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Superintendent's Cabinet

The Superintendent's Cabinet took the Clifton Strengths assessment which helps individuals better understand who they are and how they make things happen, influence others, build relationships and process information. This talent DNA, shared below in rank order, is based on the responses of each individual on the assessment. Please enjoy getting to know our team, their roles and what strengths they bring to the district. 

Dana Bailey, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services 

Photo of Dana Bailey

Dana provides leadership and support to the Special Services Department, Student Interventions Department and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS).  In addition, she takes primary responsibility to supervise the paraprofessional professional learning coaches and supports paraprofessional professional development.  

Dana joined the ISD in 2001, serving in building administrative roles from 2001 – 2019 at Pine Lake and Pacific Cascade schools, and at the district office beginning in 2019. She has worked with Issaquah Schools Foundation to bring new ideas and opportunities to students of the ISD and is committed to serving students who learn differently and their families.  

Top strengths include: significance, futuristic, individualization, focus, maximizer.

Moriah Banasick, Executive Director of Finance 

Photo of Moriah Banasick

Moriah serves as the Executive Director of Finance & Budget, providing leadership and oversight to the Accounting, Budget, Payroll, and Purchasing departments.  She is responsible for managing the district’s finances, accounting systems and financial statements, interpreting and implementing laws and regulations pertaining to financial data, forecasting revenues, preparing the annual budget, and serving as the Audit Officer to support the district’s mission. 

Moriah has served in the roles of the Internal Auditor/Accountant, Controller, and Director of Finance for the ISD.  Prior to Issaquah, Moriah was an Assistant State Auditor and Fraud Specialist for the Washington State Auditor’s Office and a volunteer Compliance Accountant at the YWCA Seattle.  She served as the Washington Association of School Business Officials Accounting & Budgeting Committee Chair and on the YWCA Seattle Budget Committee.  She currently serves on the School District Accounting Advisory Committee and the WSCPA Government Affairs Committee. Moriah has held a Certified Public Accountant license since 2014 and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baker College. 

Top strengths include: learner, achiever, relator, analytical, intellection.

Sharine Carver, Executive Director of Special Education 

Photo of Sharine Carver

Sharine oversees daily operations and instructional leadership within the Issaquah Special Services Department. Sharine supervises Issaquah’s Special Education leaders to include the: Elementary Director of Special Services, Secondary Director of Special Services, Director of Special Services District Programs, Principal on Special Assignment at the Academy for Community Transition, and the Early Childhood Education Coordinator. Sharine also supervises the Special Services Compliance Team and oversees all Special Education legal matters.  

With more than 25 years of experience in public education, Sharine is known as an educational leader committed to equity, educational justice, and serving students of all abilities. Sharine is currently the Executive Director of Special Services and oversees instruction and operations within the Issaquah School District’s Special Services Department. Sharine is a former middle school special educator, school psychologist, and building leader with experience in rural, suburban, and urban educational settings. Sharine leverages her diverse professional background and multidimensional leadership perspectives to support equitable and inclusive learning environments for ALL students.    

Top strengths include: learner, relator, maximizer,  individualization, self-assurance.

Lesha Engels, Executive Director of Communications 

Photo of Lesha Engels

As the Executive Director of Communications and Digital Strategy at Issaquah School District, Lesha leads communication and digital strategy. She represents the district in the community and oversees internal and external publications, family notification systems, district and school websites, and the district’s social media presence. 

Lesha first became involved in the district as a teacher, curriculum specialist and then as a curriculum director. In her 16-year career in education, she has partnered with companies and non-profits to develop and manage programs that increase access to opportunity and improve the future of communities. One of her greatest strengths lies in leading diverse teams and leveraging her relationship skills to work cross-functionally. She was hired to lead the Communications Department in 2020.  

 

Top strengths include: achiever, activator, focus, futuristic, individualization.

Donna Hood, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources 

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As Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Donna oversees a team that facilitates the hiring of all staff, writes and issues staff contracts, conducts bargaining with eight labor units, oversees the evaluations forms and processes, conducts investigations into staff misconduct, approves leaves, collaborates with our Business Office on all issues surrounding pay and staffing, as well as ensures the hiring and deployment of subs.  Her team advises building-based and non-building-based administrators as they strive to manage and support staff in such a way that they are most successful in their job assignments. 

Donna began teaching abroad as a Fulbright Scholar, came home to Seattle and completed her Master's in Teaching at the University of Washington.  She taught high school English for ten years at Sammamish High School in the Bellevue School District, earning her National Board Certificate along the way.  Donna earned her Principal’s and Superintendent’s Certificates from Western Washington University and began as an Assistant Principal with the Issaquah School District as a proud Patriot at Liberty High School in 2010.  In 2014, she had the distinct honor of becoming the Skyline High School principal and serving the Spartan community for four years before moving to the district office as the Executive Director of High Schools from 2018-2021.  Donna is married and mom to two teenagers.  Their family of four also enjoys the company of one lionhead bunny. 

Top strengths include: strategic, relator, learner, input, achiever.

Sherri Kokx, Executive Director of Middle School Education 

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Sherri is the Executive Director of Middle School Education. She supports middle school leaders to ensure that the day-to-day operations, including the academics, of the six middle schools support student learning.  

Sherri has worked in public education for more than 20 years. She served as a middle school teacher and school leader in the Everett and Seattle school districts. Prior to joining the Issaquah team, she worked for the City of Seattle as the Deputy Director of Human Services and as the Chief of Staff for Seattle Public Schools. She has extensive leadership experience with a commitment to and focus on equity. 

Top strengths include: achiever, relator, discipline, consistency, significance.

Rich Mellish, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) 

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The Executive Director of TLS provides leadership and support for the selection and maintenance of districtwide curriculum, administration of Title 1/LAP and English Language Learner programs, administration of state and district assessments and data systems, instructional use of educational technology, and support for high- leverage instructional practices. 

Rich’s educational background reflects his ongoing pursuit of high- leverage instruction and systems that increase equity in education.  During a career that spans more than 28 years, Rich has taught high school math and social studies, and served 17 years as an elementary principal before joining the ISD cabinet.  He uses training, degrees and certifications in History, Math, ELL, Response to Intervention (RtI) and educational leadership to promote programs that meet the continuum of needs of our students and foster depth of understanding.  Rich enjoys paddleboarding and whitewater rafting, UW football, watching his son’s soccer games and spending time with friends and family.  

Top strengths include: strategic, futuristic, communication, analytical, self-assurance.

Jason Morse, Executive Director of Operations 

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As the Executive Director of Operations, Jason supervises and supports multiple departments in our system including Transportation, Food Services, Custodial and Maintenance, Safety and Security, and our Before and After School Care program.  

Jason has worked in the Issaquah School District since 2004 and prior to that taught eighth grade U.S. History in the Federal Way School District. He has served in several roles in the ISD, including Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Middle Schools and now Executive Director of Operations. Jason earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Portland, his master's degree in School Administration from Central Washington University and his Superintendent’s Credentials from Seattle Pacific University.  

Top strengths include: context, harmony, analytical, significance, relator.

Susan Mundell, Executive Director of Elementary Education 

Susan is the Executive Director of Elementary Education. She directly supervises eight elementary schools and numerous special programs such as Early Learning, Dual Language and Highly Capable.

She holds degrees from the University of Delaware and the University of Washington. Susan has served in many roles in the Issaquah School District during her long career. She started as a fifth grade teacher at Maple Hills Elementary and went on to serve as a principal, director and now an executive director in the district.  Susan loves working with elementary aged students and the adults in their lives, including parents, teachers and administrators. She finds joy in being outdoors in nature and spending time with loved ones.  

Top strengths include: adaptability, harmony, input, responsibility, includer.

Melinda Reynvaan, Executive Director of Elementary Education 

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Melinda is the Executive Director of Elementary Education. Her responsibilities include oversight of eight elementary schools, early learning, and associated special programs.   

Melinda has been a reading specialist, classroom teacher, middle school assistant principal, special projects coordinator, elementary school principal, and program director before her current role. She values partnerships with staff, families, and community members, centering on advocating for hope. She is dedicated to closing opportunity gaps for historically underserved student groups through early intervention and personalized learning. Melinda has raised and trained a therapy dog that works with elementary-aged children during the school year, and her idea of a perfect day is spending time at the lake with her family.  

Top strengths include: learner, arranger, individualization, futuristic, positivity.

Alaina Sivadasan, Executive Director of Equity 

Photo of Alaina Sivadasan

Alaina is the Executive Director of Equity. She oversees the Equity Department, Cultural and Family Partnerships, and the VOICE Mentor Program.   

Alaina has worked in the field of education for more than 17 years. Over the course of her career, she has supported students and families as both a special educator and building administrator at the elementary and secondary levels.  She has a passion for educating the whole child and ensuring that students can learn locally and excel globally. 

Top strengths include: achiever, developer, individualization, strategic, relator.

Martin Turney, Chief of Finance and Operations  

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Martin is responsible for the management and oversight of the district budget process, accounting/financial services, and operations departments; including Capital Projects, Facility Services (Custodial, Maintenance, Grounds), Student Records/Information Systems, Risk Management, Transportation, Food Service, Facilities Scheduling, Energy Management, Safety/Security, and Technology. 

Prior to his current role, Martin served the Issaquah School District as the Executive Director of Finance and Support Services, Executive Director of Operations, and the Director of Finance.  Previous experience includes Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations for the Tukwila School District and auditor for the Washington State Auditor’s Office. Martin has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Washington State University and a Master of Business Administration from Gonzaga University.   Martin was born and raised in Tacoma and now resides in Renton with his wife and two daughters.  Both daughters attend schools in the Issaquah School District. 

Top strengths include: analytical, harmony, achiever, developer, futuristic.

Andrea Zier, Executive Director of High Schools

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Andrea oversees all five high schools in the ISD as well as athletics, CTE (Career and Technical Education) and online learning.  

Andrea is in her 12th year in the ISD and 18th year in education. She  served as an English teacher, ASB advisor, coach, assistant principal and principal before becoming the Executive Director of High School Education. Andrea is married with two young sons. She and her family enjoy reading, hiking, camping and spending time with friends.  

Top strengths include: individualization, responsibility, restorative, communication, achiever.