OEA Officers & Board of Directors

About Your OEA Board of Directors

John Larson
OEA President

High School English Teacher
Hermiston School District

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Professionalism
It is through the quality of instruction that our students will benefit.  All of the core values boil down to professionalism, and OEA must lead the profession through our collective expertise.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Jean Steale
My senior English teacher was responsible for teaching me how to effectively write and organize my thoughts.  Her passion for words and the use of the English language was infectious.


Reed Scott-Schwalbach
OEA Vice President

High School Spanish Teacher
Centennial School District

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Lifelong Learning
Life is not static.  Our ability to grow and learn keeps us in pace with our students, who are also not static.  Just like I challenge my students to try, learn something new, and keep growing, so I challenge myself.  There is always something new to discover and explore.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Anne Winebrenner
Although my teenage brain thought all the accomplishments of our school paper was due to the brilliance of our editorial staff, my adult brain knows that “Teacher Anne,” as we called her, was really the reason we did so well.  She spent countless hours with us, yes, usually late at night, planning our editions, proofing the articles, and teaching us how to do layout on those modern computers.  Thank you, Anne!


Lindsay Ray
Region 1 Vice President

Teacher
Beaverton School District


Forrest Cooper
Region 2 Vice President

High School Math Teacher
Fern Ridge School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
Our values are reflected in our actions. I try to lead by example, because I respect people who are genuine and not just self-promoting. Educators are respected in their community because they have a reputation as someone people can look to for life questions and an honest assessment of the facts.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mr. Bolton was my English teacher during two years in high school.
He was the only English teacher who actually taught grammar, and he also taught me to love literature and how to analyze subtle themes and write a logical, thoughtful critique or defense of a position.


Cori Swan
Region 3 Vice President

Kindergarten Teacher
Klamath County School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
It is the best way to conduct business.

Educator who made a difference in my life: George Copeland.


Jennifer Scurlock
NEA Director

High School English Teacher
Eugene School District 

Favorite OEA Core Value: One of my favorite OEA Core Values is "Respect for Diversity." 
Our communities are strengthened by educators who inspire the hearts of diverse students. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:
Throughout my life, I was inspired by a variety of educators-- such as Mrs. Rice, Mr. Lee, Mrs. Anzaldo, and Mr. Loudon-- who loved me, recognized my potential, and inspired me to be the educator I am today.


Enrique Farrera
NEA Director

Academic and Career Coach
Clackamas Community College


John Scanlan
NEA Director

Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Pendleton School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Respect for Diversity
Our world is full of so many unique perspectives, cultures and world views, and we need to embrace that. Respectful dialogue, understanding and inclusion are at the heart of education.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Mrs. McIllvenna
My high school English teacher ultimately became my role model and made me want to teach.


Alejandra Barragán
Ethnic Minority Board Director

Spanish Bilingual Kindergarten Teacher
Reynolds School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Social Justice

Educator who made a difference in my life: The educator that made a difference in my life was Mr. Stern in high school.
He was a teacher that was encouraging, motivating, and saw the best in me as a student and future teacher.


Nicki Belnap
ESP Board Director

Education Support Professional
Mt. Hood Community College

Favorite OEA Core Value: Social Justice
Fighting for the "little guy" and all that Social Justice embodies is the reason I am involved with the OEA. I have dedicated my career to standing up for those who feel their voice has not been heard or who struggle for equitable treatment and respect. I believe it is the duty of those with courage to defend our ideals. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: I will forever remember fondly my junior English teacher Karen Kullbom from David Douglas High School.
Her classroom was a place of discovery of things beyond the pop culture of our teenage lives and she held us to her highest of standards. She challenged all of her students in existential thinking and an appreciation for the depths contained in great works such as Akira Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai'. She helped me to see all of my possibilities before I could even dream them. 


Marcel D'Haem
District 1 Board Director

Middle School Language Arts Teacher
Phoenix-Talent School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
Integrity means putting our values into action, and sharing them with others. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mrs. Richardson, 4th grade teacher at the Department of Defense School in Yokosuka, Japan.
I was a strange, troublesome boy, and she had the strength and room in her heart to help and guide me. 


Janet Yakopatz
District 1 Board Director

High School English Language Arts Teacher
Prospect School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Lifelong Learning
As a teacher, I believe it is integral to always be learning something. Our world is constantly changing; the world is vast and there are so many wonders to find — learning about them brings the world closer.

Educator who made a difference in my life: My middle school English teacher, Mrs Reich. 
She saw and taught me as an individual, and always encouraged and helped me to achieve my personal best.


Joseph Vermeire
District 2 Board Director

Alternative High School Teacher
Hillsboro School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Democracy
Some of the most magiacal moments in my union work has been experiencing true democracy in action - the palpable debate at OEA Rep Assembly, the discussion in the Board Room, and the stories of my fellow members. My work and teaching center around this core value because learning how to use your voice is power - voice + power + democracy = change! 

Educator who made a difference in my life: My mother, the most amazing educator and human being, is the one who made the biggest difference in my life.
She is amazing and has the best outlook on life - it's exceptional that I have been blessed to have her in my life. 


Robert J. Glasgow
District 3 Board Director

High School Foreign Language Teacher
Salem-Keizer School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Respect for Diversity
Our nation is unique in that we strive to grant every student access to a quality public education.  Combined with traditional academic opportunities, the school community should provide its members with the chance to interact with others of varied backgrounds and experiences.  Belonging to a community of respect that values diverse and equal voices can be a pivotal moment in the development of an individual.  Individuals that value this interaction will elevate the expectations of the society around them.   I firmly believe that we become stronger when we recognize our differences as an asset and not a liability.      

Educator who made a difference in my life: Sra. Maslanka knew that I was not trying in her class. 
Like usual, I had convinced myself and my parents that I was struggling with the material.   I earned a D- for the first quarter and I was ready to coast downhill from there.  She tried many different strategies.  These included candid emotional appeals and banishing me to the library to finish my homework.  Eventually, I decided the easiest solution would be to stop pretending and to begin studying.  My grade skyrocketed in all my classes, and my study habits began to take root.  Today, I am an IB Spanish teacher that has lived in Colombia, Mexico and Spain.  I will always be grateful to my 8th grade Spanish teacher for making a lack of effort more cumbersome than preparing for her class.  She changed my life.


Tyler Scialo-Lakeberg
District 3 Board Director

High School Social Studies Teacher
Salem-Keizer School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collective Action
Together we can move mountains! Whether it is advocating for our profession, or fighting for equity, our collective voice is powerful and together we can accomplish it. 


Laura Scruggs
District 4 Board Director

TOSA: Global Institute for Teacher Advancement
Springfield School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
I believe integrity should be foundational for everyone.  We must say what we mean, believe what we say, and live what we believe.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Mr. Ensworth Bruni
My 7th grade teacher challenged me, pushed me, and made learning exciting.  He believed in me and my abilities.


Lisa Fragala
District 5 Board Director

Elementary School Teacher
Eugene School District

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Democracy, Collective Action, and Social Justice
For me personally, it is impossible to choose only one core value. I see these three values as integral and intimately connected. It is essential that we have a democratic process in our organization for us to truly achieve our goals with members. Additionally, I believe it is very important that as educators we uphold these values in society in order to protect public education. We need guiding principals in this work and the idea of social justice establishes the parameters which I believe to be the most compelling as an educator. I truly believe that everything we are doing as an association should be held up to this core value as a lens. Finally, none of the above can be accomplished if we don't take collective action. We can have great ideas, but if we don't implement them collectively outside of the organization, we will never be successful in building the public schools we say we are committed to. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:  My social studies AP history teacher made a huge difference in my life.
He got me involved in political organizing at a time when I needed something to inspire me. He believed that engaging in social justice work was a great contradiction to the social isolation and despair that young people often encounter. For me it was the perfect contradiction to the anger and discouragement I felt at the inequity I so clearly observed in society as a young person. The first campaign I ever worked on was for my local state house representative when I was 16. I went on to become involved in the Nuclear Non-proliferation movement in my senior year in high school and then eventually reproductive rights organizing. Social justice issues and political organizing have continued to be both a passion and a life line for my entire life thanks to that high school social studies teacher. 


Lynda Sanders
District 6 Board Director

High School Science Teacher
Coos Bay School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
I believe you need to say what you mean and mean what you say. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: Stan Sweet
Stan was a colleague and an educator who had the "it" factor. He could do the tough love and students would respect him. He had a powerful impact on his students, pushing them beyond the potential they thought they had. Unfortunately, his life was cut short and it was a loss to the community and the future students he would have had an impact on. 


Travis Overley
District 7 Board Director

High School Teacher
Bend-LaPine School District


Brita Scott
District 8 Board Director

Physical Education Teacher
La Grande School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collective Action is my favorite Core Value because it defines the success we have had in Eastern Oregon.  When members organize and coordinate local action our entire organization benefits. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: The educator that made a difference in my life is Lisa Nicholson who was a defining voice for our local.
She worked hard to recruit young teachers and teach them the value of the union. She moved us into building representative positions and opportunities for professional development. The reason we have the contract language, salary and benefits we have today is due to her unrelenting dedication for the rights of La Grande’s teachers. 


Joe Minson
District 9 Board Director

High School History Teacher
Canby School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collective Action
Our strength is a united effort.  We must work together.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Mr. Stone
His passion for his subject inspired me.


Russell Peterson
District 10 Board Director

High School Teacher
Portland Public Schools


Tom Kane
District 10 Board Director

High School Social Studies/Language Arts/Drama Teacher
Portland Public Schools

Favorite OEA Core Value: Lifelong Learning
It is one of the reasons I am a high school social studies teacher! I also believe that it connects all of our other values and makes them work. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Mary Noble, my high school journalism teacher.
She was welcoming, encouraging, and inspired hard work. At the time, Woodward and Bernstein were my heroes and I imagined myself as a future investigative reporter taking on the powerful. 


Al Rabchuk
District 10 Board Director

High School Math Teacher
Portland Public Schools

Favorite OEA Core Value: Democracy
Our most important mission is to instill an understanding of why true democracy is so important to our society. All of the voices of our community must be heard and respected.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mr. Gelhaar
He was the calculus teacher when I went to high school. He made math enjoyable and opened my eyes to the possibility of becoming a math teacher myself. I have recently spoken to several ex-classmates who were also motivated to pursue a mathematical based career.


Ben Gorman
District 11 Board Director

High School Language Arts Teacher
Central School District 13J

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Social Justice
This motivates me, but I see all the other core values as absolutely essential characteristics of an organization dedicated to making the world a more just place for all our students.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mrs. Brown
My 10th grade English teacher saw something in me that I didn't see in myself, and was capable of seeing it despite my defensive, angry high-school misbehavior. I flourished thanks to her belief in me.


Daylee Lathim
District 12 Board Director

Elementary School Teacher
Hermiston School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Lifelong Learning
I feel that I am always continuing to learn and I want to keep learning because knowledge is power. I am able to do more things with more knowledge that I have. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: There are so many!
To begin with - my parents, and their friends. Mr. Greg Abbott was my 5th grade teacher, and now we get to see each other at OEA RA. Mrs. Carolyn DeCrevel, leadership teacher and cheerleading coach. She got to know students well, and continues to influence me in my decisions. 


Mary Lynn Marden
District 13 Board Director

High School Science Teacher
Neah-Kah-Nie School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
We believe our core values are reflected and reinforced through our words and action. There is nothing that you can give away more freely than your integrity, yet it is the most difficult to get back.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mrs. Ivers
My college science teacher during my freshman and sophomore years was smart, kind, helpful, but didn't suffer fools, didn't let you get away with poor choices.


Tammy Sykes
District 14 Board Director

Elementary School Teacher
Reynolds School District


Geoff Hunnicutt
District 15 Board Director

High School Math Teacher
Beaverton School District

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Social Justice
I believe that one of the most important roles a union plays is that of leveling the playing field.  Where there are unions, there are competitive wages, healthy work environments, and good benefits.

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Dr. Tom Nelson
He made me understand that math was fun and that I could do it.


Brooke Warren
District 15 Board Director

High School Social Studies Teacher
Beaverton School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Democracy
Our union serves as a voice for all of its members.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Dr. Max Geier, Mr. Barry, and Mr. G.
Dr. Geier was one of my college History professors. He taught his classes with so much passion and required that his students work hard. It was clear that he believed we could reach big things, and we strove to meet his high expectations. Mr. Barry was my third grade teacher and Mr. G., my sixth grade teacher. What I remember most about both of these teachers is that there was never a doubt that they cared about me.


Tim Hart
District 16 Board Director

Elementary School Teacher
Sheridan School District

 


Lindsay Jansen-Hostetler
District 17 Board Director

High School Language Arts Teacher
Greater Albany Public Schools

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Social Justice
Standing up and amplifying the voices of others is crucial to building a more equitable society. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Michelle Shigemasa
Ms. Shig taught me a great deal about not just creative writing; she taught me about how the relationship between teachers and their students can be inspirational and transformative. 


Mikka Irusta
District 18 Board Director

Fifth Grade Teacher
Hood River County School District

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Respect for Diversity
I believe as an educator we must embrace diversity and support all our students and families. We need not judge them, but accept them for their uniqueness. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:  My elementary band teacher, Jim Ackley
Mr. Ackley worked with me for hours to teach me the clarinet. I was not ever able to really do it, so he then worked with me on percussion. He never gave up on me. He continued to guide me to try to find what I could be successful at. 


Jennifer DeForrest
District 19 Board Director

High School English and Drama Teacher
Klamath Falls City Schools

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collaboration
Working together allows us to best serve the needs of all of our members and students. Together, we are stronger!

Educator who made a difference in my life: My sixth grade teacher, Mr. Barry, inspired me to want to be a teacher.
He respected all of his students and made me feel that I could make a difference in the world. 


Lily Wagner
District 20 Board Director

Elementary ELD Specialist
North Clackamas School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collective Action
Only through collective action can minority voices be heard and empowered.

Educator who made a difference in my life:
All educators who took a personal interest in me and my education made a difference in my life. They cared enough to look into my needs and help me along the way to reach my goals. It takes a village.


Katie Nordstrom
District 20 Board Director

Pre-K/Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
David Douglas School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collective Action
If I must choose just one, Collective Action is the mechanism by which we can protect and promote all of the other OEA core values, from social justice to professional rights. 

Educators who made a difference in my life: Greg Hellman, my high school English, World Literature and Humanities teacher, who challenged my notions of public education as a conserving force.
His classes promoted critical reflection, respect for diverse perspectives, and creativity. Pat McDonald, my high school journalism teacher, who gave up a week of his life every month to oversee the publication of the student Newspaper (and in so doing, endured some serious teenage shenanigans)! 


Beth Yarbrough
District 21 Board Director

High School Science Teacher
Sutherlin School District

OEA Core Value: Professionalism
I believe that as educators we need to uphold professional standards. A professional encompasses all the other core values of the OEA. Therefore, by being a teacher, a professional, I stand behind the other seven core values.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Do I have to pick just one?
Educators have played a large role in shaping who I am today. If I had to choose just one, I would have to choose my father who is also an educator. From as early as I can remember, I have been learning from him. He taught me that everything can be turned in to a learning process. From a hike to cooking dinner, he taught me the love of learning and how to make the learning fun. Education is not limited to the classroom. I keep this in mind with everything I do.


Matthew Reed
District 24 Board Director

Custodian
Salem-Keizer School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Collaboration
When we all come together, there is nothing we cannot achieve. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: My middle school history teacher, Mr. Hook.
He had an unconventional teaching style and was able to gain the whole class's attention every day. 


John Weber
District 26 Board Director

High School History Teacher
Tigard School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Democracy
As a Goverment teacher, I stress to my students how important it is for them to use their education to be active participants in their society - at the local, state, and national level. In order to do that, a strong public education is a must. 

Educator who made a difference in my life: Bill Sprinkle


Melissa Love
District 26 Board Director

Special Education and Behavior Specialist
Newberg School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
All of the OEA Core Values are important, but if I had to pick just one, I would have to say my favorite would be integrity. I am true believer that one must say what they mean and mean what they say, but sometimes actions speak louder than words. If the organization fails to do this, trust is broken and people leave. 

Educator who made a difference in my life:
The educator who made a true difference in my life was my dad. 


Deb Wiskow
District 27 Board Director

Retired Elementary School Teacher
South Lane School District

Favorite OEA Core Value: Lifelong Learning

Educator who made a difference in my life: Mrs. Mason, Mr.McDonald — encouraging to follow dream as a 4th-5th grader. Linda Randall — brought me into the life of OEA.


Traci Hodgson
District 30 Board Director

History Instructor
Chemeketa Community College

Favorite OEA Core Value:  Respect for Diversity
I believe OEA can play a critical role in encouraging the same multicultural community in education as we see in the communities around us.

Educator who made a difference in my life: Louanne Whitton
She was a very dedicated Study Skills instructor who made a decision to use her voice at the state government to improve education.


Scott Wallace
District 30 Board Director

Instructor
Blue Mountain Community College

Favorite OEA Core Value: Lifelong Learning

Educator who made a difference in my life: Ron Waite 
He was the faculty president when I started teaching. He personally invited me to get involved in the Association.


Jim Fotter
Executive Director

Favorite OEA Core Value: Integrity
I believe that integrity is a foundational value of all that we do. We must always strive to "walk the talk".

Educator who made a difference in my life:  Michael Norman  
He was my 6th grade teacher and he was one of the most influential guides in my life.  He made learning fun, he set high standards, and he demonstrated compassion.  Years later, I learned that he was also a union leader at the local and state level.  I have been lucky to talk with him about teaching and our union work. 

updated: 8/13/18