Chief Executive Officer
As a first-generation college graduate, Chris knows the transformative power of education to lift families out of poverty. She earned a double major in education and sociology and spent the early years of her professional life teaching high school social studies and coaching girls’ sports.
Chris values personal choice and worked in reproductive rights advocacy before moving to Washington state.
Chris joined LEV in 2007 in order to ensure that our public education system provides Washington families with high-quality options for their kids’ education. She believes each student should be prepared for post-secondary opportunities and our education system should be designed to make that possible.
In the fall of 2012, the national Policy Innovators in Education named Chris the “Most Valuable Player” of the Year.
Chris has written opinion pieces for The Seattle Times and Crosscut and co-authored journal articles including “Paving a Path to Best Practices in Washington State: How Changing School Discipline Policies Can Curb Disproportionality and Close the Achievement Gap” in Western Washington University’s Journal of Educational Controversy (Fall 2012/Winter 2013). She is the chair of the board of the Washington State Charter Schools Association.
When she is not advocating for an education system that lifts our children’s future, Chris can be found coaching her son’s soccer team and cheering on her beloved Green Bay Packers.
Chief Financial Officer | @djbuckly
Diane Buckley joined the League of Education Voters (LEV) as Chief Financial Officer when LEV merged with The New School Foundation (NSF) in the summer of 2011. Since 2003, Diane managed the finance, accounting, and human resource functions at NSF. She also worked closely with South Shore School and the Seattle School District in optimizing the use of funding provided by NSF to support excellent education. She continues in these roles at LEV, bringing her institutional knowledge of NSF and a wealth of experience in accounting and finance to her role.
Prior to joining the nonprofit community, she provided leadership roles in accounting and finance at savings banks and technology companies. Her experiences include fundraising through public stock offerings and venture capital, and working with regulators, investors, and management on compliance and reporting requirements. Diane earned a BA in business administration with a major in accounting from the University of Washington. She began her career in public accounting with Arthur Andersen.
Through community involvement and board membership, she has been involved in fundraising for the Arts and Arts Education in Seattle for the past 18 years. Her fondest early education memory was visiting the school librarian on a daily basis to check out a new book which she would take home, curl up with, and read before dinner each night. Hence, her earliest career aspiration was to be a school librarian. She also has fond memories around that same time of having her dad give her math problems to solve, which she would write out on a small chalk board in the living room after dinner. This love of numbers led to her ultimate career in accounting and finance.
Social and Digital Media Manager | @NisforAnne
Anne joined the League of Education Voters (LEV) in September 2013. Before joining LEV, Anne worked at the University of Washington for seven years, most recently in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering as the department’s Communications Manager. Anne also spent several years in the Jackson School of International Studies, providing outreach and professional development opportunities to K–12 educators on international topics.
Anne received a BA in chemistry and German from Trinity University in Texas and an MA in international studies from the University of Washington. Before coming to Seattle, Anne lived in Korea for three years on a Fulbright teaching grant, where she taught English to 800 students at a rural public middle school outside the city of Cheongju. When not in the office, Anne can be found in her letterpress studio, cooking (and blogging about) vegan food, or spoiling her (already very spoiled) dog.
Senior Administrative & Accounting Assistant
Nancy joined LEV in 2012, after brief stints at Historic Seattle and Washington STEM and after several years at the New School Foundation. Through her work at NSF, she was part of the team that built the Rainier Beach Children’s Garden at South Shore School. Her personal involvement in public education includes being a PTA Board member, serving multiple roles, from Legislative Liaison to President, at Olympic View Elementary in Seattle.
Nancy is a product of local public schools (Go Kangs!) and earned her BA in English at UCLA and her master’s degree in public administration at Seattle University.
Nancy volunteers at SHINE, a retail store located at SCCA House whose proceeds benefit patient programs at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She lives in north Seattle with her husband and two teenage children. She enjoys going to their athletic and musical events, exercising, traveling, and camping, especially in Hawaii. She is an avid reader.
Communications and Development Director | @marybethlambert
Mary Beth joined LEV in 2012. For the past fifteen years, she has worked with Seattle foundations, nonprofits, universities, and private companies committed to improving public education.
As a high school sophomore in Ohio, Mary Beth KNEW she would change the world by telling the truth, uncovering political corruption and greed, and becoming the next Woodward or Bernstein. Her calling took her to journalism school and a short-lived newspaper career. Writing obits for a living was not the kind of change she wanted to make in the world. Instead, Mary Beth headed to Washington, DC, and spent five years electing pro-choice women to federal and statewide office. Graduate school at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs offered her an entry ticket into the world of education reform and the chance to settle in the Pacific Northwest.
Mary Beth lives in Ballard with her husband and two school-age daughters. Current diversions include cycling, running, transporting her kids to their activities, and supporting the Ballard Food Bank.
Before joining LEV, Amy worked with the City of Seattle’s Office for Education (OFE) as an independent consultant, helping to support the city’s school levy efforts with the 2011 Families and Education Levy. At this position, she had a hand in creating, implementing, communicating, and evaluating requests for qualification for community-based organizations seeking to receive levy funds, as well as requests for investment from schools seeking levy funds.
Amy and her family moved to Seattle from Washington, DC, in the summer of 2011. While in DC, Amy served as Acting Director of the Office of Secondary School Transformation at DC Public Schools (DCPS). In that role, she oversaw a team charged with programmatic supports for the district’s middle and high schools including academic policy, academic planning and master scheduling, college readiness, credit recovery, and Career and Technical Education. Prior to joining DCPS, she held various policy and advocacy positions at Freddie Mac. Amy is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan for both her undergraduate and law degrees. She is a mother of two and enjoys spending time with her family, exploring culinary adventures and fishing in her spare time.
State Field Director | @kellymunn
Kelly has been a dedicated education advocate for over ten years. She moved from San Francisco nearly twenty years ago to manage sales training at Microsoft. When her first child was three, she decided to stay home with him and in a few years, two more joined him.
As her children entered the Issaquah school system, Kelly found it impossible to watch from the sidelines. She joined the PTSA and volunteered to work on a fundraiser for her children’s school, where her ideas helped raise the income above the previous year’s level. Although pleased with the results of her fundraising efforts, she quickly realized that the financial needs of the school went well beyond what they could raise at a Walk-A-Thon. The Issaquah School District had repeatedly failed to pass its bond & levy so Kelly became active in first supporting, and then co-chairing, the school bond & levy campaigns in her school district. Those campaigns were successful and brought much-needed funding to the district. In addition to fundraising, Kelly also served as the legislative representative for her PTA. As she became more familiar with the inner mysteries of the legislature, Kelly began to see that to really make a difference, education advocates need to speak directly to the state. Working through her local PTA, Kelly helped education advocates in her community to better understand education funding and to find their voices so they could be heard by their legislature.
Kelly’s work with the PTA on the local, district, and state level has been honored with several Golden Acorns and the rarely-awarded recognition as Outstanding Advocate in Washington State. Along the way, she also achieved the Crystal Level of Leadership in the Washington State PTA’s Leadership Academy. In her spare time, Kelly tap dances, and has belonged to a book club for over 14 years.
Government Relations Director | @FrankOrdway
Frank has always been committed to community service. Over the past 23 years, he has been a managing staff or board member with domestic and international organizations focusing on sustainable economic development, strategic technology use, social services, energy, transportation, domestic violence, and the environment.
The common theme throughout all this work has been empowering people to make positive changes in their communities. There is no more effective way to empower people, strengthen our communities and our economy than an effective education system. This is why Frank is so dedicated to the work of the League of Education Voters.
He received his master’s degree in public affairs from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and his bachelor’s in political science from the University of Oregon. He attended public schools in Oregon and Wyoming and his kids attend Mountain View Elementary in Ferndale, Washington. Frank volunteers for various community groups and is the Parent Chair of the Ferndale Public School Levy Committee. Frank lives in Ferndale with his wife Rachel and three children, Dylan, Olivia, and Nora.
Community Organizer | @AndyYayQ
Andaiye joins LEV as an East coast transplant from Philadelphia, PA. In Philadelphia, Andaiye worked as a museum educator and at a local non-profit helping to coordinate a folk arts program at a K–8 charter school; all while finishing her graduate studies in the anthropology of music (ethnomusicology). Andaiye was active in the Philadelphia community around issues involving cultural and racial equity.
She continues to foster her driving passion for education equity as an organizer with LEV, and is actively involved in her community in Renton.
In her spare time, Andaiye enjoys playing the piano, volunteering with youth, and researching African history with fellow community members.
Cindy began working with the League of Education Voters (LEV) in June 2013 and joined the organization as permanent staff at the beginning of 2014. Prior to joining LEV, Cindy worked with business owners in the private sector to help streamline their accounting processes, create customized financial reports, and provide full-charge accounting services. Cindy has also been a partner in a family-owned business in the timber industry.
Cindy is active in her community and has served on many committees. She has helped raise funds for both her PTA and her church mission trips, served on her local high school lacrosse board, and was the founding president of local chapter of National Charity League, an organization committed to providing leadership opportunities and developing community and cultural awareness for young women and their mothers through active involvement in their communities.
Cindy, a native Washingtonian, is a product of local public schools and attended the University of Oregon. Behind the scenes she is a passionate fly fisherman and entrepreneur.
Community Organizer | @mica_razo
Micaela has been an advocate for parent involvement and education for over 12 years. She has lived in the Yakima County for most of her life, where she graduated from Grandview High School. She moved on to Kittitas County to attend Central Washington University but put her education and career on hold to raise her firstborn son.
As Micaela’s son grew up, she realized that he would not be able to excel in school without the right structure in place. Her son was facing a number of hardships in school, which inspired Micaela to become an activist and advocate for parent involvement and education. Micaela became involved in organizations such as Children’s Village, the PTA, with school diversity committees, and other nonprofit organizations to work toward positive change in her son’s school. She became a community leader in advocating for parents who need help navigating through the school system. She developed special training for her son’s teachers and established a foundation for other children with disabilities in the school.
Micaela resides in Yakima County with her husband, her son, and two daughters. In spring 2013, she was able to finish her AA DTA through Yakima Community College, and she has a Substitute Certification in the Grandview District. She is also the Region 11 Director for the Washington State PTA and is the PTA President for her local Smith School.
Government Relations | @richerea
Beth received her first taste of LEV as a consultant with the Youth & Families Initiative, getting an inside perspective of the challenges facing parents and community members in preparing their children for school and life. After managing Rep. Marcie Maxwell’s successful re-election campaign in 2010, she returned to LEV to continue to grow and build relationships with Washington’s legislators and their communities as part of the Government Relations team. Beth’s work focuses primarily on issues that directly correlate with closing the opportunity gap for Washington’s students.
A native Ohioan, Beth earned her BS/BA in Political Science and Theology from Xavier University. She made her way to the West Coast via the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, spending a year in service working for local nonprofits and towards social justice. This value of social justice is what drew Beth to LEV’s work, particularly with regard to closing the opportunity gap in Washington and nationally.
Beth spends her free time getting lost in the mountains, paddling around Lake Union, wishing Seattle had a basketball team, and searching out anyone who can elongate their O’s as only true Mid-Westerners can.
Policy Analyst | @tracysherman
After spending almost a decade in the other Washington, Tracy decided it was time to move back home to the Pacific Northwest and continue education advocacy in a less partisan environment. She got her start in education policy working for several members of Congress.
Believing that all children deserve a great public education free from discrimination, Tracy joined an education organization where she advocated on issues facing women, minority, and low-income students. Her love of politics, passion for making the world a better place, and strong belief that we must improve education so we have a skilled workforce for tomorrow, makes LEV a perfect match.
Tracy is a proud product of public schools. She received a BA in political science with minors in business and legal studies from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in political management from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She lives on the edge of Fremont and Ballard. In her spare time, Tracy enjoys volunteering with dogs, doing yoga, and laughing.
Jake Vela’s strong desire to get involved in the civic process led him to work in the election cycle in Nevada. That adventure compelled him to work as a legislative assistant in the Nevada Legislature, where he focused on civic engagement and electoral issues. The strong civic culture and beautiful scenery of the Great Northwest managed to lure him away from Nevada. After settling in Seattle, Jake attended the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Lev, Jake worked with local nonprofits in strategic planning and working to develop policies to improve the quality of life of formerly homeless individuals in downtown Seattle.
Jake received his BA in political science and Spanish from the University of Nevada. He earned his master’s of public administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs with a focus on policy analysis and urban policy. When not in the office he can be found wandering the Cascades, enjoying Seattle’s parks, honing his skills as a home brewer, or watching terrible nineties action movies.
Community Organizer | @JoyceYee5
Joyce Yee comes to LEV with sixteen years’ experience as an advocate, activist, and program developer for local Seattle and King County nonprofits. She attended public schools in Honolulu, HI, and is a first-generation college graduate. She has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a master’s in organizational psychology from Antioch University of Seattle. She has volunteered and worked in south Seattle and south King County for over ten years. As a VISTA volunteer with People’s Institute NW, she supported the Coalition to Undo Racism Everywhere (CURE) and listened to concerned students, parents, and grandparents express their dissatisfaction with long-standing institutional racism in Seattle public schools.
Joyce is passionate about the active involvement of all community members in making decisions about the collective changes they would like to see in their communities. She gained invaluable experience working in local public schools. She worked for Atlantic Street Center as a Community Resource Developer at Thurgood Marshall Elementary in Seattle, and as Americorps site coordinator for Communities in Schools of Kent, at Scenic Hill Elementary in Kent. Thanks to both of those positions, she learned a lot about the diverse perspectives of students, families, school administrators, teachers, support staff, and other civic leaders about what they feel is needed to reform public education in Washington state.
Joyce lives in Delridge with her cat, Miss Stella, and enjoys beading, talking story with friends, an learning about other cultures.