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State Board of Education Recognizes Janis Avery's Service

Release Date: 

June 25, 2018

“We will greatly miss having Janis Avery on the State Board of Education,” said State Board Chair Kevin Laverty, “particularly her leadership, sophisticated insights, and relentless focus on students. We understand her decision to step down in order to focus all of her time, energy, and passion on TreeHouse, the nonprofit she has led fearlessly for more than 20 years. During her SBE tenure, she advocated tirelessly for foster youth and other youth too often marginalized within our educational system. She was equally passionate in her belief that all children have equitable education access and attainment. It is only fitting she would step down from the Board to focus on the TreeHouse goal that by 2022, youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.”

Since 1995, Avery has served as CEO of TreeHouse which helps more than 7,500 youth in foster care each year. She has received many awards, including being recognized as Executive Director of the Year by the Executive Alliance, the Evergreen Award from the Alliance for Nonprofits Washington, and the Brava! Award from the Women’s University Club.

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Avery’s full biography from the SBE website previously read:

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.

Media Contact: 

Alissa Muller
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(360) 725-6501