PAT Events

For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar

Teaching Against Climate Despair: A Climate Justice Teach-In

Monday, May 23, 2022

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Virtual. 

Hosted by the Portland Public Schools Energy & Sustainability Team, co-sponsored by the PPS Climate Justice Committee and the Portland Association of Teachers


Join us online as teachers from around Portland share how they creatively incorporate climate justice topics into their classrooms, from art and activism to Indigenous knowledge to the science and economics of a green future.

Let’s share how we equip our students to recognize the breadth of the climate emergency, to probe its social and economic causes, and to come to see themselves as activists for a just society and a stable climate. 

Panelists include:

Erika Alabarca, Roseway Heights Middle School — Erika is a 7th-grade social studies teacher at Roseway Heights, where she helps organize an after-school ECO club, and incorporates soil regeneration into her classes. She is an active member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee. 

Christina Aucutt, Grant High School — Christina teaches the Climate Justice elective at Grant High School, where she brings speakers from across Portland to tie climate justice education to real world issues and grassroots initiatives. 

Caitlin Blood, MITCH Charter School — Caitlin is a former farmer and agricultural advisor. She is the Director of Sustainability at MITCH Charter School, where she works to root classroom content in an agricultural framework. Her students explore math, language arts, science, and history through hands-on agricultural observation and practice.

Treothe Bullock, McDaniel High School — “Tre” teaches Climate Justice and Chemistry at McDaniel and is an active member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee. 

Joe Ferguson, Alliance High School — Joe is the Natural Resources, Science, and Instructional Facilitator at Alliance. He incorporates climate science and sustainability lessons into his classrooms, setting up wildlife cameras at Whitaker Ponds and partnering with Community Cycling Center for bike mechanic lessons. 

Rachel Hanes, Glencoe Elementary — Rachel is a 2nd-grade teacher, member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee, and active in the Portland Association of Teachers. Her teaching aims to connect students’ lives to climate issues, such as oil pipelines and forests. 

Jesse Hunter, Woodstock Elementary — Jesse is a 2nd-grade teacher at Woodstock School in Southeast Portland. He has led efforts to establish school gardens and garden education programs at Lent Elementary and Woodstock.

Suzie Kassouf, Grant High School — Suzie has a deep background in grassroots climate justice organizing. At Grant High School, she has focused on turning her classroom into a place for connection, community, justice, and love.  

Cat Phung, Growing Gardens — Cat is the North Portland Youth Grow Educator and Community Organizer for Growing Gardens. She is a first-generation Vietnamese American, gardener and cook, with a background in environmental science and outreach. 

Gerald Scrutchions, Grant High School — “Scutch” teaches Human Rights and Environmental Justice at Grant. He has been a mentor, educator, and advocate for many of the student climate activists from Tubman Middle School protesting the I-5 freeway expansion.

Tim Swinehart, Lincoln High School — Tim teaches environmental justice and is a member of the PPS Climate Justice Committee. He works with district staff to devise and implement policies to spread climate justice education across Portland Public Schools.

Our PAT Social Justice Committee invites you to celebrate ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER MONTH with your students. Please see our website for engagement opportunities and resources, including:

  • Lessons and Resources for your classroom
  • AAPI Read Alouds
  • AAPI Affinity Space
  • Community Events
  • And more!

Thank you to the educators who gathered these resources. Please read this note from Karen Liao, of our PAT AAPI Month Planning Committee:

I teach 2nd grade and have a student who consistently uses the word "American" when they mean "white." I'll remind them that Americans can be any race and they will apologize and change their language.. until our next discussion about race. I'm not upset with them because there is so much in mainstream culture that conflates “American” with whiteness. For me, this is the importance of AAPI Month -- when we can learn about and teach about the foundational roles AAPI have in America, not just in terms of infrastructure, labor, and culture, but also in terms of who gets to be an American. (Every elementary teacher should have I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story by Martha Brockenbrough, Grace Lin, and Julia Kuo in their classroom.) If you are planning on teaching about Lunar New Year, or cultural practices and traditions from Asian or Pacific Islander homelands, STOP! Teach that any other month besides this one. May is Asian American and Pacific Islander American Month. 

Come join us on Friday, May 20th at 3:45 PM (or anytime after school) at Laurelhurst Park to help celebrate the (almost) end of the school year! It’s been over two years since we’ve been able to hold our annual Party in the Park, so we are excited to finally be able to gather together again! Food and drinks will be provided (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Please feel free to bring your families, too!

RSVP here today

The PAT Racial Equity Committee is excited to host another social for PAT educators of color. Let’s toast to surviving the school year! Join us for food, fun & fellowship. Dinner and drinks will be provided at this family-friendly event at Amalfi’s, May 27th from 4:00-7:00 PM. RSVP today!

See the animated flyer!


PAT is thrilled to celebrate and reflect on the careers of all of our retiring PAT educators. We will also be honoring the PAT officers and executive board directors and their service to PAT. Retiring educators will receive an invitation soon with more details for the celebration happening on Wednesday, June 8 at 4:30pm.

Registration is now open for the OEA Summer Conference in Bend, OR! Two distinct conference opportunities will be offered to fit your needs:  

Virtual Conference: Thursday, July 14  

In-Person Conference: Tues., July 19 - Thurs., July 21 Riverhouse Hotel on the Deschutes 3075 N Hwy 97, Bend, OR 97703 

Register today! See our flier here

Fellow PAT member and educator Vicki Silenzi is leading an OEA webinar on Instructional Strategies and Accommodations for Students with ASD

In this one-hour webinar, participants will review impacts of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You will learn to recognize ableism and ableist language while maintaining a strengths-based approach to meeting student needs. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies and individual accommodations will be presented. Career educators will share their 20+ years of experience with a focus on viewpoints and preferences of students on the spectrum and their families. Closed captions provided and 1 PDU available for attending.

There will be two opportunities to take part in this webinar, Thursday, May 5th at 4:00 PM and Wednesday, May 11th at 4:00 PM. Find more details and register here.

We hope to see you there.

Like the PAT,  the union that represents custodians and nutrition service workers, SEIU 503, is entering contract negotiations with the District this year. They have been advocating at School Board meetings and in the community that the District demonstrates how much it values their work by paying them a living wage.

Even though PPS has more than 60 full-time custodian positions posted, they continue to go unfilled. The lack of custodial staff means that the custodial workers on the job cannot keep up with the demanding workload of keeping classrooms and bathrooms clean.

An SEIU survey found 72% of workers report they are too short-staffed to keep up with current needs, 48% say the problem is getting worse and nearly one in five say they are not likely to return to work at the District in the upcoming school year.  

The PAT stands in solidarity with SEIU’s demands on the District: 

  • Pay competitive wages. Starting wages of $14.40 an hour for cafeteria staff and $16.70 for custodians will not attract or retain quality workers. 
  • Hire enough staff so these essential workers can make our schools safe, healthy places for the children in our community. 

Show your solidarity and take action by signing SEIU’s petition We Need Safe and Healthy Schools! 

Please save the date: SEIU rally at Cleveland High School, June 7th @ 6:00pm. More info coming soon.

Save the Dates for Upcoming PAT Events and Socials

We are excited to announce several events hosted by PAT and offer our members more opportunities to gather and connect. Mark your calendars and be on the lookout for more details on the following events:

  • May 20th, 3:45 PM: End of Year Party in the Park 
  • May 27th, 4:30 PM: Racial Equity Social
  • June 8th, 6:30 PM: Retirement Celebration

May Primary Dates

  • Wed. April 27, 2022 - Ballots mailed
  • Tue. May 17, 2022 - Primary Election Day
  • Drop off ballots by 8:00pm May 17th

April 29-30th, OEA Rep Assembly, Holiday Inn Portland, Columbia Waterfront

PAT Rep Assembly and Committee Meetings- Join the committee mailing list to receive a Zoom Link.

  • May 11th, 4:30-6:30 PM: May PAT Rep Assembly
  • May 18th, 4:30-6:30 PM: IPD Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Legislative Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Racial Equity Committee Meeting
  • May 25th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Membership Committee Meeting
  • May 26th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Social Justice/Community Outreach Committee Meeting*
  • May 26th, 4:30-6:30 PM: Substitute Committee Meeting*

*These meetings have been moved to Thursday over the usual Wednesday scheduling

**Unless otherwise noted, all PAT committee meetings will be held virtually on Zoom for the time being

For all upcoming events, please see the PAT calendar and OEA calendar

Dear PAT Members,

Are you in the early or middle stages of your career and have questions on investing for retirement?

Join us and Financial Advisor Ed Foster next Thursday, March 10th at 4:30 PM-6:00 PM, via Zoom, to get information to best strategize your plan for retirement. RSVP today! 

This seminar is geared for people in the early or mid stages of their career. Topics include:

  • How does my pension work?
  • How does the IAP account fit into that?
  • How do I set up a 403b/TSA?
  • How much do I need to save for retirement?
  • How should I invest my retirement accounts?

See the flyer for more information.

RSVP today! Please remember that these webinars are a perk for being a PAT member. If you are not already a member, sign up here today.