Meet the team

WSSDA’s in-district workshops and retreats are led by WSSDA staff and consultants. The consultants are a group of trainers with impressive credentials and extensive experience to guide and support school directors in their governance role. Each consultant has been selected for expertise in the areas of service most often sought by school boards and districts. They can help boards tackle and resolve issues unique to each district. Areas of expertise include team building and leadership development, strategic planning, board-superintendent relations, vision setting, community engagement, group facilitation, conflict resolution and problem solving.


Tricia Lubach, Director of Leadership Development

Tricia Lubach joined WSSDA’s staff in 2014, but she was a WSSDA member for many years before that. She has served on the Quincy School District Board of Directors since 2005, with multiple stints as board chair, vice-chair and legislative representative. As an active WSSDA member, she served on the Legislative Committee and graduated with the Leadership WSSDA class of 2013. Based in central Washington, Tricia enjoys providing support and professional development to boards on both sides of the Cascades. A WSU graduate with a degree in Business Marketing, she spent more than 20 years as a communications consultant with experience in public relations, market research and analysis, writing and media relations. This confluence of communications expertise and boardsmanship experience gives her the knowledge and drive to help others reach their potential as educational leaders.

Christine Najarro, Leadership Development Coordinator

Christine NajarroChristine Najarro joined the WSSDA team in 2020. She has previously worked in marketing and public relations in the high tech industry as well as event planning and community outreach for non-profits. Growing up in Minneapolis, she studied Communications at the University of Minnesota. Christine is grateful to be a part of WSSDA and serving its members through Leadership Development.

Eastern and Central Washington Consultants

Scott Dolquist

Scott Dolquist is a founder and co-director of an educational consulting firm partnering with schools and organizations to implement research-based programs with a high impact on student achievement.  He began his career as a middle school teacher and, after completing a master’s degree in educational administration, served as a middle school principal for thirteen years.  Scott then worked with a national school reform organization based in New York City, first as an instructional coach and regional director, then as National Director of Program Design and Professional Development. In this capacity, he led the design and delivery of professional development for a network of over 100 schools throughout the country, partnered with school boards and superintendents to open new schools, and co-developed tools to capture implementation and outcome data.

Lorri Edwards
Lorri Edwards is co-director of an educational consultant firm that partners with organizations seeking to impact student learning through effective implementation of research-based initiatives.  Lorri has Teaching and Educational Administration degrees and many years of experience in adult education as an instructional coach, university program director and adjunct faculty. She also has extensive experience as an elementary school teacher in both public and private school settings. Lorri has served on several boards and advisory committees with a special interest in continuous quality improvement. Her tenure as a school director on the Kettle Falls School Board from 2009 to 2015 adds to her rich background of experiences.
Cindy McMullen
Cindy McMullen is a recycled school director, having served on the Central Valley School Board in Spokane from 1987-2011, then serving four years on the State Board of Education, and being re-elected to the Central Valley Board in 2015. She has been active in WSSDA, graduating from Leadership WSSDA in 1998, being elected to the Legislative Committee, serving on WSSDA’s Board of Directors and finally elected President in 2006.  She was a WSSDA Cadre member from 2003-2011 and has presented numerous trainings and conference sessions over the years.

Cindy is a retired attorney who specialized in municipal law serving small cities, towns and special purpose districts over her 35+ years of practice.  In 2005, she was the President of the Washington Association of Municipal Attorneys. Cindy brings a great deal of knowledge and experience from her extensive background in education and law to support school directors. She is well-versed in boardsmanship, school law, superintendent evaluation, board self-assessment, conflict resolution and board protocols.

Western Washington Consultants

Amy Cast
Amy Cast brings a wide variety of school board and marketing management experience. As a director on the Northshore School Board, Amy has served in every officer position, including Audit Chair, Legislative Chair, Vice President and President. As President, she oversaw a community-wide strategic planning process, lead the effort to rewrite the entire district policy structure, oversaw the development of a comprehensive equity policy, and led a national superintendent search.

Amy’s marketing management career began at a Fortune 50 company where she oversaw national product management programs. For the last 20 years, she has owned a web design and marketing company where she designs and implements digital marketing programs that support her small business clients and their growth goals. Throughout her career, she has used research-based communications practices to strengthen her community.

Mary Fertakis
Mary Fertakis served on the Tukwila School Board from 1995-2017, was the 2012 WSSDA President, served two terms on the WSSDA Board, one term on the Legislative Committee, and is a Leadership WSSDA graduate. She served on WSSDA’s Closing the Achievement Gap Task Force, Urban Issues Committee, Diversity & Multicultural Action Team, Chaired the Federal Relations Network, represented WSSDA on the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council, and served on the Early Learning Work Group for Washington State’s ESSA plan development process.

Mary is the CEO of M FERTAKIS Consulting, LLC, specializing in equity issues across the P-12 education system. She is also a consultant with the National School Boards Association Equity Department, providing training and assistance to state school board associations on diversity, equity and inclusion. She serves on the Racial Equity Policy Design Team (PSESD/ WSSDA), which created a process for school district leadership teams to develop Race & Equity policies.

Fertakis holds B.A.’s in Political Science and International Studies from the UW, an ELL Teaching Certification from Seattle U, an M.Ed. in Education Policy from the UW, and certification in P-3 systems from the UW’s P-3 Executive Leadership Institute. She has received certifications from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s P-3 Institute and Family Engagement Institute.

Sandy Hayes
Sandy Hayes has been a WSSDA member since first being elected to the Northshore School District Board of Directors in 2009. During her tenure on the Northshore Board, she has been a legislative representative for many years and most recently the board chair. She has also served on the WSSDA Legislative Committee, currently in the role as Vice Chair. In addition to her school board work, Sandy has served on many non-profit boards in her community, mostly focused on education.

In addition, Sandy is an attorney specializing in restorative justice. She has been a partner of HeartJustice since inception in 2016. Both roles match her passion for increasing civility in our public discourse and a core belief that education is the great equalizer. Prior to her work with Heart Justice, she ran a small company working with young adults. She received both her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Washington.

Rick Maloney
Rick Maloney is a veteran of school board service at University Place School District1995-2015, serving eight terms as President. He served six years on the Diversity-Multicultural Advocacy Team and eight years on the Resolutions Committee, then was elected by Pierce County board members (DA3) to the WSSDA Board during the period 2006-2015. In 2013-2015, he led the piloting of WSSDA’s Outcome Based Superintendent Evaluation model. He has presented on governance at eleven WSSDA annual conferences, seven NSBA conferences and one international conference.

Rick served one career in the US Army Corps of Engineers and another as a teacher and administrator at classroom, local and state levels. He is the author of two books on school governance, A Framework for School Governance: Assessing Performance and Planning for Growth(2017)and Putting Policy Governance to Work(2018.)He lectures at the college level at PLU and UWTacoma and has enjoyed working since 2005 with school boards interested in enhancing their governing effectiveness.

Lori Oviatt
Lori Oviatt is an experienced school board member, serving the Riverview Board of Directors since 2006. Her background as a public-school educator as well as a technology consultant provides her with vast knowledge and experience to support board members from many perspectives. She is an active volunteer and community member with experience on site-based councils, communication committees, strategic planning, superintendent search committees, co-curricular committees and technology committees. In addition to her role as a board director she also serves as an honorary member of the WIAA board of directors, SeaKing District 2 board and WSSDA’s Annual Conference planning committee. Lori has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instructional Technology. Lori believes in empowering others to be who they want to be.
Patty Wood
Patty is an experienced school board member, serving the Kelso School Board since 2002. Her leadership roles within that capacity include board chair, committee work, superintendent hiring, passing a levy and negotiations. Patty’s service as a leadership consultant since 2007 has focused on essential board skills for new and veteran directors including operating principles, board goals, board and superintendent evaluations, agenda setting, finance, roles and responsibilities and board standards.  A formal education in engineering precedes her work in public education with service at local, regional, state and national levels.  She’s served on WSSDA’s Legislative Committee, Board Standards Task Force, Trust Lands Task Force, and chaired the Federal Relations Network.  She currently serves on the boards of WSSDA and Education Northwest.