Board of Directors

The OGSA board is made up of individuals in the resource conservation community who are dedicated to helping schools save watts, water and reduce waste.  Please call or email us with suggestions, or feel free to attend one of our monthly board meetings, held from 10 am to noon on the third Thursday of every month. Contact us to find out each month’s meeting location.

Current OGSA board members

Board Chair Laurel Bates Clackamas County
Secretary Deborah Topp City of Salem
Treasurer Dee Beardsley
Past Chair, Member at Large Bailey Payne Marion County Public Works – Environmental Services
Member at Large Elizabeth Start Republic Services, Tualatin
 Member at Large Mark Nystrom  Association of Oregon Counties
 Member at Large Rachel Snyder  Republic Services, Corvallis
Member at Large Jackie Wilson The Environmental Center, Bend
Program Manager Meghan Borato Oregon Greens Schools

Board Member Bios

Meet the Oregon Green School Board! – Each month in our newsletters, we will feature a new Board member and eventually will also begin featuring regional coordinators.

Laurel Bates, Board Chair

Before moving to Portland in 2007, I spent several years teaching English in Germany and then teaching German in the United States (Sprechen Sie Deutsch?).  Since moving to Portland, I have had the opportunity to work with education and environmental sustainability, both passions of mine. I currently work as the Waste Reduction Education Coordinator with the Clackamas County Refuse and Recycling Association and the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability, providing waste reduction assistance to schools.

I have been the Clackamas County regional coordinator for Oregon Green Schools since September of 2011.  I’ve been involved in some exciting projects for OGSA in recent months, including a re-drafting of our mission statement and an update of our application materials. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and regional coordinators on many projects to come.

Working with Oregon Green Schools has been a wonderful experience. As a former classroom teacher, I especially enjoy assisting students and teachers as they work towards their green school certification.

Deborah Topp, Secretary

I joined the Oregon Green Schools Board in July 2011 and am currently the Board Secretary. I work for the City of Salem Public Works Department on watershed issues, including organizing the Adopt-A-Stream program for local schools. Initially I worked directly with Salem-Keizer area schools, providing environmental education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. My introduction to Oregon Green Schools was being asked to present at the annual summit. A few years later, I was invited to join the Board.

Though I work less directly with students in my current position as Natural Resources Outreach Specialist, Oregon Green Schools provides me the opportunity to contribute to schools. I’m currently on the standards and curriculum committee with fellow Board member Laurel Bates. The goal of this committee is to link Oregon Green School activities with Oregon State Standards. While we are currently starting with waste reduction activities, we look to bolster activities and information related to water and energy for more robust programming.

As always, we welcome any feedback you have that will help the Board achieve the Oregon Green School mission and provide support to regional and school coordinators, teachers, and other personnel who implement Oregon Green Schools at their school.


Bailey Payne, Member At Large

My name is Bailey Payne.  I’m the past Chair of the Oregon Green Schools Board, and now am a Member-At-Large.

I’ve been working for Marion County as a Waste Reduction Specialist for over ten years and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting out to the schools that I work with and helping OGSA as an organization.  Before coming to Marion County I was a teacher for three years and a Peace Corps Volunteer before that.

There has been a tremendous amount of change within OGSA since I joined the board three years ago and we are excited that we are almost ready to launch a few new projects that we’ve been working on, including an updated website and two new videos about what OGSA does and how schools can get involved.  Look for more on these updates in the next couple months.  The board has been busy doing a lot of “behind the scenes” work, including providing content for our monthly newsletter, working to support schools that do not have a regional coordinator to help them, recruiting new regional coordinators and board members, fundraising projects, partnerships with like-minded organizations, and more!  We’ve also worked to create a very comprehensive list of activities, curriculum, tools, and recycling art/photos for the regional coordinators to share with their schools.  There is still a lot to do!

As a former teacher, I truly appreciate how busy all of the school coordinators are and the  entire board would like to again thank you and all of the regional coordinators that do so much for the students in Oregon Green Schools.  Keep up the good work!


Elizabeth Start, Member At Large

My name is Elizabeth Start, Recycling Coordinator for Republic Services for the metro area in and around Portland. As Recycling Coordinator, I provide community education and outreach to promote recycling, waste reduction and sustainability. I have over 10 years of experience working in the waste, recycling and reuse field. In addition to multiple industry trainings and certifications, I am currently pursuing a second degree in Sustainability Management.

I am excited to be part of the Oregon Green Schools Board and look forward to working with schools to promote their efforts to reduce waste, recycle and become more sustainable. Oregon Green Schools provides schools and teachers with such great resources and I am excited to be part of the team!


Jackie Wilson, Member At Large

I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2004, after teaching Earth Science and Biology at North jackie-wilson-photo2Country School in Lake Placid, NY.  I wanted to ski, backpack and teach.  I explored the state of Oregon on skis and with a backpack and then I got a job teaching the EarthSmart sustainability education program through The Environmental Center in Bend.   This program teaches students about recycling and compost, energy and water reduction and is a great way to get kids excited about what they can do to be stewards of the earth and help their school.

In 2010, I received a Master’s in Education with a focus in Sustainability education and became the Regional Green School Coordinator for Oregon Green Schools.   I love working with kids to help make real changes in their school and supporting the district sustainability plan.  I have been working hard to get more and more schools east of the cascades involved in the Green School Program.  I am a new member of the board and look forward to assisting schools get certification and streamlining the process for teachers.


Mark Nystrom, Member At LargeMark Nystrom, Oregon Green Schools

I am the Energy, Environment and Land Use Policy Manager for the Association of Oregon Counties since July 2013. The Association of Oregon Counties represents Oregon’s 36 Counties at the state and federal legislatures. I have been with AOC since 2010. I spent the previous thirteen years as a science and math teacher in Minnesota, California, Thailand, India and Oregon. I hold a Master of Natural Science and Environmental Education and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oregon’s Planning, Policy and Public Management Program. I live in Eugene with my wife, Stephanie, and my son, Sam.


I am relatively new to the Oregon Green Schools and am working on cultivating relationships with communities not currently involved in the OGS. I look forward to seeing the expansion of the program and working with all the other amazing members of OGS.