Leah Choi was elected to the board in November 2021. She graduated from the University of Denver with degrees in Molecular Biology and Chemistry and pursued a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. She moved to Washington with her husband and began a career in financial planning at Nordstrom while her husband completed his medical training at the University of Washington. They moved to the Eastside when they welcomed their first child and now have two young kids who will be entering LWSD schools in the next couple years. Ms. Choi is passionate about education and excited to apply her diverse background and unique perspective to further the success of the district and the students it serves.
Eric Laliberte was elected to the school board in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. He is a civil litigation attorney practicing at Keller Rohrback LLP in Seattle. Eric graduated with his MBA. from Chapman University and his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. Eric, his wife, and their two children live in the Juanita neighborhood of Kirkland.
Mark Stuart was elected to the school board in November 2013. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism. His career in Public Relations has afforded him the opportunity to work with local, national, and international media, as well as elected and non-elected government officials and their staffs on issues vital to the well being of our nation. He has facilitated collaboration between business, professional organizations, and community groups for the common good. Mr. Stuart, a life loyal Sigma Chi, currently works as an issue management and media relations consultant.
As the father of two sons who have attended four different LWSD schools, Mr. Stuart has taken the time to volunteer within those schools. He enjoys getting to know district personnel and seeing them in action. Mr. Stuart and his wife are respected as strong advocates for inclusion, multi-modal strategies, and providing students with the tools necessary to benefit from their instruction. The Stuart family appreciates the benefits of diversity in education as veterans of both public and private preschools and charter schools serving students of all abilities.
Siri Bliesner was elected to the school board in November 2011. Bliesner works in public health. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in human biology. Ms. Bliesner received a Master’s in public health from the University of Washington. She speaks Spanish and currently works for Hopelink as the outcome and evaluation coordinator.
Originally from the Seattle area, Ms. Bliesner and her husband, David Cline, have two children. Samara attends Redmond High School and Josiah attends Redmond Junior High. For the past 10 years, Ms. Bliesner has volunteered in her children’s schools. Ms. Bliesner helped implement after-school activities including chess club, math club, Lego league robotics and school musical productions at Rockwell Elementary. She received a Golden Acorn Award from the Rockwell PTA for her work. Ms. Bliesner is also a founding board member of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation. She developed their classroom grant program.
Lisa Guthrie was appointed to the board in August 2023. Originally from the East Coast, she grew up in a family of teachers, an upbringing that fostered an enduring interest in education. Ms. Guthrie graduated from Brown University with a degree in computer science, and is currently employed as a program manager at Microsoft. She and her husband have been part of the LWSD community since moving to the Eastside in 2013. They are parents to four children who have attended six different LWSD schools, from preschool to high school, including choice, Quest, and special education programs. Ms. Guthrie is a longtime school volunteer and PTSA chair, as well as a strong advocate for equitable and inclusive education.
Shira Avitan is a junior at Lake Washington High School and was selected as the student representative to schools in the Lake Washington and Juanita area in 2023. As a representative, she is super excited to bring her unique perspective to discussions and increase her understanding behind Board decisions. Shira hopes to shine light on diverse student experiences and find ways to increase the sense of belonging in students and staff across our district.
Term begins: 8/2023
Term ends: 6/2025
Ella Shi is a junior at Redmond High School and was selected as the student representative to schools in the Eastlake and Redmond area in 2023. With an unwavering commitment to enhancing the experience for all students, Ella brings a fresh perspective and an important voice to board meetings. She commits to being the bridge between the student body and the district board, ensuring that decisions reflect collective interests. Through open communication and collaboration, Ella aims to create a positive and progressive educational experience for all students within the district.
Term begins: 8/2022
Term ends: 6/2024
Shivani Sama was selected as the student representative to schools in the Redmond and Eastlake High area in 2022. Shivani is a senior at Tesla STEM High School. As a representative, she hopes to increase resources/awareness for mental health and increase STEM outreach throughout the district.
Term begins: 8/2023
Term ends: 6/2024
Taran Srinivasan is a senior at International Community School and was selected to be a student representative for the Western Side of the district, encompassing the Lake Washington and Juanita Area. Taran is grateful for the public school education he has received from LWSD. Drawing inspiration from this experience to serve his community, Taran ran for the position to share his learning. His primary motivation is to raise awareness about embracing neurodivergence and mental health. Additionally, Taran is a passionate advocate for the needs of choice schools, ensuring that their distinctive requirements receive due attention and consideration within the board. Taran indulges in diverse culinary experiences, and embraces the natural beauty as a native of the Pacific Northwest.