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 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.
Yelias Bender, Treasurer
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.
Roohi Sharma, Secretary
Roohi is a Research Analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) and an Education Pioneers & Teach For India alumnus. Roohi has served as Communications Officer on the Alumni Advisory Board – Masters in Education Policy program at the 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.
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.
Roxanne McCloud is the Regional Program Manager for Junior Achievement of Washington in Whatcom, Island, and Skagit counties. She works with volunteers and educators to deliver financial literacy and career-readiness programming to students from kindergarten through 12th grade, inspiring and preparing them to succeed in a global economy. Her passion is in creating and sustaining a culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential tenets of a student’s path to excellence. Roxanne earned her B.A. in Sociology from Pacific Lutheran University and was a commercial insurance broker for over 16 years. She is an active volunteer in Whatcom County and continues to support her community in many ways.
Derek Morrison is a Communications professional currently based out of Seattle, but originally from Portland, Oregon.
With 15 years of experience, Derek now oversees communications and public relations as a VP at Davis Elen Advertising, where he works with a variety of brands; such as Toyota and 50-year client, McDonald’s USA. He began his career in the radio industry, which later led him to promotions, events, advertising, and PR.
Derek is the proud uncle of two elementary school students and is the son of a Danish immigrant mother, and a father born and raised in Portland, Oregon. In his spare time, he is actively involved in many nonprofits that focus on the youth, as well as LGBTQ+ communities. Most recently he has been appointed to the Advisory Board for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon.
Lastly, and most importantly, he has two small dogs, Patsy (12, CKCS) and Milo (10, Cairn Terrier) of whom he spends every night unsuccessfully attempting to kick out of his bed.