The Equity Extra

Equity, Inclusion and Instruction

September 2022 Edition

Happy new school year!

Dear 4J Family,

We are very excited to kick off a new school year and to help support students, families, and you, the staff. Over the past year, and most recently, our department has continued to grow. This is great news! Below are some of the most recent changes and additions.

The NATIVES program is now housed within our department and led by a team of outstanding leaders. Josh Davies will serve as the program administrator, Becky White, and Sean Himmelman will serve as equity managers, and PJ Martinez and Joe Brainard will serve as program coordinators and NASU support. In addition, Shasta Quigley and Melissa Barbour will help lead district-wide efforts to reduce disproportionate disciplinary outcomes. And finally, Jasmin Lopez Torres will serve as the EL program support specialist, Anne Vela will focus on creating a system to better support recently-arrived students and their families, and Jason Floyd will serve as the equity manager for the south region. Welcome to the team!

Like last year, we will continue to focus on creating conditions so that all kids and staff feel welcomed, safe, and valued. We will also continue our efforts to improve academic and nonacademic outcomes for all students, especially for historically underserved groups. Here are our goals (big rocks) for the year:

  • Provide professional learning opportunities for all staff in educational inclusion, anti-racism, anti-bias, and research-based high-leverage instructional practices that create equitable outcomes for all students with amplified attention to underserved groups.
  • Provide professional learning opportunities on common practices to eliminate disproportionate disciplinary outcomes that will lead to an improved feeling of safety and well-being for all students and staff.
  • Prioritize student and community voices through timely communication and meaningful engagement to guide the work of dismantling inequitable policies.
  • Continue strengthening preexisting partnerships through the growth and development of family support services, including the Natives and the 15th Night programs.

We hope you have a wonderful and successful year! Remember, we are here to support you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. As always, please visit our website for more information about our department.


Office of Equity

Meet our new team members!

Josh Davies

Josh Davies (he/him) is a Hanis Coos citizen and former Director of Education for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI). Josh has earned his BA in Liberal Arts from Evergreen State College, MA from City University Vancouver, and Administrative Licensure from the University of Concordia – Portland. He has held various educational positions beginning with his journey as an educational assistant, classroom teacher, assistant principal, athletic director, and athletic coach for many sports/many levels. Formerly, Josh served on CTCLUSI Tribal Council from 2018-2022. During his time on Tribal Council, Josh also submitted testimony in support of HB 2052 American Indian- Alaska Natives students' rights to wear regalia at graduation and 2056 which created and established the Tribal Early Learning Hub. Josh is married to his wife Delilah, and father of four children; Jorney, Jordan, Sailee and Justus. Currently, Josh sits on many committees and boards related to education and leadership, however, his ultimate goal is to provide equality and equitable service for all children of all cultures. Josh is excited to build relationships with the entire 4J community.

Josh is the NATIVES Program Administrator.

Sean Himmelman

I was born in Medford, Oregon, and moved to Eugene as an 8-year-old. In Eugene, I attended River Road elementary for a couple of years, moved to Bethel School District, and graduated from Willamette High School. I earned a BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Oregon State University and was a manufacturing engineer for Tektronix, Sony, and Datalogic for 10 years. I coached baseball and football during and after college, developing a love for helping young people find success in their sports endeavors. That led to earning a Masters's in Education and becoming a math teacher at Willamette, Churchill, and Springfield High Schools for 16 years. I am really excited to use my experience to develop strong relationships with children, especially with our Native American students, and help them find success in our educational system. I like to spend time with Mother Nature and fish in the beautiful rivers of our great state. Water Is Life.

Sean is an Equity Manager for the NATIVES program.

Becky White

Becky White was born & raised in Eugene and was very involved with the NATIVES Program while attending 4J schools back in the 1990s, so having this opportunity to contribute to the future success of the program and give back to this amazing community is an incredible full-circle moment. She spent the last 2 decades working in the finance & investment industries, where she worked on many DEI initiatives and to increase the visibility of diverse workers, perspectives & voices in what has traditionally been a very homogeneous industry. Becky has 3 incredible children who she is continually in awe of and spends her free time creating beadwork & art, growing food in her organic garden, and enjoying the outdoors.

Becky is an Equity Manager for the NATIVES program.

Jason Floyd

I am a native son of one of the pioneering Black families that arrived in Eugene. I was raised in my family's rich culture of faith, love, and activism. As the fourth generation of seven generations of family and over eighty-five years of presence here in the area, I have a collective experience with the growth and culture of the area, that informs my approach to collaborating for transforming the district to become its best. I have a storied history of exploration and implementation of equity. I graduated from the U of O with an Ethnic Studies and Communication degree in 2005. I was a writer and photojournalist for the Portland Observer, a black-owned newspaper in North East Portland. I ran after-school programs for at risk youth with Step Up Program in Portland. I've been a classroom teacher for Open Meadows in Portland and schools In Atlanta, Georgia. I am the original Student Success Navigator, and Primary Architect of the Lane African American Black Student Success Program out of Lane ESD. I run an Anti-Oppression DIY and Restorative Practice Consultancy. And now, I am honored to say, I am the Regional Equity Manager of the South Eugene region of the 4J school district. I am excited about collaborating with all resources and stakeholders to cultivate equity throughout the district and community.

A note from your inclusion coaches:

Did you resonate with the amazing UDL training from Andratesha Fritzgerald on Friday, September 2nd? We look forward to going deeper into this equity and inclusion work together! One way you can immediately implement more UDL is via Assistive Technology tools. There are many Accessibility features in MacBooks and ipads, and we also have a district-wide subscription to Read and Write. Jordan Gentzow and Kelley Wilson are our district's Assistive Technology Specialists and they are available to help.

You can also learn more via the following links:

Mac Accessibility Slideshow

iPad Accessibility Slideshow

UDL/LFA Accessibility Slide show

The inclusion team consists of Tony Lyman, and Christi Nicholson

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage month is celebrated from September 15th-October-15th. In this month we celebrate life, culture, traditions, and our heroes. Whether it's in the form of food, music, or writing a piece about it in the Equity Extra, these are the ways we honor our people and our culture. These celebrations take many forms and they must continue to be celebrated, and they must go further than just a month.

As we dive into Hispanic Heritage month, I want you to think of the Hispanic people in our district that have carried out the work, not just one month out of the year, but have been for years. The ones who keep our people informed first and not as an afterthought. Those who spend countless hours answering Spanish-speaking parents' questions. The ones who know the disparities of our people and seek grants, funds, and resources so they don’t go without. The past, future, and present leaders of our district. To the countless hours spent asking and not receiving. To the ones who held their head high even after they were told “you are not enough” because of how you look or speak. Today, I stand recognizing the people that were here before me. To Maxine Proskurowski, who was a nurse for 4j for many years and provided free access to health care for all students but recognized there was a big gap in the Hispanic community. To Alex Zuniga who has worked in the district for many years, reminding Hispanic students it’s ok to use their native language and be who they are.To Carmen Urbina, who to this day continues the fight even if it's not with 4J. To these warriors, I look up to! Today and forever we celebrate you and many other heroes! Thank you,

By Alma Reyes Guillen

Regional Equity Manager, Sheldon

Mark your calendar!