SBE Welcomes New Members
The State Board of Education (SBE) welcomes Mary Fertakis, M.Ed., and Jan Brown to the Board following this past fall’s election. Mary will represent Western Washington (region 3), and Jan will be the Board’s new Private Schools representative. MJ Bolt (SBE Vice Chair) ran uncontested and will continue to represent Eastern Washington (region 1).
“The Board is excited to welcome two new perspectives from Mary and Jan, and to maintain our Eastern Washington representative and Vice Chair, MJ Bolt,” said SBE Chair Peter Maier. “We thank them for their willingness to serve Washington State and to collaborate with the Board to ensure our state’s education system serves all students.”
MJ Bolt was 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 Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) Legislative Committee, building strong relationships with fellow school directors across the state.
MJ 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. MJ has made many State and National connections and was elected as New Board Representative to the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Board in 2016 and serves on multiple NASBE committees.
“It’s crucial that we have representation from Eastern Washington,” said Maier. “MJ does a great job of connecting with many different people, hearing their view, and bringing that perspective to Board discussion so that we consider how our decisions impact all students, regardless of zip code.”
Jan Brown began her educational career in the public schools with a BA in Education, 4-12 English/Language Arts from Washington State University. After completing a K-12 Music Endorsement, she continued as a K-9 choral and general music instructor at Cascade Christian Schools. The opportunity to work as a specialist across grades advancing students’ skills and deepening connections within the school community eventually led to a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Principal Certification.
Jan worked as an elementary principal and then on to district administration which led to her experience in K-12 Creative Arts Curriculum alignment with learning targets and comprehensive Human Resource policies and procedures. She led and collaborated with others to successfully launch a north Tacoma Classical, Christian Elementary School with an emphasis on the Arts.
From there, Jan worked in higher education for 13 years at Seattle Pacific University’s (SPU) Center for Professional Education. During her time at SPU, a generous grant from the Murdock Foundation provided Jan the opportunity to once again work with private school educators. The grant allowed several large and smaller private schools to creatively implement Professional Learning Communities.
“More than 500 private schools operate in Washington State, with over 80,000 students,” said Maier. “We’re looking forward to Jan’s experienced perspective as Private School representative for these schools and the families they serve.”
Mary Fertakis, M.Ed.
Mary Fertakis is the CEO of her own consulting business, specializing in P-12 education and equity issues, and the intersection of education with housing, transportation, workforce, health, and human services policies. She is a Consultant with the National School Boards Association Equity Department, and a member of the WSSDA Leadership Consultant Cadre, which provides training to school boards.
She served on the Tukwila School Board for 22 years, representing a school district that has been called the most ethnically-diverse in the United States, and was the 2012 President of the WSSDA, chaired the Association’s Nominating Committee. She served on WSSDA’s Closing the Achievement Gap Task Force, Urban Issues Committee, and Diversity & Multicultural Action Team. She is a founder of the Tukwila Children’s Foundation, which helps meet the unmet needs of children in the Tukwila community, serves on the Board of Still Waters, a non-profit serving homeless families in Tukwila, and on the board of the National Center for Restorative Justice.
Mary is an original member of the Racial Equity Policy Design Team of the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD), and serves on the Leadership Tomorrow Curriculum Committee, co-designing the Education Challenge Day for emerging leaders. In addition, she serves on the Community Leadership Team (CLT) of the Road Map Project (RMP), a regional, cradle-to-career initiative involving seven school districts, with the goal of doubling the number of post-secondary degrees earned by students in South King County by 2030.
“We’re looking forward to having Mary’s expertise on the Board,” said Maier. “She’s been a long-standing partner and champion for equity in Washington’s education system. We value her view and look forward to her representation of Western Washington.”
For more information about the State Board of Education Board Members, visit sbe.wa.gov/about-us/board-members. For more information about the election, please visit the post announcing this topic.