Agency Leadership

Chris Reykdal
Chris Reykdal, State Superintendent
Amber Palmer, Executive Assistant | 360-742-7825

Superintendent Reykdal directs an agency of more than 400 employees, centering OSPI’s work on equity, supporting the whole child, and providing excellent customer service and transparency to districts, the Legislature, media, and community members. The Superintendent sets a vision for education that is student-centered and reflects the changes needed to prepare Washington’s learners for postsecondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement.

Tennille Jeffries-Simmons
Tennille Jeffries-Simmons, Chief of Staff
Rachael Wagoner, Executive Assistant | 564-200-3773

The Chief of Staff oversees internal agency operations and external agency programs, supports the Superintendent to carry out his goals, and provides leadership and resources to support districts in helping 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 affect the operations of the agency.
  • Oversees the Agency Support, Communications, CISL, Financial Resources, Government Relations, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Legal Affairs divisions.
  • 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
Michaela Miller, Deputy Superintendent
Jami Peterson, Executive Assistant | 564-200-2161

The Deputy Superintendent supports the Superintendent to carry out his goals and provides leadership and resources to support districts in helping all students develop skills necessary for their future.

The Deputy Superintendent oversees the following agency divisions:

  • Assessment and Student Information
  • Educator Growth and Development 
  • Elementary Education, Early Learning, Special Programs and Federal Accountability
  • Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation
  • Special Education Services
  • System and School Improvement; and
  • Student Engagement and Support

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

T.J. Kelly
Financial Resources
T.J. Kelly, Chief Financial Officer | 360-725-6301
Carrie Hert, Executive Assistant | 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.

Jenny Plaja
Government Relations
Jenny Plaja, Executive Director | 360-764-0327
Stella Lugalia, Program Coordinator | 360-701-5276

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 of Government Relations serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.

Katy Payne
Communication & Digital Media
Katy Payne, Executive Director | 360-764-0201
Katie Hannig, Administrative Strategist | 564-200-4427

The Communication & Digital Media department 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.

Communication & Digital Media:

  • Strategizes how to communicate information effectively to school districts, the media, and the public.
  • Coordinates interviews and media briefings 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.

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

Amy Kollar
Agency Financial Services
Amy Kollar, Director | 360-725-6283

The Agency Financial Services unit provides accounting, payroll, purchasing, contracting, and operating budget support to OSPI.

Agency Financial Services:

  • Assures OSPI adheres to state and federal accounting and budgeting rules and requirements.
  • Acts as the agency’s central procurement function.
  • Processes all agency financial transactions including but not limited to payroll, payments to contractors and other agencies, and travel reimbursement.
  • Provides operating budget development and monitoring support to all agency programs.
Deb Came
Assessment and Student Information
Deb Came, Assistant Superintendent | 360-725-6336
Jolynn Engellant, Executive Assistant | 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.
Maria Flores
Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Maria Flores, Executive Director | 360-584-6007
Kiva Parkhurst, Administrative Assistant | 564-200-2071

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 to improve student learning through equitable opportunities and access to academic and non-academic supports.
  • Leads the development of the Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol and the implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support.
  • Coordinates with internal and external partners to achieve equitable outcomes in student discipline related to race, ethnicity, disability, family income, housing instability, and other factors.
  • Coordinates data governance within OSPI by overseeing the development and implementation of a K–12 education data system for financial, student, and educator data. 
  • Maintains data systems to serve the needs of policymakers and education stakeholders including educators, families, school administrators, the Legislature, OSPI staff, and the public.
  • Provides facilitation, research, policy, and data analyses for legislative workgroups.
Leanne Eko
Child Nutrition Services
Leanne Eko, Chief Nutrition Officer | 360-725-0410
Sabrina Reynolds, Executive Assistant | 360-725-6208

Child Nutrition Services is responsible for supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Nutrition Program and partners with external stakeholders, to provide nutritious meals each day, that prepare children for learning. This is accomplished through professional development, technical assistance, program support, and managing resources to benefit USDA Child Nutrition Program recipients.

Child Nutrition Programs include:

  • School Nutrition Programs

    • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
    • School Breakfast Program (SBP)
    • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)
    • Special Milk Program (SMP)
    • Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
  • Community Nutrition Programs
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
    • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
  • Food Distribution Program (FDP)
Susan Lathrop
Educator Growth and Development
Susan Lathrop, Assistant Superintendent | 564-999-3894
Holly Paul, Executive Assistant | 360-464-0404

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.
  • 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.
Ramon Alvarez
Human Resources
Ramon Alvarez, Executive Director | 360-200-3116
Jeazel Laeno, Administrative Assistant | 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.
Jon Ram Mishra, Assistant Superintendent
Elementary, Early Learning, and Federal Programs
Jon Ram Mishra, Assistant Superintendent
Debbie Guthier, Executive Assistant | 360-701-9321

The Elementary, Early Learning, and Federal Programs division is responsible for supporting educators, who support our students, through a variety of approaches to ensure equitable access to strong foundations that focus on rigorous learner-centered options in every community. The division employs a culturally responsive, anti-racist approach to ensure equal access and opportunity. We are committed to providing a unified exemplary customer-focus experience to each partner.  

Elementary, Early Learning, and Federal Programs: 

  • Guides learning and instructional supports to provide rigorous learning standards, supporting educators to teach those standards effectively. 
  • Supports content and assessment in subject areas including English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Health/PE. 
  • Coordinates grant administration, federal and state funding, data, compliance to regulatory guidance, and federal guidance support for various Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)/Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) federal and state programs, including, Title I, Part A, Learning Assistance, Highly Capable, Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP), and Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS). 
  • Provides leadership for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), Program Review, Early Learning, Educational Technology, Environmental Education and Sustainability, Elementary School Counseling, Open Education Resources (OER), and School Library Media Programs.  
Ted Loran
Information Technology Services
Ted Loran, Chief Information Officer | 360-725-6431
Shaylah Seymour, Executive Assistant | 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.
Matt Schultz
Legal Affairs
Matt Schultz, Chief Legal & Civil Rights Officer | 360-764-6025
Jennifer Stevens, Executive Assistant | 360-725-6197

The Legal Affairs division is responsible for providing legal services to the agency, including the development of legal strategies and ensuring compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. Additionally, the division provides investigative and technical services to school districts throughout the state.

Legal Affairs:

  • Provides technical assistance and guidance on nondiscrimination in public schools and enforces Washington’s nondiscrimination laws.
  • Investigates allegations regarding certificated educators and reviews applications for certification when there is any question concerning good moral character, personal fitness, or criminal history record.
  • Develops and implements policies, while providing oversight of the agency’s compliance with the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) and the Preservation and Destruction of Public Records (RCW 40.14).
Henry Strom, Executive Director of Native Education
Native Education
Henry Strom, Executive Director | 360-918-3953
Kari Tally, Administrative Assistant | 564-200-3482

The Office of Native Education provides assistance to school districts in meeting the educational needs of American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) students. ONE serves as a liaison between OSPI and school districts, tribal governments, State-Tribal Education Compact schools (STECs), tribal schools, Native communities, parent/guardians of Native children, and other groups and individuals.

The Office of Native Education: 

  • Facilitates the inclusion of native language programs in school districts' curricula.
  • Coordinates technical assistance for public schools that serve American Indian and Alaska Native students.
  • Facilitates the development and implementation of the Since Time Immemorial and other curricula including instructional materials in native languages, culture and history, and the concept of tribal sovereignty pursuant to RCW 28A.320.170.
  • Provides assistance to districts in the acquisition of funding to develop curricula and instructional materials in conjunction with native language practitioners and tribal elders.
Rebecca Wallace
Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation
Rebecca Wallace, Assistant Superintendent | 564-999-3259
Susie Anderson, Executive Assistant | 360-918-3122

The Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation division supports providing students with access to challenging coursework, a tailored secondary educational experience including culturally responsive and anti-racist curriculum, and pathways to graduation and beyond that reflect student interest and need. In partnership with key stakeholders, division efforts will focus on utilizing HSBP to inform master-scheduling, course-sequencing, flexible 11th and 12th grade years, grading practices, experiential and mastery-based learning, and expanded access to dual credit.

Secondary Education and Pathway Preparation:

  • Guides learning and instructional supports to provide rigorous learning standards, supporting educators to teach those standards effectively using contemporary teaching and learning practices.
  • Supports the delivery of public education in a variety of learning options, settings and instructional approaches.
  • Supports content and assessment in subject areas including English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health/PE, Sexual Health, World Language, Computer Science; and supports integration of Climate Science and Outdoor Education opportunities.
  • Manages Career and Technical Education programs with a focus on employability and workforce readiness that lead to industry recognized credentials, apprenticeships, work-based learning, and college degrees in high-demand economic sectors.
  • Provides leadership for Graduation and Pathway Preparation for School Counseling, High School and Beyond Plans, graduation pathways, credit flexibility, dual credit accessibility, postsecondary transition and preparation.
  • Coordinates, manages, administers, monitors, and provides guidance for state general and alternate academic assessments in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science; English language proficiency assessments, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
  • Coordinates grant administration, federal and state funding, data, compliance to regulatory guidance, and federal guidance support for Perkins.
  • Equitably stewards federal and state policy and resources, and provides committed, consistent, and unified service to our customers.
Tania May
Special Education Services
Tania May, Assistant Superintendent | 360-725-6075
Beverly Mitchell, Executive Assistant | 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.
Anna Marie Dufault
Student Engagement and Support
Anna Marie Dufault, Assistant Superintendent | 360-725-6175
Breanne Conley, Executive Assistant | 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.
Veronica Maria Gallardo
System and School Improvement
Veronica Maria Gallardo, Assistant Superintendent | 360-725-6503
Saleem Williams, Executive Assistant | 360-972-4541

The System and School Improvement division in partnership with Migrant, Bilingual and Native Education is committed to supporting continuous school improvement through quality technical assistance, relevant professional learning opportunities, and information about best practices and effective learning opportunities.

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.