Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors:

Led by a diverse board, WA Charters provides key charter public school resources and support to member schools, educators, and parents, with an overarching mission to support and develop a high-quality charter public school sector that meets the needs of historically underserved students and communities.


 

Kathy Binder

Kathy Binder serves as the board chairperson of a Kent-based high-tech manufacturing company while dedicating herself to providing underserved children the best education possible. Kathy…

Kathy Binder serves as the board chairperson of a Kent-based high-tech manufacturing company while dedicating herself to providing underserved children the best education possible. Kathy served on the board of directors of the League of Education Voters Foundation and Stand for Children. She is a founding board member of the Washington State Charter Schools Association and served as a founding board member of one of the first local charter schools to open in the state of Washington. Kathy serves as an advisory board member for the Seattle Urban Academy, a high school for some of the highest risk children in the greater Seattle area. All of these nonprofit organizations organize their work around the principle that underserved and at-risk students deserve an equal opportunity for success in education. Kathy’s grandfather had to end his education when he was in eighth grade because his family needed him to work. He left her with a legacy founded on the following philosophy: “they can take everything else away from you, but they cannot take away your education.” This philosophy has inspired her passion and dedication as she works to provide all children in our state the opportunity of attaining a high-quality education.

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Dr. Joel Domingo

Dr. Joel Domingo is Associate Professor and Academic Program Director in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle. He has a long…

Dr. Joel Domingo is Associate Professor and Academic Program Director in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle. He has a long history of leadership and teaching in several education, community, and civic organizations.  His work focuses on exploring issues of leadership, developing strong ties between schools and communities, and creating socially transformative practices.

Dr. Domingo completed a fellowship at the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development and Disability examining the impact of disability on the family and coordinated efforts to bring greater collaboration among medical professionals, schools, service providers and parents of children with disabilities. He also served in the Washington State Governor’s Office developing community leadership capacity in diverse and underrepresented communities across the state and did extensive policy and academic research on the effects of school, family and community partnerships.

Dr. Domingo has served on several nonprofit boards and committees including the Seattle Special Education PTSA, the UW Center on Human Development and Disability, the Washington State Family and Community Engagement Trust, the Seattle Public Schools Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Committee, and the Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington’s Haring Center. He regularly volunteers at both his children’s’ schools as well as the local children’s hospital. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in theology, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

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Travis Franklin

Travis has been an educator for the past 11 years and currently serves as the CEO for Spokane International Academy, a K-8 charter school in…

Travis has been an educator for the past 11 years and currently serves as the CEO for Spokane International Academy, a K-8 charter school in Spokane, WA. He has a B.A. in Elementary Education, M.S. in Education Media Design and Technology, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership and Washington state principal certification. Travis’ current professional focus is on the intentional incorporation of student data to improve outcomes for all students and working with teachers to design curriculum to develop global competence in students at SIA.

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Natalie Hester

A charter parent and advocate, Natalie also has over 20 years of experience working in commercial, mortgage and consumer lending with several major banks and…

A charter parent and advocate, Natalie also has over 20 years of experience working in commercial, mortgage and consumer lending with several major banks and credit unions. From 2015-2017, Natalie served at the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund, where she is responsible for business technical assistance, outreach and business loan originations. In her previous role at HomeSight, Natalie was the Director of Homeownership. Natalie has worked with HUD and other federal agencies in community and economic development in underserved communities for over 15 years, and she offers invaluable experience with data collection and reporting for local and federal funders. Natalie has spent many years volunteering in Rainier Valley and has deep roots in the local community with residents, businesses and local nonprofits. Natalie is also the proud parent of two daughters: one attends a district public school and the other attends Summit Sierra charter public high school in Seattle.

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James Heugas

James serves as Regional Director at Washington Charter School Development. Prior to joining WCSD, James worked within the Ernst & Young Commercial Real Estate Advisory…

James serves as Regional Director at Washington Charter School Development. Prior to joining WCSD, James worked within the Ernst & Young Commercial Real Estate Advisory group. As a senior consultant he provided his clients with a range of strategic development, cost assessment/management, and risk analysis services focused around their commercial real estate holdings. James leverages this experience, as well as eight years as a practicing civil engineer in the Bay Area, to bring solutions based focus to the challenges of developing school facilities. James has an M.B.A from from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

 

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Mark Klebanoff

Mark has been a CFO of technology companies in the Seattle area for over 25 years, helping grow and shepherd companies through 8 liquidity events….

Mark has been a CFO of technology companies in the Seattle area for over 25 years, helping grow and shepherd companies through 8 liquidity events. Most recently Mark worked with the team at PayScale to grow the business 5x in 5 years and oversaw the sale of PayScale to Francisco Partners for $325m. Nonprofit board roles include Lakeside School, Excel Public Charter School, Express Credit Union and Social Venture Partners. Mark is a Seattle native, married 31 years with 3 grown children who enjoys backpacking in the summer and backcountry skiing in the winter.

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Lindsay Hill

Lindsay Hill joined the Raikes Foundation as a program officer in 2015. In addition to her national education strategy work, she co-leads the foundation’s efforts…

Lindsay Hill joined the Raikes Foundation as a program officer in 2015. In addition to her national education strategy work, she co-leads the foundation’s efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to joining the Raikes Foundation, Lindsay spent four years as the founding executive director of Teach For America – Washington. She began her career as a fourth-grade teacher in Brooklyn through Teach For America and later worked as a program director, supporting new teachers in three of New York City’s boroughs. Lindsay has also served as the director of training and support for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, and she sits on the board of directors for the Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a Seattle-based nonprofit. She holds a joint bachelor’s degree in sociology and public policy from Pomona College and a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University.

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Chris Korsmo

Chris Korsmo is recognized as a visionary leader on education policy in Washington State and across the country. She brings more than 20 years of…

Chris Korsmo is recognized as a visionary leader on education policy in Washington State and across the country. She brings more than 20 years of successful advocacy work on behalf of students and families in her current role at Strategies 360 as Senior Vice President of the firm’s well-established education advocacy practice.

Previously, Korsmo led the League of Education Voters, one of Washington state’s foremost education advocacy groups working to provide every student in the state equal opportunity for success.

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. She is a board member with the Washington State Charter Schools Association. She also served on the Policy Innovators in Education executive committee, the Eastside Pathways Leadership Committee, and as secretary of the Arbor Heights Elementary School PTA. In the fall of 2012, the national Policy Innovators in Education named Chris the “Most Valuable Player” of the Year.

Prior to joining the League of Education Voters, Chris worked for Planned Parenthood Federation of America as their Director of Government Relations and with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin prior to that in government affairs. 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.

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Lisa Macfarlane

A tireless advocate for high-quality public schools, Lisa has dedicated more than two decades to working to get Washington’s public schools the resources and reforms they need. In…

A tireless advocate for high-quality public schools, Lisa has dedicated more than two decades to working to get Washington’s public schools the resources and reforms they need. In 2016, Lisa retired from her post as the Washington State Director of Democrats for Education Reform.  Lisa co-founded the League of Education Voters and LEV Foundation, sponsored two statewide education funding initiatives, and helped lead the successful 2007 simple majority and 2012 charter school campaigns. She is also a board member and past president of Schools First, Seattle’s ongoing school levy and bond committee. The first 15 years of Lisa’s professional career were spent working in the juvenile justice system. She started as a VISTA volunteer in a maximum-security juvenile correctional facility in Columbia, S.C., and she finished up as a public defender in juvenile court in Seattle. In between, she staffed wagon trains and wilderness camps for court referred youth. Lisa received her BA from Bowdoin College and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.

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Steve Mullin

Steve is president of the Washington Roundtable, a public policy research and advocacy group comprised of senior executives from major Washington state companies. Prior to…

Steve is president of the Washington Roundtable, a public policy research and advocacy group comprised of senior executives from major Washington state companies. Prior to being named president in 2004, Steve served as the Roundtable’s vice president, and in that capacity he coordinated the organization’s extensive work on K–12 standards, assessments and accountability. He also served as the primary liaison between the business community and state policymakers on education reform issues. Prior to joining the Roundtable, Steve was the founding executive director of Partnership for Learning, a business-supported nonprofit organization dedicated to building public awareness and understanding about the need to better prepare students for college and work. He also worked for several local public affairs consulting firms, as a U.S. Senate staff member in Washington, DC, and as a legislative staff member in Olympia. Steve graduated from Middlebury College and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

 

Importantly, Steve advocated in Olympia for charter legislation from the mid-1990s to 2004, culminating in the successful passage of a charter law that ultimately was overturned via referendum.  Steve is one of the original board members of WA Charters.

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Steve Smith

Currently serving as the Executive Director at the Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Steve Smith has an extensive background in higher education administration overseeing offices of…

Currently serving as the Executive Director at the Black Education Strategy Roundtable, Steve Smith has an extensive background in higher education administration overseeing offices of admissions, student affairs and community relations. He has been an active member with K-12 and higher educational initiatives at regional and statewide levels to improve the educational outcomes of students.

Previously, he served as the Executive Director of the College Success Foundation’s Tacoma office supporting the educational success of underrepresented middle and high school students. He also co-facilitated the Tacoma College Support Network, a collaborative collective impact organization that worked to ensure graduating high school students had plans for their postsecondary vocational, military or college education.

Steve is on the Pierce College Board of Trustees and has served as a board officer for numerous civic, healthcare, social and educational nonprofit boards. He holds an MA in Educational Counseling and BA in Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University.

 

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Jim Spady

Jim is the President & Legal Counsel at Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. A longtime charter advocate for charter public schools in Washington state, in 1999, Jim…

Jim is the President & Legal Counsel at Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. A longtime charter advocate for charter public schools in Washington state, in 1999, Jim was nominated to serve on the “A+ Commission,” where he served for six years, helping to make the state’s K–12 educational system more accountable and effective. In 2012, Jim was involved with the successful Initiative 1240, when a majority of voters approved high-quality charter public schools in Washington state. Jim graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1983, magna cum laude.

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