Chief Executive Officer | @LauriAHennessey
Lauri brings 30 years of experience in journalism, community engagement, advocacy, strategic communications, and fundraising. Lauri’s personal mission is educational equity and making a difference in the Puget Sound community, both at the League and in her volunteer time.
Before joining the League, Lauri was the Vice President for Engagement at Woodland Park Zoo. Prior to that, she directed public affairs in the Northwest for Edelman (2012-2016), working with a diverse portfolio of political and public affairs clients from the University of Washington to the Bezos Family Foundation. She has also held positions at Community Schools Collaboration, the YMCA of Greater Seattle, and the Municipal League of King County (executive director), in addition to running grassroots campaigns. Early in her career, she was an editor at KIRO Radio in Seattle and worked as a press secretary in Washington D.C., as well as a senior manager in the federal government.
Lauri has volunteered and served on boards for a variety of nonprofits, including Treehouse, Mary’s Place, Thrive Washington, Seattle Rotary, Southwest Youth and Family Services, and the Seattle Men’s and Women’s Choruses (current), among others. Her passion is training others in grassroots, communications, and fundraising.
Lauri is most proud of her three grown children. In her spare time, she sings with the Seattle Women’s Chorus and performs in musicals in her community of Vashon Island. Her husband is a longtime school board member on Vashon and they have long been active in island children’s causes. Earlier in her volunteer life, she chaired several PTSA Auctions, served as a PTSA President, and was involved with the state PTSA Legislative Council. She also wrote an award-winning newspaper column about children and parenting.
Eleanor (Ellie) joined the League of Education Voters (LEV) in 2019. Holding a B.A. in History and Literature with a secondary in African American Studies, Ellie spent her undergraduate years focusing particularly on the role of education in shaping narratives of slavery, the Civil War, and freedom, as well as the ongoing legacies of disenfranchisement that affect communities of color across America. Her studies showed her that history classrooms can be a profoundly powerful tool for liberation and empowerment, so she decided to become a teacher focused specifically on serving high-needs schools. Prior to joining the LEV team, Ellie was a 7th grade history teacher at Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Middle Academy in Brownsville, New York and then at Prospect Hill Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also gained experience in legislative offices while working for Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser.
Ellie hails from Boston, where she received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She was a member of HGSE’s new teacher-training program, the Harvard Teacher Fellows, which aims to offer an innovative pathway into teaching for social justice-oriented graduates. Ellie enjoys music and singing, exploring national parks, and petting all the dogs she spots around Seattle.
Nancy joined the League of Education Voters 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.
Regional Field Director, Spokane
Sandra Jarrard is originally from western Washington; she and her family moved to Spokane in 2004. Prior to working for the League of Education Voters, Sandra worked for Greater Spokane Incorporated. As their Director for Public Policy, Sandra worked with education, higher education, business, and community leaders to accomplish policy changes and to advocate for funding for regional priorities. Sandra received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration for Eastern Washington University. In her free time, Sandra enjoys spending time with her family and loves to train for marathons.
Regional Field Director, Tri-Cities
Ruvine joined the League of Education Voters in 2014. Prior to that, she participated in Early Achievers Institutes in Spokane and Yakima to receive training in the Early Childhood, Infant & Toddler, and Family Child Care Environment Rating Scales and became a pre-K-certified reliable observer on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. She attended these institutes while also taking Columbia Basin College’s Child Development Associate (CDA) course and volunteering with AARP’s Tax-Aide Program in her community.
Ruvine worked for Benton Franklin Community Action Committee (BFCAC) in Pasco for 14 years in various positions. Most recently, she was instrumental in helping BFCAC exceed Healthplanfinder enrollment goals in Benton, Franklin, and Walla Counties by training more than 100 individuals to become certified navigators (in-person assisters) for Washington Healthplanfinder. Ruvine also served as BFCAC’s Child Care Support Services Director, where she oversaw the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Homeless Child Care Program, Child Care Resource and Referral Program, Seasonal Subsidy Child Care Program, and STARS training, and developed a close working relationship with childcare providers.
Ruvine has 6 children and 12 grandchildren. She lives with her dog, two parakeets, cat, three daughters, and five grandchildren. She loves sharing new lessons she’s learned with her family, on topics such as early learning, social and emotional development, gardening, reading, and about her community.
Communications Director | @ArikKorman
Arik Korman has worked in Seattle media for over 20 years with KING, KIRO, KZOK and KJR, most notably as Executive Director of The Bob Rivers Show. He currently hosts his own interview program on iHeartRadio. Arik earned a Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters Association Soundie award for his partnership with World Vision, which has resulted in nearly 5000 children sponsored around the world and annual donations of more than $2M for projects such as education, clean water, food security, and medical care. Education is in his DNA, as his mother and sister are teachers, he has a son in public elementary school, and he views education as the single greatest catalyst for change in society.
Arik recharges by playing tennis and ultimate frisbee, hiking, board gaming, traveling, and enjoying Washington wine.
Andre Lawes Menchavez joined the League of Education Voters (LEV) in 2020. He is a queer, first-generation, Indigenous and Filipinx activist who utilizes journalism as a tool of activism to combat disparities and systems of oppression he sees in our world. Prior to working at LEV, Andre was a Lead Junior Editor for GLAAD, a national LGBTQIA+ non-profit media organization. He also is a columnist and Opinion Editor at The Daily, the University of Washington’s student newspaper. His column, Equity Inaction, is centered on covering improvements regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Washington.
Andre was recently recognized as one of the Husky 100 by the University of Washington, a cohort of 100 students picked by the university for their prestigious contributions to the community. He is working towards his B.A. in Law, Societies, and Justice with a double minor in Diversity and English: Writing. He is also an avid coffee fan with a running list of Seattle’s coffee shops ranked, an active community organizer, a captain of the UW’s dance team, and hopefully a beacon of hope for young queer youth of color that they too can achieve what they dream of when people tell them they can’t.
School Transformation Partner
Jennifer has worked in education for 20 years. She began her career as a bilingual first grade teacher in her hometown of Wapato, WA then moved on to Seattle Public Schools. From Seattle Public Schools, Jennifer moved into a management role in private tutoring in both Seattle and Southern California. Prior to joining the League of Education Voters, Jennifer spent ten years as a dean and campus director in adult education. Jennifer has developed and facilitated training programs for teachers and leaders in education and feels strongly that continuing education and professional development contribute to student success.
Jennifer, a West Seattle transplant, enjoys spending time with her fur babies, attending Sounders matches, and is a long time Huskies season ticket holder. She is an avid reader and enjoys cooking for herself and others.
Jennifer has a bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Washington and moved on to complete Heritage University’s Education program when she realized how much she loved working with students.
Senior Policy Analyst
Jacob 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, Jacob attended the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Prior to joining the League of Education Voters, Jacob 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.
Jacob 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.
Director of Policy and Research
Julia joined League of Education Voters (LEV) in 2015. Prior to joining LEV, she worked as a Senior Research Analyst for the Washington State Board of Education, helped launch the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and worked in public policy consulting. Julia is committed to helping create a school system in which every student has access to an education that prepares and empowers.
Julia received her Bachelor’s in literature and government from Claremont McKenna College in Southern California and returned home to Seattle for her Master of Education degree from the University of Washington. When she’s not in the office, Julia enjoys playing in the mountains and spending time with her family.