2022 Candidates for WEA Board of Directors
It was not required to submit a biographical statement. Those candidates that chose to do so are included below.
Puget Sound UniServ Council
This is my 30th year in education. I've been an active member in WEA for 10 years. I serve on the PSUC as Diversity Rep and on my local Exec Board as its Racial Equity Rep. I look forward to representing all our members by being on the Board and by setting goals and visions as we move forward. I bring good analytical skills, leadership and collaborative skills to move the Board towards our work in education. I have had the privilege of attending 6 NEA Representative assemblies. Our public schools interweave this diverse and pluralistic society into a nation and guide this nation to its future. I look forward to doing my part in the work of Racial Social and Economic Justice. Thank you for your vote. Sincerely, Sandra Robinson
Seattle UniServ Council
Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon
I would appreciate your vote to serve again as your WEA Board of Director for SEA! Over my last term, I have worked to increase transparency by coordinating the WEA BOD email updates to SEA members and always being open to emails from any concerned member. In addition, I have and want to continue our advocacy work for racial justice on the WEA Board around API issues, ethnic studies, racial equity training, recruiting and retaining educators of color, and more. I have experience serving in many roles in SEA and WEA such as: WEA Board Member, WEA RA Representative, SEA Board Member, NEA RA Representative, SEA Racial Justice Organizer, WEA Asian Pacific Islander Middle-Eastern Caucus Secretary and Co-Founder, and WEA HCR Committee Member. I hope to continue to use these experiences to best represent SEA and increase our (1) transparency, (2) racial justice advocacy, and (3) opportunities for every SEA member. Mahalo nui loa (thank you so much) for voting for me for WEA Board of Director!
Hello, my name is Antoinette Felder and I running as your WEA BOD candidate.
I am the Action Coordinating Team (ACT) Chairperson, former NEA ESP At-Large BOD, SAEOP President, and Seattle Education Association Building Rep.
I ask for your vote for the WEA BOD.
Hello, my name is Vallerie Fisher and I am running for another opportunity on the WEA Board of Durectors to be a voice as an ESP. I am current a WEA BOD, Executive BOD, 37th Precinct Committee Officer(PCO), and elected MLK Labor K-12 BOD.
I ask for your vote.
My name is Elizabeth Ward-Robertson, I serve as President of the Seattle Education Association Office Professional department. My passion is organizing members to raise their collective voice to improve their working conditions and strengthen our school communities, encouraging them to own their power within their position and acknowledge that they are the professionals in their workspace.
I have been a proud EA member for over ten years and have been active in our SEA local for more than six years serving on the SEA bargaining team and in various committees. I am an active member of the WEA ACT committee working and collaborating with ESPs in various Councils from across the state. I’m currently working with a team of WEA clerical members on developing a professional development program on clerical service to provide professional development opportunities for office professionals.
I want to bring my passion and experience to the WEA Board to continue to strengthen our union and bring forward the voices of our classified members, especially our office professionals and our members of color. I’m a straight forward person who has a strong investment in education for our youth and their future.
I would appreciate your vote of support for my candidacy as UniServ Council Director to the WEA Board.
Tacoma UniServ Council
I am running for Uniserv Director to the WEA Board in order to be more involved at the state and national level. I want to help others in the membership to be future leaders to increase their professional development, and to receive appreciation for their ideas and abilities. I want to make sure to place ethics, integrity, fairness, and the welfare of the membership first, and look for practical solutions to problems. I will create open dialogue with the membership by being accessible and visible. I am devoted to building strong relationships while respecting differences. I will do my best to listen to the issues and weigh all choices at hand, considering what is best for both WEA/NEA as a whole, and the members of TEA I would represent.
My name is Nicole Sterling and I am running to be your next WEA Uniserv Tacoma representative. Throughout my time with TPS I have worked as a volunteer, PTA president and treasurer, paraprofessional, Elementary educator, and I’m currently serving as the TEA treasurer. With each obligation, I have seen how our educational system has positively impacted our children and educators as I am eager to continue the work that is needed in order to support a future system that is fair and just. As a candidate for this position, my goal is to help foster constructive conversations to adequately represent the wants and needs of all students, parents and families. If elected I will work diligently to cultivate healthy and collaborative relationships that will support our continued progress towards a more equitable educational system.
WEA Chinook UniServ Council
I am running for board director again because I believe we have left extremely important work on the back burner. COVID has been a global traumatic event that has taken much of our capacity and mental bandwidth over the past two years. Although the pandemic is not endemic yet, I want to believe that we will get back to a system of WEA governance that is about being proactive instead of reactive. In my bio two years ago, I ran on the belief in social and racial justice. But thanks to the wonderful people I have encountered over my years on the board, I have found another fight; economic justice. Our ESPs in the union need stronger advocacy on the board around securing a McCleary style financial package that will bring our ESPs a living wage. Even though I am currently working on a Master in Teaching, my 6 years as a para will forever be my foundation of where I have seen strong union leadership in the face of adversity. On shoestring budgets, I have seen our ESPs stand strong in the face of school districts that look to exploit their labor, but they will need more support to get a living wage. With my educational journey moving away from supporting and instead leading, I hope to do the same on the WEA board.
It is an important time to ensure that the vision for the WEA organization involves continued growth, input of its members, education on good governance, support of the union and goals that align with equity and diversity in education. I have spent a lot of my time listening to many voices and learning about the relationship of the WEA organization with its members. The first thing I confirmed is that our union is one that is passionate about its members and the students that we support. I embrace that passion. I pay attention. I recognize what the WEA has to offer.
I am a strong union member who believes in developing strong relationships which is the foundation of everything that I do both personally and professionally. I am also passionate about how we as educators must have a strong voice to make change happen that not only influences ourselves but our students in a multicultural world. I believe that I am a voice that will help move WEA forward as we become a stronger union that represents all members including those that are not often recognized and/or heard.
That is why I, Pamella Johnson, would be honored to have your vote to re-elect me as your WEA Board of Director. I look forward to continuing to serve all educators in this role.
I am a local president and have been for one the larger bargaining units, North
Thurston EA, for going on 5 years. In that role, I have experienced a wide array of challenges and also have heard from a great diversity of viewpoints, issues, and personal stories. Having nearly served a complete two-year term on the WEA Board, I'd like to renew that commitment to serve the membership of WEA by continuing to be a heterodox voice and independent thinker on the Board. Times like we are in now need a diversity of viewpoints in order to effectively address the challenges we face and to maintain a strong but flexible union. Let's work to regain a sense of shared union-values and common humanity. I humbly ask for your vote. Ray
I've previously served on the WEA Board of Directors representing the WEA Chinook Uniserv: I'm looking to get back involved at the state level. The work done by the Board is an integral part of the the WEA's goal to provide services and support to our members. With the experiences and challenges faced by educators during the pandemic, our union has never been more important. I want to continue to support WEA members and be a strong voice for the WEA Chinook Uniserv membership.
WEA Olympic UniServ Council
My name is Anita Benitez and I am a LatinX woman living on the in the Olympic Peninsula for approx. 13 years. I have taught for the Sequim School District as a Spanish teacher for approx. 10 years. My professional experiences are not only at the level, but I have worked as an elementary for seven years in Nogales, AZ. In Puerto Rico I worked for the Child Development Center and as a substitute for the Department of Defense School.
When I am not teaching I am an attentive volunteer in our community. I have served on several boards raising thousands of dollars for scholarships and programs such as the YMCA and the Coast Guard Wives Club.
When I moved to Washington I noticed in my community that Black, Indigenous People of Color were underrepresented in my school district. I started the La Cima Club a club designated to help teach and support all students to lead. I also restarted the Gay Straight Alliance club and coached the boys and girls swim teams. All programs began these programs with a handful or less of a handful of students. I grew those successful programs with creating safe and successful communities.
I believe in inclusiveness, diversity, community and equity. I serve as a member at large for the WEA Olympic Council. I also serve on my council's Equity Team and serve on the Washington Human Rights Committee for the state. I want to learn how WEA works at the state level.
My name is Kirstin Nicholson and I asking for your vote for the position of Uniserv Council Director to the WEA Board. I am currently president of the Central Kitsap Education Association and have served as a board director for the last two years. Our public schools and union are facing big challenges ahead of us and there is much work to be done to see that we have the best education possible for our students. Having a strong union at all levels means having member voice as a part of decisions being made. If elected, I will do my best to bring members' perspectives to the table as decisions are being made. I ask for your vote.
I have been actively involved in our local and state union for the past 16 years. I have had the chance to advocate for members as a bargaining chair, vice president, and president. I would love the opportunity to represent you on the WEA board.
I am a 33 year veteran teacher. In 2021 I moved to Sequim, and I would like to re-engage in union work through the WEA Olympic Councill. I have seen the changes in our state through the years and have become a strong advocate for our profession. My involvement with the union spans building rep, local bargaining team, Exec Board member, Council VP, WEA board and Exec Board, NEA BAT Chair, NEA Resolutions, NCUEA Exec board and NEA task force on Assessment. I lift issues that are brought to me by members in what ever role I have. I spend time listening and then once I have an understanding of what is needed I am tenacious in getting things done for members. I ask for your support as your WEA Board Director.
hank you for the nomination to serve as Uniserv Council Director to the WEA Board. My passion for advocacy and desire to empower and support the members of WEA along with my belief that unions are extremely important drives my willingness to serve. How I have served: CKHS Building Rep, WEA Olympic Council Board Member-at-Large, CKESP Zone Coordinator, WEA Olympic Council Equity Team Facilitator, CKESP WEA RA Representative, NEA RA Representative, WEA CRCM Lead Trainer, WEA Para Certification – Equity Cadre Lead/Lead Trainer, and NEA Distance Learning Educator. I am a member of the current NEA ESP Leadership Institute Cadre and most recently I was honored to be named WEA’s 2021 ESP of the Year. Through all these experiences, I have built connections with other members at the local, state, and national levels. Along with grace and empathy, I will use my knowledge and skills to advocate for our members, build up members' voices, and work towards a more just and equitable environment for all. Please vote for me, Keri Roberts, as Uniserv Council Director to the WEA Board.
WEA Sammamish UniServ Council
Marnie Kazarian Olson
My name is Marnie Kazarian Olson and I look forward to being considered for a position on the WEA Board. This is my 8th year in education and I know that the work I get to do is allotted to me with great responsibility. These opportunities have been maintained by the work of our union members and I thank you for considering me to continue in that work alongside the WEA Board members. Thank you for considering a vote for me.
In partnership and with great admiration,
Hi, I'm from the Bellevue Education Association within WEA-Sammamish UniServ Council. I very much want to help WEA carry out its mission on behalf of the students & educators of Washington state. I have prior experience in this position and believe in the "two-way communicator" role. I'm currently on the BEA Representative Council as a building representative for Bellevue High School, and I've previously served on the BEA Executive Board as secretary, treasurer, vice president, and president. I'm currently the treasurer for WEA-Sammamish UniServ Council, and have previously served as vice president, president, and council delegate to the WEA Board of Directors. At the state level, I have previously been part of the Documents & Resolutions Work Team and the NEA Convention Work Team. I have attended many WEA & NEA Representative Assemblies (more than 5, less than 10) and have valued the opportunity to work together with educators from many different locales & backgrounds. With your support, I hope to continue my service to our profession!
As a WEA Board member for the past two years, I have worked to bring attention to structures within our union that can be improved to better support and advocate for educators and our profession. I am a fifth grade teacher and current Bellevue EA president. I do this work because I believe deeply that a truly public education system is the most powerful resource we have to create a more just, equitable, and kind society. This work is complex and ongoing, and I would love the opportunity to continue building on the growth we have started to increase transparency, foster relationships, improve access, and dismantle inequities within our union.