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Joy Wallace (she/her)
OSSCC Founder/Retired

In 2000 a coalition, including GLSEN, PFLAG and the Oregon Department of Education offered a 2-day workshop for educators designed to facilitate changes in schools to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students. I attended that workshop and have been working on this issue ever since. In 2008, I helped OSSCC become an official Oregon non-profit with tax exempt status, and became an official Board member.

Bullying and harassment in schools is a deterrent to student learning. No student can effectively learn in school if they are afraid or nervous about being safe. The goal of developing a supportive school climate for every student in every Oregon school is why I work with OSSCC. Maybe someday OSSCC efforts, working with others, will help Oregon achieve this goal.

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Frank Leavitt (he/him)
OSSCC Board Chair

"Frank Leavitt has been in Portland since 1991.  A Northern California native, Frank moved to Portland to attend college and is a graduate of Portland State University with a BA in Communication.  He is currently the Director of Facilities Operations for Portland Public Schools.


Frank joined the OSSCC Board after receiving the Adult Ally Award for his commitment to addressing bullying and harassment in Oregon Schools.  Growing up in a small town, Frank has first hand experience how bullying and harassment can have long lasting impacts on young people.  He brings a commitment to continue to address the issues facing our LGBTQ student community in Oregon."

Julie Houston
Portland, OR

Julie Houston: To me, the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition works for all the things that are important to me. As a parent of a queer kid and a not queer kid, I believe children and families should feel seen and safe and celebrated in their schools and in their communities. As an early childhood professional, I know that having a supportive community can make all the difference in a child's life, and that difference impacts the entire community. As a community member, love and justice is what gives me hope that our world will be better for the generations to come. Being a part of OSSCC gives me an opportunity to work towards this better world.

Madi Bourdon (she/they)
Portland, OR
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Madi is a Southern CA. native, that moved to Portland to attend PSU to earn their BS in Sociology, and later a Masters in Education. Madi serves as an elementary school counselor, and GSA leader of over 50 Queer identified and Ally identified 4th and 5th graders in PPS. She also serves as the American School Counseling Association's DEI LGBTQ+ Committee Lead where she works to support educators all over the country in navigating support for Queer students amidst anti-Queer laws and legislations in our schools. Madi's passion for supporting Queer youth has led her to author the soon-to-be-published, "A Kids Book about Chosen Family", dedicated to her GSA students and partner, and has inspired her to continue prioritizing representation and education around Queerness to youth in and outside of schools.

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Dr. Robert Bizjak 
Portland, OR

Dr. Bizjak has taught secondary English language arts for nearly two decades in Oregon. Aside from his current board work with Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition, he also serves as a Board Member for the Oregon State Literacy Association, as well as the Oregon Council of Teachers of English.


Dr. Bizjak is dedicated to helping ignite passion for critical thinking in his students and striving to create a more robust space for teaching and learning for all educators. 

Derek Henderson
Portland, OR
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Derek Henderson has been the 'Senior Director of Joy and Happiness' at Portland Public Schools for 9 years.  What this really translates to is, the Project Coordinator for the Office of School Modernization. 


Derek joined the OSSCC Board in July of 2023, as a result of his collaboration over the years with GSA’s within Portland Public Schools statewide - primarily the Annual GSA Summit. This  participation helped him realize how his own youth, growing up in Montana, may have been very different had he known something like OSSCC existed or if his own school had a GSA.  Because that's so, Derek decided to become more involved in trying to create as much support for our youth and our community as possible. 


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