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ABOUT US

Washington Family Engagement takes immense pride in providing free youth and family programs that are inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of linguistic or cultural backgrounds.
Our leadership, advocacy and civic engagement programs teach youth and parents how to navigate the public school system, how to advocate for legislative policies that affect them and other families, and how to use their voice to make a difference. We also empower public schools and other state institutions and organizations to include youth and parent voices when designing programs and initiatives or proposing legislation that affects families.

MISSION

Washington Family Engagement fosters social transformation by developing diverse multigenerational leaders and providing opportunities for the voices and experience of Washington adults and youth to be heard and included in systemic and organizational change.

VISION

We envision our state as a community where families of all backgrounds and walks of life have a voice in systems and policies directly affecting them and are seen as valued and primary contributors to positive change. We believe that empowering individuals of all ages and backgrounds with the tools and knowledge they need to exercise their voice, become effective leaders, and engaged citizens is key to equitable, positive outcomes.

Foundational Beliefs

Washington Family Engagement was founded on the following beliefs:

Values

Integrity

Respect

Equity

Accountability

Diversity

Compassion

Inclusion

Innovation

WASHINGTON FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

Founder and Executive Director​

Adie Simmons, M.Ed.

Adie Simmons, M.Ed. has dedicated her professional work to serving Washington’s children and families. She is the founder and Director of Washington Family Engagement (WAFE).
Prior to starting (WAFE) she was the founding Director of the Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds, a Washington state agency focused on K-12th educational equity. In this capacity, she worked with school districts across the state for nearly a decade serving rural and urban students and their families. She has also been a school district administrator and is well-known as a Family Engagement in Education consultant. She is recognized for her expertise in the field of school, family, and community partnerships and for her ability to develop and implement effective programs and initiatives that improve the social and educational outcomes of disenfranchised children and families. She frequently speaks on behalf of families of color and advocates for a fair, equitable family focused systems at the state and national level. Adie Simmons has a Master’s degree in education from Western Washington University and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Washington. She was inducted to the University of Washington’s School of Communications Hall of Fame in 2019.

Board

Dr. Carmela Maxell-Runyan, PsyD, MA, LMHC

Dr. Carmela Maxell-Runyan, PsyD, MA, LMHC

President

Dr. Carmela is a parent of four children, a parent leader and a Clinical Psychologist focused on behavioral health, working with underserved adults and youth in the Puget Sound area.

Michelle Richardson​

Vice-President

Michelle is a parent of three adult children, a teacher in the Edmonds School District and a family and children advocate. She is a facilitator of Parent Leadership courses.

Margo Siegenthaler

Secretary

PLTI Facilitator and Former Special Education Ombuds, Seattle Public Schools.

Linda Slater

Treasurer

PLTI Graduate and Bilingual Curriculum Specialist, Cultivate Learning, University of Washington.

Jeanne Crevier

Board Member

PLTI Facilitator and DEI Chair, League of Women Voters of Snohomish County.

Michelle Harris

Board Member

Parent Leader and Leadership Facilitator.

Miriam Marez

Board Member

Parent Leader and Leadership Facilitator.

Elizabeth Meza

Board Member

Parent Advocate and former ELL District Administrator.

Dr. Angela Notari Syverson

Board Member

UW early childhood education and special education expert and senior curriculum developer at Cultivate Learning.

Iris Okimoto Nielsen

Board Member

CRRC Research Coordinator, University of Washington.

Michelle Steward

Board Member

Parent Leader and Planner for the Tulalip Tribes of WA.

Tsege Tsegay​

Board Member

Case Manager, Parent Educator, Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), Seattle.

WASHINGTON FAMILY ENGAGEMENT

STAFF

Cathy Liu Scott

Partnerships Director

Vesla Tonnessen

Operations Director

Miriam Aguilar

Community Engagement Manager

April Eslami

Program Manager

Magdalena Martinez

Communications Manager

Linda Slater

Curriculum Specialist

CONTACT US

Copyright © 2000-2020 Washington Family Engagement.

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Copyright © 2000-2020 Washington Family Engagement.