OSPI - Leadership
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  About OSPI

Agency Leadership

Chris Reykdal State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jamila Thomas Chief of Staff
Michaela Miller Deputy Superintendent
Dave Mastin Government Relations
Dierk Meierbachtol Chief Legal Officer
Lisa Dawn-Fisher Chief Financial Officer
Gayle Pauley Special Programs and Federal Accountability
Doug Gill Special Education
Michael Merrin Student and School Success
Deb Came Assessment and Student Information
Peter Tamayo Information Technology Services
Kathe Taylor Learning and Teaching
Andrea Cobb Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Rebecca Wallace Career and Technical Education
Nathan Olson Communications


Picture of Chris Reykdal

Chris Reykdal, State Superintendent | Superintendent@k12.wa.us
Roni Pettit, Executive Assistant | Roni.Pettit@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6115

The Superintendent of Public Instruction supports the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts. Together they administer basic education programs and implement education reform to more than one million students. Superintendent Reykdal:

  • Distributes billions of dollars in state and federal money to districts.Works with districts to ensure school buildings and buses are safe.
  • Creates statewide learning standards.
  • Monitors the teacher certification process, and provides professional development for teachers.
  • Oversees recommendations for textbooks and classroom materials.
  • Oversees an assessment system that monitors how students are learning the statewide standards.

As head of OSPI, Superintendent Reykdal also directs an agency of about 400 employees.


Picture of Jamila Thomas

Jamila Thomas, Chief of Staff | Jamila.Thomas@k12.wa.us
Jennifer Garner, Executive Assistant | Jennifer.Garner@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6309

The Chief of Staff oversees internal agency operations and external agency programs, while providing leadership and resources to support districts in implementing the four learning goals so all students develop skills necessary for their future. The Chief of Staff:

  • Directs the administration of agency operations.
  • Manages the development, administration, and evaluation of agency policies and procedures that assist staff in operations of the agency.
  • Oversees all divisions within the agency and directs oversight of Financial Resources, Governmental Relations, and Human Resources.
  • Works with staff to provide necessary leadership and resources to allow them to work to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
  • Develops, implements, and oversees key projects and programs on behalf of the Superintendent.


Picture of Michaela Miller

Michaela Miller, Deputy Superintendent | Michaela.Miller@k12.wa.us
Jami Peterson, Executive Assistant | Jami.Peterson@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6343

The Deputy Superintendent oversees a variety of sections within the agency, including Teaching & Learning, Assessment and Student Information, Career and College Readiness, District and School Improvement and Accountability, Special Programs and Federal Accountability, and Student Support. The Deputy Superintendent:

  • Represents the Superintendent in K-12 outreach efforts.
  • Coordinates agency responses to inquiries about K-12 issues.
  • Supervises administrators who have direct responsibility for K-12 operations.
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Dave Mastin

Dave Mastin, Executive Director of Government Relations | Dave.Mastin@k12.wa.us
Jackie Hansman, Executive Assistant | Jackie.Hansman@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6111

The Director of Governmental Relations directs the agency’s government relations activities at the state and federal levels. That includes establishing and implementing short-and long-range goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures for government relations support. The Director:

  • Oversees implementation strategy for advancing priority legislative recommendations.
  • Oversees and coordinates interactions with legislators, legislative staff, and other local, state, and federal officials
  • Oversees statutory implementation and accountability process for the government relations support functions
  • Oversees the agency’s legislative clearinghouse function, including bill tracking and analysis, committee hearing tracking
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Dierk Meierbachtol

Dierk Meierbachtol, Chief Legal Officer | Dierk.Meierbachtol@k12.wa.us

The Chief Legal Officer is responsible for coordinating legal services for the agency. The Chief Legal Officer:

  • Oversees OSPI’s Equity and Civil Rights Office, Office of Professional Practices, and public records unit.
  • Acts as an initial resource for legal questions arising within the agency.
  • Serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office for litigation and general legal advice.
  • Coordinates agency rule-writing and monitors rulemaking efforts.


Lisa Dawn-Fischer

Lisa Dawn-Fisher, Chief Financial Officer | 360-725-6292
Jackie Hansman, Executive Assistant | Jackie.Hansman@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6111

The chief financial officer is responsible for the distribution of funding: agency budgeting; research on school funding; and collecting data on enrollment, personnel and financial information. The office:

  • Oversees School Apportionment and Financial Services, which includes state and federal money.
  • Oversees Grants Management.
  • Works with School Facilities and Organization section to coordinate planning, construction and renovations of school buildings.
  • Acts as agency budget office, including providing fiscal services to every section within OSPI.
  • Coordinates Audit Management and Resolution section.
  • Manages Pupil Transportation, Traffic Safety Education, and Child Nutrition.


Picture of Gayle Pauley

Special Programs and Federal Accountability
Gayle Pauley, Assistant Superintendent
| Gayle.Pauley@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6170
Carrie Hert, Executive Assistant | Carrie.Hert@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6170

The Assistant Superintendent for Special Programs and Federal Accountability helps school districts, through state and federal programs, raise the academic achievement of students who face disability, poverty, second language acquisition, learning difficulty, and mobility, among other challenges. The office oversees:

  • Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Consolidated Program Review
  • Highly Capable Program (HCP)
  • Native Education
  • Learning Assistance Program (LAP)
  • Migrant and Bilingual Education
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act / No Child Left Behind
  • Paraeducators
  • Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP)
  • School Library Media Programs and Teacher-Librarians
  • Title I
  • Title II, Part A

Picture of Doug Gill

Special Education
Doug Gill, Assistant Superintendent
| Doug.Gill@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075
Beverly Gunkel, Administrative Assistant | beverly.gunkel@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075

The Assistant Superintendent for Special Education is responsible for ensuring the provision of special education and related services on behalf of more than 130,000 eligible students in Washington. The office:

  • Allocates federal and state special education funding, including the provision of supplemental safety net funding for individual high need students and school districts that can demonstrate a unique community impact in the area of special education.
  • Regulates the provision of special education services through an integrated monitoring system, dispute resolution options and coordinated data management efforts.
  • Facilitates program improvement efforts aimed at utilizing evidence based and promising practices in the improvement of eligible student academic and post school outcomes.


Picture of Michael Merrin

Student and School Success
Michael Merrin, Assistant Superintendent
| Michael.Merrin@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4960
Trisha Madrid, Executive Assistant | Trisha.Madrid@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4960

Student and School Success is committed to ensuring that every student in Washington attends an excellent school with quality teachers. The office:

  • Manages federal dollars supporting school improvement efforts in Washington.
  • Supports collaboration between OSPI, regional ESDs, and districts to ensure best-practices and an ongoing network of support for teachers, administrators, and district officials statewide.
  • Coordinates efforts through the Washington Improvement and Implementation Network (WIIN).
  • Actively engages stakeholders in advocacy work to ensure a continually growing and equitable graduation/college ready rate.


Picture of Deb Came

Assessment and Student Information
Deb Came, Assistant Superintendent
| Deb.Came@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6334
Troi Williams, Executive Assistant | Troi.Williams@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6334

Assessment and Student Information produces and implements state and federally required tests and collects and reports information about Washington’s public school students. The office:

  • Administers assessments in reading, mathematics, writing and science in grades 3-8 and high school.
  • Monitors student progress toward meeting testing requirements for high school graduates, including approved assessment options.
  • Coordinates the regular collection and reporting of student data from school districts.
  • Disseminates formative assessments for teachers to use in the classroom for the purpose of monitoring instruction and improving learning.


Picture of Peter Tamayo

Information Technology Services
Peter Tamayo, Chief Information Officer
| Peter.Tamayo@k12.wa.us | 360- 725-6134
Shaylah Seymour, Executive Assistant | Shaylah.Seymour@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4995

The Information Technology Services (ITS) coordinates the integration of technology to improve teaching and learning in the state of Washington by providing leadership and management of technology, a telecommunications infrastructure, and the tools for students, teachers and administrators in the K-12 sector The office:

  • Provides technical support to the OSPI Web site and develops and maintains software for OSPI and the school districts.
  • Supports and manages the OSPI IT infrastructure including video conferencing.
  • Develops, manages and supports projects, programs, training and successful practices that integrate technology into teaching and learning.
  • Conducts data mining and reporting to comply with OSPI, state, and federal reporting requirements.


Picture of Kathe Taylor

Learning and Teaching
Kathe Taylor, Assistant Superintendent
| Kathe.Taylor@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6417
Judy Decker, Executive Assistant | Judy.Decker@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6432

Learning and Teaching includes a broad spectrum of content areas and programs, including reading, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, health and fitness, environment and sustainability education, sexual health education, international education, world languages, learning and technology support, and early learning. The office:

  • Leads the development, review, and revision of Washington’s K-12 learning standards.
  • Provides professional development and technical assistance in partnership with education leaders and regional and local stakeholders statewide to build a coherent and consistent system of support for implementation of state standards.
  • Partners with other OSPI divisions and state/regional stakeholders to support integration and coordination of programs and activities, including the development of state formative assessment systems and implementation of OSPI-developed assessment in social studies, the arts, and health and fitness.
  • Administers federal, state, and privately funded programs focused on improving widespread teaching and learning.


Andrea Cobb

Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Andrea Cobb, Executive Director
| Andrea.Cobb@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6032
Amber Palmer, Administrative Assistant | Amber.Palmer@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6052

The Executive Director of the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning acts as the agency’s chief research officer. In this capacity she leads efforts to connect policymakers, schools, families and communities with research and information about effective educational improvement strategies. The Executive Director:

  • Works in collaboration with staff at OSPI and external partners to identify both systemic changes and practical strategies for eliminating academic and non-academic barriers to student learning.
  • Leads the development of the Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol.


Rebecca Wallace

Career and Technical Education
Rebecca Wallace, Executive Director
| Rebecca.Wallace@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6244
Kim Hoss, Administrative Assistant | Kim.Hoss@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6219

Career and Technical Education (CTE) works to promote the quality and rigor of Career and Technical Education and Secondary Education courses, provide students with options that link middle school to high school and to post-secondary opportunities, blend academic and technical studies, and most importantly, connect students to their goals for the future. Career and Technical Education:

  • Manages Career and Technical Education programs that lead to industry certification, apprenticeships, and college degrees.
  • Supervises Skills Centers that specialize in high-cost, high-demand programs.
  • Manages High Demand grants, equivalency credit opportunities, and Running Start for the Trades.
  • Oversees Perkins Federal legislation.


Nathan Olson

Nathan Olson, Director of Communications | Nathan.Olson@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6015
Karen Conway, Executive Assistant | Karen.Conway@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6003

The Director of Communications serves as the chief liaison between the agency and the media and helps develop internal and external messaging consistent with the state superintendent’s priorities. The section:

  • Coordinates interviews and speeches given by the state superintendent and occasionally other members of the leadership team;
  • Coordinates press responses, in consultation with content experts;
  • Oversees the agency’s web site content;
  • Identifies and awards exceptional educators through the Teacher of the Year, Classified Employee of the Year and other awards;
  • Creates communications materials and communications plans for internal and external audiences;
  • Communicates important information to school districts.






   Updated 4/20/2017

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