About Us


Built on the successful groundwork laid by the founders and board members of the National ParentNet Association, the Washington Family and Community Engagement Trust (WAFCET) is a state-wide, nonprofit organization created by a group of parents, educators, students, advocates, public officials and practitioners --knowledgeable, experienced, visionary change-agents working to ensure that the participation and inclusion of families and communities in chidren's education and well-being becomes a natural part of the fabric of our schools, institutions and society.



Our Beliefs

WA FAmily and Community Engagement was founded on the following beliefs:

  • The education and healthy development of children and youth is the shared responsibility of schools, families, communities and policymakers.
  • The inclusion of families and communities in the education system leads to improved public schools, higher educational outcomes for all students and the closing of achievement and opportunity gaps.
  • The voices of underrepresented families and students must be heard in all aspects and all levels of public education.
  • Leadership emerges when parents and community members gain the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to participate in policy-making and help shape the future of children.


Our Values

We value integrity, respect, equity, accountability, diversity, compassion, inclusion and innovation.


Board of Directors

Adie Simmons, M.Ed., Founder and President

Adie Simmons is the founder of the Washington Family Engagement Trust, and the founding director of Washington State’s Office of the Education Ombuds, an agency within the Governor’s Office, and the Seattle Public Schools’ Office of Family and Community Partnerships. A bilingual, bicultural Hispanic educator, she has nearly 25 years of experience working with pre-schools, K-12 public schools, families, government institutions, and in service to local and state boards, committees, and task forces.  She has focused her extensive professional and volunteer work on improving the education and well-being of children and families in the state of Washington. Adie Simmons biography

Margo Siegenthaler, Treasurer
Seattle Public Schools Special Education Ombudsman

Heather Freeman, Board Member  Early Learning Education Coordinator, Bright Horizons                           

Dr. Joel Domingo, Vice-president
Associate Professor/Associate Program Director, School of  Applied Leadership, City University
LaKesha Kimbrough, Secretary
Education Program Manager, Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas. 
Tsege Tsegay, Board Member
Case Manager, Parent Educator and Refugee Family Advocate, Refugee Women's Alliance

Celia Goetz, Board Member
Public Health professional, teacher

Sandra Mejia, Board Member    Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Everett Public Schools

Iris Okimoto-Nielsen, Board Member     Family and community engagement activist, PTA liaison.

Advisory Board

Anne T. Henderson, Senior Consultant
Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University
Dr. Ann Ishimaru, Researcher and Professor
Researcher and Professor, School of Education, University of Washington
Linda Pauley, Regional Director
Office of Communications and Outreach, U.S. Department of Education
Dr. Stephan Blanford, School Board Director
Seattle Public Schools

Chris Schey, Elementary School Teacher
Bellevue Public Schools

Vu Le, Executive Director
Rainier Valley Corps
Dr. Jody McVittie
Program Director and Co-founder of Sound Discipline
Joel Ryan
Executive Director of the Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP
Dr. Stephanie Jones
Executive Director of Community and Parents for Public Schools of Seattle
Claire Wilson
School Board Director, Federal Way Public Schools
Sue Grijalva
Teacher, parent leader and co-founder of the National ParentNet Association
Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell 
Developmental Psychologist, author co-founder of the National ParentNet Association
Dawn Williams 
Doctoral student, College of Education, UW
 Dr. Angela Notari-Syverson, Professor
College of Education, University of Washington


Linda Slater, Executive Director Cathy Liu Scott, Partnerships Director
Ramona Hattendorf, PLTI trainer