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 on the Newberg School Board 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, the NPS School-Based Health Clinic committee, and the OSBA Policy committee.
Teacher Advisor Monica Bergmann Perez
Monica Bergmann Perez was born and raised in Western Massachusetts in a bilingual/bicultural home. Given her roots, she is passionate about celebrating diversity and holds a special interest in serving and empowering marginalized individuals and communities through racial and social equity work. She believes in the power of experiential education and of fostering growth through connection and trust.
She has worked in Oregon since 2007 as a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist. Currently she is employed as a Regional Bilingual Support Specialist in Central Oregon for the High Desert ESD where she also participates in the Learning and Resources Equity Workgroup. She also served as adjunct faculty at OSU Cascades in the Tourism Recreation and Adventure Leadership Program.
Monica received her BS in Exercise Science and MA in Communication Disorders from UMASS Amherst. She lives in Bend and enjoys all the outdoors have to offer. An avid whitewater kayaker, Monica holds certification as a Whitewater Kayaking Instructor Trainer and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor through the American Canoe Association. She participates in the Oregon Education Association Equity Sparks program as well as the Mediation Network. Monica has been invited to participate in OCEE Coaching for Educational Equity, OEA Coaching for Empowerment, and NEA Leaders for Just Schools.
State Board Student Advisors
"Hello everyone! My name is Rachelle Zavalza-Arellano and I am currently a senior at South Salem High School. I am a part of the Salem-Keizer school district where I participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and various service opportunities. I am a proud Latina and First-Gen student. Therefore, I look forward to bringing my perspective into this position. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for everyone and what the SBE and advisors will accomplish this year!"
Jackson Weinberg (He/She) is a senior at Cleveland High School participating in the full IB diploma program. Jackson is the 2021-22 Student Representative to the PPS Board of Education, and in that role has served on the Policy, Audit, and Budget subcommittees of the board. He is also the Co-Executive Director of Policy, Research, and Operations for Oregon Student Voice. OSV is a youth-led nonprofit empowering all students to be active agents in shaping their K-12 education. Jackson is also the secretary for ShuRen of Portland which is a Portland-based nonprofit supporting the Mandarin dual language program at Woodstock, Hosford, and Cleveland. Lastly, Jackson is a member of the Restorative Justice Coalition of Oregon whose mission is to promote and support the implementation and practice of restorative justice principles and models in Oregon. In his free time, she loves to read fantasy novels, swim, and hang out with friends.