* Executive Committee Members
Dr. Alan Burke retired from a 42-year career in public education in August 2016. Most recently (2014-2016) he served as executive director of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA), the organization that supports and advocates for the 1477 elected school board members in the state.
Previously, he was deputy superintendent for K-12 education at OSPI (2009-2014), with line supervisory responsibility for numerous agency divisions including teaching and learning, school improvement, assessment and student records, career and technical education, student support, and federal programs and accountability. He was a member of Superintendent Randy Dorn’s executive cabinet and spent considerable time on legislative matters and advocacy.
Prior to moving to OSPI, Alan was superintendent of schools in Yelm (1998-2009), a district with 5,300 students and ten schools. While there, he also was deputy superintendent and principal of two buildings. Before coming to Yelm in 1991, he held principalships in the Orting and Central Kitsap School Districts. He taught for nine years (mostly social studies at the middle school level) and coached extensively. He earned an Ed.D from the University of Washington in 1990, focusing his research work on identifying effective programs and practices at the middle school level.
Alan lives in Olympia with his wife Pam (a retired elementary school principal) and has several family members who are active in the K-12 system. He enjoys hiking, mountain climbing (a dozen ascents of Mt. Rainier in addition to several high altitude climbs in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia), foreign travel and spending time with his granddaughters. His other hobby is following developments in state and federal K-12 educational policy—especially efforts to assure equity and access for all students to a world class education.
Kevin Laverty has an extensive background in public education. He was appointed to the Central Valley School District board in February 1993 and served there until moving to Mukilteo in late 1994. In 1999, Laverty was elected to the Mukilteo School District board and served for three terms. He also served on the WSSDA board of directors 2000-02 and was elected WSSDA president in 2010.
In addition to his school board experience, Laverty spent 28 years with Verizon and its predecessor company, GTE, in public relations. He managed the company’s Northwest philanthropy for six years which was heavily weighted toward K-20 education. He has been a member of the education funders group of Philanthropy Northwest, a member of the Partnership for Learning steering committee, board member and chair of the Digital Learning Commons, advisory board member for the Coalition of Essential Schools Northwest and a board member and secretary of the Greater Trinity Learning Academy in Everett. He is a past president of the Mukilteo Schools Foundation.
Laverty and his wife, Tomoko, have two grown daughters and reside in Mukilteo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California Santa Barbara, and a Masters in Communication – Digital Media from the University of Washington.
After serving as a language Arts, history, physical education instructor and coach in the Puyallup School District for thirteen years, Judy Jennings left public education to design and implement the Junior High program and curriculum for Puyallup Valley Christian School (now Cascade Christian Schools) in 1982.
In 1988, Judy became the Secondary Principal for Seattle Christian Schools and served in that capacity until 1992 when she became Superintendent. During her tenure there she led the effort in receiving the schools’ first accreditation through NAAS/ ACSI, built a new campus, and strengthened the curriculum to include both special education and AP classes. Upon retiring from SCS in 2005, Mrs. Jennings became the Executive Director of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, where she had served as a Board member representing ACSI schools for 9 years prior to her appointment. In her capacity as Executive Director, Judy also represented the private schools of Washington to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) lobbying in both Washington D. C. and Olympia.
During her educational career, Judy also served in many professional capacities. She was a member of the ACSI Accreditation Commission, President of the Nisqually League 89-92, Representative to WCD 3 for the Nisqually League from 1990-2005 and its president in 94-95, WIAA Board Member from 1995-2005 and President in 96-97. Judy also served as a board member of National Federation of High School Associations from 2001-2005 representing 11 western states. Judy has also been a long time member of Rotary International, serving as president of her club from 96-97.
Mrs. Jennings holds an undergraduate degree in education as well as a Master’s Degree in Administrative Leadership, both from Pacific Lutheran University. She is also a certified administrator for the Association of Christian Schools International.
Mrs. Jennings lives in Bonney Lake and has been married to her husband, Fran, for 46 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Ms. Connie Fletcher has served on the Washington State Board of Education since 2009. Prior to this she served on the Issaquah School Board for 16 years and as WSSDA President and other officer positions from 2000 through 2003. She was honored for her service with the WSPTA Educator of the Year, the Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple and by the Issaquah Community as Community Volunteer of the Year.
Professionally, she served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, municipalities and school districts in governance, planning and major gifts fundraising. She also served as a human services planner and administrator for the City of Seattle and for two United Way organizations.
Connie is a native of Minnesota, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in political science and completing graduate studies in public administration from Mankato State University. She is a Carver Policy Governance Academy graduate.
Fletcher has served on the Washington State Learning First Alliance, the National Association of State Boards of Education Governmental Affairs Committee, the Washington State Army Advisory Board, the Issaquah Kiwanis Club and the boards of several other child welfare and social service organizations.
Connie lives in Issaquah, has four children and three grandchildren.
Peter Maier has been on the Board since May 2013. He worked on K-12 education policy issues for many years. He lives in Seattle, where he attended Seattle Public Schools as did both of his children. He was deeply involved in their schools’ PTSAs and was twice awarded a PTSA Golden Acorn.
Peter was active in the I-728 initiative campaign (personally collecting over 1000 signatures). He then began working on school levy campaigns and twice led successful levy campaigns in Seattle, serving as President of Schools First Coalition (Seattle’s levy campaign committee) from 2002 to 2007.
Peter was elected to the Seattle School Board in 2007 and served a full term until 2011. While on the Seattle School Board he was the board representative to WSSDA and often advocated on behalf of schools in Olympia as the board’s legislative liaison.
In 2012 Peter returned to Schools First Coalition as Treasurer for the successful February 2013 Seattle levy campaign.
Peter’s day job is an attorney in private practice with his own law firm. He specializes in representing individual consumers in Lemon Law claims and represents small businesses and non-profits. He has taught classes in law at Edmonds Community College and has been repeatedly recognized by his legal peers as one of Washington State’s “Superlawyers”.
At home Peter enjoys jogging, struggling with crosswords, cooking, and spending time with his wife of 35 years Liz Tennant. Both of their children are now adults.
Peter’s formal education after graduating from Seattle Public Schools was at Oberlin College (B.A. with highest honors in economics, 1974) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1981).
In her thirty-two year career in public education, Mona Bailey has worked to promote equity and excellence for all students, especially for underachieving students. She has served as a junior and high school science teacher, high school counselor, Middle School Principal, Personnel Administrator and Assistant and Deputy Superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, and as Assistant State Superintendent in the Washington State Office of Public Instruction. Immediately after retiring, she served as a Senior Associate with the Institute of Educational Inquiry, a nonprofit Seattle-based organization focusing on educational renewal in partnership with the National Network for Educational Renewal. She continues to play a role in education as an educational consultant and as a volunteer with advocacy groups to reform education for K-12 students.
Bailey co-chaired the HB2722 State Advisory Committee to Close the Achievement Gap of African American Students in the State of Washington. She currently serves on the Pacific Science Center Board of Directors and chairs its Science Education Advisory Committee; the Seattle Art Museum's Education and Community Advisory Committee; United Way of King County’s Community Building Committee; the Seattle YWCA's Communities of Color Advisory Committee; and the Black Education Strategy Roundtable Board of Directors. She is a founding member of School Board Leaders for the Future.
She has received many awards. The MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) State Board established the annual Mona Bailey MESA Teacher Award in 2003 in honor of her services to the State MESA Program from its beginning in the 1980s. She has been recognized by the Johnson Publishing Company as one of the 100 influential Black Americans and is listed in Who's Who Among Women and Who's Who Among Black Americans. Florida A&M University awarded her the Meritorious Achievement Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority honored her with the highest award bestowed upon its members, the Mary Church Terrell Award. In 2014, Therapeutic Health Services of Washington awarded her its annual Alvirita Little Award.
Bailey has a BS Degree in Chemistry from Florida A&M University and a MS in Science Education from Oregon State University. She was a candidate for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Administration at the University of Washington.
Mona Bailey and her husband, William Peter Bailey, have two sons: Col. Peter Govan Bailey, United States Air Force and Christopher Evans Bailey, Founder and CEO of the Seattle based company, Mindseekers; two grandsons, Tre and Taylor; and two granddaughters, Grace and Addysen.
Gov. Inslee appointed Seattle resident Ricardo Sanchez to the State Board of Education in 2016. Ricardo Sánchez has been involved in education in Washington state for more than 25 years.
In 1989-1996, Ricardo was director of communications for Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. This included serving as the superintendent’s chief speechwriter and a senior policy advisor.
In 1998, Ricardo founded the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP), a statewide non-profit organization aimed at improving academic achievement of Latino students in Washington State. LEAP was instrumental in convincing the state legislature to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition for college (2003), and to qualify for state-funded financial aid for college (2014).
In 2006-2009, Ricardo served as associate director in academic affairs for the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). He also served as state director of GEAR UP, a federally funded project administered by the HECB that helps low-income students prepare for college.
Between September 2009 and December 2016, Ricardo was vice president for Communications and Educational Services at Sea Mar Community Health Centers.
Ricardo earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration at Montana State University—Billings, and did graduate work in business administration at Portland State University and public administration at Seattle University.
In 1999, Ricardo received the American Institute for Public Service’s Jefferson Award for his communications and advocacy work on behalf of farm workers in Washington State. He received the Faces of Courage Award in 2000 from The Seattle Times and Coalition for Human Dignity for the same efforts, which led to significant public funding for safe and sanitary farm-worker housing. Several Latino community organizations have recognized Ricardo’s service, including the Washington State Hispanic Bar Association, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, UW MEChA student organization, and League of United Latin American Citizens.
MJ Bolt is an elected Eastern Washington representative to the Washington State Board of Education. She is passionate about high-quality education for all Washington students and for an equitable education system to help fully equip achievers for tomorrow.
Elected to the Central Valley School Board in Spokane Valley in November 2011, Bolt served as President of the Board in 2015. She served on the WSSDA Legislative Committee, building strong relationships with fellow school directors across the state. Bolt co-founded a local outreach program to help students who are homeless or in temporary and/or transitional housing, Council HEART in Hand Outreach, and co-founded the Greater Valley Support Network, bringing awareness and solutions for the most needy in her community. Bolt has been active in several local school and district Parent Teacher Associations, including serving two years as a service specialist for Washington State PTA Region 15 and co-chairing her district’s Citizen Levy Campaign. She received the 2010 Central Valley School District Meritorious Award.
MJ attended the University of Iowa and Eastern Washington University on golf scholarships, and now lives in Spokane Valley with her husband and two children.
Patty Wood was recently elected to the State Board of Education after she had served over 13 years on her local Kelso School Board. She also serves on the board of Education Northwest.
During her local board tenure she served in numerous roles ranging from a LAP volunteer to multiple committee memberships and two terms as Board Chair. She continues to serve her local district through her work on the Budget Advisory Committee, Levy Committee, Teaching at Outdoor School and as a Cross Country Coach at the High School.
Patty began her leadership role within WSSDA as a graduate of Leadership WSSDA. She then served two terms on the Legislative Committee and Chair of the FRN committee, Board Standards Taskforce, Technical Advisory Group, Trust Lands Task Force and was elected to the WSSDA board in 2011. She has also served on behalf of WSSDA on the ESSA Effective Educator Workgroup and the Teacher Shortage Grant Workgroup. However, her favorite activities are legislative advocacy, presenting at conferences and working with boards—whether it is essential board skills or a Finance 101 class.
Patty enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters enjoying the outdoors, whether it is running, skiing, hiking, or kayaking. Ending the day with a good book in hand is also a norm.
Ryan Brault has a passion for education and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed and live up to their individual potential.
Elected to the Pasco School Board in 2011, Brault served as Vice President of the Board in 2014 and as President in 2015. In addition, Ryan is a graduate of Leadership WSSDA (Washington State School Directors Association) and is a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities, Class XV. Ryan is also a Past President of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce and has served on the board of the Columbia Basin Badger Club. In addition, Ryan is a member of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Pasco Chamber & Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International. In 2010 Ryan also received the Community Leadership Award from SEWASA (South Eastern Washington Association of School Administrators).
He was actively involved involved in the Pasco School District for years. Ryan was a PEAK (Partners in Educating All Kids) Partner for several years from the inception of the program. He has also served for many years on the Pasco Vocational Building Committee which oversees a program where high school students build a house each year and profits are used to provide scholarships for students involved in the program. In addition, Ryan has been actively involved for several years in Pasco Citizens for Better Schools working on local bond and levy campaigns.
Ryan and his wife Jamie have been actively involved in efforts to combat human trafficking for more than a decade volunteering with International Justice Mission which is now the largest anti-slavery organization in the world. Ryan is also a Co-Founder of Faith Justice Network and was also a founding board member of Mirror Ministries focused primarily on local human trafficking issues in the Tri-Cities Area.
Ryan received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Seattle Pacific University.
In his free time, Ryan loves spending time with his wife and his two young children and enjoys wake-boarding, snowboarding, running, and biking. In addition, he is currently in the process of obtaining his private pilot's license.
Jeffrey C. Estes, MEd, recently retired after 28 years at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy, where he served as director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. He was responsible for strategy execution and evaluation of the Laboratory’s efforts to 1) strengthen and advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Washington State; 2) improve the Laboratory’s education programs for students, faculty and K-12 teachers; 3) deliver against the STEM education expectations of the U.S. Department of Energy-Office of Science; and 4) connect PNNL to Battelle’s Education and STEM Learning Initiative.
Before joining PNNL, he was a classroom teacher and museum educator. Currently, he is leading a PNNL project to design, implement, and mature a local STEM education collaboration zone, called the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory (Collaboratory). The Collaboratory highlights the power of PNNL and Battelle to impact the educational ecosystem and serve as a model for amplifying and accelerating progress in addressing our STEM education and workforce challenges.
Estes serves as Co-Director of the Washington State Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) Partnership, a 2013 KCTS-TV Golden Apple Award winning program. LASER is a collaborative model for catalyzing and sustaining science education reform. Using Battelle and Department of Energy resources, he manages a set of professional development, outreach and technical assistance activities, provided by PNNL, that enable LASER efforts to improve the learning and teaching of science, K-12.
Prior to focusing his efforts on STEM education and outreach, Estes was the steward for a PNNL program that provided hundreds of internships, fellowships and other opportunities for students, graduates and faculty. These include technical and business positions for high-school students through post-graduate research associates. Finally, he represents PNNL as part of Battelle’s Education and STEM Learning Initiative at Battelle-managed laboratories across the nation. This includes Laboratory participation in the STEMx Network, a multi-state network which includes Washington state.
Jeff holds undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as K-12 teaching certification from Western Washington University.
Holly Koon is a National Board Certified science (biology/chemistry) and CTE agriculture teacher at Mt. Baker Senior High, a rural, high poverty, high performing school. In two decades of teaching, she has taught an academically diverse population of students; including those in sheltered, at-risk programs.
Recently, Holly has served at both the district and state levels as a lead facilitator for National Board Certification, as the coordinator for her district’s transition to the new teacher/principal evaluation model (TPEP), and as the lead negotiator for her district’s interest-based collective bargaining process. Over her career, Holly’s love for students and teaching has inspired her to become a passionate, multi-venue advocate for standards-based accomplished teaching in all subject areas, STEM education, CTE, closing the achievement gap, and assuring that schools have sufficient resources to provide every child an equitable opportunity to achieve their potential. Holly’s advocacy has been dedicated to helping craft common sense approaches to blending all the above imperatives into best-practice models that are viable and sustainable at the school level.
Holly is married to Max Duncan, a National Board Certified special education teacher at Kendall Elementary. Holly and Max live in Maple Falls with their son, Aidan, who attends school in the district where his parents teach.
Janis Avery has led Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit, since 1995. Janis devotes her time to promoting educational equity for youth in foster care through advocacy for systems change, ensuring integrated strategy and accountability, maximizing community collaboration, and resource development.
Janis serves as an advisor to the DSHS Assistant Secretary of Children’s Administration as a member of the Children, Youth and Families Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Youth Action Plan Task Force, which sets King County’s priorities for youth services. She represents Treehouse on the Child Welfare Advocacy Coalition, Youth Development Executives of King County and the Road Map Project. In the past she served on the Children’s Alliance Public Policy Council, and co-chaired Washington’s Educational Oversight Committee for Children and Youth in Foster Care.
Janis has been recognized as a Puget Sound Business Journal Woman of Influence in 2008 and by Senator Maria Cantwell as a Woman of Valor in 2010. Janis holds a Master of Social Work and Certificate in Human Services Management from the University of Washington. She has dedicated her life to improving the circumstances of children in foster care, both in her professional capacity as a social worker and in her own home, as the adoptive parent of two children from foster care.
Chris Reykdal was born and raised in Snohomish, Washington as the youngest of eight children. He has served as a high school history teacher, local school board member, state legislator, and budget and education policy executive for our state’s community and technical college system. Chris has dedicated his entire career to public education, and he is currently serving in his first term as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Chris and his wife, Kim, live in historic Tumwater with their two children, Carter and Kennedy.
Chris graduated summa cum laude from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and a teaching certificate, and he earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. He coached both youth and adult soccer for several years, he volunteered as a local city planning commissioner, and he had the honor of serving as a trustee for the College Spark Washington Foundation for six years.
Chris leads a team at OSPI that is committed to opening up multiple pathways to high school graduation beyond the “university for all” approach. To do this and truly embrace all students, Chris is leading the charge to expand technical education opportunities and to decrease our reliance on standardized tests that label our students. Additionally, he is building broad coalitions that are working to close opportunity gaps through critical policy and budget changes.
Baxter is the western Washington student Board representative. A senior at Gig Harbor High school, one of Baxter’s earliest desires was public service, and he has been serving his student body in many capacities since the fourth grade. Baxter has always sought means of improvement in education and is honored for this opportunity to serve the students of Washington State. One of his greatest strengths is bridging the gap between his peers and educational administrators. He enjoys playing football, hanging out with friends, spending time in the outdoors, and giving back to his community.
Baxter served as president of The Kopachuck Student Body in 2012-13 and has held numerous student government positions throughout his education. One of his most inspiring ventures was a cultural and linguistic outreach to Nicaragua. There he spent time teaching children English and life skills. He has a passion for foreign language and has immersed himself in both Spanish and Mexican culture. As a proud member of the class of 2017, Baxter hopes to not only leave a positive impact on his fellow students, but a lasting change to his community.
Lindsey is the eastern Washington student board representative. She is a junior at Wellpinit High School on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Lindsey values practices to preserve her culture, including beading traditional jewelry and conversing in Spokane-Salish. She hunts, fishes, cuts and smokes wild game meat, digs for brown and white camas root, collects moss, and picks huckleberries for the elders’ traditional dinner during cultural week.
Lindsey has always had a passion for leadership. She is Associated Student Body President of her high school, participates in JROTC, captains the varsity volleyball team, serves on the safety committee, and mentors children at Back to the Earth STEM Camp and the local youth center.