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Lake Washington School District
Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning
400 228th Ave. N.E., Sammamish, WA 98074 | 425 936-1544
Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning > About Us > Staff Directory
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Staff Directory
Renaissance is fortunate to have a great staff who are not only experienced and creative but also truly care about each of the children who join the school.

Chris Bede, Principal

Parent Meetings: Available by appointment
Chris Bede

Mr. Bede has been the Associate Principal at Eastlake for the past seven years, and in this role he has greatly contributed to all aspects of the educational program at Eastlake.

He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English and Psychology, and then attended Western Washington University for his Masters in Education. He spent seven years teaching Humanities at Skyline High School. After returning to Western Washington University for his Residency Principal Certificate, Mr. Bede moved .9 of a mile down 228th to work as Associate Principal for Eastlake High School.

Mr. Bede married his wife​ Courtney, a teacher at Skyline, and they have two girls named Finley and Delaney. Mr. Bede loves to travel and has spent summers in Europe, Asia, Central and South America. His passions also include sports, books and outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, fishing and mountain biking.

"I believe education is more than just academics, and I love being a part of the Eastlake family and its holistic philosophy for students," he says. " As an Eastlake community, we will continue to impart in our kids both the individual and collective characteristics necessary for success now and in the future."


Diane Kane, Head TeacherDiane Kane, Language Arts Teacher, Visual Arts Teacher

Teaches: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts, Mathematics
Parent Meetings: Available by appointment
E-mail: Diane Kane 

Mrs. Diane Kane came to teaching after enjoying several mini-careers and raising a family. She taught 5th and 6th grade at A. G. Bell Elementary for eight years, before joining staff development as an elementary mathematics specialist.

Mrs. Kane has appreciated and supported the arts for much of her adult life. She has managed a dance company, co-chaired several committees for a major art auction that helped fund a museum, taught art classes for children and taken art classes. Mrs. Kane became passionate about teaching mathematics when she noticed her students were dreading math class.  This began a decade odyssey of understanding mathematics and the teaching of mathematics. She has facilitated seminars in the teaching of mathematics for area districts and worked on two grant projects for developing the teaching of mathematics at the elementary and middle school levels.

Married for more than 40 years, Mrs. Kane and her husband, Steve, have three children, Erin, Deirdre and Brendan, and two grandchildren. She enjoys music, reading, cooking, outdoor activities of all kinds, and yoga. Mrs. Kane is passionate about teaching and learning and believes all children deserve the opportunity to succeed at their highest levels. 

Martha Daman, Preforming Arts Teacher

Martha Daman, Teacher

Teaches: Performing Arts, Language Arts, Social Studies
Parent Meetings: Available by appointment
E-mail: Martha Daman

Mrs. Martha Daman, one of the original founders of the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning, teaches eighth grade language arts and American History, seventh grade American History, and sixth through eighth grade Performing Arts.  She is also an advisor to her guild students. 

Mrs. Daman has more than 15 years teaching in the Lake Washington School District.  She began dancing and performing at age three in Cupertino, California, where she grew up.  After moving to Redmond and graduating from Redmond High School, Martha pursued her college career in Ellensburg, Washington at Central Washington University.  Following her marriage to John Daman in August of 1998, she completed her student teaching at Rose Hill Junior High under the supervision of Gary Iverson.  Mrs. Daman got a job in the Lake Washington School District right after graduation in June of 1999 at Kirkland Junior High (now Kirkland Middle School).  

In August of 2000, Mrs. Daman started teaching at BEST Night School program, where she guided students to make-up and complete credits toward high school graduation.  Following the year at Night School, Mrs. Daman was offered a position in the BEST High Day School program ,where she taught all levels of high school English, a few History classes, and Performing Arts.  While at BEST High School she directed the play Willy Wonka with the high school students.

In 2004, Mrs. Daman joined Diane Kane and Christopher Fraley to plan the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning.  On June 3, 2006, Ms. Daman gave birth to her first daughter Molly and August of 2006 helped open the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning.  On February 11, 2011, Mrs. Daman delivered her second daughter, Addison.

Mrs. Daman believes very strongly about the importance of relationships, opportunities for choice, and a partnership with families to provide an environment for success for her students.She welcomes visitors to her classroom to see what students are capable of doing when learning is active. Rigorous study of language arts, social studies, and performing arts are all passions of Mrs. Daman, and she demands of her students that they give each subject equal attention and care.She does not expect perfection or to develop professional performers; however, she does expect everyone to give their best and grow through the experiences she provides them the opportunity to have.

Jyoti Bawa, Teacher

Jyoti Bawa, Science Teacher

Teaches: Science
Parent Meetings: Available by appointment
E-mail: Jyoti Bawa 

Mrs. Jyoti Bawa has been working with students of all ages for many years. She has been teaching at Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning since September 2008. With a major in Zoology, Mrs. Bawa has always enjoyed science and working with children.  She believes in activity centered- learning and is passionate about teaching.

Mrs. Bawa received National Board Certification® in 2013. And in the summer of 2013, Mrs. Bawa was one 27 teachers from across the region who participated in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's 23rd annual Science Education Partnership, which gives teachers a chance to work side-by-side with research scientists in a laboratory setting.

In her spare time, Mrs. Bawa enjoys spending time with her husband, Sumeet and their two children, Akanksha and Nirbheek, both of whom have or are attending LWSD schools. The family loves to go camping, hiking and skiing.

Karen Amaya, Teacher

Teaches: Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Art
Parent Meetings
: Available by appointment
E-mail: Karen Amaya

Growing up, Karen Amaya was surrounded by educators. Her grandfather was a professor, both her grandmothers were high school math teachers, her father was the doctor in charge of medical education at Virginia Mason Clinic and two of her brothers began their careers as teachers.  What a pull that was!  Initially Mrs. Amaya did not recognize that pull, even though she worked with children beginning in high school and continuing through college.

She graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in communications and an emphasis in journalism.  After graduating, she worked at the local ABC affiliate in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Homesickness set in and she moved back to the Pacific Northwest, where she worked at KUOW radio and KOMO TV.  It was at KOMO where she met her future husband.

All along the way, something was missing from her life, and that was the interaction with children. Mrs. Amaya returned to the classroom and received her teaching certificate from Seattle Pacific University in 1990.  She was hired as a 6th grade teacher by the Lake Washington School District that summer and has been teaching and learning ever since. During her career in Lake Washington, Mrs. Amaya has worked at Helen Keller, A.G. Bell, Elizabeth Blackwell, and currently at Renaissance.

As a lifelong learner, Mrs. Amaya has been involved in numerous district committees; a 5-year University of Washington grant focused on developing mathematical thinking in children; studying under a South African oil painter as well as a local watercolor artist. Her learning continues this year with more art, math and piano classes.

Married for 27 years to Cornell, they have three amazing children: Austin, Bryson, and Chelsea. She loves to hike, travel, read, and teach.

Deborah Lerner, Office Manager

Role: Office Manager
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00 am - 2:00 pm
E-mail: Deborah Lerner

Deborah Learner, School Secretary

Mrs. Deborah Lerner has been a member of the Renaissance team as its Office Manager since 2010.  She enjoys working with the close-knit community of teachers, parents and students of the school. She has worked in the LWSD since 2005 as the office manager at Margaret Mead and Rosa Parks Elementary.

A California Bay Area native, Mrs. Lerner moved to Sammamish in 1996 with her husband and four children. She worked for many years as a buyer for a Grocery Wholesaler and as a marketing event coordinator for a large software developer in California.

Mrs. Lerner enjoys traveling, reading, baking and spending time with family and friends.​