. She has lived within the Oregon Coquille River Valley watershed most of her life where her ancestors resided for thousands of years. She has four children and co-owns a small construction company with her husband in Myrtle Point, Oregon.

Jerome Colonna

2nd Congressional District
Term: 07/01/18- 06/30/22
Email: Jerome Colonna

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 strategic planning consultant for school districts in Oregon.

George Russell

At Large Member
Term: 7/1/16 - 6/30/20
Email: George Russell

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.

Jennifer Scurlock

At Large Member
Term: 9/23/19 - 6/30/2023
Email: Jennifer Scurlock

Jennifer Scurlock teaches AP English and English 11 at Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon. A leader in her union at the local, state, and national level, Scurlock is the Minority Affairs Director (MAD) for Eugene Education Association and serves as a Director on both the Oregon Education Association (OEA) and the National Education Association (NEA) Boards. Her passion for racial and social justice is reflected in her work conducting symposia and trainings for educators and community members. She is the recipient of the OEA Excellence in Education Award (2017) and was recently nominated for the 2019 ACE Award for “demonstrating an outstanding commitment to excellence in education.” Jennifer holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Development and a bachelor’s in English and Ethnic Studies (minor) from the University of Oregon. She has been married for 22 years to John Scurlock and has two children, Donovan and Makayla.

Anthony Veliz

5th Congressional District
Term: 3/15/17-3/14/21
Email: Anthony Veliz

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.

Ex Officio Board Members

State 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.

Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Secretary of State Bev Clarno is a third-generation Oregonian with a diverse professional career and historic tenure in Oregon elected politics. She was the first woman Republican Speaker of the House and the first Republican woman to serve as her party’s leader in the Oregon State Senate. She was the first woman to hold leadership positions in both the Oregon House and Senate.

Secretary Clarno had been a hog farmer and cattle rancher, real estate broker and appraiser among other occupations before her election in 1988 to the Oregon House of Representatives. She was re-elected three times, serving as Speaker of the House from 1995-1997. She was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2000 and served as Senate Republican Leader in the 2003 session.

During her tenure in the legislature, Secretary Clarno was known as a leader on issues of importance to rural Oregonians, farmers and ranchers and children. She supported a strong state auditing function as spending tax dollars effectively and efficiently was a priority for her out of her respect for hard-working Oregonians.

Secretary Clarno served as Speaker when there was a large Republican majority, and even with that majority, she was a leader focused on getting things done for Oregon. She was always willing to work across party lines to get results. During her tenure in the Oregon Senate, the Chamber had a 15-15 Republican-Democrat split, and the Democratic leader at the time was then State Senator Kate Brown.

Secretary Clarno resigned from the Senate in August, 2003 to accept an appointment from President George W. Bush to serve as the Region 10 Director for the US Department of Health and Human Services.

A dedicated community volunteer, Secretary Clarno has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Oregon Historical Society, the Maryhill Museum, Deschutes River Conservancy Board, the Deschutes County Fair and Expo, the Central Oregon Community College Foundation, and the Redmond Chamber of Commerce.

Clarno is a Redmond High School graduate and has a Bachelor of Arts from Marylhurst University. While her children were young, she was an active parent, serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Co-leader and Sunday School teacher. She was also active in 4-H and FFA.

Secretary Clarno is married to Ray Clarno. Her family includes four adult children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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.

Teaching Advisor Alyssa Nestler

Alyssa Nestler is a K-5 Literacy Specialist in the Springfield Public School District. Her other teaching experience includes teaching first and second grade, as well as being an early childhood education teacher, as well as a home visitor with Head Start of Lane County.

Alyssa holds a Master’s of Arts in Early Childhood Education, as well as Master’s of Education with a Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement to her professional license.

Alyssa has wanted to be a public school teacher since being inspired by her own fourth and fifth grade teacher when she was a student in the Springfield School District, where she is now an educator. Alyssa feels that public education is essential to a healthy democracy. She is dedicated to ensuring every student has a quality education, regardless of their zip code. She is passionate about working to achieve equitable resources for every community to ensure students have the opportunities they need to be successful.

Creating leadership opportunities that act as a platform for teachers to advocate for the best interests of their students is incredibly important to Alyssa. Alyssa has served on several Oregon Education Association cadres, cabinets, think tanks, and workgroups. In addition, she holds leadership roles in her local education association and school district. Alyssa is also looking forward to using her background as an early childhood educator to inform potential conversations regarding quality preschool and early intervention.

State Board Student Advisors

Lauren Nguyen

Roshun Sunder

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