News - 2013 December New Members
News release


December 20, 2013

SBE Announces New Elected and Appointed Board Members, New Leadership and Returning Members

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The State Board of Education welcomes three new board members, two returning members, and a new executive committee.

The new and returning board members will each serve a four-year term beginning January 13, 2014.

“These education professionals and leaders bring outstanding experience and insights that will help ensure a high-quality education for all our children,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I’m excited about the contributions they will make to ensure greater success for Washington’s students.”

New Members

Jeff Estes, of Richland, was appointed to the board by the governor. Estes is the Director, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) Education at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. He is responsible for strategy execution and evaluation of the laboratory’s efforts to strengthen and advance STEM education in Washington state, and improve the laboratory’s education programs targeting students, educators and the community. Estes has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Western Washington University.

Holly Koon, of Deming, was appointed to the board by the governor. Koon is a National Board Certified science (biology, chemistry, physics), and CTE Agriculture teacher at Mt Baker High School. Over the past 20 years, she has taught all four subjects to an academically diverse population of students. Currently, she teaches part time so she can serve as the coordinator of her district's transition to the new teacher/principal evaluation model (TPEP). In addition, she has served as the lead facilitator for their National Board facilitation cohort. Koon has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Western Washington University.

Dr. Dan Plung, of West Richland, was elected by Washington state local school board members to represent eastern Washington on the board. Plung is Director of Project Services for one of the prime remediation contractors at the Hanford site. He holds a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York, and a master’s degree and doctoral degree in English from Idaho State University. He has taught on an Indian Reservation and at the University of South Carolina, Idaho State University, and Washington State University-Tri-Cities. Having a child with learning disabilities has also introduced Plung to the challenges and opportunities for special needs students, a personal commitment he continues to pursue as a member of the board of Columbia Industries -- a non-profit corporation providing work and training for the disabled.

Returning Members

Peter Maier, J.D., of Seattle, was elected by Washington state local school board members to represent western Washington on the board. Last May, Maier was appointed by the board to serve the remainder of a vacated term set to expire next month. For many years he has served his community through PTSA projects, chairing two successful Seattle school levy campaigns, and serving on the Seattle School Board from 2007 to 2011. He is currently the Treasurer of the Schools First levy campaign. He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1981 and graduated from Oberlin College in 1974. Maier has a successful law practice in Seattle, specializing in representing individual consumers.

Isabel Muñoz-Colón, of Tacoma, was reappointed to the board by the governor. Last May, Muñoz-Colón was appointed by the governor to serve the remainder of a vacated term set to expire next month. She is currently a Policy Advisor for the City of Seattle’s Office of Education, where she also co-chairs the English Language Learner working group for the South King County Road Map Project. She has worked at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction as the Director of Financial Policy and Research, where she was lead staff to the Quality Educational Council. Muñoz-Colón has a master’s degree from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame.

New Executive Committee

Dr. Kristina Mayer (Port Townsend) and Dr. Deborah Wilds (Issaquah) are the new chair and vice chair of the board. The pair, elected independently during the November board meeting, will serve for at least two years in their respective roles.

They will be joined on the Executive Committee by three at large members: Kevin Laverty (Mukilteo), Judy Jennings (Bonney Lake) and Muñoz-Colón.


Contact: Sarah Lane, SBE Communications Manager, (360) 725-6501

About the State Board of Education: The State Board of Education provides advocacy and strategic oversight of public education. The board is comprised of 16 members: five are elected by school board directors, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member.

[Back to News]