Meet our

Staff

CURRENT STAFF

Meet some of our amazing educators, believers and advocates for healthy, equitable food! Growing Gardens wouldn’t be the same without them.

Jason Skipton

Executive Director

With a diverse background in agriculture and community garden education programs particularly in Central America and experience in the Peace Corp, Jason leads the team at Growing Gardens by providing leadership, resources, training and oversight for all staff.

*Hablo Español*

Tracey Harper

Business Manager

With a degree in Economics from University of Washington and a longstanding career in nonprofit finance, there’s no one better than Tracey to make sure our office is running efficiently. She’s passionate about working for an organization that strives to better people’s lives through healthy food.

Iva Dubyak

Finance

Kelsey Gorman

Development coordinator

Rima Green

Lettuce Grow Program Director

After many years working in technology-related jobs, Rima returned to her first love, gardening. As an Oregon Master Gardener™, Rima directs the Lettuce Grow program and provides garden education to inmates in state correctional institutions and juvenile facilities throughout the state of Oregon.

Mirabai

Operations Manager

Rashae Burns

Home Gardens Director

As a native Portlander, Rashae knows the city inside and out. She loves promoting health and gardening within the community. With over 20 years of health care experience, she has a vast knowledge of preventative care, chronic illness and social determinants of health. Rashae started our program as a Home Gardens participant to foster a healthy lifestyle.  She became a community organizer in the North Portland region in 2018 and has been instrumental in helping marginalized communities improve their lives through gardening.
 

Antonio Rodriguez

Home Gardens Manager

Antonio joined the Growing Huertos program in 2014 and quickly became one of the program’s most dedicated volunteers, helping with installations and site visits, hosting workshops, and mentoring new gardeners. He has a great passion for agriculture and community education.

*Hablo Español*

Isabel Cruz

Community Organizer – Cully

Isabel joined the Home Gardens program in 2005 and quickly became one of its biggest supporters. She loves growing her own food at home, raising chickens, and spending time with her plants. She is a teacher for Oregon’s Food Bank’s Siembra La Cena (Seed to Supper) garden education course and a Promotor de Salud (Health Promoter). She has led many classes on growing your own vegetables, nutritional health, and healthy cooking. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
*Hablo Español*

Angelica Cortes

Community Organizer – Outer East

Angelica Cortes Mejia was born in Mexico and has lived in Portland for 12 years. Her favorite part of her role is helping people in her community grow and sustain their own source of vegetables and fruits. Her favorite part about having her garden is sharing what she harvests with her neighbors and building strong community relations through food.

*Hablo Español*

Camilo Centeno

Community Organizer – North

Camilo’s roots began in Colima, Mexico where he was born. As a child, he worked in the fields and later came to the United States. Camilo’s passions include helping families with limited resources, being involved in his community and spending time with his family and three children.
*Hablo Español*

Open Opportunity

Community Organizer – North

Madree Page

Community Organizer – Lents

The Pacific Northwest has been Madree’s home ever since she was little. Born in Seattle, she moved to Portland’s Lents neighborhood at the age of seven and has been there for most of the past 30 years. Therefore, we couldn’t think of a better person to be our Lents neighborhood organizer than Madree. She’s passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated—she’s a long time volunteer at Growing Gardens, instilling a passion of growing food through her son. She loves growing plants and sharing them with her neighbors.

Shaquoya Burns

Community Organizer – Centennial

A graduate of our Home Gardens program, Shaquoya is one of our best advocates for home gardening! She’s a mother of five who loves spending time with her family and growing her food. She wants to ensure that her children learn about gardening and how growing your own food can have positive effects on your life. Lastly, she loves cooking so having a home garden is a perfect place for her to unwind and relax while allowing her the ability to utilize what she grows in her cooking.

Open Opportunity

Community Organizer –Clackamas

Anna Garwood

Youth Grow Program Director

Anna directs the Growing Gardens Youth Grow program, which teaches children how to grow, prepare and learn to love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Her background is in managing a sustainable development nonprofit that helps rural communities around the world access clean water, renewable energy and healthy watersheds. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching her  daughters grow by leaps and bounds.

*Hablo Español*

Amoreena Guerrero

Youth Grow Coordinator/Educator

As the Youth Grow Coordinator/Educator, Amoreena supports other garden coordinators and educators create successful and engaging garden-based programs for many schools and their students. Working with other adults to expand opportunities for students to learn outside is her number one professional goal. She comes to Youth Grow with a Master’s degree in Education and 15 years of teaching experience, both indoors and out. When she’s not out in school gardens, you might find her with her family, or at the dojo teaching a weekly Ki-Aikido children’s class.
*Hablo Español*

Kathy Barry

Davis/Glenfair School Garden Coordinator

Kathy started out volunteering as a parent in an afterschool class taught by Growing Gardens when her daughter was in elementary school over 10 years ago. She then envisioned a garden transforming that same school. She was involved in that transformation process by getting garden beds built and teaching a garden class. She grew as the garden grew — evolving from a volunteer into a garden educator and now a Growing Gardens staff member. She loves teaching health and nutrition, watching young individuals thrive in a growing environment and being part of an organization that supports so many communities and is teaching life skills.

Maxine Rodrigues

Kelly/Whitman Youth Grow Educator

A true Portland native, Maxine loves the outdoors and can’t wait to share it with students. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from Oregon State University and experience in AmeriCorps, making her an excellent addition to our Youth Grow Educator team. She loves outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, tennis, not to mention indoor activities such as cooking, art, dancing and reading.

Kat Barton

LENT/PATRICK LYNCH
Youth Grow Educator

Kat grew up in Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2015. While in college, she started a school garden in her community for a few kindergarten teachers and has been passionate about school gardens ever since. She has worked as a garden educator for a non-profit in Boulder, CO, and served a year of FoodCorps in Salem, OR. Last summer, she worked on a small farm in Willits, CA in order to learn more about sustainable agriculture. Now, back in Oregon, she is excited to share her knowledge with others.

Jazmin Bias

Glenfair/Powell Butte Youth Grow Educator

Jazmin has a passion for sustainable agriculture and a curiosity for the natural world. With experience teaching nutrition, science and garden education at several non-profits in Oregon, Jazmin is a great addition to our team of Garden Educators. She loves exploring the outdoors, including hiking, foraging for mushrooms, swimming and tree hugging.

Betsy Lattig

Faubion Elementary Youth Grow Educator

Betsy Lattig was born in Portland, and spent half of her childhood growing up in the rugged beauty of the Oregon coast. Betsy is a passionate educator, sparking joy for learning in both children and adults. She has spent the past 15 years teaching art, ecology, and gardening in the Portland area. Beyond her love of children and education, Betsy also enjoys gardening, painting, hanging out with her lovely teenage boys, and spending time with friends and family in nature.

Ángeles Martínez

Powell Butte School Garden Coordinator

Coming from Puebla Mexico, Angela’s first language is Spanish but has lived in the United States for the past 19 years. She loves children and being out in the nature, admiring flowers, planting fruits and vegetables and the like. Combining these two loves makes her an excellent community organizer for our Powell Butte neighborhood. She loves helping others become more self-sufficient through gardening and appreciating nature.

*Hablo Español*

Katharine Grunseth

Kelly School Garden Coordinator

Katharine is a 4th grade teacher who loves bringing her students into the school garden. Before she went back to get her Masters in Education she had a career in Resource Conservation and worked on the family cherry orchard in Tasmania, Australia. She is excited to introduce and educate students and their families to the benefits of a school/family garden.

Rebecca Melton

Lent School Garden Coordinator

Being creative is important to Rebecca’s life. She’s a Mom, an artist, and a teacher. For many years Rebecca gardened by the “plant it and hope for the best” philosophy, but once she became a gardener through the Home Gardens program she became a part of the “put it in the ground and it will grow, and then you can eat it and share it!” camp. She’s very excited to have gone through the program and become a member of the Growing Gardens team and loves being able to share her experience, knowledge, and love of community with others.

 

Kelly Smith

FOOdCorps Member

Kelley grew up on the east coast and moved to Portland for graduate school. While studying Nutrition at National University of Natural Medicine, she fell in love with gardening and wanted to connect the two. After interning with FoodWaves and Wild Lilac, she knew she wanted to be a part of the Farm to School initiative. New to the West coast, she loves exploring and hiking but also spends a good amount of time indoors cooking and reading. This is her first year serving with FoodCorps and she is so excited to share her passion with elementary school kids!

Jess Faunt

Food Systems Educator, David Douglas High School

As the Youth Food Educator at David Douglas High School, Jess supports high school students as they grow food on campus, learn how to cook that food, and make strategies sharing food with David Douglas students. Jess comes to Growing Gardens with a passion for connecting with youth outdoors and enthusiasm for plants. She has two years of experience in non-profit communications at an environmental justice organization. Outside of work, Jess enjoys taking care of her friends and family and starting ambitious crafting projects.