BSD has a strong commitment to supporting Well-Being for all our students. This includes supporting their social, emotional, and mental health growth. We are at the stage when we need to review new and updated curriculum materials to determine what will be best for our students.


The Adoption Committee offers a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our middle schoolers. Members of the team will have the chance to make curriculum recommendations to our Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) that meets the needs of our students and community. The Adoption Committee will have diverse perspectives and representation from all aspects of our BSD Middle School Communities.


Roles and Responsibilities

  • The responsibilities of a Middle School SEL Adoption member will require a strong commitment to improving education and a willingness to work collaboratively with a diverse group of stakeholders to achieve shared goals.
  • Participating in team meetings: Adoption Committee members are expected to attend meetings regularly and actively engage in discussions, provide feedback, and offer insights and suggestions. Meetings will be held approximately two times a month for 2 hours starting in September, 2023, with a goal of presenting to the Instructional Material Committee in winter, 2024. Please see the draft meeting schedule below.
  • Evaluating curriculum: The Adoption Committee will be responsible for exploring and evaluating curriculum that meets the needs of middle school students. This could include researching best practices, identifying criteria, and evaluating materials and resources.
  • Determining professional development: Adoption Committee team members may be asked to identify what recommended professional development activities for teachers and other staff members will be necessary for implementation.
  • Engaging with stakeholders: Adoption Committee team members will work closely with stakeholders, such as parents, students, and staff, to gain insights and feedback about various curriculum.


Student Involvement:

Students will be involved throughout the process at the school level through multiple outreach and listening campaigns.

Pilot Materials

Bellevue School District is in the process of piloting two Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum for Middle Schools. The Adoption Committee has selected two resources to for experimental use over the course of the this school year. Classrooms participating in experimental use will use both CharacterStrong and Second Step.

We invite community members to explore the resources using the information below. Please feel free to email us with feedback or questions.

CharacterStrongSecond Step

2023-2024 Committee Members:

Planning Team:

  • Melisa Macias, Central Office (Director of Teaching & Learning)
  • Kerince Bowen, Central Office (Director of Counseling)
  • Jared Taylor, Central Office (Coordinator of Behavior Interventions & Mental Health Services)
  • Layne Barker, Central Office (Signs of Suicide Coordinator & MHAT Counselor)
  • Wendy Powell, Central Office (Secondary SEL Curriculum Developer)

Support Staff:

  • Stacy Harrison, Central Office (Student Management Coordinator & Truancy Case Manager)
  • Alysa Palma, Central Office (CTE Instructional Technology & Program Developer)
  • Gayle Staker, Odle (Behavioral Specialist)
  • Annette Sternberg, Odle (PBIS Coach)

Behavior Intervention Tech:

Jessi Cassidy, Tillicum (Classified SEL Leader)


Jamie Hoener, Tyee (Counselor SEL Leader)


  • Snesha Arumugam, Big Picture
  • Van Look, Big Picture 
  • Sandra Featherly, Highland
  • Vanessa Dacascos, Odle
  • Shikha Mishra, Odle
  • Linda Simovic, Odle
  • Dhaarmika Coelho, Tillicum
  • LaVar Robinson, Tillicum
  • Mary Yuhas, Tillicum
  • Radhika Mehra, Tyee
  • Additional Parent, Tyee


  • Trina Cooper, Big Picture
  • Ariana Taylor, Big Picture (Building SEL Leader)
  • Camille Dadural, Chinook (Building SEL Leader)
  • Chelsea Ollar, Highland (Building SEL Leader)
  • Hanna Merisko, International (Building SEL Leader)
  • Nickie Powell, Odle (Building SEL Leader)
  • Ashley Richardson, Tillicum (Building SEL Leader)
  • Kia Odorico, Tyee (Building SEL Leader)

Meeting Schedule

Contact Us

Melisa Macias – [email protected]
Director of Teaching & Learning

Wendy Powell – [email protected]
Secondary Social Emotional Learning Curriculum Developer

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.