OSPI - Leadership
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  About OSPI

Agency Leadership

Chris Reykdal State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jamila Thomas Chief of Staff
Michaela Miller Deputy Superintendent
Deb Came Assessment and Student Information
Rebecca Wallace Career and Technical Education
Andrea Cobb Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Vacant Communications and Community Outreach
Cindy Rockholt Educator Growth and Development
Vacant Financial Resources
Dave Mastin Government Relations
Ray Hicks Human Resources Office
Steve Young Information Technology Services
Kathe Taylor Learning and Teaching
Dierk Meierbachtol Legal Services
Glenna Gallo Special Education
Gayle Pauley Special Programs and Federal Accountability
Martin Mueller Student Engagement and Support
Tennille Jeffries-Simmons System and School Improvement


Picture of Chris Reykdal

Chris Reykdal, State Superintendent | Superintendent@k12.wa.us
Amber Palmer, Executive Assistant | Amber.Palmer@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6115

The Superintendent of Public Instruction supports the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts. Together they administer basic education programs and implement education reform to more than one million students. Superintendent Reykdal:

  • Distributes billions of dollars in state and federal money to districts.Works with districts to ensure school buildings and buses are safe.
  • Creates statewide learning standards.
  • Monitors the teacher certification process, and provides professional development for teachers.
  • Oversees recommendations for textbooks and classroom materials.
  • Oversees an assessment system that monitors how students are learning the statewide standards.

As head of OSPI, Superintendent Reykdal also directs an agency of about 400 employees.


Picture of Jamila Thomas

Jamila Thomas, Chief of Staff | Jamila.Thomas@k12.wa.us
Jennifer Garner, Executive Assistant | Jennifer.Garner@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6309

The Chief of Staff oversees internal agency operations and external agency programs, while providing leadership and resources to support districts in implementing the four learning goals so all students develop skills necessary for their future. The Chief of Staff:

  • Directs the administration of agency operations.
  • Manages the development, administration, and evaluation of agency policies and procedures that assist staff in operations of the agency.
  • Oversees all divisions within the agency and directs oversight of Financial Resources, Governmental Relations, and Human Resources.
  • Works with staff to provide necessary leadership and resources to allow them to work to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
  • Develops, implements, and oversees key projects and programs on behalf of the Superintendent.
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Michaela Miller

Michaela Miller, Deputy Superintendent | Michaela.Miller@k12.wa.us
Jami Peterson, Executive Assistant | Jami.Peterson@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6343

The Deputy Superintendent oversees a variety of Divisions within the agency that helps districts and schools prepare students for post-secondary aspiration, careers, and life. The Deputy Superintendent:

  • Represents the Superintendent in K–12 outreach efforts.
  • Oversees the production and implementation of state and federal policy.
  • Oversees the Student Assessment and Information office that collects and reports information about Washington’s public school students and their learning.
  • Oversees Educator Growth and Development as we work with districts to ensure access to high quality professional learning opportunities to support teachers, principals, and other school leaders throughout the career continuum.
  • Oversees Special Education and related services on behalf of more than 130,000 eligible students in Washington.
  • Oversees Special Programs, Federal Accountability, System and School Improvement and Student Support that works to ensure an equitable approach to the learning of all students.
  • Oversees the Learning and Teaching department as well early learning and CTE in the interest of student learning against rigorous learning standards.
  • Coordinates agency responses to inquiries about K–12 issues.
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Deb Came

Assessment and Student Information
Deb Came, Assistant Superintendent
| Deb.Came@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6336
Troi Williams, Executive Assistant | Troi.Williams@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6088

Assessment and Student Information produces and implements state and federally required tests and collects and reports information about Washington’s public school students. The office:

  • Administers assessments in reading, mathematics, writing and science in grades 3-8 and high school.
  • Monitors student progress toward meeting testing requirements for high school graduates, including approved assessment options.
  • Coordinates the regular collection and reporting of student data from school districts.
  • Disseminates formative assessments for teachers to use in the classroom for the purpose of monitoring instruction and improving learning.


Rebecca Wallace

Career and Technical Education
Rebecca Wallace, Executive Director
| Rebecca.Wallace@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6244
Andrew Clancy, Administrative Assistant | Andrew.Clancy@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6219

Career and Technical Education (CTE) works to promote the quality and rigor of Career and Technical Education and Secondary Education courses, provide students with options that link middle school to high school and to post-secondary opportunities, blend academic and technical studies, and most importantly, connect students to their goals for the future. Career and Technical Education:

  • Manages Career and Technical Education programs that lead to industry certification, apprenticeships, and college degrees.
  • Supervises Skills Centers that specialize in high-cost, high-demand programs.
  • Manages High Demand grants, equivalency credit opportunities, and Running Start for the Trades.
  • Oversees Perkins Federal legislation.


Andrea Cobb

Center for the Improvement of Student Learning
Andrea Cobb, Executive Director
| Andrea.Cobb@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6032
Robin Howe, Administrative Assistant | Robin.Howe@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6052

The Executive Director of the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning acts as the agency’s chief research officer. In this capacity she leads efforts to connect policymakers, schools, families and communities with research and information about effective educational improvement strategies. The Executive Director:

  • Works in collaboration with staff at OSPI and external partners to identify both systemic changes and practical strategies for eliminating academic and non-academic barriers to student learning.
  • Leads the development of the Washington Integrated Student Supports Protocol.


Communications and Community Outreach
Vacant, Director
Karen Conway, Executive Assistant | Karen.Conway@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6003

The Director of Communications serves as the chief liaison between the agency and the media and helps develop internal and external messaging consistent with the state superintendent’s priorities. The section:

  • Coordinates interviews and speeches given by the state superintendent and occasionally other members of the leadership team;
  • Coordinates press responses, in consultation with content experts;
  • Oversees the agency’s web site content;
  • Identifies and awards exceptional educators through the Teacher of the Year, Classified Employee of the Year and other awards;
  • Creates communications materials and communications plans for internal and external audiences;
  • Communicates important information to school districts.


Picture of Cindy Rockholt

Educator Growth and Development
Cindy Rockholt, Assistant Superintendent
| Cindy.Rockholt@k12.wa.us 360-725-4991
Kim Bahrenburg, Executive Assistant | Kim.Bahrenburg@k12.wa.us 360-725-6442

The Educator Growth and Development department is dedicated to ensuring districts have access to high quality professional learning opportunities to support teachers, principals, and other school leaders throughout the career continuum.

Educator Growth and Development:

  • Supports districts building quality mentor induction programs.
  • Provides professional learning opportunities for teachers, principals and other school leaders on the state’s evaluation systems.
  • Provides high quality support programs for teachers pursing National Board Certification.
  • Provides technical assistance on the E-Certification system.
  • Works with former military members in helping them become qualified teachers.
  • Provides technical assistance to districts to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
  • Provides facilitation, research, policy, and data analyses for legislative workgroups.
  • Identifies and recognizes educators to celebrate their impact on students.
  • Supporting districts to implement Paraeducator certification.
  • Administers and provides support for districts with Title II, Part A.


Financial Resources
Vacant, Chief Financial Officer

Jackie Hansman, Executive Assistant | Jackie.Hansman@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6111

The chief financial officer is responsible for the distribution of funding: agency budgeting; research on school funding; and collecting data on enrollment, personnel and financial information. The office:

  • Oversees School Apportionment and Financial Services, which includes state and federal money.
  • Oversees Grants Management.
  • Works with School Facilities and Organization section to coordinate planning, construction and renovations of school buildings.
  • Acts as agency budget office, including providing fiscal services to every section within OSPI.
  • Coordinates Audit Management and Resolution section.
  • Manages Pupil Transportation, Traffic Safety Education, and Child Nutrition.
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Dave Mastin

Government Relations
Dave Mastin, Executive Director
 | Dave.Mastin@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6311
Stella Lugalia, Assistant | Stella.Lugalia@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6181

The Director of Governmental Relations directs the agency’s government relations activities at the state and federal levels. That includes establishing and implementing short-and long-range goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures for government relations support. The Director:

  • Oversees implementation strategy for advancing priority legislative recommendations.
  • Oversees and coordinates interactions with legislators, legislative staff, and other local, state, and federal officials
  • Oversees statutory implementation and accountability process for the government relations support functions
  • Oversees the agency’s legislative clearinghouse function, including bill tracking and analysis, committee hearing tracking
  • Serves as a member of the OSPI Executive Leadership Team.


Picture of Ray Hicks

Human Resources Office
Ray Hicks, Executive Director
 | Ray.Hicks@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6272
Cassandra Topasna, Administrative Assistant | Cassandra.Topasna@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6271

The Executive Director of Human Resources is responsible for leadership and oversight of human resources functions in support of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), State Board of Education (SBE), Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), Para-educator Board, Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP), and Charter School Commission. The Human Resources office:

  • Serves as a strategic business partner in internal agency development and service delivery within the agency.
  • Develops, directs, and implements agency human resource policies and procedures.
  • Provides expert advice to managers and supervisors in the agency while ensuring accurate and consistent application of federal and state laws, Washington Administrative Code (WAC), and agency policies.
  • Oversees agency training plans for professional learning and development.
  • Leads agency initiatives involving cultural competency, recruitment, and workplace flexibility.
  • Monitors hiring and other personnel actions to ensure non-discrimination, equal opportunity, and ethical practices are maintained.


Picture of Steve Young

Information Technology Services
Steve Young, Chief Information Officer
| Steve.Young@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6134
Shaylah Seymour, Executive Assistant | Shaylah.Seymour@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4995

The Information Technology Services (ITS) coordinates the integration of technology to improve teaching and learning in the state of Washington by providing leadership and management of technology, a telecommunications infrastructure, and the tools for students, teachers and administrators in the K-12 sector The office:

  • Provides technical support to the OSPI Web site and develops and maintains software for OSPI and the school districts.
  • Supports and manages the OSPI IT infrastructure including video conferencing.
  • Develops, manages and supports projects, programs, training and successful practices that integrate technology into teaching and learning.
  • Conducts data mining and reporting to comply with OSPI, state, and federal reporting requirements.


Picture of Kathe Taylor

Learning and Teaching
Kathe Taylor, Assistant Superintendent
| Kathe.Taylor@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6417
Judy Decker, Executive Assistant | Judy.Decker@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6432

Learning and Teaching includes a broad spectrum of content areas and programs, including the arts, career and technical education, computer science, early learning, English Language Arts, environment and sustainability education, health and physical education, instructional materials, international education, mathematics, open education resources, science, sexual health education, social studies, and world languages. The office:

  • Leads the development, review, and revision of Washington's K-12 learning standards.
  • Provides professional development and technical assistance in partnership with education leaders and regional and local stakeholders statewide to build a coherent and consistent system of support for implementation of state standards.
  • Partners with other OSPI divisions and state/regional stakeholders to support integration and coordination of programs and activities, including the development of state formative assessment systems and implementation of OSPI-developed assessment in social studies, the arts, and health and fitness.
  • Administers federal, state, and privately funded programs focused on improving widespread teaching and learning.


Picture of Dierk Meierbachtol

Legal Services
Dierk Meierbachtol, Chief Legal Officer
| Dierk.Meierbachtol@k12.wa.us
Kim Beaulieu, Administrative Assistant | Kim.Beaulieu@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6130

The Chief Legal Officer is responsible for coordinating legal services for the agency. The Chief Legal Officer:

  • Oversees OSPI’s Equity and Civil Rights Office, Office of Professional Practices, and public records unit.
  • Acts as an initial resource for legal questions arising within the agency.
  • Serves as a liaison to the Attorney General’s Office for litigation and general legal advice.
  • Coordinates agency rule-writing and monitors rulemaking efforts.


Picture of Glenna Gallo

Special Education
Glenna Gallo, Assistant Superintendent
| Glenna.Gallo@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075
Beverly Mitchell, Executive Assistant | Beverly.Mitchell@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6075

The Assistant Superintendent for Special Education is responsible for ensuring the provision of special education and related services on behalf of more than 130,000 eligible students in Washington. The office:

  • Provides technical assistance and professional development designed to support and facilitate special education program improvement efforts by disseminating evidence-based and promising practices for the development of academic, health, and post-school outcomes for students eligible under IDEA.
  • Engages stakeholders involved in, or affected by, special education services and outcomes for students with disabilities, to review, analyze, and plan for system improvements and celebrate successes.
  • Provides general supervision of the provision of special education services through an integrated monitoring system, dispute resolution options, and coordinated data management efforts.
  • Allocates federal special education funding, manages the supplemental safety net program for individual high need students and school districts that can demonstrate a unique community impact in the area of special education.


Picture of Gayle Pauley

Special Programs and Federal Accountability
Gayle Pauley, Assistant Superintendent
| Gayle.Pauley@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6170
Carrie Hert, Executive Assistant | Carrie.Hert@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6170

The Assistant Superintendent for Special Programs and Federal Accountability helps school districts, through state and federal programs, raise the academic achievement of students who face disability, poverty, second language acquisition, learning difficulty, and mobility, among other challenges. The office oversees:

  • Every Student Succeeds Act
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
  • Consolidated Program Review
  • Highly Capable Program (HCP)
  • Native Education
  • Learning Assistance Program (LAP)
  • Migrant and Bilingual Education
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act / No Child Left Behind
  • Para educators
  • Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP)
  • School Library Media Programs and Teacher-Librarians
  • Title I
  • Title II, Part A

Picture of Martin Mueller

Student Engagement and Support
Martin Mueller, Assistant Superintendent
| Martin.Mueller@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6176
Breanne Conley, Executive Assistant | Breanne.Conley@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6175

Student Engagement and Support helps school districts prepare each student for post-secondary aspirations, careers, and life by embracing an approach to education that encompasses the whole child. In doing so, we work to ensure every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. To accomplish this, our office:

  • Administers state and federal grants and programs designed to remove barriers to learning, including those targeted to vulnerable and historically underserved students, such as children and youth in foster care or experiencing homelessness;
  • Provides professional development and technical assistance in partnership with education leaders and regional and local stakeholders statewide to build and improve a whole child focus;
  • Collaborates and coordinates within the agency and with other child and family serving agencies at the local, regional, state, and federal level to ensure all students have the support they need to succeed at school;
  • Provides oversight, coordination, and support for learning options and school choice in Washington, including online learning and alternative education.


Picture of Tennille Jeffries-Simmons

System and School Improvement
Tennille Jeffries-Simmons, Assistant Superintendent
| Tennille.Jeffries-Simmons@k12.wa.us | 360-725-6503
Rachael Wagoner, Executive Assistant | Rachael.Wagoner@k12.wa.us | 360-725-4960

System and School Improvement is committed to supporting continuous school improvement through providing quality technical assistance, relevant professional learning opportunities driven by expertise within OSPI and in coordination with collaborative partners, and through sharing information about best practices and learning opportunities effectively. In support of these goals, the office:

  • Manages federal and state dollars supporting school improvement efforts in Washington.
  • Supports collaboration between OSPI, regional ESDs, professional associations, districts, and schools to provide access to relevant research and best-practices.
  • Actively engages stakeholders in efforts to support continuous school improvement to ensure a continually growing and equitable graduation/college ready rate.
  • Oversees school and district system supports for ensuring graduation and post-graduation success through academic, social/emotional and career programming, including: school counseling, student engagement (attendance/behavioral health), safety, dropout prevention, reengagement, and dual credit.






   Updated 3/28/2019

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