Emily Yim (she/her)
Emily Yim is the Executive Director of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), a collaboration of Puget Sound school districts, whose mission is to leverage resources, talent, and intellectual capital to help over a quarter million students graduate career and college ready. Emily works with the Board of Directors, comprised of the Superintendents from the respective member school districts, along with industry and higher education leaders to implement collaborative efforts to develop exceptional teachers, engaged students, and empowered families across the region. She also serves as the Chair for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) in Washington, D.C., providing leadership in governance and policy advocacy, which serves over 520 governing boards and 6,500 trustees. She serves as the Chair of the ACCT Public Policy Committee and is the former Chair of the API and Native American Caucus. Ms. Yim was also the founding Director of the Department of Neighborhoods and Community Affairs for the City of Lynnwood; Vice President of Community and External Affairs at Washington Mutual Bank, helping to oversee and invest a $29 million annual philanthropic budget; Campaign Coordinator at Microsoft; and a former Board Member of the International District Housing Alliance in Seattle, United Way of Snohomish County, and the Community Services Advisory Council for Snohomish County. She completed her B.A. in International Studies and Political Science at the University of Washington.
Shereen Henry (she/her)
WABS Deputy Director
Shereen Henry has been involved with K-12 education for over 20 years. She taught high school math at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, WA for 11 years before moving to the district offices to serve as the Secondary Math Instructional Specialist for Shoreline Public Schools. In this role, Shereen built up an extensive background in implementing and designing professional development and support for mathematics teachers. She has also collaborated with colleagues around teacher leadership through the national Teach to Lead movement with the intent of building leaders in our school buildings. Ms. Henry has a passion for college and career readiness and has been involved in numerous partnerships and grants with higher education to further student’s opportunities.
In 2015, Shereen became the Director of Instructional Leadership at Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS); a role that allows her to focus on college and career readiness in the STEM fields. WABS serves students, families, and teachers in 11 school districts in the Puget Sound area, in partnership with higher education and industry leaders. In addition to her role at WABS, Shereen is also a WA state Bridge to College Math trainer, supporting the implementation of the new senior level course that leads to college readiness for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. Shereen holds a B.A. in History from Harding University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in mathematics from the University of Washington.
Jennifer Martinez (she/her)
Director of Equity and Family Engagement
Jennifer was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she spent her childhood outside, in the arroyo behind her house basking in the sun and breathing in the smells of juniper and clay. It was in this place that her imagination ran wild and dreams of serving the community were formed. These dreams led to experience as a community educator, teacher, program manager, and family advocate. While in Santa Fe she worked for organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc, and the Office of the State Historian. She also worked for two years at her former high school, Capital High School, as a Seminar teacher and GEAR UP Site Coordinator. Jennifer moved to Shoreline in 2012 and began working for the Shoreline School District in 2013. She worked as a Specialist in the Office of the Assistant Superintendent and a Family Advocate at Echo Lake Elementary. She has served on several Shoreline District committees and currently still serves on the District Race and Equity Steering Committee. Jennifer has been with WABS since 2017.
She holds a BA in Humanities from the College of Santa Fe and an MA in Educational Leadership – Community and Organizational Learning from the University of New Mexico. In her free time, Jennifer loves to spend time with her husband, two teenage daughters, and new baby. She loves to cook, write, and explore the Pacific Northwest as much as possible.
April Nilsen (she/her)
Director of Development & Communications
An east coast native, April Nilsen joined WABS in 2014 while completing her graduate degree, which focused on education policy, program evaluation, and nonprofit management. April has held many roles at WABS, including overseeing student programs and as the orgainzation’s grantwriter. Currently, she is the Director of Development and Communications. Previously, she has experience as an educator and an administrator in early childhood education.
April holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Snohomish County Legal Services. In her time outside of work, April enjoys spending time with her daughters, listening to podcasts, and exploring the outdoors.
Daisy Alcayaga-Neri (she/her)
Administrative & Finance Manager
Daisy Alcayaga-Neri joined the WABS team in 2018 supporting leadership and operations. In 2020 she expanded her role, overseeing financial management of the organization. She has over 8 years of marketing and human resources experience in the private sector working for small businesses and also served as an intern with United Way. She is excited to join the non-profit sector because she wants to make a difference in the community. Daisy found WABS to be an excellent fit because she is passionate about the academic achievement and college readiness of all students, particularly in public education.
Daisy holds a BA in Economics with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. She grew up in Southern California and recently moved back to the Pacific Northwest after living in Japan and exploring Southeast Asia for 3-1/2 years. Daisy enjoys traveling and learning about new places, foods, and cultures with her husband, two kids, and her Maltese.
Associate Director of Educator Leadership
Van grew up in Hawaii, and he has lived in California and Japan. His work as a teacher in Japanese schools profoundly shaped a passion for fostering curiosity and collaboration in the classroom. Before joining WABS in 2021, he taught English in the Bellevue School District and Mukilteo School District. For several years, he served as a curriculum leader to increase student access to underrepresented voices and more diverse content in literature courses. Van is a National Board Certified Teacher who holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Seattle Pacific University and a Master in Teaching from Western Washington University. He enjoys traveling, reading, and running.
Consuelo Davis (she/her)
Healthcare Career Engagement Director
Consuelo Flores Davis has nearly 20 years working in the public sector, most recently as the Workforce Development Program Manager at the Port of Seattle where she managed programs and developed partnerships to create equitable access to family-wage careers in maritime, aviation, and construction, especially for people of color, women, and youth. Prior to the Port, she worked on communications and community engagement at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to reduce air pollution, protect public health and the environment, and curb our region’s contribution to climate change. As a native of the Pacific Northwest and enrolled member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Consuelo’s professional career has aligned with her personal values to be a caretaker of Mother Earth and to help those who are economically disadvantaged.
Consuelo joined WABS in June 2021 as the Healthcare Career Engagement Director and will be working with the Healthcare Industry Leadership Table (HILT) convened by Seattle Jobs Initiative and Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council. This industry leadership table will serve a tri-county region covering Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties. HILT is working on improving access, equity, and diversity in our region’s healthcare workforce. She’ll help build a Career Connected Learning system with leaders from industry, schools, and the community on career exploration activities, such as career event planning, mentoring, speakers bureau, and a career video library.
John Bonner (he/him)
King and Pierce County Regional Network Director
John joined WABS in July 2021 as the King and Pierce County Regional Network Director. In this role he catalyzes and convenes outcome-focused collaborations with industry, community-based organizations, education systems, and other key partners to drive the work for Career Connected Learning. Prior to this, John served as Vice President of Corporate & Workforce Training at Everett Community College. This role included collaboratively leading the design, development, and implementation of several new regional centers for high demand career training as well as developing strategic networks and partnerships to create equitable education pathways across industry, labor, K-12, and higher education boundaries.
John has served as a board member with Boys and Girls Club Snohomish County, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, and Everett Area Chamber of Commerce. He has held faculty and managerial roles forging global partnerships for international education at the University of Washington, where he also completed graduate degrees in Teaching and Public Administration. He is currently completing his doctorate in higher education leadership at Northeastern University.
Fedden Amar (she/her)
Equity & Family Engagement Program Coordinator
Fedden was born and raised in Seattle, WA. Her parents emigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea in the 1980s. Their life experiences, in addition to her own as a first-generation American woman of color, have fueled her passions and desire to work in equity and social justice from a young age. She believes equity must be integrated as a primary part of the foundation of all organizations. Fedden has a background in community outreach, marketing, and communications–specifically for organizations that center historically underserved populations. She is looking forward to championing this work in her new role at WABS as the Equity & Family Engagement Program Coordinator.
Fedden holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Western Washington University and recently completed her M.A. in Communications with a focus on Communities and Networks at the University of Washington. In her free time, she likes to channel her artistic side as a form of self care.
Grace Schouten (she/her)
Grace Schouten joined WABS as an Executive Assistant in 2019, where she supports programming and operations. She became passionate about the nonprofit sector while working in child protective services and juvenile justice diversion programs where she worked directly with youth and families. In prior roles, Grace facilitated professional trainings and managed volunteer groups supporting programs for women and children. In her work, she most enjoys connecting people with their community and strengthening public programs.
Grace holds a BA in Criminology and Sociology from the University of South Florida, and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from South University. She grew up throughout the Southeast, moving to many new places as a military daughter. She enjoys volunteering, cycling, board games, and being outdoors with her family.
Sam Giffin (he/him)
21st Century Community Learning Center Program Director
Sam is originally from Toledo, Ohio and has lived in Kentucky, California, and Oregon before becoming a Washingtonian. After studying archaeology at the University of Kentucky and realizing a life of digging holes was not for him, Sam has spent the last 10 years in youth development. In those years, he has been involved with physical education, summer camping, and outdoor education before taking on the role of 21st CCLC Program Director in April of 2021.
Often you can find Sam with his family going on a hike, playing a round disc golf or discovering a new National Park.
Margeaux Hushagen (she/her)
21st Century Community Learning Center Program Director
Margeaux was born and raised in Western Washington. She has a M.S. in Special Education, a M.Ed. in Learning and Technology, and a B.A. in Sociology/Social Studies. She also earned her teaching certificate from Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University.
In addition to her role at WABS, she also is a full-time teacher. In her spare time she enjoys reading, sewing, and spending time with friends and family.
For a complete list of staff at the WABS 21st CCLC sites, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.