top of page


Rainbow Stripes



              2024 Safe Schools Award Winners

Emily Marley, Science Teacher at Brookings Harbor High School
Ben Bowman, Oregon State Legislator and Director of Student & Family Support in  Gladstone
School District
Jen Loveland, 4th Grade Teacher at Glencoe Elementary
Kelly Connolly, 5th Grade Teacher at Glencoe Elementary
Madi Bourdon, School Counselor and GSA Advisor at Glencoe Elementary
Paula Jeppsesen, 4th Grade Teacher at Glencoe Elementary
Roachel Hanes, 5th Grade Teacher at Glencoe Elementary
Randy Webster, 4th Grade Teacher at Glencoe Elementary
Sara Gardner, School Counselor at Glencoe Elementary
Bend High School, The Design Justice Class
Peter Davis Jr., Human Service Program Manager, Chemeketa Community


Highlights from the 2023 Awards - Maria Fleming, award winner from St. Mary's Academy receives her award from Joy Wallace, OSSCC Board member. Maria is the GSA advisor at St. Mary's and works to make all students feel valued and important.








     Each year we solicit nominations and then host an event where those nominated                             are recognized and honored. Past Safe Schools Award winners are listed below:


                                           2023 Award Winners



















































Raychell Rohrwasser, Visual Arts Instructor, Sherwood High School
Sara Linnertz, Counselor and GSA Advisor at Newberg High School
Newberg Education Association, represented by President Jen Schneider
Joel Ekdahl, English teacher at Canby High School
Emmett Pearson-Brown, Reynolds High School Assistant Principal
Kate Hildebrandt, Civil Right and Title IX specialist
Evan Tucker, Grants Pass High School student
Deenie Bulyalart, Grants Pass High School student
Dr. Joe Morelock, former Newberg School District Superintendent
Rebecca Piros, Ines Pena and Brandy Penner, Newberg School Board members






Devin Harkness, Counselor; ACCESS Program at Lane Middle School, Portland Public Schools

Nicole Levine, Program Administrator in Student Success and Health Program, Portland Public Schools

Shannon Perry, Middle School Teacher, Forest Grove Community School, Forest Grove School District

Colt Gill, Superintendent of Schools, Oregon Department of Education

Holly Campbell-Polivka, Youth Services Librarian, Tigard City Library

The Living Room, A Safe Haven for Clackamas County LGBTQ+ Youth, Milwaukie

Krystal Gregory, Brookings Harbor High School Librarian, Brookings Harbor School District

Kristin Blomberg, Hillsboro School District Comprehensive Sex Education Committee, Hillsboro School District


Erin Rook, Diversity Coordinator for OSU-Cascades, Bend, OR 

Wes Chernin, Consultant, Portland    

Sam Blanchard, previous 3rd grade teacher, at Sacramento Elementary, Parkrose 

Darian Lightfoot, Previous Inclusion Coordinator at Northwest Youth Corps 

Derek Henderson, Program Operations Specialist and

Frank Leavitt, Programs Senior Management, Portland Public 

Jess Firestone, Buckman Elementary, Portland Public Schools 

Leslie Lucir, Culinary Teacher and Sexuality & Gender Equality Advisor, Junction City High School 

Michael Sanchez, Secretary, Jefferson High School, Portland Public Schools 

Northwest Youth Corps, Eugene, OR 

Leo Soell, Teacher at Sunnyside School, Portland Public Schools 

Jean Winters, Paraeducator, Faubion Elementary School, Portland Public Schools 

David Martinez, Student Success Program Manager, Portland Public Schools 

Dr. Martha Rampton, Retired Director, Center for Gender Equity, Pacific University 

K.T. Emerson, Assistant Executive Director, OSAA 

Peter Weber, Executive Director, OSAA


Lonnie and Vickie Read, Adult Allies, Pendleton PFLAG 

Mark Koopman, Adult Ally, High Desert Middle School Teacher & GSA Advisor 

Michelle McMillan, Adult Ally, Cleveland & MLC High School Career Coordinator 

Chris Synderbrown, Adult Ally, Metropolitan Learning Center 

Lavell Wood, Adult Ally, Harriet Tubman Middle School Assistant Principal 

Shannon McClure, Adult Ally, Sunnyside Environmental School Principal, PPS    

Lisa Piscitello, Adult Ally, LGBTQ+Straight Club Advisor, Brookings Harbor High School  

Aynika Nelson, Outstanding High School Student, Brookings Harbor High School 

Sabrina Achcar-Winkels, Outstanding Student, Lakeridge High School 

Dr. Olivia Murray, Adult Ally, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University  

Brita Scott, Adult Ally, GSA Advisor, La Grande High School   

Hailey Smith, Outstanding High School Student, North Bend High School 

Liv Funk, Outstanding High School Student, North Bend High School 

Nicole Kappes-Levine, Adult Ally, Program Administrator, Portland Public Schools   

Amber Reeves and Ernesto Dominquez, Adult Allies, Concordia University 




Jill Torres, 5th grade teacher at Howard Elementary school 

Brian Anderson, lead custodian, Cottage Grove HS   

Aryn Zanca, Program Coordinator for The Living Room   

Brianna Stiller, Education Support Services, 4 J School District   

U of O - MEChA students Alejandra Miranda, Carina Garcia and Manuel Mejia

Gonzalez:  Jim Garcia and LCC MEChA for 2017 LCC MEChA conference    

Anne Thom, Westside Village Magnet School, Bend   

Sarah Cole, Activities Director at Hillsboro High School



Youth Leader: Brendan Tadlock, Sheldon High School GSA     

Youth Leader: Sage Dupre, NAYA Academy GSA    

Adult Ally: Karin Moscon, Title IX Coordinator, Oregon DOE    

Adult Ally: Dana Goodale, Dallas High School GSA    

Adult Ally: Tina Gutierez-Schmich, Equity Coordinator, Bethel School District  

Outstanding Private School: Central Catholic High School  

Outstanding School District: Lincoln County School District 

Outstanding Non-profit: Lotus Rising Project, Medford, OR  












Ashland High School: Erika Bare 

Cottage Grove High School: Erin Royce.  

Taft High School: Majalise Tolan, principal  

Yukon Jenkins, Education Program Manager, Transactive Gender Center 

Jefferson Morgan, Living Room 

Debora Owens, Teacher at Lake Oswego Junior High School






















Lines for Life Kovi Altamirano   

Central Oregon Coast PFLAG    

Oregon School Boards Association   

Michael Mahoney, Oregon DOE 



Project Believe in Me  

Oregon & SW Washington LGBTQ Educators and Allies Group  

GLSEN Oregon  


PFLAG Clackamas  


Momentum Alliance  

OGALLA Safe School Sub-Committee  

Multnomah Youth Commission  


Winners 2019.jpg
Award winners.jpg

Michael Sanchez, Secretary in the Counseling Center at Jefferson High School, won an award for creating a safe, affirming space for all students especially LGBTQ+ students who don't have safe affirming spaces at home and for being the Co-Advisor of the GSA.

Shannon Foxley, Counselor at da Vinci Middle School was nominated by Charlie Dupper, drama teacher, for being the founder of the school’s Queer Student Alliance and for creating a safe space for LGBTQOA+ students.

2017 award winners.jpg
2016 osscc award winners press.jpg

  2023 Nominations for Safe Schools Awards


Robin Will, President of GLAPN Northwest LGBTQ History  

Brayan Gonzelz, Bend-LaPine teacher and Out Central Oregon Board member  

Britt Bieberich, LGBTQ+ Program Manager, Portland Public Schools  

Shannon Foxley, da Vinci School Counselor, Queer Student Alliance advisor 

Tom Myers, Skyline K8 3rd & 4th grade teacher  

Michael Sanchez, Jefferson H.S. Counseling Secretary, GSA Co-Advisor  

 Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

 Lorien Brooks, Central HS science teacher and GSA Gender and Sexuality Alliance Advisor

 Maria Fleming, Theology Faculty and Advisor to Queer Student Union, St. Mary’s Academy  

 Rep. Robert Nosse, Oregon State Legislator  

 Corey Tamondong, Brookings Harbor HS music teacher  

 DeAnne Varitek, Brookings Harbor High School Principal

OSSCC believes that it is important to provide members of our community with real examples of Oregonians who are working to make schools better for LGBTQIA+ and all youth, so we created the Safe Schools Awards in 2013. We invite people to nominate a person, a school, a district or an organization that has been doing great things to make schools a safe and nurturing place for students, especially LGBTQ+ students. The Mission of OSSCC is to make Oregon schools safe for all students, teachers and families, and we want to honor those who are working to support this Mission.

bottom of page