as of May, 2022
Snohomish County Co-Chair
Dr. Alison Brynelson, Superintendent
Mukilteo School District
Alison Brynelson began serving the Mukilteo School District as Superintendent on January 1, 2020. Mukilteo School District serves a diverse population of about 15,000 students living in the cities of Mukilteo, Everett, Lynnwood, and Edmonds. The District has 21 schools, including two comprehensive high schools, one alternative high school, Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center, four middle schools, 12 elementary schools, and Pathfinder Kindergarten Center.
Dr. Brynelson’s work in the District spans 22 years and several different positions including Explorer Middle School Assistant Principal, Voyager Middle School Principal, Director of Student Services, Executive Director of Secondary Education, Assistant Superintendent, and Deputy Superintendent from 2016 to 2019. She began her career in education as a middle school social studies and English teacher in the Bethel School District. Dr. Brynelson has a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University, a master’s degree from University of Puget Sound, completed her superintendent’s certificate in 2005 and earned a doctorate degree in Executive Leadership from Seattle Pacific University in 2014. She has been a steady guiding force in the District’s equity work and the most recent teacher negotiations. Dr. Brynelson was raised on a small island in Southeast Alaska. She moved to Washington to attend Western and has remained a resident ever since.
King County Co-Chair
Elizabeth J. Warman, Community Leader
Warman received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University, Edward R. Morrow School of Communication, with a degree in Public Relations in 1979 and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evan’s School, University of Washington in 2009. Warman has served as a board member and chair on numerous business and philanthropic organizations. Warman planned and completed a successful sailing trip to Central and South America, studying new cultures and history. She traveled both inland and water routes in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru, totaling over 12,000 nautical miles. In El Salvador Warman built houses for Habitat for Humanity.
Dr. Keisha Scarlett, Assistant Superintendent of Academics
Dr. Keisha Scarlett is Chief Academic Officer for Seattle Public Schools and formerly served as Chief of Equity, Partnerships, and Engagement. Keisha’s vast educational leadership experiences range from her early career in the STEM field at The Boeing Company to middle school teacher, principal, and numerous central office leadership positions in Seattle Public Schools. Dr. Scarlett has dedicated her career to advocate for both academic opportunities and environments which tap into the inherent brilliance of students, particularly students furthest from educational justice. In 2014, Keisha Scarlett was named Washington State Middle Level Principal of the Year. She was recipient of University Council for Educational Administrator (UCEA) Excellence in Educational Leadership Award in 2013.
Over the past two decades, Dr. Scarlett has innovated, developed and led numerous districtwide racial equity initiatives for Seattle Public Schools impacting students, staff, and family leadership. Dr. Keisha Scarlett recently served on a committee for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and co-authored their report Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities released July 2020. She was recently invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to support their work to formalize and endorse a set of concrete recommendations that support the safe reopening of K-12 schools across the county for the new Biden-Harris administration.
Dr. Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent
Edmonds School District
Dr. Gustavo Balderas began his life as the child of migrant farm workers in eastern Oregon and developed his love of learning and passion for education in Oregon public schools. His career highlights a focus on improving equity and cultural proficiency in K-12 instruction.
Dr. Balderas joined the Edmonds School District in 2020. He has been a dedicated educator for over 25 years. Before returning to Oregon, he briefly taught in Texas, served as the superintendent of Madera Unified School District in Madera, California, then became the superintendent of Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, California. Dr. Balderas served as the superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon since 2015. He was appointed to work on the Oregon State Board of Education in 2018.
Community engagement is important to Dr. Balderas. Dr. Balderas is a volunteer consulting superintendent for the Educational Research and Development Institute and the Suburban School Superintendents national organizations. He is a founding member and past president of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators. He also serves as the NW regional representative and treasurer for the national Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents. He collaborates with other government agencies, area businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide the highest quality of education and care for students. Dr. Balderas holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon.
Ryan Calkins, Commissioner
Ryan Calkins was elected to the Port of Seattle Commission in 2017 and re-elected in 2021. Calkins also works as a nonprofit professional at Ventures, a charitable organization that supports low-income entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in the Puget Sound area. For over a decade, Calkins ran an import and distribution company in Seattle that was recognized for its industry-leading sustainability initiatives. As Port Commissioner Calkins strives to focus on sustainable economic development with a long-term vision, to ensure that one of our region’s most valuable public assets will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Calkins is a Puget Sound native who was born and raised in Edmonds and currently resides with his wife and three children in Seattle. He received his Master of Arts from Yale University in International Relations and his Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University in Religious Studies.
Cheryl Chamberlain, Chief Administrative Officer
As CAO, Cheryl leads McKinstry’s “Enterprise Partners” team, consisting of the HR, technology, corporate facilities, brand and communications, and business and executive service teams. This group’s work focuses on the infrastructure supporting the employee experience and enables the efficient and scalable operations of the company’s many business units. Since joining the company in July 2010, Cheryl has provided leadership to fulfill McKinstry’s vision for “great people growing and staying with us” to serve each other and our clients. During her tenure, McKinstry has transformed and expanded its people-centric approach and leadership development to attain record levels of engagement of our people and in leader effectiveness.
Cheryl’s background includes leadership positions in retail, banking, philanthropy, consumer marketing, and non-profits, winning regional and national recognition in each for leadership and results obtained. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication from Eastern Washington University and holds certifications in public relations and executive coaching. But most of what she’s learned comes from the great people she has served.
Dr. Susan Enfield, Superintendent
Highline Public Schools
Knowing every student by name, strength and need is the promise of Highline Public Schools. Under the leadership of Susan Enfield the district is delivering on this promise by implementing a bold strategic plan committed to ensuring that students graduate bilingual, biliterate with the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for the future they choose. A former high school English, journalism, and ELL teacher, Susan served as Chief Academic Officer and then as Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before coming to Highline in 2012. She previously held leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools (Vancouver, WA), Portland Public Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Susan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned master’s degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.
Joel Gilbertson, EVP, Regional Chief Executive WA/MT
Joel leads the community partnerships division for Providence, the third-largest not-for-profit health system in the country. In this role, he oversees national and local advocacy for the system, as well as community health investment efforts that deliver $1.6 billion of community benefit into its service areas. These efforts are focused on transforming lives, while building healthy and thriving communities. He began at Providence in 2005 as chief strategy and administrative officer for the system’s Alaska Region.
Prior to joining Providence, Joel served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the state’s largest agency. Before moving to Alaska, Joel was legislative director and chief counsel for a U.S. senator in Washington, D.C. Raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Joel holds a J.D. from George Washington University Law School and a M.P.H. from George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. He also holds a B.A. from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He resides in Seattle with his wife and two daughters.
Marie Kurose, Chief Executive Officer
Marie calls on decades of policy expertise, collaboration, and strategic partnerships across government, community, and philanthropy.
Prior to joining the WDC, Marie developed and led the Port of Seattle’s workforce development initiatives designed to increase equitable access and career opportunities in construction, maritime, aviation, and other port-related industries. Her previous experience includes the City of Seattle and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, where she led initiatives focused on equity in workforce, organizational change, and sector-based workforce development strategies, and nearly ten years working with diverse populations in community-based employment and training programs.
Throughout her career, Marie has worked to bring the voices of diverse community stakeholders to address issues related to racial equity and social justice.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District
Dr. Jon Holmen serves as 13th Superintendent for the Lake Washington School District. He is a skilled education leader with 21 years of experience in public education. Dr. Holmen began his career as a third grade teacher in Lake Washington School District. He has continued to serve his community as Assistant to the Principal, Principal, Associate Director of Special Services, and Director of School Support for the Redmond Learning Community. Since 2014, Dr. Holmen has served as Associate Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, as a member of the Executive Cabinet. During those six years, Dr. Holmen provided executive oversight for Special Education, Intervention Services, School Support, Human Resources, Student Services, Technology Operations, Communications, and Data, Research & Accountability.
Dr. Holmen holds a doctoral degree in Education and master’s in Educational Leadership from Seattle Pacific University. Additionally, he has a master’s degree in Teaching from City University. He is an active community member in Lake Washington School District, where he lives with his family. He believes in the value of serving the community he lives in and is committed to ensuring continued organizational growth and development to meet the needs of each student.
Brian King, EVP & Chief Information Officer
Brian King is the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at T-Mobile. Before he became CIO in April 2021, Brian was the SVP and chief operating officer of Technology, where he oversaw the end-trend management of T-Mobile’s network and IT operations and systems as well as critical facilities and emergency management. Brian is responsible for fostering a product-centric technology organization that leverages the power of people, processes and technology to fuel the Un-carrier revolution and bring to life innovative experiences for customers and frontline employees.
Brian joined Team Magenta 23 years ago and has served in several engineering and operations roles. He played a big role in the merger with Spring and led the team responsible for standing up T-Mobile’s customer care WFH operation for over 12,000 care employees within three weeks after COVID-19 hit. Before T-Mobile, Brian worked in leadership roles at Ericsson, O2 and British Telecom. From 2017 to 2019, Brian served as the Chair of the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC).
Brian is a big fan of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders, and he also enjoys spending his early weekend mornings watching the English Premier League. He’s passionate about fair weather cycling and has cycled Seattle-to-Portland 10 times!
Dr. Damien Pattenaude, Superintendent
Renton School District
Dr. Damien Pattenaude, a product of the Renton School District, grew up in the Skyway neighborhood, where he graduated from Renton High School. He went on to obtain three degrees from Washington State University: a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership, M.Ed in Educational Leadership, and a Bachelor of Arts in English. Over the past fifteen years, he has served the Renton School District as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, chief academic officer, and assistant superintendent of learning and teaching. In July 2017, Dr. Pattenaude assumed the role of Superintendent, where he will continue his focus on improving student achievement for every child.
Dr. Chris Pearson, Acting Superintendent
Dr. Pearson’s career spans levels and locations. He began as a high school English teacher in the suburbs of Washington, DC before moving overseas to teach at an international school in Athens, Greece. He moved to Washington State in 2003 and into a school leadership role as an elementary/middle school principal. Dr. Pearson spent eight years in this role, most notably leading a dual-language school in the Burlington-Edison School District. Dr. Pearson was recognized as the Washington State Elementary Principal of the Year for his work at this school, an honor that provided him with the opportunity to spend a year serving the Obama Administration as a Principal Ambassador Fellow.
Before coming to Marysville last July to serve as executive director of elementary education, Dr. Pearson spent the past five years in a superintendent role, first in the Conway School District and, more recently at the Madison international School in Merida, Mexico.
Dr. Pearson is excited to begin this leadership role in support of Marysville’s schools and the Marysville and Tulalip community, and he looks forward to connecting with staff, students, and families.
Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent
Northshore School District
Dr. Michelle Reid has been superintendent of the Northshore School District since 2016. Dr. Reid was formerly the superintendent of South Kitsap School District. Prior to becoming South Kitsap’s superintendent, she served as deputy superintendent, district athletic director and high school principal in the Port Angeles School District. She is known regionally and nationally for instructional leadership and crafting sustainable systems for district support of the instructional core.
She has been a conference keynote presenter, STEM panel participant, and has been a leadership facilitator at both the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership and the Harvard Institute for School Leadership. Reid received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington, master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Washington, and her bachelor’s degree in Natural Science/Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound.
Dr. Susana Reyes, Superintendent
Dr. Susana Reyes has also previously served as the Assistant Superintendent of Operations for the Pasco School District, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services for the Mead School District, and the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for the Pullman School District. Her experience in education includes seeing as a principal, assistant principal, and bilingual elementary teacher for the Wapato School District. Dr. Reyes serves on the Washington State Board of Education. She is also a member of the board of the Washington Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents and a member of the Board of Trustees of College Spark Washington. Dr. Reyes was born in Mexico City and is a first-generation college graduate. She attended Wapato Public Schools and graduated from Wapato High School. Dr. Reyes earned her doctorate in educational leadership from Washington State University as well as her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in education administration. She holds the Principal Certificate and Superintendent Credential also from WSU.
Dr. Ian Saltzman, Superintendent
Everett Public Schools
Dr. Ian Saltzman has been the Superintendent of Everett Public Schools since July 2019. He was the regional superintendent of The School District of Palm Beach County since 2016. Prior to that, he was the area superintendent of area 1 and 5, superintendent of Transformation Schools, and director of School Accountability. He has served as a principal of elementary, middle and high schools, and taught middle school special education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree in Special Education from Florida State University, and a Specialists and Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Carla Santorno, Superintendent
Tacoma Public Schools
Carla Santorno, a national award-winning superintendent, has led an academic improvement effort that has increased the Tacoma Public Schools graduation to 89.3 percent for the class of 2018. That’s up from 55 percent when she joined the district in 2009 as deputy superintendent. AASA, the School Superintendent’s Association, named Carla the winner of its national 2016 Women in School Leadership Award. Carla serves as Superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools, a district serving over 30,000 students.
Pat Schirmer, Community Leader
Pat Schirmer was named Vice President of Enterprise Engineering Strategy & Operations, ET&T in 2020. In his previous role, as Vice President of Airplane Programs Engineering, he was responsible for the engineering teams directly supporting the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs, including non-recurring product development efforts (737 MAX and 777X). He worked with these teams to prioritize statement of work to ensure product definition and to help meet program schedules and the long-range business plan for Commercial Airplanes. Schirmer also provides strategic direction to the Engineering team for use of common processes and tools and drives integration across programs, people and business units.
Before assuming his current assignment, Schirmer was Vice President of Customer Support, responsible for ensuring the health of the world’s largest fleet of commercial jetliners – more than 14,000 airplanes. Prior to that assignment, Schirmer led a Customer Support Engineering team, with responsibility for the resolution of customers’ in-service engineering issues for the 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 fleets. A graduate of the University of Washington, Schirmer received a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as a Master of Business Administration participating in the Executive MBA program. In addition, Schirmer is a graduate from the Seattle University Executive Leadership Program.
Dr. Adam Swinyard, Superintendent
Dr. Adam Swinyard has been Superintendent of Spokane Public Schools since 2020, and previously served as Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Services. The Spokane Public Schools District is the newest school district collaborating with WABS, and the first school district in Eastern Washington to do so. The District is one of the largest in the state and includes 34 elementary schools, 6 middle schools, 5 high schools, and 6 sites dedicated to alternative learning. It also boasts an 89% graduation rate.
In his leadership of the District, Dr. Swinyard uses the skills he gained over his professional career, which includes principal and director positions in the Spokane and Cheney School Districts. He received his B.A. from Northwest University, and an M.Ed., and an Ed.D. in Executive Leadership from Seattle Pacific University.
Katina Thornock, Vice President, Senior Corporate Counsel-Litigation
Katina C. Thornock serves as Senior Corporate Counsel- Litigation for Providence. Previously, she served as Director, Managing Corporate Counsel, Litigation at Starbucks where she led the team responsible for complex commercial, real estate, intellectual property, general liability and Americans with Disabilities Act litigation. Prior to joining Starbucks, Ms. Thornock gained extensive litigation experience working at the Reed McClure and Cozen O’Connor law firms. She began her career in the Prosecuting Attorneys Offices of King and Pierce Counties, Washington where she guided misdemeanor and felony prosecutions through trial. She is a past Co-Chair of the Starbucks Law and Corporate Affairs Diversity Committee and a 2014 Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity (“LCLD”) Fellow. Ms. Thornock has also served on the Board of Directors of New Beginnings, Seattle Central College and Disability Rights Advocates. She graduated from the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law.
Israel Vela, Interim Superintendent
Israel Vela was named Interim Superintendent of Kent School District in August 2021. A long-time resident of Kent, Israel Vela, and his family have been a part of the community since 1999. Both Vela’s son and daughter graduated from Kentwood High School. As Interim Superindent of the Kent School District, Vela relies on his well-versed knowledge of federal and state programs in order to serve some of the district’s highest-need students and families. Vela has previously served as the Kent School District Chief School Operations and Academic Support Officer and Executive Director of Schools. Prior to joining the Kent School District, Vela spent a combined decade as both a classroom teacher and coach in the Moses Lake and Lake Washington School Districts.