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Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA) Advisory Subcommittee

This Subcommittee is composed of up to 15 members, with a majority (at least half plus one) serving as active CYAB members. At-large members are periodically recruited to ensure appropriate composition and fill any gaps in experience or representation as outlined by King County Council. At-large members are denoted below with an asterisk next to their name. (List updated as of May 2021)

Naomi Byrdo*


Naomi, a resident of Southeast Seattle/ Columbia City, moved to the area in 2019 to work with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) through City Year. In this role, she advocated for students' social-emotional needs and was inspired to pursue her M.Ed. in Education Policy at the University of Washington, which she'll complete in July 2021. Currently, Naomi serves as an intern with SPS’s Office of Research and Evaluation, where she interacts with data on their African American Male Achievement Initiative. Additionally, she works as a Learning Experience Analyst at SimplyFun, a Bellevue-based educational board game company.

 

With the joy of her work and life’s ambition lying in the advocacy and delivery of resources to non-dominant populations, Naomi is excited to serve King County in many ways. Her goal is to connect with the community on deeper levels with a community-based approach to education, delivering resources to those who need them the most. Naomi brings a critical perspective to the Subcommittee, including her lifelong experience advocating on behalf of herself and others who are often overlooked within systems. She is happy to build coalitions with others who prioritize equity and liberation, especially for communities of color.

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Rochelle Clayton Strunk*

Rochelle resides in King County Council District 3. She is the director of education programs at Encompass, a nonprofit organization delivering early learning programs, parenting education, birth to three early intervention services and pediatric therapy in Snoqualmie Valley. Rochelle holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University. With over 20 years of experience working for various nonprofit organizations, Rochelle has extensive knowledge of many issues facing the most vulnerable residents in our community. For the last five years, children living in rural King County and children with special needs have been an area of emphasis for her. She served on the King County Youth Action Plan Task Force and is currently the co-chair of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies.

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James Lovell

James was born and raised in Seattle and now lives in SeaTac with his wife and three kids Theodore, Wilson, & Eleanor (born in 2012/2013/2015). James is white and Ojibwe (an enrolled member Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, ND). James has worked with young people and youth programs his whole life, including Huchoosedah, 7 years at VFA (now Kandelia), and 5 years at School’s Out Washington. James served as development director for Neighborhood House before his current role as development director at Chief Seattle Club. James currently sits on the Native Family Advisory Council for Highline Schools, is the PTA co-president at Madrona Elementary in Highline, and is a board member for RVC. James' favorite project with young people was working to include youth & family voice in the creation of the educational model for Seattle World School.

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Jack Edgerton

Jack is proud to be a second-generation Seattleite. His professional background includes working in the technology sector, the arts and services for children and families. For the past three decades he has focused on making a difference in the community by working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. In additional to serving as the Board Chair for the national Circle of Parents network, he is currently Executive Director at Eastside Baby Corner and loves leading a team dedicated to ensuring all kids have the essentials to thrive.

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Dwane Chappelle

Dr. Dwane Chappelle is Seattle’s first Director of the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL). Confirmed to this role by City Council in February 2016, Dr. Chappelle oversees the city’s efforts to partner with families and communities to achieve educational equity and build a better future for Seattle students through strategic investments in education. Dr. Chappelle graduated from Grambling State University and earned his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Gonzaga University. 

Jackie Jainga Hyllseth

Place holder for bio. Jackie Jainga Hyllseth is the Executive Director of the Associated Recreation Council (ARC). This non-profit works in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation to provide childcare, healthy recreation programs, and activities to the residents of Seattle. In her previous position with School’s Out Washington (SOWA), she led their statewide quality improvement system for the afterschool and youth development field. She also led the development of the Washington State Core Competencies for Child and Youth Development Professionals and the Washington State Quality Standards for Afterschool & Youth development programs. She has been part of many local, state, and national committees and convenings focused on system building, youth program quality, and racial equity. Jackie holds a BA in Foreign Language and Literature and a Secondary Teaching Certificate. She is Filipina and Tsimshian, Alaskan Native and a traditional Cedar and Ravenstail weaver. She lives in Council District 2.

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Maria-Fernanda Martinez Novoa

Maria Fernanda Martinez Novoa is a Family Navigator Lead at Chidlhaven, serving families at the Pediatric clinic of Harborview. After completing her BA in Government and International Relations in Colombia, Maria Fernanda emigrated to the United States, where she has been working to the empowerment of impacted communities, through her work in the early childhood field. Being part of a BIPOC community has allowed her to connect with the struggles faced by families when it comes to services and opportunities for children and youth in King County. Maria Fernanda’s work at Childhaven aligns with her interest in equity, advocacy, and policy changes to assure access to early childhood education.

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Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson (she/her) is an advocate, consultant, and trainer in early learning, youth development, family support and community involvement. Her work focuses on strengthening children, families, caregivers, educators, and their communities through connections to strength-based culturally responsive practices, workforce development activities and collective impact strategies. Debbie serves as a state-lead to the Center for Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families, as a state-approved trainer and trainer observer for the WA State Department of Children, Youth and Families and as partner, consultant and trainer with the Washington State Family Child Care Association, Child Care Resources of King/Pierce Counties, and the Federal Way Black Collective. Debbie and her high school sweetheart reside in Federal Way in King County District 7 where they are raising their four daughters and enjoying being grandparents.

Gracie Martinez*


Gracie Martinez is a child advocate with over fifteen years experience working to promote access to quality early learning programs in Washington state. Gracie currently serves on the board of the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association and serves as board treasurer for the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, a national board advocating for Montessori in the public and private sector. Gracie holds a BA in Social Science and an Executive Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington. A native Washingtonian, Gracie is inspired daily by her upbringing in the beautiful Yakima Valley and is committed to the service of others. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family. 

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Jessica Paul Werner

Jessica has led Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) since its inception in 2011. Jessica built her interest and

expertise in positive youth development theory and practice over the course of nine years supporting youth development programming for the YMCA of Greater Seattle, following the completion of her MPA at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 2002 with a focus on non-profit management. Jessica is a proud graduate of Seattle Public Schools, Occidental College, and two years of service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member in Sitka, Alaska and Portland, Maine. Jessica now lives with her family in Shoreline, Washington.

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Ashlyn Sanchez*

Ashlyn is in the 11th grade at The Northwest School, where she is one of three leaders of an affinity group named Latin American Union (LAU). In this group, she and the other leaders provide a space for Latino/a/x students to connect with one another and to share about their experiences in a predominantly white school. Ashlyn is also involved with New Futures. In this program, Ashlyn is a part of a club named Youth for Justice and Change (YJAC), a student-led club that offers youth space to talk about social issues and local issues that they wish to improve upon. Through New Futures, Ashlyn has also worked as a summer tutor with elementary school students.

 

Ashlyn is passionate about activism and has continuously taken action and involved herself in different social issues that she believes in. Some of her notable experiences involved talking to State legislators, bringing issues to local government officials, and fundraising to provide transportation for more community members to attend the May Day March.

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Bethany Larsen

Bethany has committed her professional career to supporting young children, their families and the staff that provide high quality early learning services. Bethany has been a resident of King County for over 50 years and received her BA in Education at Washington State University. She served young children and families at Childhaven for almost 30 years of her career in multiple roles. Bethany partnered with Harvard's Center on the Developing Child to offer innovative early childhood interventions to families with young children. She participated in Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics consults focused on trauma and it’s impact on early brain development. Currently, Bethany is the Early Learning Safety Program Manager at Puget Sound Educational Service District which serves over 5,000 young children enrolled in Head Start and Early Childhood Education Assistance Programs. The health of young children and their families is a direct measure of the health of our communities.  

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Angela Griffin

Angela is a visionary and inspirational leader for Launch with over 27 years of experience, primarily focused on the development and implementation of early learning, childcare and youth development programs. Angela has a reputation for building strong relationships and partnerships, inspiring teams to action, and crafting effective strategies to ensure children, youth, and communities equitably access all the available opportunities leading to successful life outcomes.


Prior to Launch, Angela spent seven years as the Chief Program Officer at Treehouse where she has led the agency in achieving its ambitious goal of increasing the graduation rate for youth experiencing foster care and scaling vital services statewide. Angela also led transformational programs for children birth to age 12 for the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Club. She has also taught middle school and provided educational coaching to students in alternative high schools.

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Pearl Malhi*


Pearl is currently an undergraduate student at Highline College with plans to transfer to the University of Washington to pursue a bachelor's degree in information technology. Pearl defines herself as a hard-working and independent woman who is not afraid to take challenges to illustrate her uniqueness against the crowd. She brings determination, grit, personality, and significant experience to this role. Within the public sector, Pearl's experience includes Public Health - Seattle & King County, where she served as a social media marketing intern and worked in HPV vaccine promotion. She also worked as an enumerator for the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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