League of Education Voters C4

Board of Directors

Although we are not actively recruiting board members right now, you are welcome to submit an application for us to review in the future.

To learn more, see our Board Member Application Page


Ben Mitchell, Chair

Ben Mitchell is the Director of Advocacy and Policy for the Foundation for Tacoma Students where he supports the implementation of a recent investment in Tacoma by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this role, Ben supports and works in partnership with the Foundation for Tacoma Students, Graduate Tacoma Partners, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to elevate the Graduate Tacoma community-wide movement in three areas: Community Partner Capacity and Capability; Data Capacity and Capability; and Postsecondary Access and Completion.

Prior to joining the Foundation for Tacoma Students team, Ben spent 4.5 years at Social Venture Partners (SVP) in Seattle where he managed their main grantmaking program and supported the work of providing capacity building and technical assistance to SVP’s grantees. Ben moved to the Northwest by way of Washington, DC where he worked in international development and spent a good chunk of time living and working overseas. His work took him to Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, and Moldova. To his great embarrassment, Ben has never been particularly good with any language other than English.

Ben grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has three younger siblings, all of whom work as educators. He lives in Seattle with his wife and a strange-looking but lovable dog. In his free time, he likes to go on runs and hikes, attempt to finish any one of the stack of books he’s started in the last year, and reluctantly peck away at DIY house projects.

Maria Zontine, Interim Treasurer

Maria Zontine has worked in higher education supporting academic programs for over 15 years. She is currently serving as the HR Director for the School of Medicine at the University of Washington. Maria earned both her BA in Marketing and Communications, and her Masters in Public Administration, from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. Growing up in rural Washington, Maria developed a unique educational perspective which creates a strong conviction towards equality in access to education for all.

Yelias Bender

Yelias is an Illinois native with a passion for affordable housing and community development. He started his career in community development at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco where he gained experience in single-family and multifamily affordable housing. After gaining finance experience at Sunrun, the nation’s leading residential solar provider, Yelias returned to community development finance at Union Bank. In 2017, Yelias moved with his wife to Seattle and joined the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing as a Project Manager before joining JPMorgan Chase’s Community Development Banking division. Yelias holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Cornell University and master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Accountancy from the University of Illinois and San Francisco State University, respectively. Yelias loves animals, and in his spare time enjoys live music, following his favorite sports teams, and traveling with friends and family.

Amy Campbell

After earning her Master in Teaching, Amy realized her deep passion for supporting students with unique learning needs and returned to school for an endorsement in special education. She has been teaching at Helen Baller Elementary School in the Camas School District for 12 years. In her position as a teacher of students with significant disabilities, she collaborates with staff, parents, and community to develop individualized plans that focus on each student’s unique skills, abilities, and interests to help them find their place among their peers in the school community.

Amy’s dedication to inclusive opportunities for all learners gained her recognition as the 2020 Washington state Teacher of the Year. In an effort to shift systems to provide more equitable opportunities for all learners, Amy is working to develop relationships with education partners. She is an active member of the Washington state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)’s Student Learning Workgroup, contracts with the Washington Education Association and Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession to create professional learning experiences for educators, and is starting work developing courses at Clark College for future Special Education teachers. Amy serves on the board of directors for Micah’s Miles, a nonprofit focused on building community for individuals with disabilities.

Outside of work, Amy enjoys traveling, working out with friends, and watching movies with her husband, Ian.

Becky Nissen

Becky has lived in the Yakima area for over 40 years. She is a graduate of West Valley High School, Yakima Valley Community College, and Central Washington University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Becky has 33 years supporting School Districts in the areas of Finance and Payroll. She was hired by Yakima School District in October 1989, as the Cash Accountant/Retirement Specialist supporting both Payroll and Finance. In October 1991, she accepted a position with ESD 105 as a Fiscal Specialist for the Regional Data Center supporting Districts in both ESD 105 and ESD 123 service areas. In October 2000, Becky returned to Yakima School District as the Director of Payroll/Employee Safety. In July 2008, Becky was promoted to Director of Finance. In July 2019, Becky was promoted to Executive Director of Finance. Becky retired on 8/31/22 to become the full-time caregiver for her new grandson!

Becky was an active member of the state and national organizations for school business officials, serving on committees and teaching classes. She was appointed in 2019 by the Washington Association of School Business Officials to the State School District Accounting Advisory Committee.

Becky loves the Yakima community and enjoys supporting organizations through volunteer work. She is a 2003 graduate of Leadership Yakima. Over the years she has served on many nonprofit boards including West Valley Child Care, Yakima Humane Society, Voices for Children, and Kiwanis Club of Yakima. Serving on behalf of children in the Yakima Area is both her passion and career!

Becky and her husband Pete live West of Yakima. When not working or volunteering, you can find them kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, enjoying great food, attending a WSU football game (Go Cougs!!), at a concert, or on a driving exploration around Washington. Becky is a hobby photographer, quilter, and grandma extraordinaire!