We are a dedicated group of sex educators who are combining our experiences to bring you eLearning that will ignite student interest in comprehensive sex education.
Tailored to the way you want to learn, based on our extensive experience – a 20+ year sex education history delivering training and technical assistance – these short courses are designed to build your knowledge and skill to deliver education on a specific topic. A combination of in-person and virtual modalities, with medical accuracy ensured through involvement of a staff physician and external subject matter experts, will give you a well-rounded foundation to teach young minds.
Spark*ED is the creation of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI), a leader in the sex education professional development field. This new online training program contributes to our agency’s mission of advocating, educating, and providing health care to support sexual health and wellness for all.
We were the first nonprofit of our kind to harness the power of the internet. In 2005, we migrated our 18-month human sexuality education program to an eLearning platform called Planned Parenthood University (PPU). Spark*ED is the re-invention of this capacity building program.
Our Capacity Building Team was created in 2015 to better support and service the growth of youth-serving professionals who deliver sex education. In addition to training our own staff, we work with school districts, community-based organizations, community colleges, and sexual assault advocates/counselors to train their staff to talk about and/or deliver sex education to their youth/clients.
Meet our Spark*ED Team
Capacity Building Specialist
Laura is a Capacity Building Specialist who helps lead and provides training and technical assistance for IN·clued, an LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health education program that is being delivered across the United States. She is passionate about supporting queer and trans youth to have the knowledge and skills to access services they need and deserve, and the opportunity to be seen for who they are. Prior to working in the field of sex education, Laura worked at the Los Angeles LGBT Center where she managed a voter persuasion canvassing program focusing on issues such as same-sex marriage, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws, and abortion access. She received her BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College. In her free time, Laura loves FaceTiming with her four nephews and going to classic rock concerts.
Capacity Building Specialist
Nadya loves supporting new and veteran educators to build their sex education tool kits. A confusing and embarrassing experience of being scolded for asking a question about sex in her high school health class motivated Nadya to join her local Teen Council peer-led sex-ed group. Through Teen Council, Nadya learned to deliver high-quality, medically-accurate, and age-appropriate presentations about sexual health to her peers. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College, Nadya spent seven years providing sex education in classrooms and facilitating a Teen Council program in a rural community in Washington State. As a trainer, Nadya brings warmth, structure, and high expectations, and coaches educators to bring the same to their work with young people. When not at work, Nadya enjoys pretending to be a back-up dancer for Beyoncé in the comfort her living room with her two energetic children.
Instructor, Subject Matter Expert
Lacy (She/Her) has worked in sexual health education for 11 years as a Community Educator, Trainer, Manager and Director supporting the work of direct sexual education across several States. With a BA in Human Development, she has a passion for providing engaging and relevant sex education to all ages and supporting educators and facilitators to build skills to be rock star sex educators. Having worked in both rural and urban settings, Lacy understands the complexities of each community and the importance of tailoring lessons to an audience while creating a safe and encouraging learning environment. Outside of her work in sexual health, you can find Lacy in the woods of the Pacific Northwest with her two energetic kiddos.
Trauma Subject Matter Expert
Leslie serves as the Spark*ED trauma subject matter expert. She developed both the self-paced and instructor-led courses on Teaching from a Trauma Informed Lens. For over 20 years, Leslie Briner has served families experiencing homelessness, youth with developmental disabilities, youth in the foster care system and, since 2005, has worked with commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youth. She has designed, implemented and directed services for sexually exploited and trafficked youth and developed comprehensive training on the topics of sexual exploitation and trafficking. To date, she has trained over 8,000 people as well as providing substantial technical assistance and consultation on these issues across the country. Leslie operates Social Strategies, an education and consulting practice based in Seattle, Washington. She works as a consultant with YouthCare, Casey Family Programs, the Capacity Building Center for States, as well as being Associate Faculty at the University of Washington, School of Social Work where she earned her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) in 2010.
LGBTQ+ Subject matter expert
Elizabeth Schroeder, Ed.D., M.S.W. (she/her) is an award-winning educator, trainer, program consultant and author specializing in LGBTQ+-affirming best practices, nonprofit management, grant sustainability planning and strategic planning processes. She has spent her entire career working in the non-profit sector, providing consultation to and education and training for schools and organizations in the US and countries around the world for over 30 years. Key to Dr. Schroeder’s work is decentering white, cisgender, heterosexual voices and privilege, while supporting organizations and schools in becoming fully inclusive and affirming of all identities. She is the former executive director of Answer, a national sexuality education organization based at Rutgers University, and former Board chair of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. Dr. Schroeder has also served as the associate vice president of education and training at Planned Parenthood of New York City, and the manager of education and special projects at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Schroeder is a frequently sought-out spokesperson in the news media, having appeared on BBC’s “The Why Factor,” several NPR affiliates, and in The New York Times, CNN Online, and The Huffington Post, among others. She holds a Doctorate of Education from Widener University and a Master of Social Work from New York University. For more information, please visit www.drschroe.com.
Capacity Building Specialist
Kaden Sullivan has been a sexual health trainer and educator for 20 years. He was a Capacity Building Specialist with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI), training educators and serving as a subject matter expert for online course development in sexual health and LGBTQ health. Kaden started as a sexual health educator in New York, then first joined PPGNHI in 2003 where he worked with youth in school and community settings, facilitated a teen council, and taught literally thousands of young people how to use condoms. In his work with adults, Kaden is a Master Trainer contracted with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to deliver training on state supported curriculum. He also has extensive experience training and coaching educators on the implementation of a number of Evidence Based Programs (EBPs). Kaden especially loves to work with adults around building their foundational skills in sex education. Kaden holds a bachelors degree from New York University and completed the Universiteit van Amsterdam Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society, and is a Master of Social Work student at New Mexico State University. Outside of work, Kaden hangs with his kids and heads to the mountains whenever he can.
Capacity Building Specialist
Chelsea Varnum, M.Ed., is a community educator with an expertise in sexual health, sexualities, and community development. Currently, she works as a capacity building specialist with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands. She has over 10 years of experience in education with adolescents and adults, including developing inclusive programming and community-centered curricula. She specializes in building capacity in sex educators, creating sex education and leadership development programming for adolescents, and developing education that centers LGBQ and Trans/Gender Non-Conforming communities. She believes that great sex education can gives us the skills to navigate the hard, unscripted, and uncomfortable conversations we all have in life with grace and curiosity. Chelsea received her Master of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University in 2012. Chelsea loves camping, backpacking and hiking when she can get out and cooking for friends and family when she stays in.
Paige Mac Leod
Capacity Building STRATEGIST
Paige joined PPGNHI in 2017 as the Capacity Building Strategist, bringing her passion for providing needed services to youth in high at-risk situations into building community partners’ ability to deliver sex education. She oversees the creation of the Spark*ED and of a Sex Educator Professional Development program. Paige has 25+ years of experience in the non-profit management and institutional development arena, having worked with multiple local organizations, local government agencies, BINGOs and bi-lateral agencies in the US, Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, the Pacific and Africa. She spent three years in Panama working for a local NGO, is fluent in Spanish, and is a skilled facilitator and trainer. Paige received a BS in Business Administration from Boston University. In her spare time, Paige can be found baking up a storm, hiking and kayaking, but not all at the same time.
LMS and Virtual Learning Coordinator
Erin Moynihan comes from a background in social media and communication, having previously worked in various communication roles with editorial pieces published on Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Buzzfeed. She has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Seattle University and strong skills in research and group facilitation. In her role as LMS and Virtual Learning Coordinator, Erin collaborates with educators, designers, and video producers to help create Spark*ED, online courses for sex educators. She is motivated by a desire to make sex education more accessible for people from all backgrounds. Outside her role, Erin is a fiction writer, and her debut novel was published in Fall 2020 by Ooligan Press. Erin thrives when able to bring together her love of social media and writing with her love of empowering others through health and wellness education.
Director of Education
Annika Shore, MPH, serves as Director of Education at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. In this role she oversees educational programs ranging from LGBTQ+ specific sex education, to Family Programs, to Capacity Building efforts. She leads curriculum and program development on IN·clued: Youth and Providers Empowered, a sex education program intended to reduce unintended pregnancies and STDs among LGBTQ+ adolescents across the United States. She comes to the adolescent sexual health education field with over 12 years of experience working with young people and adults, providing relevant and innovative sexual health education; HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention education; youth development programming; and capacity building for youth-serving professionals. The bulk of her work has centered on engaging underserved communities of youth through peer education and youth-adult partnership programs, with a focus on LGBTQ+ adolescent health and activism, as well as providing education and training to adults who serve youth. Ms. Shore received her MPH from Columbia University, with a certificate in sexuality, sexual and reproductive health.
Jodi Kline M.Ed. has been an educator and trainer for almost 40 years. Currently she works as an Education Manager at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands. Jodi has taught elementary and middle school, facilitated teen peer education groups, designed curricula, trained and coached professionals from many fields, and provided support and education to youth, parents and families. Her favorite thing is to teach about sexuality in ways that are inclusive and engaging, and to develop curricula that promotes sex positivity and body love. Jodi received her M.Ed. from the University of Puget Sound with an emphasis in Counseling. When not at work, Jodi enjoys hiking, laughing with friends and family, reading and writing, and playing her ukulele.