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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, commonly referred to as the School Board, is made up of five elected officials representing the five Director Districts within the Bellevue School District Boundaries. Although it provides overall governance of the district, the Board employs and empowers a professional staff of administrators led by a strong superintendent of schools to carry out the district’s daily functions and to pursue its short and long range goals.


The Superintendent is responsible for working with the Board of Directors to shape district goals, and providing direction to the District Leadership Team on day to day activities of managing District schools, programs and services.

Superintendent’s Cabinet

The Superintendent’s Cabinet is responsible for day to day activities required to run and support our schools, as well as serving as an advisory group to the Superintendent and Board of Directors.

Kelly Aramaki, Ed.D.


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Beginning on July 1, 2023, Dr. Kelly Aramaki began his role as the Superintendent of Bellevue School District.

Kelly grew up in Bellevue, graduating from Newport High School. He attended the University of Washington and earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology with a Minor in Music. He then earned his Master of Arts in Teaching from Columbia University in New York with an emphasis on inclusion of students with special needs in the general education setting and early childhood education. In 2018, he earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington.

Kelly Aramaki started his career in education as a 4th and 5th grade teacher at Newport Heights Elementary here in the Bellevue School District. After receiving his principal certification in 2003, he was appointed principal of Maywood Hills Elementary in the Northshore School District. After four years at Maywood Hills, he served as the principal of the John Stanford International School in the Seattle Public Schools, during which he received the National Milken Educator Award. From there, he served as the principal of Beacon Hill International School, where he was named Washington State Principal of the Year in 2013. He then served for five years as an Executive Director of Schools in Seattle supervising K-12 schools in the southeast region as well as elementary schools across the city. In 2018, he returned back home to Bellevue to take on the role of Executive Director of Schools, overseeing half of the elementary schools.

Kelly and his wife and daughter live in Bellevue near Interlake High School. They enjoy spending time in the community as well as traveling to and exploring new places.

Yasmina Patterson

Assistant to the Superintendent

Eva Collins, MA

Deputy Superintendent:
Student Academic Performance and Instructional Leadership

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Eva Collins is the Deputy Superintendent for Student Academic Performance and Instructional Leadership. In her role, Eva works with curriculum, instruction, and student services. This work includes providing instructional leadership and professional development for principals.

Eva grew up in Everett and graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and education. She began her career in education teaching Kindergarten through third grade in the Edmonds School District. Eva participated in the first year of the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington, earning her principal certification and a Masters degree in education administration. She served as a principal at Bennett Elementary and Enatai Elementary before moving into central office administration.

Eva has been a parent in the district since 1993. She enjoys family traditions and spends most of her free time on a sideline cheering her youngest son, Max.

Melissa deVita, MBA

Deputy Superintendent:
Finance and Operations

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Melissa deVita is the Deputy Superintendent for Financial Services and Operations. Melissa is responsible for the financial and general business operations of the district including finance, budget, payroll, information/ technology infrastructure, building projects, maintenance, custodial services, transportation, and nutrition services.  Her role involves general oversight for the financial health of the district as well as the general business operational structure which impacts Bellevue’s ability to offer quality educational services.

Prior to Bellevue, Melissa was the Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Mesa County Valley School District in Grand Junction, CO.  Her career in education follows a 16 year career as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting—leading global resource planning and management projects for Fortune 50 clients such as McDonald’s, Eli Lilly, Caterpillar, Abbot Laboratories, and Proctor and Gamble.  Melissa has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Administration from Kettering University and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  Melissa joined the district in 2013.

Melissa and her husband Jeff are parents to Gabriella and Nico.  An active mom, Melissa spends her spare time traveling with her family, cooking and juggling the wide range of duties of an active hockey and dance mom.

Jeff Thomas, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent:
Human Resources

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Jeff Thomas is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.  Jeff is responsible for the human resource functions which include recruitment, hiring, retention, evaluation, managing bargaining and integration of support systems for all Bellevue employees.  His role is demonstrative of the interdependence of Human Resources with all of our schools and departments to support the Mission of BSD and the focus on students.

Prior to Bellevue, Jeff spent nine years in the Scottsdale Unified School District, the last two serving as the Associate Superintendent with a focus on strategic planning and community outreach.  Jeff started his career in 1988 as a high school English and Spanish teacher in Tucson, Arizona after graduating from the University of Arizona.  In 1996 Jeff began working as a UniServ Director/Organizational Consultant for the Arizona Education Association until 2005 when he joined Scottsdale.  Jeff earned his master’s in 1996 and his doctorate from Arizona State University in 2011, both in educational leadership and administration.

Jeff is a practitioner of continuous improvement and Interest Based strategies, both of which have significantly impacted his view of educational leadership and support for schools.  His wife, Susan, is a middle school principal and his son, Alek currently lives in Prescott, Arizona.  They enjoy traveling, sports, anything outdoors and have a long list of places to visit.

Shannon McMinimee, J.D.

General Counsel

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Shannon M. McMinimee has been practicing education and employment law since graduating with honors from the University of Washington School of Law in 2003. During law school, Shannon was a Managing Editor of the Washington Law Review and interned with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, and the Seattle School District. Prior to law school, she worked in social services. Shannon graduated from the University of Washington in 2000, where she was in the Political Science Honors Department and majored in Political Science and Societies and Justice.Shannon started her legal career with an international law firm, focusing on litigation and employment law. In 2006, Shannon joined the General Counsel’s Office of the Seattle School District where she handled a wide variety of legal issues, including special education, constitutional, and enrollment matters. She successfully defended the district in numerous high-profile suits, including assisting in the defense of that district’s student assignment plan before the U.S. Supreme Court. In March of 2010, Shannon joined a regional firm where she represented school districts of all sizes and served as the outside General Counsel for Camp Fire of Puget Sound. In August of 2011, Shannon became the General Counsel of the Tacoma School District, where she led the District’s Legal Services, Worker’s Compensation, Public Records, and Safety/Security departments. In Tacoma, Shannon managed all litigation, including handling cases herself, supervising staff attorneys in their representation of the TSD, and overseeing the work of over a dozen outside counsel on a variety of matters. She also provided guidance to the school board and senior leadership on major initiatives, advised central and building-based administrators on an array of legal issues, drafted policies and procedures, and provided frequent trainings for district staff on topics ranging from preventing and reporting educator sexual misconduct to student speech and religious accommodation.

After leaving the TSD, Shannon maintained a private practice conducting investigations and trainings for schools and colleges/universities. In March of 2017, Shannon returned to her hometown in Eastern Washington and worked as the Associate Superintendent for Human Resources for a 16,000-student school district. Shannon has additionally taught Constitutional Law classes at the University of Washington – Tacoma since the spring of 2017. She has most recently represented students, families, employees, and schools in education and civil rights issues as a partner at Cedar Law PLLC.

In addition to being a member of multiple legal associations, Shannon is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, the Title IV Administrators Association, and holds the highest level of certification available for Sexual Harassment and Civil Rights Investigators from the Association of Title IX Administrators. She has also obtained certification in Forensic Experiential Trauma Interviewing and Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication.

Shannon has received state-wide recognition as a Rising Star from Washington Law and Politics Magazine and has received national recognition for her pro bono work on behalf of unaccompanied children in detention. She is also a regular presenter and commentator on issues associated with school, employment, and civil rights law.

Janine Thorn

Chief Communications and Engagement Officer

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Janine Thorn is a marketing communications professional with over 15 years of experience in education. She has vast experience building communications processes, marketing, and public relations campaigns and is known for her ability to work collaboratively. She also brings unique skills to innovate and integrate digital, print, and in-person communications. She is experienced in digital marketing and advertising, website development, and integrated marketing campaigns, including partnerships with the League of Education Voters to produce podcasts for educators. She is keenly focused on strategy and integrating marketing campaigns to promote education, inform school communities and aid public relations. Her marketing and communications work in the education sector extends to: The National Resource and Training Center, Skylight Professional Development, Lesson Lab Person Education, Career Education Corporation, Seattle Pacific, and Northwest Universities.

As a graduate of public schools, Janine is uniquely interested in school public relations, remembering her time as a student like those she now serves. She is a member of the Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) and the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). She is currently the NSPRA National Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

John Harrison, MEd

Chief of Staff

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As Chief of Staff, John supports the development and implementation of District policies and procedures; provides strategic guidance, counsel, and technical support related to strategic and annual plans and initiatives; serves as liaison for legislative advocacy and government relations; provides support for community partner organizations and district advisory groups.

John has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC (Canada) a Masters degree in Administration and Superintendent Certificate from Western Washington University. He began his career as a high school social studies and physical education teacher in BC and was a long time high school principal, most recently at Mercer island High School. As a principal, he led the development and implementation of innovative curriculum and programs and created student-centered learning communities that serve all students.

John joined the Bellevue School District in October 2011 and lives in Bellevue with his wife Anissa and two children who attend BSD secondary schools. They also have four adult children, two of whom are educators.

Heather Sánchez, Ed.D. 

Chief of Schools

Elementary Schools, P-5
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Dr. Heather Sánchez has been in the field public education for over 20 years and has served in a variety of roles at both the elementary, secondary and district levels to include classroom teacher, program coordinator, instructional specialist, building principal and senior central office leader.

As Chief of Schools, Dr. Sánchez provides support and supervision for all PreK-5 schools and programming implementation within the district as well as responsibility for development and implementation of the district’s strategic plan and priority goals. In her current role Dr. Sánchez regularly partners with families, school staff and community members to ensure a culture of service and improved outcomes for all students.

Dr. Sánchez has previously served as a Director of Accelerated Programs, Choice, and Innovation where her focus was on improving access to and outcomes for a wide variety of PreK-12 Accelerated Programs to include Gifted, Advanced Placement, Cambridge and Early College in the High School. She has also served as a building principal at the elementary level in diverse schools that included Dual-Language and STEM programs. Dr. Sánchez additionally has served as both a Techer on Special Assignment (TOSA) and Director for Professional Development as well as a classroom teacher at the secondary level.

Dr. Sánchez holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from Western New Mexico University (WNMU), an M.S. in Curriculum & Instruction and K-12 Principal Credential from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) a K-12 Superintendent Credential and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Seattle Pacific University (SPU.)

Originally from New Mexico, Dr. Sánchez is passionate about celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity and in ensuring that all students have the opportunity to experience a culturally sustaining, rigorous, and enriching school experience.  She has worked in some of the most globally diverse and highest performing districts in the United States and is fully committed continuous improvement and innovation in support of student success.

In her free time, Dr. Sánchez enjoys spending time with her husband César (a high school science teacher) and their three sons.  The family enjoys travel and are avid outdoor enthusiasts.

Aaron Miller

Chief of Schools
Secondary Schools, 6-12

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Aaron Miller is the Chief of Schools – Secondary. He provides leadership and support for creating and sustaining powerful and equitable learning environments for all BSD middle and high schools. He serves on the Superintendent’s Cabinet, which is responsible for the strategic leadership of the school district, including the implementation of the Strategic and Annual Plans. His responsibilities include regular collaboration with school leaders, educators, staff, students, families, and community partners.

Mr. Miller has previously served in the Bellevue School District for 21 years as Director of Schools, Middle School Principal, High School Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, and Teacher. In each of his roles, he has prioritized the goal of deeper learning for students, emphasizing the central importance of student understanding, identity, and creativity to foster agency and independence.

Mr. Miller earned his administrator certification from the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program, Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Ancient Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mr. Miller enjoys spending time with his two daughters, reading, cooking, and being outdoors.

Sharon Kautz, MA

Executive Director:
Teaching and Learning

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Sharon Kautz is the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning. In her Teaching and Learning role, she oversees the curriculum for all subject areas and grade levels K-12. Sharon guides the adoption of the instructional resources and works closely with the curriculum department staff to provide our students and teachers with quality resources and instructional practices. In addition, she works closely with the teacher leader coaches in the district and supports the professional development for the district.

Sharon is a proud graduate of the Bellevue School District—attending Bellewood Elementary, Odle Middle School and Sammamish High School.  A love of math and working with students has become a lifelong passion for Sharon. She’s a Husky—graduating from the University of Washington (UW) with a B.A. in Mathematics and starting her teaching career a year later as a math and leadership teacher at Newport High School. Sharon completed her Masters degree in Teaching at Seattle University before returning to the UW to obtain her principal certificate. While completing her education, Sharon was an intern for the Dean of Students and Administration at Interlake High School. She became an assistant principal and later principal at Highland Middle School before accepting a principal role at Interlake High School.

Sharon is married and is the highly engaged parent of four active, adult children. She enjoys hiking with her family and has a love of the outdoors.

Heather Edlund

Executive Director:
Student and Staff Engagement

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Heather Edlund is an Executive Director of Student and Staff Engagement. Heather is responsible for ensuring that the District’s work includes the voices of staff and students while meeting the strategic goals. Heather works in collaboration with staff to provide our students with quality services and programs.

Heather has been with the Bellevue School District since her student teaching at Phantom Lake Elementary. She worked as a classroom teacher at Medina Elementary before becoming a Technology Curriculum Coach at Newport Heights and Eastgate Elementary Schools. Heather served as the principal of Enatai and Lake Hills Elementary Schools before becoming a director, then executive director, in the central office.

Heather grew up in Port Orchard, Washington and graduated from South Kitsap High School. She then earned her BA and Masters at the University of Washington. She holds a Washington State Superintendent’s credential.

Heather and her husband Arne live in Bellevue and enjoy travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Shomari Jones, BS

Equity and Strategic Engagement

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Shomari Jones is the Director of Equity and Strategic Engagement. In his role, he is charged with engaging district staff in thoughtful exploration of institutionalized racism and its impact on student learning. He provides professional learning experiences that support educators to develop the will, skill, knowledge, and capacity to eliminate racial disparities and achieve systemwide equity and excellence for the entire school district. In addition, Shomari now heads the district’s Family Engagement efforts,  launching a department at the Bellevue School District (beginning school year 2018-19) to better serve those whose voices are historically left out.

Shomari has many experiences focusing on diversity in his professional life, and through volunteering for numerous organizations around the Puget Sound Region. Most recently he worked as the Chief Operating Officer at the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, a not-for-profit organization with 82 years of activism and community experience in the heart of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood, the Central District. The Urban League has historically focused its community work in education, employment, health and housing with Seattle’s disenfranchised African-American community.

Shomari has Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Tuskegee University. In his free time, Shomari enjoys playing tennis and traveling the world.

Melanie McGee

Director of Program Office

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Melanie McGee is the Director of Program Office. She is charged with developing and leading the district’s program and initiative implementation processes, methodologies, and standards. Collaborating with district and school leaders to define, prioritize, develop, and monitor implementation of district initiatives, programs, and projects, she works to build coherence and alignment with the organization’s portfolio of work across departments and between central office and schools.

Melanie joined the Bellevue School District in 2016 as a Project Manager in the Technology Department. After successfully helping the district transition to a new student information system, she moved to the Curriculum and Instruction Department as a Program Office Manager to support the district and schools’ implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. She also served as a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and continues to support the implementation of the district’s key initiatives.

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Dayton. Prior to joining the education field, she spent 8 years in marketing and advertising building relationships with clients in healthcare, technology, and retail, helping define their brands and executing strategic marketing campaigns before taking time off to start a family. She later converted her skills and expertise to project management, working with Fortune 500 clients to bring their enterprise data visions to reality. Now building upon those experiences and championing implementation science best practices, she continues to support the district in creating systems and structures to improve outcomes for each and every student.

Melanie lives in Bellevue with her husband and three children. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, and playing board games with family and friends.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.