Board of Directors

League of Education Voters Foundation Board of Directors

Betsy Johnson, Chair

Betsy Johnson has been active in education in Bellevue and Washington state for the past 13 years. She has been a PTSA volunteer, past PTSA and Bellevue Schools Foundation president, and Bellevue School Board member. She has been volunteering for Eastside Pathways on the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading since its inception, currently serving as lead for the overall initiative and facilitating the Summer and Extended Learning collaborative. Betsy is a former Microsoft executive. She has four children in the Bellevue schools in middle and high school.

Lee Lambert, Vice Chair

Lee Lambert is Washington STEM’s STEM Network Director, leading the charge on the organization’s statewide effort to advance STEM education in alignment with local economic development. He previously worked as the Director of the Washington College Access Network (WCAN). Lee is a native of Tacoma and a graduate of Foss High School; he has a degree in political science from Washington State University and a Master of Public Administration from Seattle University. Prior to joining WCAN, Lee worked in the Seattle office of Senator Maria Cantwell, serving as the State Grants Coordinator and Special Project Manager. Earlier in his career, Lee had the opportunity to work for Congressman Adam Smith and Congressman Norm Dicks, as well as the Bates Technical College Foundation. Lee lives in Shoreline with his wife Adrienne and their two children. They are active members of the Meridian Park Elementary PTSA.

Tom Weeks, Immediate Past Chair

A Seattle native, Tom Weeks earned a BA in American Studies from Middlebury College and an MA and PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University, where his dissertation analyzed the Latin American debt crisis of the 1980s. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Palau (Micronesia) with his wife, Deborah Oyer, MD. He was an elected member of the Seattle City Council for two terms and was Executive Director of Human Resources for the Seattle Public Schools prior to Chairing the Board of the Seattle Monorail Project. For several years he taught at the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington and has consulted in public policy and negotiation. He has served on numerous boards, including the New School Foundation and People for Puget Sound. Tom and his children are proud graduates of Seattle Public Schools.

Kevin Washington, Treasurer

Kevin C. Washington is a semi-retired consultant in the fields of business to business electronic commerce and retail logistics, who now spends the majority of his time as a volunteer across a host of local and state childhood education projects. Kevin worked previously in the private sector for more than 25 years, including 18 years of retail management at REI. Kevin is the Chair of the Seattle YMCA Black Achievers Program, board member of the Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA branch, board member and Co-chair of the Grants Committee for the Seattle Foundation and serves on the boards of numerous education and civic organizations including Thrive By Five, Tabor 100, and the Coalition for Equal Education Rights.

Vange Ocasio Hochheimer, Secretary

Dr. Ocasio moved to the US from Puerto Rico at the age of eleven. She received her BA in Philosophy, Politics and Law (PPL) from Binghamton University in New York. She received her Master’s and PhD degrees in economics from Colorado State University. Dr. Ocasio’s vocation as a teacher and a researcher is centered on the idea of equal access as a way to reduce economic and social inequalities. In her work, she finds that when there is access to resources, the population develops both, socially and economically. This premise is inherent in Dr. Ocasio’s teaching philosophy, her research and her involvement in the community. She was appointed to the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs for the City of Spokane and reports to the Mayor and his cabinet on the stability, health, and status of underrepresented groups in the city. Dr. Ocasio joined Whitworth University as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Economics in the School of Business in the fall of 2011. Dr. Ocasio moved to Spokane from Colorado with her husband, Manny Hochheimer, in 2011. They have two little boys, Noah and Luca. Dr. Ocasio is a runner and enjoys camping and skiing. She also enjoys major league baseball (go Mariners!) and is a devout Whitworth Pirates fan!

Dr. Tony Byrd

Dr. Tony Byrd entered the education sector as a Teach For America corps member in 1993, and his experience as a bilingual sixth grade teacher in a low-income school in Pasadena, California prompted him to pursue advanced degrees in education policy and education administration at Stanford University and to dedicate his life to public education. He has a doctoral degree from University of Washington’s Leadership for Learning Program and he has served as an adjunct lecturer at UW’s Leadership Development for Educators Program (current) and at Western Washington’s Principal Certification Program (2007-2012). He is also an Ambassador for UW’s College of Education (2016-2018).

Dr. Byrd has worked in Washington schools since 2002. He served 11 years as a principal and assistant superintendent at Edmond Public Schools, and completed his third year as associate superintendent of curriculum, assessment and special programs at Everett Public Schools before taking the role of Executive Director for TFA’s Washington region on July 1, 2016. As part of the Everett leadership team, Dr. Byrd led efforts to make Everett Public Schools the first district in Western Washington to have the AP Capstone Diploma program in each of its comprehensive high schools. He helped close the ethnic participation gap in advanced placement courses, expanded early learning programs and supported the establishment of a PreK-12 computer science pipeline.

Dr. Tom Halverson

Dr. Tom Halverson is a senior lecturer at the UW College of Education, and director of the UW’s Master of Education in Education Policy program. He is also a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at the UW.

Kevin Jacka

Kevin is the Lead Superintendent/CEO of Rural Alliance. Kevin was involved in the development of the policy/procedures during the first two years of the Washington State Charter School Commission. He is the Co Founder of The Rural Alliance, developed through the Mary Walker School District in 2010. Kevin was the superintendent of the Mary Walker School District for 12 years and has understanding of small rural district superintendent issues and concerns. He started his career as a Marketing teacher and taught Marketing, Business and PE for 18 years. He is a proud graduate of Eastern Washington University.

Erin Hemmings Kahn

Erin Kahn is the Director of the Raikes Foundation, where she provides day-to-day leadership of the Foundation and works closely with the co-founders to develop and execute strategies to help young people reach their full potential. Previously, Erin was Associate Director at Social Venture Partners Seattle. During her eight-year tenure, she managed the nonprofit capacity-building program and provided leadership to the grant-making programs. Erin also serves on the board of Philanthropy Northwest. Erin holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and a BA in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego.

Chris Larson

Chris Larson is a 1981 graduate of Princeton University. His successful career in the tech industry has led to many philanthropic interests, including public education reform.

Michael Waite

Michael is the SVP of Business Operations at Bentall Kennedy. He has a passion for public education, developed from Australia (where he was born) to today in Seattle, where he will have 2 daughters attending Seattle Public Schools. He has run for State Treasurer and has institutional financial and operations experience with large entities. He is a current member of UWKC Finance Committee.