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.

Superintendent

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.

District Leadership Team

The District Leadership Team 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.

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.

Eileen Harrity

Chief of Staff

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Eileen Harrity is the Chief of Staff to the Superintendent. She leads Strategy & Engagement for the district, including Board relations, Cabinet meetings, issue resolution, organizational alignment, strategic partnerships, and communication for the Superintendent.

Prior to joining the Bellevue School District, Eileen spent 9 years working to create innovative learning opportunities for students. Her past experience includes supporting six pioneering school districts who were designing and scaling personalized learning models as part of the Gates Foundation’s Next Generation Systems Initiative; serving as an Ian Axford Fellow at Ministry of Education in New Zealand where she facilitated the implementation of a program to create career-focused learning opportunities and ease transitions into post-secondary study for low-income and minority students; and managing the Chicago Public Schools’ process to open new choice and neighborhood schools throughout the city.

She also has extensive strategic planning, change management, and operational implementation experience. She has worked both independently and at Deloitte Consulting on projects ranging from a short survey design for a local advocacy organization to a complete operational transformation involving the merger of five state transportation departments into one.

Eileen earned a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University, a Masters of Public and Economic Policy from the London School of Economics, and an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Originally from Massachusetts, Eileen lived in three states and two foreign countries before moving to Seattle in 2013. She is now proud to call Washington home, living in Auburn with her husband and two stepsons. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, traveling, and experiencing the great natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Felipe Mendez

General Counsel

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Felipe Mendez joined the Bellevue School District in July 2018 as General Counsel. Prior to joining the district, Felipe was an associate with the Seattle law firm of Preg, O’Donnell and Gillett. There, his practice focused on representing school districts. Prior to private practice, Felipe was Deputy General Counsel at Tacoma School District, handling all aspects of school law, including labor and employment, federal and state regulatory compliance, harassment, intimidation and bullying, special education, discrimination claims, collective bargaining, investigations, hiring – and contract disputes. Felipe is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law and was a member of the Latino/a Law Student Association and the Labor & Employment Law Section. Felipe is married and the father of three children. His other interests include supporting youth engagement and volunteering with U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth Soccer, and board participation with Washington Youth Soccer.

Naomi Calvo, Ph.D

Director of Research, Evaluation and Assessment

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Naomi Calvo is the Director of Research and Accountability. She oversees the assessment department, is responsible for developing the district-wide accountability system, manages research and program evaluation, and provides analytic tools for schools and central office staff.

Naomi brings over 15 years of rich experience in the field of educational research, policy, and analysis to the district. Prior to Bellevue, Naomi was a Manager for Education Resource Strategies in Massachusetts, specializing in school design practice and working with districts such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, and Denver on school effectiveness and resource use. Before Education Resource Strategies, Naomi worked as a consultant for Management Analysis and Planning in Davis, California focusing on education funding, equity and adequacy as well as standards-based accountability systems. Naomi completed her Doctorate in Public Policy at Harvard University and earned her Master’s in Public Administration at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She holds a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Naomi relocated to Bellevue in 2011 from Boston and has been enjoying exploring the Pacific Northwest outdoors, festivals, and small towns. She likes to read, bake, and travel, and has a young son (Bellevue class of 2031!).

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.

Shomari Jones, BS

Director:
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,  and will be 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, while raising his teenage daughter who currently attends Seattle University.

Judy Buckmaster, MA

Executive Director:
Community Development

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Judy Buckmaster is responsible for developing and cultivating effective strategic partnerships with community organizations, post-secondary institutions, and businesses that are aligned to the district vision, mission, goals, and priorities.

For more than 35 years, Judy has served the children and families of the Bellevue School District. Judy grew up in Montana and then moved to Washington to attend college. Beginning as a teaching intern at Bellevue High School, Judy continued in the district in a variety of positions including 15 years of teaching, several years as a teacher supervisor, 14 years as principal including time at Eastgate Elementary, Lake Hills Elementary, and Tyee Middle School, and most recently, seven years as the Executive Director of Student Services.

Judy earned a B.A. from Whitman College, a M.A. degree from Central Washington University and principal credentials from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington.

Away from the office Judy enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking and cooking for others, gardening, reading, and service projects in the community. Judy and her husband Neil have two grown children and their house is now filled with the antics of a seven-year-old black lab and her sidekick a two-year-old tuxedo cat.

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:
Teaching and Learning

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Heather Edlund is an Executive Director of Teaching and Learning.  Heather is responsible for the oversight of the district’s Special Education, Health Services and Section 504, Federal and Supplemental Programs, Counseling, and Advanced Learning.  Heather works closely 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 the Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

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.

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

Patty Siegwarth, Ed.D.

Executive Director of Schools

Bellevue, Interlake, Newport, Sammamish

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Dr. Patty Siegwarth oversees and provides coaching support to principals in the areas of instructional and operational leadership. She serves as the District’s Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) Compliance Officer, oversees the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Process (TPEP) and discipline, and is a member of the District’s Cabinet and Instructional Leadership teams.

Prior to her role as Executive Director of Schools, Patty was the Executive Director of Special Services, K-12 East/West Area Director, and the District’s AVID Director. Before serving in central office leadership positions, Patty was principal at Newport High School, where impressive increases in overall student achievement were noted during her tenure. Patty also served as principal at Tillicum Middle School and assistant principal at Interlake High School. Before joining the Bellevue School District, Patty was an assistant principal at Snohomish High School in the Snohomish School District, and taught special education in the Renton and Shelton school districts. She also worked for King County in the summer, assisting youth in gaining employment skills and monitored and provided feedback on their progress at select worksites.

Patty earned her Doctorate of Education at the University of Washington, her Masters Degree and Fifth Year Certification at Seattle Pacific University, and her BA in Special Education from Central Washington University.

Patty has two grown children, Shannon and Blake, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In her spare time, she enjoys boating, walking, and hiking.

John Harrison, MEd

Executive Director of Schools

Big Picture, Chinook, Highland, International, Odle, Tillicum, Tyee

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John Harrison oversees and provides instructional and operational coaching support for principals and professional development. In addition, John leads policy and procedure development and implementation for the district. John also has oversight responsibilities for school athletics and activities.

John has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, 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 school districts in 1984 and became a high school principal in 1990. Most of John’s career was spent leading high schools in the Greater Victoria School District where he led the development and implementation of innovative curriculum and programs and created student-centered learning communities.

John and his family relocated from Victoria to the Puget Sound area in 2005 when he became the principal at Mercer Island High School. John joined the Bellevue School District in October 2011.

Cindy Rogan, MA

Executive Director of Schools

Bennett, Cherry Crest, Clyde Hill, Eastgate, Medina, Newport Heights, Somerset, Spiritridge, Wilburton

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Cindy oversees and provides coaching support to principals in the areas of instructional and operational leadership, professional development and family/community engagement. Cindy’s schools include Bennett, Cherry Crest, Clyde Hill, Eastgate, Medina, Newport Heights, Somerset, Spiritridge, and Wilburton. Additionally, Cindy is providing leadership for our New Principal induction program.

Cindy grew up in Kirkland and attended Western Washington University, graduating in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She then taught Special Education and Kindergarten in the Northshore School District. During her teaching career, Cindy obtained her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. In 1992, Cindy participated in the Danforth Educational Leadership program at the University of Washington, obtaining her principal credential. She was an elementary principal in Shoreline Public Schools for four years, then in the Edmonds School District for eight years. Additionally, Cindy provided principal coaching in the Edmonds School District and was a Professional Certification facilitator for City University. Cindy has been a Bellevue resident for the past eighteen years.

Cindy and her husband Mike enjoy spending time with their family and friends, cooking, and traveling together. In her spare time, she enjoys live music, theatre and boating.

Kelly Aramaki, Ed.D.

Executive Director of Schools

Ardmore, Enatai, Jing Mei, Lake Hills, Phantom Lake, Puesta del Sol, Sherwood Forest, Stevenson, Woodridge

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Dr. Kelly Aramaki provides school support and supervision for nine elementary schools, assisting with instructional leadership, professional development, and problem solving. Kelly’s schools include Ardmore, Enatai, Jing Mei, Lake Hills, Phantom Lake, Puesta del Sol, Sherwood Forest, Stevenson and Woodridge.

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 John Stanford International School for four years 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 supervising K-12 schools in the southeast region as well as elementary schools across the city.

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.