BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TyKera Williams, Director
TyKera has a background in children, youth and family related social service and has decided to become a clinical social worker in healthcare to make a difference, in the world. TyKera Williams is a SSWLHC WA Chapter Scholarship recipient for 2018. She is in her second-year of the Clinical MSW program at Seattle University. When TyKera is not advocating for social change and mental health, she spends her time cooking fresh cuisine, hiking with her family, crafting and listening to podcasts.
Prior to entering the Clinical MSW program, TyKera earned her BS in Biopsychology with a minor in Entrepreneurship from Loyola University (Maryland). During her studies at Loyola, her placements as a Field Study Intern for Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England and University of Maryland “Shock Trauma” -Trauma and Resuscitation Unit in Baltimore, MD ignited her interest in healthcare. She has since aspired to integrate behavioral health and primary care for those who have underprivileged access to affective care.
Following graduation and a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, TyKera became a Visitation Supervisor for Compassion Care in Bremerton, WA. While at the foster care agency she was able to mobilize and provide multiple tiers of professional supervision for families of Kitsap County. Last year, at her placement with Catholic Community Services, TyKera was able to provide individual and group, social services and educational services, to both parents and pregnant women of King County. This year, TyKera is eager to complete her advanced practicum at University of Washington Medical Center Virology, Genetic Disorders and Pain clinics.
Julie Kennedy leads the academic and character practice on the Impact Team at Charter School Growth Fund. In this role, Julie partners with school leaders to identify common challenges, highlight bright spots and promising practices, and explore solutions that may be transferable across organizations.
Julie began her career as a middle school science teacher in Newark, NJ and Boston, MA. She went on to serve as a founding middle school principal with Uncommon Schools in Brooklyn and later as a Managing Director in the region. As Managing Director, Julie helped grow the region to 12 middle schools and 3 high schools and led the initial transition to Common Core aligned instruction. Following a move back to the west coast, Julie joined Relay Graduate School of Education and served as the Senior Dean of Academic Programs. Julie holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a BA in chemistry from Willamette University.
Julie Kennedy, Board President
Board Vice- President + Secretary
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Amy developed a deep commitment to education and community building through her experiences working with nonprofits and schools. She began her career as a Philly Fellow working with the Philadelphia Education Fund, where she developed evaluative metrics to measure performance and supported fundraising efforts. She later worked in the arts, including fundraising for the Asian Arts Initiative, a local community-based arts center. She then served as the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs.
In graduate school at Teachers College Columbia University, Amy was a student consultant with the Center for Public Research and Leadership and supported the school districts of Camden, NJ and Cleveland, OH on change management projects. After graduation, Amy was the Managing Director of Development at Educators 4 Excellence - Connecticut, a teacher voice and policy organization.
Most recently, Amy was Director of Operations for an Uncommon Public Charter School - Leadership Prep Brownsville Middle Academy - in Brooklyn where she managed all operational aspects of the school from finance, HR, student data, to enrollment. She holds a master’s degree in Economics and Education and graduated summa cum laude from Ursinus College with a BA in East Asian Studies and minors in Secondary Education and Japanese.
Shaylynn Houston proudly works for Seattle Goodwill as an Equity Team Member and Instructor. She has previously worked and continues in roles as an Equity Team Leader, Case Manager and as a Job Training Education (JTE) Sector Navigator within her 7 year tenure at Seattle Goodwill. Seattle Goodwill is located in the heart of the community where Shaylynn was born and raised. Shaylynn currently lives in Bremerton where she has resided for over 28 years.
Shaylynn is an active Olympic College graduate who volunteers and utilizes her Alumni status to uplift Diversity and Equity throughout the campus, her workplace and community. Shaylynn started working within the Higher Education system in 2007 at Olympic College where she was employed in the Office of Multicultural Services. She has also worked in the Human Services field for over 14 years supporting youth, college students and families in navigating social service resources, higher education and training opportunities throughout Kitsap County.
Her employment background also includes several local non-profits including Gather Together Grow Together, Partnering for Youth Achievement, Kitsap Community Resources and volunteering at the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. Shaylynn is also a Proud AmeriCorps Alumni who has completed two service terms and currently belongs to the Local Seattle AmeriCorps Alumni chapter. As a well-known volunteer in the community she has also shared her volunteerism in many ways including attending, chaperoning and presenting at the WA State Students of Color conferences for the past 9 years.
In her spare time when she is not working Shaylynn loves to spend time with her extended family and friends, cooking or trying to figure out new ways how to relax and just enjoy life. Shaylynn also loves to travel and find new reasons to laugh and smile.
Shaylynn Houston, Director
Ken was born and raised in Southern California. In 1996 he joined the United States Navy and relocated to Bremerton, WA where he presently resides. He has been married to his wife for over 20 years, and they have three wonderful daughters.
Ken holds a Master of Divinity from Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in Organizational Leadership.
Ken currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Northwest University in Kirkland WA and he also serves as the Lead at Newlife Church, Bremerton Campus.
Ken is passionate about education. He strongly believes that the educational experiences that happen in the classroom are foundational for positive student growth and development.
He is excited that Catalyst Public Schools plays a leading role in cultivating quality learning environments for families in the city of Bremerton.
Blake is the Product Manager of School Services for a new education non-profit, Bezos Day 1 Academies. This is a startup organization whose mission is to launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. Before serving in this role, Blake was the founding Director of Finance and Operations for Green Dot Public Schools Washington State, an education management non-profit. In her role she supports school leaders in developing sustainable systems, managing school finances, and monitoring compliance.
Previously, she worked in New Orleans, LA at Crescent City Schools where she oversaw all finance and operations for high performing K-8 public charter school.
Before transitioning to a career in education, Blake was an Associate at Goldman Sachs in their Global Operations division. She has BSM degree in Finance and Legal Studies in Business from Tulane University.
Blake Di Marco Herrera, Treasurer
Jeff is originally from Houston, TX, and he came to Kitsap County in 1989, while serving in the United States Navy.
Jeff has earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor of Public Administration from Seattle University and an Associate degree from Olympic College. He also has done some additional coursework in human resources and change management.
He presently works in the career development field as a Supervisor with the WA Employment Security Department's WorkSource Kitsap office, and has previously worked in banking.
Jeff also serves as an ordained minister at the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Bremerton and throughout his time in Kitsap County, has been very active in volunteering with other local government and non-profit organizations.
Jeff is truly honored to serve in this capacity, as he believes that education is the hallmark to one’s overall success.
Katie is passionate about education and community service. She is an attorney with a background spanning technology and education sectors. She has over fifteen years of experience leading litigation matters, advising on product and regulatory issues, and managing investigations for companies including Twilio, Symantec (now Norton), and Veritas. She has also advised education organizations on legal issues and managed strategic projects for a California school district.
Katie is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership through the Broad Center. Outside of work, you can find her relishing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, and dog, Clover.