Chief Executive Officer
Mari Offenbecher is the Chief Executive Officer of SOWA. As the CEO, she is responsible for the management, programs and infrastructure of the organization. Since 1990, Mari has led SOWA in advancing quality, equity and innovation in building the field of afterschool and youth development (AYD). Mari has spent her career dedicated to bringing educational opportunities and supports to AYD programs that ensure positive outcomes for young people in school and life. Through her leadership she has worked to build local, statewide and national coalitions and initiatives that impact systems change for youth including the MOST Initiative, BOOST Learning, SOAR and the Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC). Mari graduated from California State University at Sacramento with a BA in Child and Youth Development. She conducted research on advanced Child Development systems at the University of California at Berkeley and Edinburgh University, Scotland.
Chief Program Quality Officer
Jackie leads SOWA’s statewide efforts to promote program quality and increase the use of quality assessment and improvement processes in afterschool and youth development programs. She has experience in program planning, organizational development, project management and community building. Jackie holds a BA in Foreign Language and Literature and a Secondary Teaching Certificate. Major accomplishments since joining SOWA in 1999 include leading the statewide process to develop the Washington State Core Competencies for Child and Youth Development Professionals, managing the Pathways to Excellence Project (PTE), a four year researched-based professional development model for the field, overseeing the statewide process to develop the Washington State Quality Standards for the Afterschool & Youth Development Programs, participating in the Aspen Institute’s National Leadership Seminar on Racial Equity and Youth Development and supporting SOWA’s current efforts to build professional development systems for the afterschool and youth development field.
Communications and Development Director
Danielle leads SOWA's fundraising and communications team responsible for coordinating and implementing all planned communication, marketing and resource development activities for the organization to ensure broad knowledge and understanding of our work and the role of afterschool programs in supporting positive youth outcomes. Danielle has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington. She previously worked in the White Center community developing a plan to better coordinate out-of-school time programs and worked as a legislative aide for former state Representative Schual-Berke. Danielle enjoys traveling, food and learning everyday from her two energetic boys.
Policy and Advocacy Director
David is our Education Policy and Advocacy Director. Originally from Pierce County, he got his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Washington and his masters of science in social work from the University of Texas. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for children and families. After working as the policy director at the Washington State Council for Children and Families, he spent five years in the DC-Baltimore area where he worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth on education issues. When he’s not lip syncing to Madonna, he’s taking salsa lessons and spending time with his family in Puyallup.
Refugee School Impact Grant Project Director
From 2001 to 2004, Pang worked as the Grants and Contracts Specialist at School’s Out Washington. Prior to that, she coordinated youth programs for the Refugee Women’s Alliance. Pang then worked as the Refugee Program Planner for the Nonprofit Assistance Center. In December 2007, Pang rejoined School’s Out Washington as the Refugee School Impact Grant Project Director. Pang oversees the administration of Refugee School Impact subgrants to district-community partnerships and connects those partnerships to resources for improving services to refugee students.
Director of Finance and Operations
Christina has over 13 years of experience in financial, technology and human resources management for businesses and non-profit organizations. She directs SOWA’s internal financial and operation functions in order to grow and sustain our organization. Christina has a masters in Science in Management from Antioch University, a Graduate Certificate in Business Leadership and Change Management and Integrated Skills for Sustainable Change. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Mills College.
Program Quality Director
James leads all efforts around the Program Quality Standards and Program Quality Assessment (PQA) in King County, including the HUB lead role for Raikes cohorts, the City of Seattle PQA Intervention, the United Way of King County, and many more quality improvement projects. James comes from the Youth Development field, having worked in youth programs at VFA from 2006-2012. James has a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington, and loves spending time with wife and children when he’s not at work. James’ experience in the field inform his service at SOWA and commitment to closing the achievement gap for young people across King County and Washington State.
Lindy Ah Sam
Quality Division Administrative Assistant
Lindy joined School's Out Washington in August of 2013. Her primary role is to provide overall administrative support to the Quality Division including Youth Program Quality Initiative and all logistics for all Youth Program Quality interventions, trainings and meetings. Prior to that, she worked at Maui Arts and Cultural Center as Events Coordinator and has extensive experience in the Hawaii tourism industry. She attended college in Hawaii and studied Architectural Drafting. She is excited to work with a diverse group of professionals at SOWA and provide quality support to the team. Lindy recently moved to Seattle from Maui and is exploring "everything" Washington.
Clifford Armstrong III
Quality Initiatives Program Coordinator
Clifford joined School’s Out Washington in July of 2014. He works with the Quality Initiatives Division Team to support statewide efforts to promote program quality and support the summer learning efforts of SOWA through grants to communities. Clifford earned his B.A. in History at California State University, San Bernardino and his M.S. in International Studies from Oklahoma State University. Prior to working at SOWA, he served as a tutor and football coach in Southern California, and as the Educational Services VISTA at the Refugee and Immigrant Services Center of Jewish Family Service of Seattle. He enjoys cooking, playing sports, reading, and admiring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Quality Field Services Manager
Sherrie Belt leads the statewide coordination of coaching, external assessment systems and quality intervention trainings to further statewide youth program quality. Sherrie has been in the field of Child and Youth Development for over 20 years as a practitioner, adult educator, SAPQA and YPQA assessor and multi-site administrator. She currently holds a BA in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington and is working on her BA in Early Childhood Development.
Program Quality Administrative Assistant
Mayka Chang joined the SOWA staff in April 2016 as a Program Quality Administrative Assistant. With more than 10 years of experience in customer service, event planning, accounting support, apparel design, merchandising and production, she is now excited to apply her skills and experience towards making a difference in children and young people’s lives. She has a BA from Washington State University in Apparel Merchandising and Textiles, with a minor in Business Administration.
Executive and Operations Coordinator
In his role of Executive and Operations Coordinator Will serves as a member of the School’s Out Washington Operational Team and provides support to the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Program and Policy Officer for SOWA and also provides administrative support to the Director of SOAR and the SOWA Board of Directors. Will is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest previously living in Florida and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida. In his free time Will enjoys sports, cooking, and exploring Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Master of Social Work Intern
Franci is an intern with School’s Out Washington. She is currently assisting in SOWA’s efforts in education policy and advocacy. Franci received her BA in Educational Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where she grew up. She’s worked for a variety of organizations that dedicate their efforts in providing supportive services primarily for children in low-income neighborhoods and/or with special needs. Some of those include Organized Parents Make A Difference (OPMAD), Institute for Professional Practice (IPP), and Kauai’s Division of Developmental Disabilities (KDDD). Franci is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work.
Shannon Ginn Robinson
Bridge Conference and Events Coordinator
Shannon coordinates School’s Out Washington’s largest annual professional development event, the Bridge Conference. She also coordinates other events throughout the state, including the recent work School's Out is doing to educate communities about the Common Core State Standards. Shannon returned to School’s Out in 2013 to lead the Bridge Conference after working here between 2008-2011 leading several projects, including the Supply and Demand Study and the School-Age WAC Rewrite Project. She has a background in public health and is fluent in Spanish after serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer and spending more than 8 years living in Panama. She enjoys being active, spending time with her husband and two boys.
Data and Administrative Coordinator
Jarrod joined SOWA in May 2016 and serves to support the Out of School Time Quality Initiative. He is originally from Wisconsin, where he earned his B.S. in Biology, then later moved to Washington where he earned his M.P.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle, at the Evans School in 2015. Jarrod has a background in business administration, database management, and event planning, with part of his early career spent as a wildlife biologist. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, going to concerts, cooking, and frequenting Seattle’s many gaming cafes and venues.
Natalie is an AmeriCorps VISTA working on the Afterschool and Summer Meals Expansion Program at School’s Out Washington. She works with the policy and advocacy team at SOWA and collaborates with providers to increase access to afterschool and summer meals throughout Washington. Natalie grew up in Seattle but she recently moved back after graduating from the College of Wooster, in Ohio. There she majored in anthropology with a minor in environmental studies. She is passionate about food justice and environmental justice issues. She plays soccer, rides horses and loves to travel.
Statewide External Assessment Coordinator
Lauren works to strengthen SOWA’s youth, school-age, and summer learning program quality assessment systems to support the Youth Program Quality Initiative. She recently moved to the Pacific Northwest from Washington D.C. where she obtained her MA in Sustainable Development: International Policy and Management from the School for International Training. She focused on project design, monitoring and evaluation, and social innovation. Education and non-profit management have been common threads weaving together throughout her career working in international development. She has worked at the National Science Foundation, the World Bank Group, the National Institute of Education as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia, and at Horn of Africa Services here in Seattle.
When not at SOWA or out in the field assessing programs and being inspired by talented youth and passionate teachers, you can find Lauren in the mountains hiking and photographing landscapes, wildlife, stars, and practicing yoga in as many beautiful locations as possible.
Policy and Advocacy Coordinator
Stephanie is SOWA’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. Originally from Michigan, she attended New York University and the University of Michigan, earning her BA in Journalism and Social Anthropology. She also studied in England, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda before relocating to Seattle in 2009. She has spent her career working with refugee and immigrant populations in areas including direct refugee resettlement, workforce development, advocacy, and communications. Past local employers include JFS Refugee and Immigrant Service Centers, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Neighborhood House, the Refugee and Immigrant Children’s Program, OneAmerica, and the City of Tukwila. She earned her Master of Public Administration from Seattle University in 2016, specializing in government and public policy. In her spare time she enjoys cute animals, buying too many houseplants, mountaineering, anything with glitter, and plotting her next travel destination.
Events and Publications Manager
Delphi oversees all aspects related to the creation, coordination and execution of School's Out Washington's annual fundraising and stewardship events, with a special focus on Impact Youth. She also provides design and layout functions for internal publications and marketing pieces. Delphi, originally from the island of Maui, received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawai'i – Manoa. After relocating to Washington State, she earned a Certificate of Study in Public Relations from the University of Washington. In her free time, she enjoys Seattle's restaurant/food truck scene and playing indoor soccer with several recreational teams.
Program Quality Coordinator
Angie works with the Program Quality Initiative to support youth programs throughout Western Washington by promoting quality standards, increasing the use of quality assessment, improving program processes and developing systems and tools to sustain quality improvement.
Angie has an M.P.A. from the University of Washington where she focused on participatory evaluation methods. She worked as a program coordinator, facilitator, and evaluator for Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Youth Employment & Service Learning unit for 4 years. She put her participatory evaluation interests into action by facilitating a youth-led community research team that assessed services for teens in community centers across the city. She also worked with an environmental organization to increase the participation of young people in environmental cleanup advocacy, as well as a resilience/empathy building school for middle-schoolers.
In her free time she is a community organizer, board & card game competitor, enthusiastic eater, and personal assistant for her dog, Arthur.
Statewide Out-of-School-Time Quality Manager
Sheely grew up in Tacoma, WA, and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Psychology. For nearly 10 years, she ran education and teen programs at Boys & Girls Clubs in Tacoma and Seattle, where she was first introduced to the Youth Program Quality Intervention. In 2009, she completed her Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management at Seattle University and began working for SOWA as a program quality trainer, coach, and external assessor. Beginning in August 2015, Sheely began serving as SOWA’s Statewide Program Quality Manager. Sheely now oversees the statewide external assessment coordination system, supports SOWA’s cadre of coaches, and is a liaison to the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. Outside of youth development, Sheely is a self-published author, and has supported nonprofits with technology, program evaluation, and data system management. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, bocce ball, and spending time with family.
Statewide Training Coordinator
After completing her degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Teresa worked as a museum registrar, archaeological archivist, Gallery Director on board the MS Norwegian Gem, and education and community engagement coordinator at the Goodman Theatre of Chicago. In 2016, she moved to Seattle to join SOWA as the Statewide Training Coordinator. Teresa has presented at the Chicago Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair and the Association for Theatre In Higher Education Conference (ATHE), regarding academic applications of Augusto Boal's newspaper theatre form, and was a presenter, moderator and planning committee member for the 2015 Tessitura Learning Community Conference. She loves cats, comedy, coloring, cooking, and Radiohead.
Database and Web Communications Coordinator
Jon Sayer is School's Out's webmaster and manages the organization's customer relationship database. He received his BA in Journalism from Western Washington University in 2008. After working in non-profit website management at such organizations as YES! Magazine, One NorthWest, and Crosscut Public Media, Jon spent two years teaching English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania, where he created Teach Like A PCV, a TEFL resources website. He joined School's Out Washington in February, 2014. In his spare time he is a writer, hiker, and traveller.
Out of School Time Pilot Coordinator for King County
Karen is the Out of School Time Pilot Coordinator for King County and Feed Your Brain Program Coordinator during summer months. Karen attended Ball State University in Indiana, where she obtained a BS degree in Special Education. She then began her career in a self-contained special ed classroom for children ages 10-14 in tiny Rome City, Indiana. That was where the real learning began. Since that time she has worked as YMCA professional program director spending 2 years in Indonesia as a YMCA Professional Abroad, itinerant special ed teacher and director of a residential program for at-risk boys on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, research data collector for the UW School of Social Work, and most recently a small business owner. Currently Karen provides training for School’s Out Washington, Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, and Child Care Aware; performs Program Quality Assessments, and coaches King County programs engaged in quality improvement. In her free time Karen gardens, fosters small animals for the Seattle Animal Shelter, and reads lots of books.
Financial and Administrative Assistant
Tsengyang joined School’s Out Washington in November 2015 and furthers the organization's mission by providing support to the Finance and Operations Department, as well as the Refugee School Impact Grant. She’s been involved in Seattle community work for the past seven years, primarily focused in Southeast Asian communities. Tsengyang is particularly passionate about education access issues in the Hmong American diaspora. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies from the University of Washington, Tacoma Campus. She has a passion for Asian cuisine and global travel.