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||Rachel Snyder||Republic Services, Corvallis|
|Past Chair, Member at Large||Bailey Payne||Marion County Public Works – Environmental Services|
|Member at Large||Adam Gorske||Republic Services, Tualatin|
|Member at Large||Mark Nystrom||Association of Oregon Counties|
|Member at Large||Jackie Wilson||The Environmental Center, Bend|
|Member at Large||Michele Castro||Kate Brown for Oregon|
|Member at Large||Darwin Eustaquio||Metro|
|Program Manager||Amy Roth||Oregon Green 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.
Rachel Snyder, Treasurer
I work as a Recycling Coordinator for Republic Services in the mid-Willamette Valley. My job duties includes co-facilitating the Linn-Benton Master Recycler Program, acting as the regional Oregon Green Schools Coordinator, providing education and outreach in the communities Republic serves and acting as the recycling specialist for all of my divisions.
My prior experience includes coordinating the Master Gardener program at OSU Extension, serving as an assistant park manager, operating a recycling program at Florida State University and working in botany and habitat restoration with the USGS and BLM. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, and enjoy hiking, camping and botanizing.
As an Oregon Green Schools Coordinator and Board Member, I am excited to provide all the tools I can to help our youth make sustainability commonplace in their generation. I love outreach and education, and working with kids is just the best. Their excitement and creativity never fail to amaze me!
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!
Adam Gorske, Member At Large
Born and raised in the waste industry. My passion for environmental, social and economic sustainability lead me to work in this field. In my role as Recycling Coordinator for Republic Services in the North Willamette Valley, I help our communities reap the benefits of rethinking their waste stream.
I originally called the Chicagoland area home, where I studied marketing and environmental science at DePaul University. After school I yearned for the West Coast, where winters are mild and summers are bearable. So I did what any Midwesterner would do; packed up my bags and headed west.
When I’m not discussing waste at work, I’m either crafting ideas for the industry myself or talking about it with friends. I also enjoy the great outdoors–snowboarding, hiking, surfing and mountain biking–along with traveling, growing my knowledge and enjoying witty humor.
Let’s talk trash!
Jackie Wilson, Member At Large
I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2004, after teaching Earth Science and Biology at North Country 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.
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.
Michele Castro, Member At Large
My name is Michele Castro and I am new to the OGS Board and very thrilled to have an opportunity to help grow this amazing organization.
I moved to Oregon because, as many Oregonians know, it’s one of the most stunning places in the US. I believe that is due, in large part, to the commitment that our communities have made to preserving Oregon as a place for outdoor adventure, public access to our coast and conserving energy. I lived in Forest Grove, graduated from Pacific University with a Bachelor Degree in Politics and Government. I got my start working as a government relations intern during the 2013 Oregon legislative session, and have been a community/ field organizer ever since. I currently work as a campaign scheduler for Governor Kate Brown.
Although the campaign-trail is where my heart lies, I’ve found that the most profound place to make an impact is in our policies and our schools. I know that working with Oregon Green Schools will be a blast and I’m excited for what lies ahead!
“Before making the Portland area my home in 2014, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 28 years and spent the first five years of my life in Nicaragua, where my family is from.
I currently work for Metro’s Resource Conservation and Recycling division as the lead Education Specialist for grades K-5. I oversee development and implementation of the free educational programming that we deliver to elementary schools in the Portland metropolitan area.
Prior to Metro, I worked for the County of San Mateo’s library system in California for 10 years, where I developed and oversaw academic and youth development programs for students in grades K-12. I also served the town of East Palo Alto, a largely disenfranchised community in the heart of Silicon Valley, through my leadership on a community collaborative for youth, various advisory committees and on the board of two non-profits.
My educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and graduate-level coursework in Developmental Psychology.
I’m excited to be serving on the board of Oregon Green Schools due to its commitment to resource conservation and sustainability education at schools, which I believe are ideal avenues for reaching our youth and their families. I’m looking forward to advancing OGS’ goals and strategies, in addition to expanding its financial resources.
On my spare time I enjoy playing baseball and tennis, as well as hiking and kayaking. Most recently, I’ve taken an increased interest in repurposing items and homesteading.”