Michael J. Sandner
Michael J. SandnerBoard President
Director of Arts Education and Curriculum Integration, Bethel School District
As the former Director of Arts Education and Curriculum Integration for Bethel School District, a position held from the fall of 2002 to the spring of 2019, Michael J. Sandner worked closely with classroom teachers and arts specialists to ensure the integration of the arts into all aspects of learning. Prior to this appointment Michael was an elementary principal for seven years and a music specialist for twenty years. He has been a member of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partner’s In Education Program since 1992, and has served as an Advisory Committee Member for this national partnership.

In the spring of 2017 Michael was honored with a Golden Apple Moments Award for his work in arts education. Governor Christine Gregoire honored him with the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Award in 2007. The Mountain Region from the Washington Music Educators Association recognized him with the Friends of Music Award in 2006 and 2010. Michael received his Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado in 1975, and his Masters in Educational Administration from Central Washington University in 1992.

Alyssa graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Project Management and Social-Emotional Intelligence and spends her professional life as a data analyst, project manager, and event director. In her free time, she dabbles in carpentry, horticulture, and distilling. She also volunteers at her local school, The BackPack Brigade, Seattle T2P2 and with ArtsEd Washington. As a woman with mixed heritage, she sees many perspectives and she aspires to use her current privilege to elevate marginalized voices and expand opportunities for musicians in her community.
Alyssa Hays
Alyssa HaysVice President
Event Director, Tree Vox
Nate Bogopolsky
Nate BogopolskyBoard Member
Nathan (“Nate”) is excited to be making a positive impact on the world through learning. As a musician and musical educator, Nate is Education Director for “Songwriting Through Youth Literature Education” (STYLE), an innovative program that works to ignite a passion for reading and literature with K-12 students through collaborative songwriting education. STYLE works in schools to connect reading, writing and music, while inspiring communication and collaboration.

An accomplished musician, Nate has performed, taught and studied a huge array of musical styles including opera, pop, rock and rap. He also has a strong technology bent, especially in the arena of technology aimed at creativity, music education and music production.

Manuel R. Cawaling is the Executive Director for Inspire Washington, a merger of Cultural Access Washington and Washington State Arts Alliance. Prior to this position, he spent 10 years as Executive Director for Youth Theatre Northwest, providing children on Mercer Island and throughout King County with creative education and live theatre experiences. A Seattle native, Manuel has been working professionally as an artist and cultural leader for nearly 30 years. In 1989, Manuel was at the forefront of Seattle’s fringe theatre movement, serving as Artistic Director for Pilgrim Center for the Arts. He also served as a founding board member for Seattle’s League of Fringe Theatres, the predecessor of Theatre Puget Sound and the organization credited with establishing Seattle’s Fringe Theatre Festival, the first in the US.

As Associate Artistic Director for the Northwest Asian American Theatre, he initiated an award-winning Youth Outreach and Education Program; conducted theatre residencies in local high schools and communities; and developed their capital campaign. As Exhibit Developer/Manager for the Wing Luke Asian Museum, he developed award winning exhibits, spearheaded outreach initiatives and led YouthCAN, a leadership program for Asian-Pacific-American youth.

From 2003 to 2008, Manuel served on staff at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, initially in artistic programming and then as Managing Director, overseeing all administrative and programmatic activities. He has served two terms on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission, was a member of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Advisory Committee and served as President for the Washington State Arts Alliance Foundation.

Manny Cawaling
Manny CawalingEx-Officio
Executive Director, Cultural Access Washington/ Washington Arts Alliance
Courtney D. Clark
Courtney D. ClarkBoard Member
Soprano and Music Educator
Courtney Clark is the School Programs Manager for Seattle Opera, planning, arranging and developing Pre-K – 12 in-school musical programs and initiatives.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Clark received her BA in music education from Morris Brown College and received her MA in music with a specialization in vocal performance from Middle Tennessee State University. She obtained her teacher licensure from Belmont University for the states of Tennessee and Georgia for K-12 vocal/general music education.

Prior career highlights include earning The Orff-Schulwerk Level I & II Certification to teach children music; serving as a tenured chorus member of the Nashville Opera; performing in several operas including Aida, Turandot, Tosca, La Boheme, and Die Fledermaus; a scholarship to study abroad at the University of Siena, Italy’s Sessione Sense per la Musica; and concerts and solo performances held in: Siena, Rome, Lucerne, Calcio, Firenze, Venezia, Assisi, Pisa, and Svizzera.

Ms. Clark recently made her solo debut in the film PORTRAITS-The First Black American Divas of Song and Opera, as Elizabeth Taylor-Greenfield.

Miranda Leigh Hein has served as an arts advocate in a variety of local positions throughout Eastern Washington over the last few decades and she is eager to expand her role in arts development across the state. Miranda earned her undergraduate degrees in Music Education and English from Whitworth University in 2002, and she earned her National Board certification in Adult/Young Adult English Language Arts in 2008. In 2013, she earned her Masters in Secondary Education with a special focus in Gifted and Talented education. All the while, she taught English Literature, and Dance as a performing arts credit in Spokane Public Schools, and also taught several performing arts classes at Whitworth University.

Miranda is currently working as an Education Field Supervisor at Eastern Washington University and she speaks regularly at conferences as an advocate for arts integration, differentiated instruction, gifted education, and teacher mentorship. She is especially passionate about promoting community development and social justice issues through the arts. In her free time, she also enjoys participating in musical theatre throughout across the Spokane area!

Miranda Hein
Miranda HeinBoard Member
Katie Lappier
Katie LappierBoard Secretary
Associate Director of Education, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts
Originally from Illinois, Katie has been teaching, directing, performing, and choreographing in the Puget Sound region since 2005. In addition to producing and directing, Katie serves as the Director of Education at Tacoma Arts Live, managing year-round performing arts and social-emotional programs for youth and a canon of statewide Civil Rights Legacy Touring productions. Katie has also worked as a public school dance specialist, directed her own dance school located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, serves as a volunteer co-director of Tacoma’s Barefoot Collective, a community–based modern dance company, and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education. Katie has performed with BQ Danza, MG & MH Arts, and Callous Physical Theatre, as well as producing her own work in Illinois, Missouri, and Washington.
Nyree has a degree in Education from Pacific Lutheran University, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Washington Drama School, and her Masters in Arts Management from George Mason University. While going to Grad School, Nyree worked with several DC Non-Profits, Arts Organizations, and Embassies as well as Government Agencies and Contractors in helping improve their business communications, organizational processes, and community engagement. In addition, she has worked in the Performing Arts industry for over twenty years as an actress, arts educator, director, and administrator and is a member of Actors’ Equity and the National Education Association.
Nyree Martinez
Nyree MartinezBoard Member
Art Consultant
Tess Selim
Tess SelimBoard Member
Social Entrepreneur
A digital generalist by day and a social entrepreneur at all times, Tess’ love of tech and storytelling lead her to a career in digital marketing and advertising, where she spent a good part of 10 years helping brands build an audience and tell their stories before realizing she was part of the problem.

A digital professional with a passion for gender equality in tech, she has been able to impact change by founding GCON, a gaming community and annual convention for women players and developers in Saudi Arabia, born out of the need for representation on both the consumer side and the industry level. Her experiences have taught her to navigate cultural and logistical challenges – from fundraising and changing misconceptions about gaming to fighting off sandstorms, she never has a dull moment.

Today she finds herself even more motivated to turn her skills to social impact. Because the stories we tell ourselves matter, she wants to tell better stories about the future to come. Her goal is to promote consumption choices that are driven by more than convenience and self-interest and solve real-world problems at scale.

In 2006, Olga Surmacheva obtained her master’s degree equivalent at Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace and Instrumentation in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She developed her skills in customer support and development in Gatchina, Russia, doing a variety of jobs before moving to Washington in 2011.

She was the Owner and Director of Thrive Art LLC in Seattle, Washington, where she utilized her skills in personnel management to provide service to over 500 customers and to lead a team of close-knit employees. She currently holds a seat on the Board of Advisors for the Washington Art Education Association, a non-profit that promotes visual art education. In 2019, she won the Distinguished Service award from the Washington Art Education Association.

Olga has a strong passion for art, and her training is in an eclectic mix of academic Russian drawing school and quick free-hand sketching techniques, which she uses to supplement her volunteer work as a Teaching Artist. Sketching is her favorite art form, and she mostly uses a fountain pen and watercolor wash.

Olga Surmacheva
Olga SurmachevaBoard Member
Dave Weatherred
Dave WeatherredBoard Member
Retired Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator
Adjunct Professor, Whitworth University
Dave Weatherred retired as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Spokane School District in 2016. This was a position he had held for 19 years. In retirement, Dave supervises student teachers for Whitworth University and handles operations for New Community Church of Spokane. Now in his 41st year in education, he began his career as the instrumental music teacher for the Parma School District in Parma, ID, followed by similar positions in the West Valley School District and at Ferris High School in Spokane. He is active as a clinician, adjudicator, and honor group conductor throughout the northwest states. Dave was honored by the Washington Music Educators with inclusion in their “Hall of Fame” in 2001 and received the 2013 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Northwest Division Distinguished Service Award. He has been married to his wife Lea for 40 years, has two adult children, and is enjoying his role as a grandfather!