Guided by those who
care about education
As an independent school and 501©3 not-for-profit organization, SCDS is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. Most board members are current parents, parents of alumni, or alumni, though membership can include those from the wider community.
The Board is responsible for the strategic direction of the school. It oversees SCDS’s financial and fiscal health and hires and evaluates the Head of School. Standing committees include Communications, Development, Executive, Facilities, Finance, Governance, and Trusteeship. The Board meets approximately eight times a year.
2017-18 Board of Trustees
|President: Ramona Emerson|
|Vice President: Kirsten Camp|
|Secretary: Sarah Leung, '90|
|Treasurer: Annika Andrews|
|Kristina Ota Belfiore|
|Joanna Lin Black|
|Lisa Narodick Colton, '89|
|Ren Cedar Fuller|
|Jennifer Prehn Lewis|
|Michael G. Murphy, Ex Officio|
|Tsering Yuthok Short|
|Natalie Stephens, At-Large Executive Committee|
Kirsten has served in almost every independent school role from teacher to administrator to student to parent to volunteer, and continues to synthesize her prior experience and apply it to SCDS. Kirsten spent her K-12 school years in two independent schools. She was graduated from Brown University with a dual concentration in educational studies and philosophy. She holds an MEd in early childhood and elementary education from Bank Street College of Education in New York and a permanent New York State Teacher Certification for preschool through 6th grade. Kirsten worked at her alma mater, The Chapin School, as an Assistant Kindergarten Teacher (three years) and later as a Head Kindergarten Teacher (four years). While at Chapin, she also spent two years as Director of Lower School Admissions. She is currently the Managing Director of Harvard Avenue School (a local preschool), where she has worked from July 2007-present. Kirsten has been an active SCDS parent volunteer for the past 10 years. In addition to volunteering often at the classroom level, she chaired the New Family Committee for several years and was Parent Council President for two years. Kirsten is the Board Vice President for the 2017-2018 school year and serves on the Advancement Committee (Chair for 2 years), Finance, Governance, Executive and Alumni Committees. She is also leading several strategic planning efforts for the new bridge plan. Having Co-Chaired the Head of School Search Committee, Kirsten is now leading the HOS Transition Committee. Kirsten's youngest daughter is a member of the SCDS class of 2019, while her older daughter graduated from SCDS in 2017.
Sarah Leung is an alumna of SCDS (1990), a current parent of two SCDS students (class of 2026 and class of 2021), and is in her third year as a Trustee of SCDS, currently serving as Board Secretary. She Co-Chairs the Board Trusteeship Committee, Strategic Planning Update Committee, and served on the Board's Head of School Search Committee. She is also a member of the SCDS Alumni Council. Previously, Sarah served for eight years on the Board of Directors of the Denise Louie Education Center, a multicultural early learning and family support organization for low-income families. She is Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Big Fish Games, Inc., and received her JD from Duke University School of Law in 2001 and her BA in American studies from Williams College in 1998.
Annika serves as the President and CEO of SCCA Proton Therapy, A ProCure Center in north Seattle. Annika has more than 18 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to this assignment, she was the Senior Vice President and COO of Northwest Hospital and Medical Center where she was responsible for hospital and physician clinic operations and led the organization through its integration with UW Medicine. In addition, Annika serves on the boards of North Seattle Surgery Center, LLC and Via Radiology, LLC. From 2002 to 2006, she served as an independent director of Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc., when the publicly traded company was sold to Public Storage for $5.5 billion. Annika earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University. She still finds time to volunteer within her children’s schools. She and her husband, Eric, have one child at SCDS and are the parents of two SCDS alums.
Kristina joined the SCDS Board in 2013. She currently serves on the Diversity and Finance Committees. In 2017, she served on the Head of School Search Committee. Kristina also serves on the Board of Rainier Scholars, an educational non-profit in the Seattle area which opens doors to education for hardworking, disadvantaged children of color, providing a pathway to college graduation and creating future community leaders. She joined the Rainier Scholars Board of Trustees in 2003 and has twice served as Board Chair. Kristina previously worked for twelve years at the Microsoft Corporation. Her last position there was Director of College and MBA Recruiting which also included responsibility for Microsoft’s scholarship program, aimed at encouraging underrepresented minorities and young women to pursue studies in Computer Science. Raised in Puyallup, Kristina graduated from Stanford University in 1990 with a BAS degree in economics and biology. In her spare time she enjoys golf and traveling. She resides in Yarrow Point with her husband, Joe, and 3 children who started at SCDS in Kindergarten: Alexander (2018), Piper (2022), and Sydney (2022).
Joanna is a partner of the law firm of Adkins Black, LLP, with a business law practice representing and advising biotechnology, software, and start-up companies. Joanna has almost 20 years of experience as an attorney and is licensed to practice in the states of Washington and California. Joanna obtained her BA in economics and public policy at Stanford University and her JD at Columbia University School of Law. She chaired the “Mardi Gras - Parade of Possibilities” SCDS Auction in 2011, and has served on the Board since 2012. She previously Co-Chaired the Board committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusio; Chaired the Board subcommittee on Donor Stewardship; and served as Board Secretary. Joanna lives in Kirkland with her husband Neal and they are the proud parents of two sons who are SCDS alums.
Ren is the Founder and Education Consultant at Bellevue Discovery, an independent nonprofit preschool focused on highly capable children. Ren’s preschool through middle school teaching career spans 30 years in California, Oregon, and Washington. She has worked with gifted, special education, behavior disorder, English Language Learners, and wonderfully average students in multi-age and multi-ability public and independent school classrooms. Ren and her husband Jason entered the world of independent gifted schools when their child started kindergarten. Touring local independent schools inspired Ren to design a preschool for curious, imaginative, highly capable children. The preschool opened in 2007, doubled in size five years later, and is preparing for another expansion. Ren moved out of the Head of School role in the spring to focus on parent education. Ren speaks locally and at the state level about raising and educating gifted children. She presented at the 2008 WAETAG state conference and the 2014 NWGCA state conference. She was the Early Childhood grant recipient at the 2013 NAGC national conference. She previously served as a Trustee at The Open Window School and Co-Chaired the Gifted Education Council there with Dr. Nancy Robinson. Ren has a master’s degree in counseling and enjoys parent coaching and educational consulting. Her passion is helping parents support their children’s unique paths.
Bharathi Jagadeesh is a neuroscientist by training. She completed her undergraduate education at Caltech, earning a BS in biology, and then went on to complete a PhD in neuroscience at Northwestern University, where her research topic was the neural basis of visual processing. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the NIMH, in Bethesda, Maryland, she headed her own laboratory at the University of Washington, studying the brain circuits that underlie visual decision making and memory. Since leaving the university, Bharathi has served on the Seattle Public Schools Textbook Advisory Committee, and for SCDS on the last Strategic Planning Initiative and on the advisory group for the Endowment Feasibility Study. She has managed Destination Imagination teams and led Girl Scouts for her children. Recently she has developed an interest in what our growing knowledge of the brain can tell us about how we learn and how this research can enhance education. Bharathi has been part of the SCDS community since her first child entered SCDS in kindergarten; she currently has one chid at SCDS (class of 2018) as well as a child in high school (Class of 2019). Bharathi's own educational horizons were expanded by attending high school at an independent school, Columbus School for Girls, in Columbus, Ohio.
Len Jordan is a Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group and served on the boards of over 15 public and private technology companies. He has been investing in early stage companies since 2003 when he joined Frazier Technology Ventures as a General Partner. Len spent the prior 15 years at three venture-backed software companies including roles as SVP at Realnetworks (Nasdaq-RNWK), President of Creative Multimedia (acquired by IHS [Nasdaq-IHS]), and Product Manager at Central Point Software (acquired by Symantec [Nasdaq- SYMC]). Len graduated magna cum laude from the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah with BS degrees in finance and economics. Len enjoys spending time trying to keep up with his wife and four children and coached soccer for 12 years. His children have all attended or are attending SCDS and this is his 17th year as an SCDS parent. Len has been on the SCDS Board of Trustees for seven years including roles on the Finance and Advancement Committees. He is immediate past president and has collaborated with others on many projects including the launch of The Infinity Fund.
Michael is a Seattle native, but grew up in Tacoma. He spent 14 years at Charles Wright Academy (preschool through 12th grade) and has been a donor for almost 30 years. Michael graduated from Williams College (Williams has the oldest alumni association in the world, and Michael has been donating to Williams for almost 25 years) in 1993 with a degree in philosophy. Michael graduated from UVA law school in 1996 and also holds an LLM in taxation from the University of Washington, where he met his wife, Karri. He worked for a couple of years at Arthur Andersen in Seattle; then at Graham & Dunn; followed by Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland where he practiced a mix of tax and business law. In January 2005, Michael joined Philips and has been working with them in Bothell ever since.
Michael and Karri’s son Ethan (class of 2019) started at SCDS in kindergarten as did their daughter Willa (class of 2021). Michael coached Ethan’s soccer team from K-2nd and Willa’s from 1st-5th (so far). Michael has also coached the Ultimate team in grades 3 and 4 for Ethan and 3 and 4 for Willa, as well as a couple of SCDS Spring Jam teams. Michael and Karri served as Annual Fund Chairs (2016-17), setting records for both dollars raised as well as participation. Michael previously served on the Leadership Council for the Annual Fund and helped start and run the SCDS Book Swap. He and Karri are also devoted auction attendees—never having missed one!
Brenda has worked in independent middle schools across the country. In Philadelphia, Brenda worked with Breakthrough Collaborative, a nonprofit focused on helping low-income students move from middle school through college, which was housed at local independent school Germantown Friends School. Brenda then taught middle school Spanish and worked on diversity initiatives at The Baldwin School, an all-girls PreK-12 independent school, and The Shipley School, a coed PreK-12 independent school. After completing a graduate school program focused on private school leadership at Teachers College Columbia University, Brenda moved to Austin, Texas to become the Middle School Head at Trinity Episcopal School of Austin, a K-8 independent school. An opportunity to be the Middle School Head at The Overlake School, a grades 5-12 coed independent school in Redmond, brought Brenda to the Puget Sound. She is excited to now be the third Head of School at Seattle Girls’ School. Brenda is a passionate educator who believes that students learn best when they are known, accepted, and challenged to grow through engaging and authentic learning experiences.
Jennifer Lewis graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a BA in history. She was a securities analyst in equity research at Goldman Sachs in New York before joining the investment team at Franklin Mutual Advisers in New Jersey. Her nonprofit involvement has included serving as Treasurer, nominating board officers and selecting community grant recipients. Jen first became active in the SCDS community in 2008 when her older two children (SCDS classes of 2013 and 2014) joined in the 4th and 3rd grades. Her youngest (SCDS class of 2018) followed in kindergarten one year later. Jen enjoys a wide range of volunteering opportunities at her children’s schools.
Michael G. Murphy has been an educator for nearly 40 years in public and independent schools. A native of Winona, Minnesota, Michael worked ten summers as a camp counselor and assistant director at Camp Voyageur in Ely, Minnesota, where his interest in outdoor education and teaching began. He was a 5th- and 6th-grade classroom teacher for 12 years (which included an emphasis in history and English), has served as a lower school division head and, for 23 years, as a head of school. Michael was appointed Head of School at Seattle Country Day in 2004. He served five years (2008-2013) as Treasurer and two years (2013-2015) as President of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) Board of Governors. Michael is a keen supporter of SCDS’s mission and its emphasis to cultivate a creative problem solving acumen in students. He is a staunch advocate of professional growth for faculty and staff. Michael and his wife, Deborah, have three sons.
Ryan was born in Hawaii and raised in Bellevue. He graduated from the Bush School during the grunge era and went to Bucknell University. He is the Founder/Owner of Aedifex, Inc., a real-estate development and construction firm. Ryan was Co-Chair of the SCDS Annual Fund 2015-2016 and coaches the 5th and 8th grade girls basketball teams. He has two girls at SCDS (classes of 2018 and 2021). He lives in Seattle, and can be found, when not at work or SCDS, golfing, skiing, or attempting to keep up with his wife and girls.
Tsering Yuthok Short received her BA in English literature from the University of Washington, and a JD and Certificate in dispute resolution from Willamette University College of Law. For over 20 years, she has been a practicing attorney, as well as a women's lacrosse referee for NCAA/college and high school games. She is also actively involved in school and community issues, including PTSA and her children's’ Tibetan Language and Culture Class. Before children, she was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Pierce County's Felony Division. Tsering has served on the boards of the Tibetan Association of Washington (TAW), Washington Women's Lacrosse Officials Association, and within organizations such as the Mercer Island Food Revolution, and a Scouts for Equality Pack of the Boys Scouts of America. Additionally, she enjoys assisting individuals within the Tibetan community and nonprofit organizations with pro bono legal services. She currently serves on the WWLOA board as Chair Elect and Education Chair, as well as a New Family Co-Chair of the Mercer Island PTSA. Tsering and her husband Floyd, also an attorney, have one child in the class of 2022 at SCDS. Their two older children are proud SCDS alums.
Natalie's background is in professional service marketing and video production. She served as Marketing Director for a law firm in Seattle for 12 years, before doing consulting work after the birth of her second child. Prior to that, Natalie worked in production at KING TV as an Associate Producer of a live local talk show, a kids' music program, and a handful of documentaries. Since graduating from Vassar College, in 1981, Natalie has volunteered for numerous organizations. Significant roles include serving six years on the Board of New Beginnings, including as Board and Development Chair, helping the organization build and fund a 17 unit transitional housing development; serving as Vice President and Activities Chair of the Lakeside School Alumni Board; and, since 1990, helping found and run a Guild benefiting Seattle Children's. Natalie has served as a Trustee at SCDS since 2012, led the school's 50th Anniversary efforts in 2014-2015, and currently serves on the Governance and Alumni Committees. Previously at SCDS Natalie served as Annual Fund Chair (with her husband Ben), Class Representative, New Family Committee Chair, Auction Venue Chair and Co-Chair (3 years), and as a Board Development Committee member (8 years). She served as a Lakeside Auction Co-Chair in 2017, where she has served in numerous other volunteer roles. Natalie's two boys attended SCDS K-8, graduating in 2011 and 2015, and continue to enjoy their SCDS connections.
Chris is the Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of Acuitas Investments. Chris has also held positions at Russell Investments, Bear Stearns, Schroders, and Lehman Brothers. He is a regular contributor to CNBC and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The New York Times, and other publications. Chris also currently serves on the board of Seattle’s New Discovery School. Chris resides in Seattle with his wife Rebecca and their four children. Their four children attend SCDS: Dylan (2018), Brady (2021), Matthew (2023), and Caroline (2024).
Jarvis Weld graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in government and Russian. She received her MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth. She served U.S. Senator Patty Murray on her initial campaign and then in her Seattle office on foreign policy issues and constituent service. Jarvis worked in high tech marketing and product management at Microsoft and Visio. Her nonprofit involvement includes serving on the board of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, as Co-Chair of the Parent Association at Seattle Preparatory School, and in many roles at the Tilden School and SCDS including Parent Council and the Auction. She is the mother of two SCDS graduates, classes of 2015 and 2017.
Sandi Wollum has worked in both public and private school education in the region for more than 30 years. Sandi began her teaching career in Sumner School District where she taught in both elementary and junior high schools and eventually became the district’s Gifted Program Coordinator, responsible for coordinating the nomination and testing of students, and for working with teachers to develop and support the curriculum. In 2002, Sandi left public school to join the faculty at Seabury School, an independent school in Tacoma that serves gifted students in grades Pk-8. Sandi served as a Teacher and Assistant Head of School before being named Head of School in 2005. In 2007, Sandi led Seabury through the development of an innovative, new middle school program in downtown Tacoma–a program built around integrated projects combining high level research, problem solving, leadership development, and community service. Seabury’s middle school program began in the fall of 2009 in the heart of Tacoma’s theater district. In addition to her work at Seabury and as a trustee at Seattle Country Day School, she is the private schools representative for the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG).
Frank has practiced law for over 40 years, and is currently winding down his practice and moving towards retirement. Frank served on the board of KUOW/Puget Sound Public Radio from 2002-2011 including two years as Board Chair of that organization.
Frank and his wife, Jan Agosti, had three children at SCDS over the course of 15 years. Their two oldest children have graduated college, and their youngest will graduate college in May of 2018.