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

Deputy Superintendent:
Financial Services & 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.

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.

Sharon Kautz, MA

Executive Director:
Curriculum & Instruction

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Sharon Kautz is the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction and School Support. In her curriculum role, she oversees the curriculum for all subject areas and grade levels K-12. Sharon guides the adoption of the instructional materials and works closely with the curriculum department staff to provide our students and teachers with quality curriculum and professional development.

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 children; one in college at Whitman, two in high school, and a middle school student. She enjoys hiking with her family and has a love of the outdoors.

Judy Buckmaster, MA

Executive Director:
Student Services

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Judy Buckmaster is responsible for the oversight of programming that supports students with special circumstances including homelessness, foster care, poverty, learning the English language, attendance challenges, achievement challenges, and more. In order to support students in the schools, Judy works with counselors as well as graduation success coaches working towards 100% of our students successfully graduating.

For more than 30 years, Judy has served the children and families of the Bellevue School District. Beginning as a teaching intern at Bellevue High School, Judy continued in the district in a variety of positions including teaching, teacher supervision, and school administration.

Judy earned a BA from Whitman College, an MM from Central Washington University and received principal credentials from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington.

Spending time with family and friends, cooking and baking for others, gardening and reading, and serving the community through a variety of projects is how Judy spends her time away from the office. Judy and her husband Neil have two college-age children and a black lab that keeps them both on the move.

Heather Edlund

Executive Director:
Special Education

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Heather Edlund is the Executive Director of Special Education.  Heather is responsible for oversight of the district’s work to locate, evaluate and identify children in need of special education services, as well as the various program and services available to students who are eligible for services.

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 spending time with family and friends.

Patty Siegwarth, Ed.D.

Executive Director:
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, BA, MEd

Executive Director:
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:
Schools

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

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Cindy provides school support and supervision for nine Elementary schools, assisting with instructional leadership, professional development, and problem solving. 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 thirteen years.

Cindy enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her father, Robert Marum is a retired Superintendent of ESD 121 (now Puget Sound ESD), who has greatly influenced her career and life. Cindy’s husband Mike, is a retired pilot and together they enjoy traveling, boating, entertaining, cooking and wine tasting. Other interests include attending live music concerts, Pilates classes, and reading.

Kelly Aramaki, Ed.D.

Executive Director:
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.

Naomi Calvo, Ph.D

Director:
Research & Accountability

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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!).

Shomari Jones

Director:
Strategic Equity and Engagement

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Shomari Jones is the Director of Equity and Graduation Support. 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.

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.

Avery Mann

Director:
Communications

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Avery Mann is the director of communications for the Bellevue School District. In this role, Mann oversees media relations and the communications support that is provided to all district schools and the central office. Mann is a Communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the network television, public relations and nonprofit landscapes. Most recently, Mann spent five years as VP of Communications at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, leading a team that publicized child-safety programs that schools, families and others use to keep children safer in the real and online worlds. Previously, Mann worked for 14 years with Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted,” based in Washington, D.C., serving as show spokesman, head of media and public relations – and publicist to the show’s host. Under his leadership, the program helped bring fugitives to justice and return missing children to their families. Mann also served as head of Communications for CNN’s Washington, DC bureau, leading a team that managed media and public relations initiatives for more than 50 DC-based on-air personalities. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mann completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science degree at The American University in Washington, D.C.