League of Education Voters C4
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 and current Director at Groopit. She has four children in the Bellevue schools in middle and high school.
LeAnne Jones Wiles, Vice Chair
LeAnne is the Director of First Year Programs at the University of Washington focusing specifically on successful transitions for high school and transfer students entering the institution. She has held positions at various public and private universities and served as a board member for the YMCA, for NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and as a volunteer at the non-profit Treehouse. LeAnne is interested in connecting her experience with those focusing on the K-12 landscape to further align efforts supporting first generation, low income and underrepresented minority students. She earned her BA in Sociology from Pacific Lutheran University and Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Delaware. She lives in Seattle with her partner, daughter, and foster son.
Michael Waite, Treasurer
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 currently PTSA President at Kimball Elementary (Seattle) and serves on the National Board of Trustees of Camp Fire.
Roohi Sharma, Secretary
Research Coordinator at CRPE | Education Pioneers & Teach For India Alumni – Roohi has served as Communications officer on the Alumni Advisory Board – Masters in Education Policy program, University of Washington. She brings experience as a thought partner, contributing to policy discussions. She is a champion of educational equity for all children and brings international perspective to the group from her experience teaching third and fifth graders as a Teach for India fellow in Pune, India. Roohi is interested in serving on the LEV Board because of our shared vision towards achieving education equity for all children.
Oscar Cerda, Member at Large
Oscar Cerda serves as Community Engagement Manager for the Washington Department of Transportation. Oscar lives in the Tri-Cities and travels frequently to Olympia and around the state. He is currently serving on the Board of Latino Civic Alliance and has a long history as a community activist. He has a strong interest in serving diverse communities. With his experience, he would like to support LEV in alliance and coalition building with communities of color and Latinos.
Sarah is an education advocate and the Co-Founder of SEL for Washington, and is currently associated with the WA State Special Education Advisory Council (Exec Vice Chair), WA State Achievement and Accountability Workgroup (representing WA State PTA and SEAC), and Untapped Potential Project (Advisor). She has a strong connection to systems issues within education impacting students with disabilities and other learning needs related to their social, emotional and behavioral health. She will bring an inclusive lens to the work and bring connections to advocates and organizations working in special education, trauma-informed practices, physical health and mental health and well-being. Sarah lives in Bellevue with her husband and 3 children.
Erica is the State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. Erica brings expertise in Early Learning and has a finger on the pulse of Spokane. She is currently involved with Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, YWCA Spokane (Women of Achievement) and Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI).
Dean Nielsen is a political strategist and Principal of Cerillion N4 Partners. Since starting his political career in 1992 working for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, he has worked on political campaigns in 32 states on every level of campaign, from school board to Congress to Governor to President as well as advising candidates and political parties in Eastern Europe. He’s worked on numerous government relations and communications projects for corporate and nonprofit clients including the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, a major sports team ownership group, a Fortune 500 agricultural interest, Seattle’s Harborview Hospital, and the Seattle McCaw Performance Hall. More recently, he has expanded his portfolio to include companies focused on clean energy, biomass generation, online cable TV, spectral pattern matching, data processing, and other services. Mr. Nielsen holds a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.
Jocelyn Nunez is the Outreach and Retention Specialist for the College Assistance Migrant Program at Columbia Basin College. Jocelyn lives in the Tri-Cities and previously served as a Program Assistant for College Success Foundation. She currently serves on the Board of Somos Pasco to create a long-range community-driven conversation to continue to build a community-driven vision for Pasco and its economy. Growing up in Eastern Washington, Jocelyn has seen the lack of resources for first-generation students, students of color and those who come from low-income backgrounds. She would like to serve LEV by representing those communities, ensuring they are part of the large conversation and have the access they deserve.
Robert O’Hara earned a BA in Architecture from Penn State University and an MS.CS from Union College. He is a software and wireless industry veteran, with over 40 years of experience at companies including IBM Research, Microsoft, and Motorola. He has been involved in the mobile wireless data industry since it began, working with companies such as AT&T Wireless and Qualcomm. He is Vice Chair of the Trustees of Union Graduate College, now merged with Clarkson University, and is Chair of the Redmond City Planning Commission. He taught Computer Science at the graduate level for six years, and currently teaches it part-time at the high school level.