Equity, Community & Talent Strategy

Pablo Ortega

Pablo Ortega | Director of Equity & Family Engagement

425-936-1398 | portega@lwsd.org

Mr. Ortega provides leadership for the district’s efforts to build a culture of opportunity, equity and inclusion for all students, families, and employees. He plans, organizes and directs activities related to diversity and outreach; provides direction and leadership to close opportunity gaps for students of color and students with disabilities; and leads and supports district efforts to increase student opportunity, achievement and success for traditionally underserved student groups.

Equity & Family Engagement organizational chart

Department webpage: Equity & Family Engagement

 

Scott Emry

Scott Emry | Director of Risk and Safety Services

425-936-1113 | semry@lwsd.org

Mr. Emry provides leadership and oversight of programs and services that support the safety and security of students and staff within the District. He provides leadership with his team in the areas of emergency preparedness and response, safety and supervision, threat assessment, risk assessment, and claims and insurance management. As part of this effort, Mr. Emry also helps coordinate preparedness and response efforts with local health and safety agencies.

Risk and Safety Services organizational chart

Department webpage: Safety & Security

 

Johnny Phu

Johnny Phu | Director of Student Services

425-936-1225 | jphu@lwsd.org

Mr. Phu provides leadership and oversight of programs and services that support student academic success, safety and social-emotional well-being. He serves as the district compliance officer for issues pertaining to student harassment, intimidation, and bullying; serves as the district hearing officer for issues pertaining to student discipline; and, provides oversight of the district counseling; attendance; and drug and alcohol prevention and intervention programs.

Student Services organizational chart

Department webpage: Student Services

 

Dr. Shannon Hitch

Dr. Shannon Hitch | Executive Director of Special Services

425-936-1301 | shhitch@lwsd.org

Dr. Hitch provides leadership for the development, implementation, and management of district services and programs for students with special needs, including students with Individual Educational Programs (IEPs) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) qualifying for specially designed instruction and students qualifying for accommodations under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act. Dr. Hitch assumes responsibility for ensuring successful collaboration between parents, school teams, and district teams to ensure that free and appropriate public education is provided for qualified students. She provides oversight of district special education services, 504 services, health services, district preschool, and birth-two programming. Dr. Hitch serves as the district’s section 504/ADA coordinator, monitoring and coordinating the district’s compliance with matters pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Special Services organizational chart

Department webpage: Special Services

 

Kim Brenner

Kim Brenner | Director of Early Learning

425-936-2844 | kbrenner@lwsd.org

Ms. Brenner works in collaboration with the Executive Director of Special Services to provide leadership and direction for early learning programs within Lake Washington School District. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of district-wide special education preschool, Head Start, our tuition based preschool program and SNAPS (extended day for students with autism) and will oversee the Early Childhood Center program opening at Old Redmond Schoolhouse next year. She directs the Lake Washington preschool Childfind process and works collaboratively with Birth-to-Three agencies such as Kindering Center and Wonderland.  Ms. Brenner works collaboratively with parents, staff and community members concerning early childhood programs, special services, and procedures.

 

Natalie Pullen

Dr. Natalie Pullen | Director of Special Services, Secondary, Juanita and Lake Washington 

425-936-1221 | npullen@lwsd.org

Dr. Pullen works in collaboration with the Executive Director of Special Services to provide leadership to ensure success for students receiving special education and 504 services in the Juanita and Lake Washington Community, Secondary Schools. She supports our adult transition academies, which provide programming for students ages 18-21. She supports efforts focused on ensuring academic success for every student by collaborating with district leaders, school principals and teams to increase student access and engagement, close achievement and opportunity gaps, and support student learning and success. She works collaboratively with families and supports communications and conflict resolution efforts. Dr. Pullen provides support for occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs).

 

Erin Romanuk

Erin Romanuk | Director of Special Services, Secondary, Eastlake and Redmond 

425-936-1288 | eromanuk@lwsd.org

Ms. Romanuk works in collaboration with the Executive Director of Special Services to provide leadership to ensure success for students receiving special education and 504 services in the Eastlake and Redmond Community, Secondary Schools. She supports efforts focused on ensuring academic success for every student by collaborating with district leaders, school principals and teams to increase student access and engagement, close achievement and opportunity gaps, and support student learning and success. She works collaboratively with families and supports communications and conflict resolution efforts. Ms. Romanuk provides support for school psychologists, paraeducators and extended school year (ESY).

 

Craig Mott | Director of Special Services,
Elementary,  Eastlake and Redmond

425-936-1337 | cmott@lwsd.org

Mr. Mott works in collaboration with the Executive Director of Special Services to provide leadership to ensure success for students receiving special education and 504 services in the Redmond and Eastlake Community, Elementary Schools. He supports our Adult Transition Academy in Redmond, which provides programming for students ages 18-21. In addition, he supports efforts focused on ensuring academic success for every student by collaborating with district leaders, school principals and teams to increase student access and engagement, close achievement and opportunity gaps, and support student learning and success. He works collaboratively with families and supports communications and conflict resolution efforts. Mr. Mott coordinates district Section 504 services.

 

Deborah Wagner

Debbie Wagner | Director of Special Services,
Elementary, Juanita and Lake Washington

425-936-1247 | dewagner@lwsd.org

Ms. Wagner works in collaboration with the Executive Director of Special Services to provide leadership to ensure success for students receiving special education and 504 services in the Lake Washington and Juanita Community, Elementary Schools. She supports efforts focused on ensuring academic success for every student by collaborating with district leaders, school principals and teams to increase student access and engagement, close achievement and opportunity gaps, and support student learning and success. She works collaboratively with families and supports communications and conflict resolution efforts. Ms. Wagner provides support for speech language pathologists (SLPs), Deaf and Hard of Hearing (interpreters, teacher of the deaf, audiologist), support for vision and orientation/mobility staff, and Assistive Technology (AT) services.

 

Shannon Parthemer

Shannon Parthemer | Director of Communications

425-936-1342 | sparthemer@lwsd.org

Mrs. Parthemer provides overall leadership for the district’s communications operations and serves as the district’s Public Information and Communications Officer. She acts as district spokesperson for the media and the public, ensuring timely, reliable, accessible and accurate provision of information and communications. She leads the development, integration, and implementation of the district’s public/media relations and communications plans aligned with district goals and objectives. Mrs. Parthemer assumes responsibility for internal and external district publications; print and social and multi-media communications; and, volunteer community engagement efforts.

Communications organizational chart

Department webpage: Communications

 

Talent Strategy

Department webpages: Human Resources and Employment

Zakiya Cita

Zakiya Cita | Director of Talent Acquisition

425-936-1421 | zcita@lwsd.org 

Ms. Cita provides strategic leadership and management of the district’s full life cycle recruiting functions, strategies and procedures for certificated and classified positions. Her efforts aim to position LWSD as an employer of choice where staff of all backgrounds thrive. She cultivates strong relationships and delivers results in a rapidly and constantly evolving environment. Through collaboration with the Office of Equity and Family Engagement and other divisions, Ms. Cita ensures that our hiring and selection systems and processes include appropriate onboarding, orientation and training for new employees as well as embed equity and diversity principles and practices.

 

Michael Clark

Michael Clark | Director of Staffing & Operations

425-936-1330 | miclark@lwsd.org 

Mr. Clark oversees the annual certificated staffing of schools and departments, ensuring compliance with state and federal law, as well as contractual provisions. He is responsible for maintaining the district certificated staffing allocations, issuing of certificated contracts and the maintenance of district agreements regarding certificated staff. Additionally, Mr. Clark oversees the substitute office, HR data and information team, and leaves and accommodations. 

 

Aparajita Panda | Director of Talent Acquisition

425-936-1263 | apanda@lwsd.org

Ms. Panda provides strategic leadership and management of the district’s full lifecycle recruiting functions, strategies and procedures for certificated and classified positions. Her efforts aim to position LWSD as an employer of choice where staff of all backgrounds thrive. Ms. Panda cultivates strong relationships and delivers results in a rapidly and constantly evolving environment. Through collaboration with the Office of Equity and Family Engagement and other divisions, she ensures that our hiring and selection systems and processes include appropriate onboarding, orientation and training for new employees as well as equity and diversity principles and practices. Ms. Panda also oversees the student teaching and alternative routes to teacher certification programs.

 

Kraig Michels | Director of Employee Relations

425-936-1333 | kmichels@lwsd.org

Mr. Michels manages the district’s employee relations, including investigating misconduct, handling grievances, resolving disputes and issuing discipline. He is also the district’s civil rights coordinator, responsible for developing the affirmative action plan, ensuring ADA compliance and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. In partnership with the director of labor relations, Mr. Michels also helps develop and recommend district policies and procedures.

 

Richard Patterson

Dr. Richard Patterson | Director of Labor Relations

425-936-1251 | ripatterson@lwsd.org

Working with the associate superintendent of Talent Strategy and Communications, Dr. Patterson oversees the certificated employee and labor relations services across LWSD. He plays a key leadership role in programs aimed at proactively addressing workplace concerns, improving employee engagement and workplace performance as well as designing and implementing an employee and labor relations strategy focused on cultivating employee and labor relations with LWSD’s culture and values. Dr. Patterson also represents the district interests in systemwide contract negotiations and the implementation and administration of collective bargaining agreements and relevant policies.