Paul has been a passionate supporter of public schools since 2000, when his then 6-year-old son began kindergarten. He joined the board of the Bellevue Schools Foundation that year and subsequently served in various capacities over 9 years, including Board President. Through his involvement, Paul came to understand the profound benefits that private philanthropy can have on the lives of students. He is excited by the unlimited opportunities the Kent Schools Foundation has in partnership with the Kent School District and our community. Paul is currently serving as Board President.
Paul resides within the district’s boundary, where his wife is a teacher at Glenridge Elementary. He is a Vice President with HomeStreet Bank. Three of their children are successful public school and college graduates. The fourth will attend Gonzaga University this fall. Paul and his wife, Ann, are thankful for the education they and their children have received and firmly believe every child should have the same access, encouragement and support.
Passionate about education and diversity, Melissa has more than 19 years of experience in communications, marketing and public relations. Melissa joined Kent School District in January 2018 after serving for more than six years as a lead communicator for the largest educational service district in Washington state advocating for student success, equitable access to high-quality instruction and amplifying teacher voice at Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD).
In Kent School District, Melissa leads the development and implementation of the District’s communication, media and public affairs strategy in alignment with the board approved strategic plan. Reporting to the superintendent, as a member of Executive Cabinet Melissa works collaboratively with senior leadership to effectively communicate the district’s mission, vision and strategic priorities. Melissa is also an active member of Kent Sunrise Rotary Club, serves on the Washington Schools Public Relations Association Board and is a trained Action Collab facilitator by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education in San Francisco. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in applied sociology/social work from Seattle University and earned a master’s degree in communication and leadership studies from Gonzaga University.
Justin is an activist and local entrepreneur. Growing up in rural Virginia, Justin developed his love of Architecture in high school. He received a professional degree in Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2002. Following graduation, Justin helped raise over $250,000 through a bike ride challenge across the United States, bringing awareness to the work of Habitat for Humanity. He fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and relocated to the Seattle area. Pursuant to his interest in self-improvement and social and economic sustainability, Justin obtained an MBA in Sustainable Business from Presidio Graduate School. He has been a local business owner for the last ten years.
Justin believes in the future of our schools, and providing quality education to our children. He has two children in the Kent School District who attend Kent Elementary School in the Dual Language program. Seeing great opportunity in our area, Justin is devoted to helping provide educational opportunities for all and taking all Kent Schools to the next level. He became aware of the Kent Schools Foundation in 2018 at the annual auction and joined the board a few months later. Justin deeply believes that everyone, regardless of zip code, should have access to quality education.
Alan has two children in the Kent School District who have attended East Hill and Neely O'Brien Elementary Schools, Mill Creek Middle School, and now Kent-Meridian High School. Alan is active supporting the music programs at Kent-Meridian High School. As a former educator who continues to support education professionals in Kent, Alan has always stayed focused on the importance of public education for the empowerment of young people and the inclusive attitude that is necessary for a thriving community.
Alan was a founding member of the Kent Schools Foundation because of a strong belief that the funding sources available in the educational system have never been enough to provide in the areas where the needs are greatest. Programs that provide enrichment and success in one part of the community should have support in an equitable manner.
Born and raised in Hoquiam, Washington, in a household dedicated to family and community, Karen brings a ‘can-do’ attitude to her work, family and community. Passionate about her work, Karen’s professional career has been rooted in sales and marketing, working in the medical field, then as a Vice-President for the American Heart Association, focused on supporting heart-health programming in schools. Her love of real estate lead her to the Rosie Rourke team and she currently serves as a Buyer’s Agent for the team, helping local families fulfill their dream of home ownership.
As a resident of Fairwood since 1988, Karen and her husband raised their three children in the Kent schools, where Karen was heavily involved at Fairwood Elementary, Northwood Middle School and Kentridge High School. In her capacity as PTA president at Fairwood, Karen helped establish the yearly auction fundraiser, brought ‘Albert Einstein Day’ to hundreds of kids each year, and developed free monthly ‘Family Nights’ to kids and families, intended to encourage a sense of community and a love of learning.
Karen has long been rooted in the community she loves, with a special connection to schools, boy scouts, theatre and local business. Her long-held belief that volunteerism is key to improving our community lead to her current position on the Kent Schools Foundation board. A deep belief that all kids deserve the tools and resources necessary to be successful, Karen believes the Foundation can help bridge the financial gap and unlock the keys to making the impossible, possible.
When not working, Karen can be found sharing her home with family & friends, enjoying Husky football and other local sports, or exploring the globe, both locally and afar!