Board of Directors
Doug is a retired educator with 33 years experience in the classroom as well as yearbook advisor, newspaper advisor and director of activities. Following many years as a gay rights activist in Santa Fe, NM, he became a founding member of Safe Schools and currently serves on the Palm Springs Police Department Outreach Committee to the LGBT community. Doug and his husband Warren Wood were married in California in 2008. They have been partners since meeting at the University of Redlands 53 years ago. Doug is in touch with over 600 former students who have found him on Facebook. “Even though the LGBT community has made great strides in its quest for equality, much work needs to be done. Schools are not safe. Many staff members are to be commended, but others do not get it. We must keep working. Nothing is as important as the well-being of our kids…at school and beyond! California has the laws, the best of any state, but they wait to be implemented in many districts and schools, even in our Desert region.”
Tori St Johns
Vice President | Acting Secretary
Tori is a wife, the mother of 3, grandmother of 3 and great grandmother of 1. At present she has 2 dogs. She is a Certified Addiction Counselor and is the owner of a private practice, TLC Counseling, which for the past 30 years has provided drug, alcohol and substance abuse counseling. This is Tori’s 18th year as a consultant for Desert Sands Unified School District with the Student Assistance Program. She is active in the community and is committed to helping provide a safe place for all students to fulfill their dreams.
Jeremy serves as the Vice President for Safe Schools Desert Cities. Jeremy owns and operates a family business of over 40 years in the insurance industry. In late 2013, Jeremy developed a partnership with a former co-worker and opened a small business consulting firm, which serves clients across the United States. Over the years, his experience as a board member with Gay Associated Youth and his participation in Aids LifeCycle has prepared him to be actively involved with Safe Schools Desert Cities. Jeremy is committed to providing opportunities in the community that will help local youth growth and expand their horizons by providing resources and activities that allow self-expression. Jeremy lives in Cathedral City with his husband Noe; and his fur babies, Lily, Sammy and Coco.
Warren “Woody” Wood
Woody was a school and district librarian for 30 years prior to his retirement. He was teacher of the year for the Redlands Unified School District. In addition to his school responsibilities, for 20 years he was director of the Redlands YMCA’s Great All American Youth Circus. Following his school tenure he was employed by Follett Software conducting product trainings nationwide and then worked in sales in the southwest United States.
He has experience and a vital interest in curriculum development and has used his experience selecting materials for placement in public school libraries, Safe Spaces and GSA centers on campuses. He monitors Safe Schools volunteer applications and assists in general SSDC office activities. Woody and his husband Doug Hairgrove were legally married in California (prior to the passage of Prop. 8) and have been partners since meeting in college 53 years ago.
Joshua Hill & Kevin Dipolito
Joshua, a native to Southern California, and Kevin, a transplant from New York, met in 2010 and were married in 2013. They both found SafeSchools after searching for a way to give back and get involved with LGBTQIA youth in the Coachella Valley. Kevin is a Pharmacy Team Leader at CVS/Pharmacy, and Joshua is deputy district attorney for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. They always dreamed of starting a family together and were excited to be able to adopt a baby boy in May of 2015. When they are not working, Kevin and Joshua enjoy spending time outdoors with their son and their chocolate lab, Blake.
Gloria Kapp serves as Chair of the Awards Committee for Safe Schools and joined the Board in 2016. During her 40 year career in higher education she worked in housing, student activities, financial aid and admissions. After retiring from Cal State Long Beach in 2004, Gloria and her long-time partner (now wife of 8 years) Joan Elliott moved to Palm Springs. As friends of Doug and Woody, they followed the work of Safe Schools Desert Cities and are strong supporters of the awards program. Gloria continued her professional involvement by working as a financial aid consultant for Cal State San Bernardino through 2015. Gloria enjoys participating in political campaigns and activities. Joan and Gloria also enjoy traveling and, when at home, read, work on jigsaw puzzles and socialize with friends.
Enrique started off working in corn fields in Indiana at 16 years old. It was through this job that Enrique realized how much work needed to be done in the LGBTQ community, especially in the Latino and Hispanic communities. When he moved back to California, he became heavily involved in volunteer work for Safe Schools. Enrique is currently a student at the University of California Riverside and graduated from Yucca Valley High School. He has been able to give back to the LGBT community through his work with the GSA at Yucca Valley High School, volunteering at events for Safe Schools, and, most recently, through his internship at McCormack and Kristel, the first openly gay executive search firm. Enrique was also the recipient of the 2016 Harvey Milk Outstanding Youth Award.