We all have a favorite educator that shaped us into the persons we are. Well, now there’s a chance to honor some of these unsung heroes on Sept. 24 at China Harbor Restaurant. Women of Color Empowered is a luncheon organized by the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation and held three times a year. It celebrates the wonderful accomplishments of women who have worked hard to break through the glass ceiling. The next event’s theme is Women of Power in Education.
Compiled by staff
Northwest Asian Weekly
Tukwila School District Superintendent
Ethelda Burke has more than 35 years of experience working in school districts. She has worked as a high school teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent for high school education, and deputy superintendent.
She is the president-elect for the Washington Association of School Administrators 110 METRO. She is an active member of the Southcenter Rotary and has served on the University of Washington Professional Education advisory board, Key Bank Southern Puget Sound District advisory board, Tacoma Youth Symphony board, Cultural Council of Greater Tacoma, University of Washington Tacoma advisory board, and United Way of Pierce County executive board.
Superintendent for Bellevue Public Schools
Prior to becoming superintendent, Amalia Cudeiro was the co-founder and partner of Targeted Leadership Consulting, a firm that works with schools, districts, and universities to improve teaching and narrow achievement gaps. Cudeiro has served as deputy superintendent for the Boston Public Schools.
Cudeiro served for many years as a principal in California’s public school system, in the Santa Monica and Baldwin Park school districts. Later, she was selected as one of only eight individuals nationally for a fellowship to complete her doctorate in the Urban Superintendent Program at Harvard University, where, for the past four years, she has served as adjunct professor.
Whatcom Community College President
Prior to her current position, Kathi Hiyane-Brown was the president of Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. Her professional experience also includes serving as the vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Tacoma Community College, and dean of instruction at Leeward Community College in Hawaii. She has also worked in educational institutions in Arizona and Iowa.
She earned her doctorate in Leadership and Education from Oregon State University, her master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Iowa, and her bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in Iowa.
University of Washington professor
Shirley Hune has been an academic leader in Asian American studies, immigration, race, gender, and education matters for 30 years. She taught some of the first courses on the East Coast in Asian American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Yale University, and Hunter College in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1992 to 2007, she served as associate dean in the Graduate Division at UCLA.
Since joining the Educational Leadership & Policy Studies department at the University of Washington in 2007, she has contributed to studies on closing the achievement gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington state’s public schools.
Assistant superintendent of Student Achievement, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Erin Jones has been involved with education for the past 16 years as a volunteer, a private and public school teacher, a late night director, and an instructional coach. She was raised in the Netherlands and speaks four languages. She received state recognition as the most innovative foreign language teacher in 2006. She was nationally recognized as the Milken Educator for Washington state in 2007.
Erin was hired in 2008 as the director of the Center for the Improvement of Student Learning, where her focus was on creating a repository of best practices and building bridges between schools, families, and communities.
City University professor
Following a career in high schools as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal, Christine Katayama currently provides leadership for the Master of Education/Curriculum and Instruction, National Board Teacher Certification, and Professional Certification programs at City University of Seattle.
As a faculty member, she also teaches pre-service school principal candidates. Katayama is also the chair of the School of Education’s diversity committee, which oversees the Diversity Scholars program. Her achievements include being named the 2002 Washington State High School Principal of the Year, being one of 14 international Women in Leadership awardees (Phi Delta Kappa), and facilitating the implementation of Aviation High School with a major Gates Foundation grant.
Washington Education Association President
Mary Lindquist took office as Washington Education Association (WEA) president in July 2007.
She was chief negotiator for the Mercer Island Education Association for more than 20 years. She was Montana Indian Education Association president for 12 years and Sammamish UniServ Council president since 2000.
She joined the WEA Board in 2001 where she served on the executive committee and several other committees. Lindquist taught high school language arts and social studies for 33 years.
She has received numerous teaching awards including being named Washington State Secondary Social Studies Teacher of the Year. She has also been given a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund award.
Advocate for Effective Family School Partnerships
Trise Moore has designed and developed community outreach programs for several nonprofit organizations and educational institutions within Washington state.
She previously served as the chair of the City of Federal Way’s diversity commission and chair of community outreach for South King County’s Habitat for Humanity. She was appointed as a member of the governor’s K-12 Education Advisory Committee to WASHINGTON Learns. In 2007, she was selected to represent her district at Harvard University’s Training Institute for Large School Leadership.
She has a master’s degree in Program Management from City University and is an adjunct faculty member at City University Seattle.
Everett High School counselor
Lillian Ortiz-Self has served as the clinical director of a mental health center, regional coordinator for the Illinois State Board of Education, education adviser for the Department of Children and Family Services, and director and founder of the CU Project, a center for Latino families and youth.
At Everett High School, she started the Latin Image Club to help Latino youth bridge barriers to achieve academic success. She is also the co-founder of the Neema Counseling Center, which provides counseling, consultation, and training regarding youth and family issues.
She is a national trainer on topics regarding community-based, collaborative services for youth with severe emotional disorders, parent involvement, cultural diversity issues, resiliency and strength training, educational issues, anger management, and mediation and conflict resolution.
Vice president of Administrative Services at Bellevue College.
Rachel Solemsaas has 22 years of public service experience, six of them in the community college system.
She is a governing board member for Dawson Place, Child Advocacy Center of Snohomish County, and a former member of the Snohomish County Children’s Commission.
She is a doctoral student at Washington State University, and has a master’s degree from the University of Washington. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from De la Salle University in the Philippines.
Retired educator and former human/civil rights coordinator at Washington Education Association
Frieda Takamura is a longtime educator who recently retired from the Washington Education Association (WEA). Prior to working with the WEA, she was a teacher in public schools.
Takamura is Japanese American and is active in the Asian/Pacific Islander community in her roles as co-chair of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Think Tank, volunteer and curriculum consultant at the Wing Luke Asian Museum, member of the planning committee for Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Celebration Day at the Seattle Center, and member of the Asian/Pacific Islander Directors Coalition.
She is also a cultural competency trainer, has experience as a facilitator with diverse communities, and is co-chair of the Safe Schools Coalition.
Washington Indian Education Association President and Director
Patricia Whitefoot was born and raised on the original homelands of the Confederated Tribal Lands of the Yakama Nation. She is also the director of the Toppenish School District Indian Education Program. She has been actively involved in the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians for more than 20 years and serves as the chair of the ATNI Education Committee, which is represented by the 52 tribes of southern Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, and northern California.
She founded the Tribal Leaders’ Diabetes Committee, and was a tribal leader at the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care and Improvement Act and the Indian Education Executive Order. One of her greatest achievements is the creation of the Gathering of Native America, a curriculum team used widely in Indian country to address multi-generational trauma and healing.
Master of Ceremonies
Educational consultant and retired deputy superintendent for Seattle Public Schools
Mona Bailey currently serves as a Senior Associate with the Center for Educational Renewal at the University of Washington and the Institute for Educational Inquiry in Seattle. From 1998–2000, she served as head of Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, an independent school for girls, and from 1995–1998, she served as the director of The National Faculty’s Western Region.
She also served as deputy superintendent of Seattle Public Schools and as assistant state superintendent of public instruction for Washington state. Prior to that, Bailey served in various positions in the Seattle School District, including middle school principal, personnel administrator, high school counselor, and science teacher. ♦