Welcome to the ORABSE Annual Gala:
Over the past 49 years, ORABSE has consistently been a beacon of empowerment and advocacy for Black educators across Oregon. Recognizing the vital role of our collective voice, we champion the power that Black educators wield in shaping the educational landscape.
At this gala, we not only honor our rich history but also pay tribute to the visionary leadership of our beloved 96-year-old Founder, Dr. Ernest Hartzog. His foresight laid the foundation for the enduring legacy that continues to today.
Black Excellence Awards
Toni Smith-Mvles Administrative Assistant (Principal's Secretary) at Harriet Tubman Middle School
Program Director of The Blueprint Foundation
Vice Chair of Oregon State Board of Education, High School English & Ethnic Studies Teacher | Former Senior NEA Director (2016-2023)
Elementary School Head Custodian at Prescott Elementary School
Assistant Superintendent of DEI
Black/African American Student Success Specialist
Student Success Advocate & Head Cheer Coach
Executive Director and High School Basketball Coach
High School Principal of Mountainview High School Beaverton School District
Honoring the work and/or legacy of a person whose overall contributions leave an indelible impact on the field of education in the state of Oregon and beyond.
Dr. Ernest Hartzog
Dr. Ernest E. Hartzog is a leader in the civil rights movement. He earned a master’s degree at San Diego State University and New York University. He earned his doctorate in psychology and human behavior at the United States International University. Dr. Hartzog was named San Diego’s first black high school principal in 1967, ending years of unrest and civil rights demonstrations at San Diego’s Lincoln High School. He held education and community leadership positions throughout the nation retiring in 1992 as Assistant Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. Dr. Hartzog was a charter member of the 5,000-member National Alliance of Black School Educators and served as president from 1979 to 1981. He was the founder and first president of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (ORABSE).
Dr. Harriet Adair
Dr. Harriet Adair is a leader and now, community elder, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for her thoughtful, insightful, deep and nurturing commitment to her staffs, her students and the families of Portland and Oregon. Beginning her career as an educator in the classroom, Dr. Adair dedicated 47 years to ensuring the responsibilities of her positions were activated through vision, fairness, resourcefulness, leadership, nurturing and integrity. Her dedication to believing in “If you can believe it, you can achieve it,” solidified her niche in becoming an administrator; ultimately, serving as an assistant superintendent to guide schools, programs, and the Portland Public School District to unparalleled success in quality education. Dr. Adair is an esteemed and indefatigable leader who has shown us the way and upon whose shoulders a new generation stands. We honor and salute her commitment to us and the children and families she so dearly loved and cared for!
To Our Sponsors