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 Shemia Fagan
Shemia Fagan is Oregon’s 28th Secretary of State, a position she was first elected to in 2020. In her role, Secretary Fagan oversees an agency that is critical to ensuring Oregonians can participate in their democracy, protecting the state's scarce resources, helping facilitate the creation and maintenance of small businesses, and building an awareness of the whole story of Oregon.
Prior to serving as Secretary of State, Fagan, who is a civil rights attorney, served as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2013 until 2017, and a member of the Oregon Senate from 2019 until 2020. During her time in the Legislature, Secretary Fagan was an active proponent of expanding access to the ballot, including helping to pass Oregon’s landmark Motor Voter Law and National Popular Vote and working to strengthen the nation’s most successful vote-by-mail system. She has also been a key ally in protecting the rights of Oregonians of all walks of life, advancing affordable housing legislation, and ensuring economic opportunity is afforded to every corner of Oregon.
A lifelong Oregonian, Secretary Fagan is the mother of two young children.
State Board Advisors
Superintendent Advisor Heidi Sipe
Heidi Sipe serves as the Superintendent of the Umatilla School District. Born and raised in Eastern Washington, she began her work in Eastern Oregon in 2000 and has developed a deep passion for rural education, especially for students of poverty and emerging bilingual students. She believes that rural students have limitless potential but are often restricted by reduced access to resources. To counter this, Sipe is committed to After-School and STEAM programming to help students gain access to new ideas and develop interests in their communities, and beyond.
Sipe previously chaired the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, served on the Oregon Taskforce on School Funding and the Oregon Educator Advancement Council. She is currently one of two Oregon representatives on the Governance Board for AASA (the national School Superintendents Association) and she remains active in COSA (the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators). Sipe took a leave of absence from Umatilla to serve as the Assistant Superintendent for the Oregon Department of Education in fall of 2012 where she oversaw the Office of Educational Improvement and Innovation before returning to her district in spring of 2013.
Heidi received her Bachelors of Arts in Reading from Eastern Washington University and her administrative credentials and Ed.S in Educational Leadership from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Sipe is married to a fellow educator and has two grown children, who are also educators.
School Board Advisor Brandy Penner
Brandy Penner serves as the Newberg School Board chair and represents Yamhill and Polk counties on the Oregon School Board Association board of directors. As a board member, she strives to serve every student in the region by listening, learning, and advocating for students’ needs. She strongly believes in public education as a foundation for democracy.
Brandy is a small farm owner, married, mom of three in addition to her board service. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University and supporting her 8th, 5th, and 3rd graders in distance learning. Being a parent gives her perspective on her constituent experiences in real-time. She is a proud graduate of Washington State University, where she majored in social work. She carries these experiences with her in every situation and is a firm believer that everyone has strengths to build upon.
Penner is passionate about equity in education and ending the opportunity gap for all students across the state. She brings a rural perspective to the state board and believes that all students deserve to learn in safe and supportive schools. She works to that end by serving on the Newberg School Board’s Equity committee, Policy committee, the NPS School-Based Health Clinic committee, and the OSBA Policy committee.
State Board Student Advisors
Yosalin Arenas Alvarez
Yosalin Arenas Alvarez is a proud Latina senior at South Medford High School. She served as the Student Body President last year and is now on to her second term. As the Student Body President she aims to create a united, inclusive and accepting atmosphere for all students. She strongly believes in listening, understanding, and observing before taking action.
Having a family of seven has taught her the importance of creating change with the help of the recipients that are impacted by the situation. She is a full time student dedicated to helping others, while still participating in many other community activities. These activities/events consist of hosting blood drives, setting up meetings with local and federal legislators through the Capitol Ambassadors program and TRiO Talent Search Program, and being part of the committee of S.T.A.R (a civil rights and equity committee for school activities).
Her involvement in these programs and committees have enabled her to become a mediator as a voice for her community. Her dedication and commitment to helping others feel included and safe will continue to be the fuel for her growth in knowledge. Yosalin Arenas Alvarez looks forward to continuing her work as a Student Advisor on the State Board of Education.
Mahina Novoa, a current senior at Clackamas High School, was born in Santa Clara, California to a single teen mom. She is proud to be multi-racial, a combination of Salvadorian, Hawaiian, Philipino, Native American, and Mexican. Mahina spent her childhood battling homelessness, moving throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona; from shelters, to friends and family members’ couches, to motels. Despite these obstacles, she was focused on getting out of poverty and creating a better future.
When reconnecting with a former Principal on social media, she was offered the opportunity to finish high school in Oregon under her care. At 16, she left Arizona with her life packed away in three suitcases and moved to Oregon on her own. She maintains a 3.7 GPA, has won several 1st place Speech and Debate awards in Poetry and Prose, and is her high school’s Student Body Co-Vice President. She is also a National Honor Society member, and, most importantly, an active advocate for students of color, equity, and diversity education.