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Staff

Randy Spaulding

Executive Director

Randy has served as the Executive Director for the Washington State Board of Education since 2018. Previously he had served as the Director of Academic Affairs and Policy at the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). His work focused on the intersections of secondary and postsecondary education to improve student transitions and raise educational attainment. Prior to his work at the Council (HECB), Randy worked in student services, admissions, and financial aid at the University of Washington Bothell. Randy received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2003.

Seema Bahl

Senior Policy Analyst

Seema Bahl joined SBE in 2021 to support the advancement of Mastery-Based Learning in Washington State. Prior to this, she served as an Associate Education Ombuds at the Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds and worked with families, educators, schools, and community groups across Washington State to advance educational equity and support student learning. Seema also has several years of experience in higher education as a lecturer at Bellevue College and the University of Washington, teaching courses on disability, race, and gender. Seema has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master of Arts in Sociology from New School University. Seema enjoys international travel, singing, and parenting.

Mark Bergeson

Finance Director

Mark Bergeson joined SBE in 2019. Previously he served as an Associate Director of Academic Affairs and Policy at the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) and Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). His work focused on equity, grant administration, and degree program approval. Prior to that, he provided accounting services for nonprofit organizations serving people with disabilities.

Viktoria Bobyleva

Basic Education Manager

Viktoria joined SBE in 2022. Born and raised in Eastern Europe, she has had extensive academic and professional experience in international education. Prior to joining SBE, Viktoria worked for Seattle Colleges’ District Office analyzing quantitative data associated with faculty summative performance evaluation. She holds a Master’s degree in Policy Studies from the University of Washington specializing in education policy. Viktoria has research skills and policy foundation related to public school choice and innovative education. She is passionate about qualitative and quantitative research design, methods of data collection and analysis.  

Stephanie Davidsmeyer

Director of Communications

Stephanie Liden Davidsmeyer is a communications professional with 10 years' experience in nonprofit, corporate, and government outreach and media relations. In her career in government communications, she has worked for the Washington State Department of Early Learning, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Liquor and Cannabis Board, and briefly for the Department of Ecology and the Department of Health (in Minnesota). Stephanie has a Master's degree in English, Creative Writing and her B.A. in Communications from the University of North Dakota where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She’s passionate about brand integrity, new media, storytelling, and of course, education communications.

Linda Drake

Director of Career- and College-Ready Initiatives

Linda Drake joined SBE in 2012. For over 10 years she worked at Pierce County Careers Connection as a project manager and as director. She led projects and initiatives supporting college-readiness and the successful transition of high school students to post-secondary education and careers, including the Career and Technical Education Dual Credit program for Pierce County. Linda holds a master’s degree in geology and geophysics from Yale University and has experience in environmental consulting and in teaching university-level geology and oceanography.

Jacki Verd

Executive Assistant

Jacki joined the State Board staff team in 2022. She is a native Washingtonian and has worked in State Government for nearly thirty years. 

Arielle Matthews

Arielle joined SBE in 2022 as the Student, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator to ensure the voices of or most marginalized communities are heard and involved as decisions are made for their educational experiences. Prior to coming to SBE, Arielle worked for the Seattle Colleges’ District managing programs to address equity and access to higher education and living wage careers. She is a born and bred Washingtonian and a  “double dawg”, having earned both her B.S in psychology and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She can be found doing DIY home renovation projects and adventuring around the state on her motorcycle.

Nicole Mulhausen

Private Schools Manager

Nicole joined SBE in 2020 to manage the private schools application and oversight process. She comes to us from higher education, where she has extensive history managing a performance venue at her alma mater, the University of Puget Sound. Nicole enjoys spending time with her grown children, puttering in the garden, and reading “cosy” English murder mysteries.

Alissa Muller

Director of the Mastery-based Learning Collaborative

Alissa joined SBE in 2017. Her work focuses on supporting the state’s mastery-based learning efforts and ensuring each and every student is prepared for their next steps after high school. Prior to joining the SBE, she worked for several Texas nonprofits. Alissa holds her B.S. degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas and her Master of Public Administration degree from the Evans School at the University of Washington. Alissa enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and son.

Andrew Parr

Research Director

Andrew joined SBE in 2013. He moved to Olympia from Nevada where he taught middle school math and science and later worked in the Department of Education’s Assessment and Accountability division while earning his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. Then and now, Andrew plays a key role in a variety of projects and research connected to education reporting, accountability, and educational equity.

J. Lee Schultz

Director of Advocacy & Engagement

J. Lee Schultz was most recently the Associate Director of External Affairs for the Washington Student Achievement Council. She has experience working with stakeholders, advocates, and has served as legislative liaison. Prior, J. Lee worked in the Student Financial Assistance division on conditional scholarship and loan repayment programs supporting workforce shortage needs. She also worked for the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) where she focused on removing barriers to the teaching profession and diversifying the educator workforce to better reflect and serve the student population. Prior to joining state government, J. Lee had a ten-year career in evaluation research, working at non-profit and university-based research centers.