Guadalupe Martinez Zapata, Chair
6th Congressional District
Term: 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2024
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.
Shimiko Montgomery, 2nd Vice-Chair
5th Congressional District
Term: 9/28/22 - 6/30/26
Shimiko began her career as a school counselor on the Micronesian island of Saipan in the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. She has worked at the elementary and high school levels and found deep joy supporting and caring for students and their families. Upon moving to Oregon over 10 years ago, Shimiko has continued to be a passionate advocate for kids. Through community organizing and activism as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she has been involved in efforts aimed at hunger prevention, eliminating homelessness, gun violence prevention, immigrant rights, and healthcare access. In 2019, Shimiko was publicly elected to a 4-year term on the school board at Bend-La Pine Schools, Oregon’s 5th largest school district. Her tenure included establishing policies to advance equity and anti-racism, implementing system wide trauma informed and culturally responsive practices, increasing social-emotional supports, passing a $250 million bond, building cross-agency collaborations, and helping lead the district through the COVID-19 pandemic.
She also holds an appointed position in the Oregon Health Authority on the Metrics and Scoring Committee that determines outcomes and quality measures in the CCO Quality Incentive Program. She has provided leadership on a number of nonprofit boards and currently serves on the board of the Compact of Free Association Alliance National Network 501(c)4, which provides legislative advocacy for Pacific Islanders from Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands across the U.S.
Shimiko is a proud Marshallese from Mili Atoll, born in the Marshall Islands when they were still a US Trust Territory. She has spent her life living across the Micronesian islands and around the world, including Nepal, Indonesia, and across the United States, and has happily settled in Bend, Oregon with her husband to raise their three kids.
3rd Congressional District
Term: 10/5/2023 – 6/30/2024; 7/1/2024 - 6/30/2028
Email: Libra Forde
As a former athlete and business owner, Libra champions elite personal behavior. She uses her education and elite athletic experiences to cultivate thought partnerships that is actionable, manageable, and sustainable. In addition, over 25 years corporate, racial/social justice and orator experiences enable her to relate to diverse communities, professional groups, and individuals. Libra is currently the Executive Director for Women’s Foundation of Oregon, a philanthropist non-profit organization that focuses on the dismantlement of systems that impede gender and racial justice. Libra has also served as the interim Executive Director of Western States Center (WSC) and was the Chief Operating Officer for one of the largest culturally specific non-profits in Oregon.
Libra led North Clackamas School District in being the first to name a high school in Oregon after a person of color. She served as an elected member of the North Clackamas School board for which she also chaired during the pandemic. Libra has over 25 years of education advocacy experience in Hawaii and Oregon. She has led innovative education reform and structure developments to include the first active-duty military child scholarship program for transitions and hybrid charter school in Hawaii.
In addition, Libra’s volunteer work includes Executive Board member for the Maurice Lucas Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation Leadership Council and Oregon State Commission for Women. Libra is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Libra holds awards in racial/social justice, innovation, and international speech.
She is the proud solo parent of a recent college math major graduate, a current college biology student, and high school student-athlete. Libra calls her children her superpowers because they (and all children) are the impetus to her drive and success. Libra has a justice heart and systems mind ready to get the work done so we can have a place we can all be proud of beyond our existence. Someone did this for us, Libra believes we are now that “someone”.
State Board of Education members are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. Individuals interested in applying can find more information on
Oregon's Boards and Commissions Page.
Jennifer Scurlock, Vice Chair
Term: 7/1/23 - 6/30/2027
Jennifer Scurlock teaches AP English and English 11 in Eugene School District 4J. 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 and her husband have been married for 23 years and have two children.
Vicky López Sánchez
1st Congressional District
Term: 10/5/23 - 6/30/27
Email: Vicky López Sánchez
At the age of three, Vicky’s parents made the courageous decision to immigrate from Mexico to California, seeking a better life. Just two years later, they relocated to rural Washington County, where they worked tirelessly in the fields and canneries. Vicky embarked on her formal education in the United States without knowing a single word of English.
Education did not come easily to Vicky, and it wasn't until her junior year of high school that she found her stride. Her parents, who had worked tirelessly, instilled in their children the value of a strong work ethic, the belief that their sacrifices could lead to a better future, and that education was the great equalizer. Determined to honor her parents and give back to them for their unwavering support, Vicky became the first in her family to complete middle school and earn a Master's degree.
Vicky obtained her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Human Resources from Portland State University. She later pursued a Master's in Educational Leadership and Policy, driven by her personal experiences and a profound understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized and underrepresented students. With over two decades of experience in Student Affairs within the K-16 system, she has initiated, promoted, and served as a bridge to middle and high school districts and community-based organizations. Her tireless advocacy has consistently focused on underserved communities in education, with the ultimate goal of not only lifting students out of poverty but transforming the lives of their entire families.
Vicky's unwavering commitment extends to supporting those in our communities who have borne the brunt of oppression and discrimination. She recognizes the necessity of intentional efforts to advance Racial and Social Justice and understands that true progress can only be achieved by uplifting the most negatively impacted members of our society. In her mission, she aims not only to help students succeed but to create a more equitable and inclusive future for all.
2nd Congressional District
Term: 9/28/22 - 6/30/26
Gustavo is the executive director of EUVALCREE, based in Eastern Oregon, an organization that develops the social capital and leadership capacity of community members. Gustavo is appointed by Governor Kate Brown to sit on four positions as: 1) Commissioner on the Oregon Advocacy Commission-Commission on Hispanic Affairs and 2) Board Member for the Cultural Development Board for the State of Oregon-Oregon Cultural Trust, 3) Enviromental Justice Council and 4) Oregon State Board of Education. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Neuroscience emphasis from Pacific University and is completing his Master's in Business Administration from Boise State University. In addition to continuing his education and managing a non-profit organization, Gustavo works as an independent consultant supporting businesses to improve their economies of scale, strategize to develop competitive advantage and increase business visibility.
4th Congressional District
Term: 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2024
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.
Term: 10/5/2023 – 6/30/2027
Email: Cynthia Richardson
Cynthia Richardson was born into a family of educators. Her grandmother, mother and father were all teachers who inspired her to pursue a career as an educator. She is the proud mother of two sons, Prince II a graduate of Linfield College who is an educator and Princeton who attended Wayne State College and is employed by Delta Airlines. Ms. Richardson received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler, and has completed coursework towards a doctorate at the University of Oregon. Cynthia has served as an educator in Texas, Nebraska, and Oregon for the past 44 years. Cynthia joined Salem Keizer Public Schools in August 1997. Her career includes serving as a high school teacher, Administrative Assistant of Student Services, assistant principal at the middle school and high school levels, and an elementary principal. In Salem, she served as principal of Adam Stephens Middle School and was the first African American high school principal in Salem at McKay High School (7 years) and North Salem High School (7 Years). She served as the Director of Student Equity, Access, and Advancement for Salem Keizer Public Schools for six years and retired June, 2023. Ms. Richardson desired to continue to impact the lives of students after she retired. She successfully campaigned and was elected as a School Board Director for Salem Keizer Public Schools July 2023.
Ms. Richardson is the 2012 recipient of the Educator of the Year award for the Oregon Black Educator Association and the 2013 NAACP Pioneer Award recipient. She currently serves on the African American / Black Student Success Plan Advisory Committee. The Governor of Oregon appointed her to the Fair, Dismissal, and Appeals Committee in 2016. She was also appointed to the Governor’s Racial Justice Council where she serves as the co-chairperson for the Education Committee. Mrs. Richardson was also appointed to the State Board of Education, serves as the Assistant Secretary to the Tri-State Conference NAACP (AOWSAC), is a member of the Marion County Polk Foodshare Board, the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators Equity Board and is an officer for the BeBlac Foundation. Ms. Richardson is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, a lifetime PTA member and the first female and African American Deacon in the seventy-year history of People’s Church. Mrs. Richardson Received the first Lifetime of Service Award from the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators in June 2023.
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 LaVonne Griffin-Valade
LaVonne Griffin-Valade grew up in Eastern Oregon. Born in John Day, she was raised by her mill worker mother and Teamster Union truck driver father. LaVonne began her career working as an administrative assistant in the Crook County Juvenile Department. As a divorced, single mother, she later moved with her two young children to the Willamette Valley where she attended Western Oregon University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Humanities. She later earned a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University.
For over 16 years, LaVonne worked as a government performance auditor. She was hired as a Senior Management Auditor at the Multnomah County Auditor’s Office in 1998 and later went on to serve as the elected Multnomah County Auditor. In 2009, LaVonne was elected the Portland City Auditor. As the City Auditor, she oversaw several divisions requiring a high level of independence and ethical judgment from managers and staff, including government performance auditing, elections, archives, ombuds office, and additional accountability functions. Throughout her many years working as a staff auditor and then as an elected auditor, she was a member of an international committee shaping the course of local government auditing throughout the U.S. and in several Canadian jurisdictions.
After leaving office, LaVonne went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Portland State University and has since pursued a successful writing career. LaVonne’s personal essays have appeared in Oregon Humanities Magazine. Her story "Eureka" was featured in the 2019 Clackamas Literary Review, and Severn River Publishing has published her successful four-part Maggie Blackthorne mystery series set in Eastern Oregon. LaVonne lives in Northeast Portland.
State Board Advisors
Superintendent Advisor Dr. Paul E. Coakley
The Multnomah Education Service District Board of Directors selected Dr. Paul E. Coakley as Superintendent, effective July 1, 2021. Before joining MESD, Dr. Coakley served as the Superintendent of Centennial School District from 2017-2021. He has a proven track record of competence, commitment, and leadership skills in improving student growth and achievement outcomes in public schools. Dr. Coakley earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University. He was the sole recipient of PSU's Outstanding Leadership Award in 2016.
In 2017, he was awarded an Excellence in Educational Leadership Award by the National Council for Educational Administration. Dr. Coakley recently completed his certificate of Advanced Education Leadership from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.
School Board Advisor
Teacher Advisor Mona Khalil
My name is Mona Khalil. I was born in Cairo, Egypt. I spent most of my childhood in Chicago and moved to Oregon in 2003. I have a Bachelors of Arts in Education from Washington State University, a Master of Science in Education from Eastern Oregon University with a Reading Specialist endorsement, and an Elementary Mathematics Instructional Leader certificate from Western Oregon University. I have thirteen years of classroom experience, and I am currently a third grade teacher at Tigard-Tualatin School District. I have taken various leadership roles, such as being a Professional Learning Community team leader, and am currently a part of the Colleagues of Color Tigard-Tualatin Leadership team. In 2019 and 2020, I was an OEA Educator Empowerment Academy Member. Our work focused on trauma informed practices in order to help the emotional regulation of students. In 2020 and 2021, I was an OEA Empowerment Academy Coach. During the pandemic, I coached a team in the Newberg School District to aid in increasing student engagement and participation in an equitable way during online learning. My experiences in public schools as well as having children of my own inspired my motivation to be an educator, and make changes to a system I knew could be difficult to navigate as a minority.
State Board Student Advisors
Betzaida Rodriguez Nolasco
Biography coming soon
Biography coming soon