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Home » About OSPI » Agency Leadership

Agency Leadership

Chris Reykdal, State Superintendent | superintendent@k12.wa.us
Amber Palmer, Executive Assistant | amber.palmer@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 serving more than one million students. As head of OSPI, Superintendent Reykdal directs an agency of more than 400 employees.

The Superintendent:

  • 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 an assessment system that monitors how students are learning the state standards.
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, Government Relations, Communications, 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.

The Chief of Staff serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.

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 divisions within the agency that helps districts and schools prepare students for post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement.

The Deputy Superintendent:

  • Represents the Superintendent in K–12 outreach efforts.
  • Oversees the production and implementation of state and federal policy.
  • Oversees the Student Assessment and Information division that collects, analyzes, and reports information about Washington’s public school students and their learning.
  • Oversees the Educator Growth and Development division as they work with districts to ensure access to high quality professional learning opportunities to support teachers, principals, and other school leaders throughout the career continuum.
  • Oversees the Special Education Services division that serves more than 130,000 eligible students in Washington.
  • Oversees the Special Programs and Federal Accountability, System and School Improvement, and Student Engagement and Support divisions that aim to ensure an equitable approach to the learning for all students.
  • Oversees the Learning and Teaching division as they work to provide rigorous learning standards.
  • Coordinates agency responses to inquiries about K–12 issues.

The Deputy Superintendent serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.

Assessment and Student Information
Deb Came, Assistant Superintendent | deb.came@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6336
Troi Williams, Executive Assistant | troi.williams@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6088

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

Assessment and Student Information:

  • Administers assessments in reading, mathematics, writing, and science in grades 3–8 and in high school.
  • Monitors student progress toward meeting testing requirements for high school graduates.
  • 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.
Career and Technical Education
Rebecca Wallace, Executive Director | rebecca.wallace@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6244
Andrew Clancy, Administrative Assistant | andrew.clancy@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6219

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) department works to promote the quality and rigor of CTE 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 CTE 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.
Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Vacant, Executive Director
Robin Howe, Administrative Assistant | robin.howe@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6052

The Center for the Improvement of Student Learning acts as the agency’s chief research office. In this capacity, they lead efforts to connect policymakers, schools, families, and communities with research and information about effective educational improvement strategies.

The Center for the Improvement of Student Learning: 

  • 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.
Communications and Community Outreach
Katy Payne, Director | katy.payne@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6012
Karen Conway, Executive Assistant | karen.conway@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6003

Communications and Community Outreach serves as the chief liaison between the agency and the media, ensures the Superintendent's priorities are reflected in agency messaging, and oversees the agency's brand.

Communications and Community Outreach:

  • Strategizes how to communicate information effectively to school districts, the media, and the public.
  • Coordinates interviews and speeches given by the Superintendent and other members of the Executive Leadership Team.
  • Serves as the agency's spokespeople and coordinates press responses in consultation with content experts.
  • Oversees and maintains the agency’s website and social media channels.
  • Creates communication materials and plans for internal and external audiences.
Educator Growth and Development
Cindy Rockholt, Assistant Superintendent | cindy.rockholt@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4991
Kim Bahrenburg, Executive Assistant | kim.bahrenburg@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6442

The Educator Growth and Development division is dedicated to ensuring districts have access to high-quality professional learning opportunities to support teachers, principals, and other school leaders throughout the career continuum.

Educator Growth and Development:

  • Supports districts building quality mentor induction programs.
  • Provides professional learning for teachers, principals, and other school leaders on the state’s evaluation systems.
  • Provides high-quality support programs for teachers pursing National Board Certification.
  • Provides technical assistance on the E-Certification system.
  • Works with former military members in helping them become qualified teachers.
  • Provides technical assistance to districts to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
  • Provides facilitation, research, policy, and data analyses for legislative workgroups.
  • Identifies and recognizes educators to celebrate their impact on students.
  • Supports districts to implement paraeducator certification.
  • Administers and provides support for districts with Title II, Part A.
Financial Resources
T.J. Kelly, Chief Financial Officer | thomas.kelly@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6301
Jackie Hansman, Executive Assistant | jackie.hansman@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6111

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

Financial Resources:

  • Distributes billions of dollars in state and federal funding to school districts.
  • Manages state and federal grants to districts and other organizations.
  • Coordinates planning, construction, and renovation of school buildings.
  • Serves as the agency's budget office, including providing fiscal services to every section within OSPI.
  • Coordinates audit management and resolution.
  • Coordinates student transportation funding and requirements and traffic safety education.
  • Assists school districts and other organizations in providing high-quality nutrition programs.

The Chief Financial Officer serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.

Government Relations
Dave Mastin, Executive Director | dave.mastin@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6311
Stella Lugalia, Assistant | stella.lugalia@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6181

The Government Relations department directs the agency’s government relations activities at the state and federal levels. This includes establishing and implementing short-and long-term goals, objectives, policies, and operating procedures for government relations support.

Government Relations:

  • Coordinates the implementation and accountability of legislative and policy initiatives.
  • Leads the strategic planning for advancing priority legislative recommendations.
  • Oversees and coordinates interactions with legislators; legislative staff; and other local, state, and federal officials.
  • Manages the agency’s legislative clearinghouse, including bill tracking, bill analyses, and committee hearing tracking.

The Executive Director serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.

Human Resources
Vacant, Executive Director
Melinda Oum, Administrative Assistant | melinda.oum@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6271

The Human Resources department is responsible for leadership and oversight of human resources functions in support of OSPI as well as the State Board of Education, Professional Educator Standards Board, Paraeducator Board, Financial Education Public-Private Partnership, and Charter School Commission.

Human Resources:

  • Serves as a strategic business partner in development and service delivery within the agency.
  • Develops and implements agency human resource policies and procedures.
  • Provides expert advice to managers and supervisors in the agency while ensuring accurate and consistent application of federal and state laws and agency policies.
  • Oversees agency training plans for professional learning and development.
  • Leads agency initiatives involving cultural competency, recruitment, and workplace flexibility.
  • Monitors hiring and other personnel actions to ensure non-discrimination, equal opportunity, and ethical practices are maintained.
Information Technology Services
Steve Young, Chief Information Officer | steve.young@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6134
Shaylah Seymour, Executive Assistant | shaylah.seymour@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4995

The Information Technology Services (ITS) division coordinates the integration of technology to improve teaching and learning in Washington by providing leadership and management of technology; telecommunications infrastructure; and other tools for students, teachers, and administrators in the K–12 education sector.

Information Technology Services:

  • Develops and implements the strategic direction for OSPI’s use of information technology.
  • Collaborates with agency business partners to ensure common understanding of business needs and ensure consistent delivery of information technology services.
  • Develops, manages, and supports projects, programs, training, and successful practices that integrate technology into teaching and learning.
  • Provides leadership at the state level by developing opportunities for interagency collaboration in solving problems related to information technology.
  • Develops and implements information technology plans, policies, standards, and processes consistent with statewide direction.
  • Strives for continuous quality and process improvement using industry standards and best practices.
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

The Learning and Teaching division 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. 

Learning and Teaching:

  • 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 the implementation of state standards.
  • Partners with state and regional stakeholders to support the integration and coordination of programs and activities, including the development of state formative assessment systems and implementation of OSPI-developed assessments in social studies, the arts, and health and fitness.
  • Administers federal, state, and privately funded programs focused on improving widespread teaching and learning.
Legal Services
Dierk Meierbachtol, Chief Legal Officer | dierk.meierbachtol@k12.wa.us
Kim Beaulieu, Administrative Assistant | kim.beaulieu@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6130

The Legal Services department is responsible for coordinating legal services and risk management for the agency. 

Legal Services:

  • Provides guidance and technical assistance to ensure every student has access to a high-quality education free from discrimination.
  • Ensures all certificated teachers have undergone background checks and provided fingerprint records.
  • Coordinates and provides responsive records to members of the public who have requested public records from the agency.
  • Serves as an initial resource for legal questions arising within the agency.
  • Coordinates agency rule-writing and monitors rulemaking efforts.
  • Serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office for litigation and general legal advice.
Special Education Services
Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent | glenna.gallo@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075
Beverly Mitchell, Executive Assistant | beverly.mitchell@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075

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

Special Education Services:

  • Provides technical assistance and professional development designed to support and facilitate special education program improvement efforts by disseminating evidence-based and promising practices for the development of academic, health, and post-school outcomes for students eligible under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Engages stakeholders involved in, or affected by, special education services and outcomes for students with disabilities to review, analyze, and plan for system improvements and celebrate successes.
  • Provides general supervision of the provision of special education services through an integrated monitoring system, dispute resolution options, and coordinated data management efforts.
  • Allocates federal special education funding and manages the supplemental Safety Net program for individual high need students and school districts that demonstrate a unique community impact in the area of special education.
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 Special Programs and Federal Accountability division 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. 

Special Programs and Federal Accountability oversees:

  • Every Student Succeeds Act
  • 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
  • Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP)
  • School Library Media Programs and Teacher-Librarians
  • Title I
Student Engagement and Support
Martin Mueller, Assistant Superintendent | martin.mueller@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6176
Breanne Conley, Executive Assistant | breanne.conley@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6175

The Student Engagement and Support division helps school districts prepare each student for post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement by embracing an approach to education that encompasses the whole child. In doing so, the division works to ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. 

Student Engagement and Support:

  • Administers state and federal grants and programs designed to remove barriers to learning, including those targeted to vulnerable students, such as children and youth in foster care or experiencing homelessness.
  • Provides professional development and technical assistance in partnership with education leaders and regional and local stakeholders statewide to build and improve a whole child focus.
  • Collaborates with other local, regional, state, and national organizations serving children and families to ensure all students have the support they need to succeed at school.
  • Provides oversight, coordination, and support for learning options and school choice in Washington, including online learning and alternative education.
System and School Improvement
Tennille Jeffries-Simmons, Assistant Superintendent | tennille.jeffries-simmons@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6503
Rachael Wagoner, Executive Assistant | rachael.wagoner@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4960

The System and School Improvement division is committed to supporting continuous school improvement through providing quality technical assistance, relevant professional learning opportunities, and information about best practices and learning opportunities effectively. 

System and School Improvement:

  • Manages federal and state dollars supporting school improvement efforts in Washington.
  • Supports collaboration between OSPI, regional educational service districts, professional associations, local school districts, and schools to provide access to relevant research and best practices.
  • Actively engages stakeholders in efforts to support continuous school improvement to ensure a continually growing graduation rate.
  • Oversees school and district system supports for ensuring graduation and post-graduation success through academic, social/emotional and career programming, including school counseling, student engagement, safety, dropout prevention, reengagement, and dual credit.