Co-Founders

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gina condon, med

President, Co-Founder

Gina Condon brings more than 20 years of child development and entrepreneurial experience to her leadership of Construct Foundation.

As President, Gina focuses on shaping and guiding a unique strategy for Construct that complements other, dynamic efforts intended to radically shift teaching and learning in Oregon public schools. She identifies programs for incubation, listens to teachers, to principals, and works with funders to find new ways to align education stakeholders for collective impact. Gina manages the day-to-day operations of Construct.

Working through the Social Innovation Incubator at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration--where she received a Certificate in Business of Social Innovation in 2014--Gina founded Construct in 2013. Previously, she spent 10 years working in youth programs across the country, and in Silicon Valley for five years, building design teams for high-tech companies.

Currently, Gina is a trustee at Concordia University and co-chair of the 3toPhD subcommittee. She serves on the board of Tinker Camp; is a member of the STEAM Coalition of Northeast Portland; and is a five-time co-chair of the Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award Ceremony which has raised more than $3.5 million to date, benefitting Concordia student scholarships and the 3 to PhD initiative. As a mother of three and the oldest of four siblings, Gina considers education, health, and the well being of children the driving issues in her life.

Gina received an MEd from Harvard's Graduate School of Education and a BA in Psychology from University of California at Irvine.

Contact Gina:  gina@constructfoundation.org

 
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kate fitzgerald martinez

Secretary, Co-Founder

Kate Fitzgerald works to forward the mission of Construct by helping to shape and apply strategy, research partners, author grant proposals and reports, and in support of the Foundation’s unique infrastructure and cross-sector needs.  She brings decades of experience in the service of educational, cultural, and community organizations to her role as secretary and co-founder of Construct Foundation.

Over the last 10  years, Kate authored grants which secured millions for the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles—the second largest Y association in the country. Prior to this work focused on family support and youth empowerment programming, Kate spent a dozen years in education and the arts, including as grants manager for the Natural History Museum of LA--the largest natural and historical museum in the west, and as an administrative resource for student scholastic success, student advocacy, and operational infrastructure at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Kate is a dedicated volunteer with environmental, social justice, and educational organizations in the Portland area. She believes that a wealthy and healthy society requires a commitment to the holistic, dynamic, and equitable education of all its citizens. Besides Construct, Kate writes and produces films that tell the stories of people and products designed to better our world.

Contact Kate: kate@constructfoundation.org

If Kate doesn’t answer your question immediately, it’s probably because she’s planting, weeding, or harvesting something.

 

VegA TOM

Director of Finance

As Director of Finance, Vega brings 13 years of nonprofit accounting, finance and strategic leadership experience to Construct.  While pursuing a Political Science degree at Reed College, she began her finance career as a construction bookkeeper.  With dreams of traipsing off the East Africa to do development work--deep roots include an adventurous grandmother living in Nairobi--Vega found she had much to offer the Portland Metro area.  At the non-profit Hospice of Washington County in Hillsboro, Vega worked as bookkeeper and human resources coordinator.  Her calling for numbers and by supporting talented, mission driven staff, Vega became Director of Finance for a non-profit daycare and eventually, COO for World Pulse, a women’s empowerment organization.  Vega has worked with 211info as CFO and provided consulting services to small businesses and nonprofits on financial systems, budgeting, human resources and strategic planning.  She currently works for Native American Youth and Family Center as Director of Finance

With her passion for social justice and equity, Vega is pursuing an MBA with a focus on finance and sustainability at University of Portland.  She maintains sanity through running, loves drawing, dancing, playing the saw and her awesome boyfriend’s cat, Lydia.  She looks forward to continuing to be a part of this unique and dedicated team.

Contact Vega: vega@constructfoundation.org


Facilitators

erin bray

Trained as a lead Breaker facilitator, Erin runs design challenges for students, professional development workshops for teachers, and provides coaching and co-facilitation support for educators learning how to build design challenges for their students.

A veteran high school language arts teacher, Erin has always sought innovative ways to build empathy in students, empower critical thinkers, and inspire creativity. Incorporating Breaker’s design thinking methodology and growing maker mindsets in the language arts classroom transformed her perspective and her students' experiences. She is excited to support other teachers exploring the intersection between the design process and how we teach young people. Erin received her undergrad and teaching certificate from Whitman College and has a Masters in curriculum & instruction from PSU.

Contact Erin at ebray@breaker.org 

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Michael Hyde

Michael is trained as a lead Breaker facilitator and delivers Breaker services for students and teachers in Oregon. He will take a lead role in building the online coaching and facilitation services for teachers.

In addition to his facilitation work with Construct, Michael is a Technology Integrator at Portland Jewish Academy, where he works with teachers and students to bring digital citizenship, media literacy, technology and STEAM inquiry into the curriculum. He leads a Digital Arts course for middle school students and teaches a class called Foundations in Technology. Michael loves to tinker with everything from boats to bicycles to electronics. He has an Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University.

Contact Michael at michael@constuctfoundation.org

Lisa Yokana

Lisa supports our effort to grow a strong team of Breaker lead facilitators able to deliver services across Oregon. Her primary role is to ensure that Breaker Oregon provides high level services, through coaching and curriculum building, for students and teachers that are consistently transformative for school cultures across the state.

An educator for over 15 years, Lisa Yokana currently teaches art, architecture and STEAM courses at Scarsdale High School, working with teachers across disciplines to integrate Design Thinking and Making into their curriculum. Designed and co-teaches a STEAM course sequence for Scarsdale’s Design Lab, opening in 2018. A Teacher Coach for IDEO’s Teachers Guild and guides other teachers from around the world through Design Thinking to solve the biggest challenges in education. Author of curriculum for outside organizations including the U.S. History Advanced Placement course, she received a grant from Scarsdale Schools’ Center for Innovation to research innovation education program and spaces.  Agency by Design (Harvard’s Project Zero) selected Lisa as one of thirty Maker Teachers for their learning community. She leads Innovation Education, Design Thinking and Maker workshops, which encourage and enable educators to shift their practice.  BA in Studio Art and French Literature from Williams College, and Master's Degree in Art History from Columbia University and a degree in building and district level administration from Stony Brook University.

Amy Botula

Amy has been a leader of Construct’s teacher engagement effort and in the development of Breaker services in Oregon. She will help Construct define and build a train-the-trainer method as we bring on new facilitators aimed at reaching students, teachers, and schools across Oregon.

 As a K-12 educator for 17 years, Amy inspired students and teachers in Portland Public Schools. Prior to joining Construct, Amy was supervisor for The Right Brain Initiative. Amy has her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Oberlin College and her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Lewis & Clark College.

Contact Amy at amy@constructfoundation.org

Kari Nelsestuen

Kari facilitates Breaker professional development workshops for Oregon educators and School Retool workshops for Oregon principal cohorts. With an expertise in education evaluation, Kari will play a key role in Construct’s effort to build a data-collection method around teacher mindset growth from Breaker professional development and coaching services.

In addition to her work with Construct, Kari advises over a dozen Oregon district leadership teams as they build and test innovative ideas to improve teacher effectiveness. Her portfolio also includes over 15 years of research on effective education programs, with a special focus on teacher professional development initiatives. Kari has an MS from Columbia University Teachers College.


Board Members

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Matt Bryant

Senior Alternatives Analyst, Arnerich Massena, Inc.

Cindy Cooper

Program Officer, The Lemelson Foundation

Wilson Smith III

Design Director, Nike, Inc.

Eric Park

Innovation Fellow at  Ziba Design & Director of Business Design at Cambia Health Solutions

Madeline Turnock

APR, Advisor to the President, Concordia University

Heidi Rahn

Program Director, Oregon Zoo Bond Program, Metro

Rafael Otto

Senior Communications and Policy Associate, Children’s Institute


Advisory Board Members

Annmarie Cheesbro

Arbor Center Teaching Coordinator and adjunct professor at Marylhurst University

Eric Cress

President,  Urban Development + Partners

Zalika Gardner

Co-Founder, KairosPDX

Lori Heino-Royer

Director Business Innovation / Strategy and Program Management Office, Daimler Trucks of North America

Juliette LaMontagne

Chief Learning Architect, Bionic Solutions