Staff Directory

Office Staff


Special Education Teacher

Jessica Soltani

I’ve been a preschool teacher in the district since 2003, first as a general education teacher and then as a special education teacher. Building positive relationships with students and their families is one of my greatest passions, along with problem solving challenges with creative solutions.


In my personal life, I love meaningful growth experiences, like teaming with my family to serve others in need and embracing new challenges in life, ask me about them some time! I love baking, kayaking, and jogging with friends. 

General Education Teacher

AM Teacher-Deyja Kauffman

PM Teacher-Sophie Truman

Hello!  I’m excited to join the Ready Start Program at Carl Sandburg Elementary.

I have been involved in various aspects of early childhood education for over ten years, first as a children’s librarian, and more recently as a student teacher with the Bellevue School District.  

I have a degree in English from Scripps College, a Master’s of Information and Library Science with a concentration in Youth Services from University of California, Los Angeles, and a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Lake Washington Institute of Technology. 

My preschool education philosophy is to meet children in their current stage of development, and to partner with families to help each child learn and grow.

My family and I enjoy hiking in the Pacific Northwest, especially Mt. Rainer and Crater Lake. I love to read and quilt, and my favorite season is Fall. 




Janna Fornia

Janna Fornia

I grew up on Finn Hill and went to school at Juanita Elementary, Finn Hill Jr. High and Juanita High School. I love teaching the community that I was raised in! After high school I attended Western Washington University and received my BA in Elementary Education with a General Science endorsement. Later on I achieved a Masters in Art Education. I began teaching in the LWSD in 2001 and have been at Sandburg since 2004. I met my husband in Photography class my Junior year at Juanita High School! We have three daughters, a Chihuahua and four backyard chickens. If I'm not in the classroom you will probably see me running around the neighborhood or walking the St. Edwards trails. My favorite indulgence is brownies with a hot coffee! I love spending the day with my students and can't believe I get to call this my job!

Ryan Gervais

Ryan Gervais

I was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. From there I attended the University of Washington where I earned a BA in English and became a huge Dawg fan! Next, I continued my education at City University, earning a Master’s in Teaching degree. Shortly after that, I accepted a part time science job at Carl Sandburg Elementary and I have been at this great elementary school since 2000. I taught Second Grade for 8 years and then moved to Kindergarten.

My wife Michelle is also a Kindergarten teacher and we have 3 fabulous kids. I have an 8th grader at Finn Hill Middle School and a 5th and 2nd grader currently at Sandburg.

When I am not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends at Husky, Seahawk, or Mariner games. I enjoy music and try to attend concerts when possible. Our family also loves to travel to Sun Valley ID where we can hike, bike, ski, and recharge our batteries.

I’m looking forward to another great year at Sandburg!

Keree Huston

Keree Huston

I was born and raised in Spokane, WA. I received my A.A. from Columbia Basin College and my B.A. from Central Washington University in Elementary Music with a minor in Elementary Education. I earned my Literacy in 1996 from Seattle Pacific University.

I began my teaching career in 1980 as an elementary music teacher at Carl Sandburg. I also taught music at a variety of other elementary schools as their over-flow music teacher. In 1984, I was ready to make the jump into the classroom and began teaching 2nd grade at Norman Rockwell. Two years later, I accepted a 2nd grade position back at Carl Sandburg and taught that grade for 12 years.
In 1998, one of the All-day Kindergarten positions opened up and I joyfully moved into that arena and have been there ever since! I feel very fortunate that I get to come to work at a school where staff members bring their passion and commitment to teaching each and every day. It is also very exciting to be able to support our youngest learners as they launch into their elementary school education.
When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am an avid music lover and grab my IPod and take many fun-filled walks listening to music. On those rainy days when walks aren’t possible, I love meeting up with my friends for coffee, conversations, and abundant laughter.
Looking forward to another year in supporting students in seeing themselves as successful readers, writers, and mathematical thinkers!


Laura Schneider

Laura Schneider

My name is Laura Schneider and I am delighted to be teaching kindergarten! I grew up in Kirkland attending Peter Kirk Elementary, Kirkland Junior High, and Lake Washington High School. After I graduated from high school, I went to the University of Washington to earn my Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies. During my undergraduate career, I spent the summer quarter of my sophomore year studying abroad in Paris. I studied the French language, history of Paris, and comparative literature. After I graduated from the University of Washington, I traveled to Europe with my sister. We visited 11 countries. Some of my favorites were France, Monaco, Switzerland, England and Austria. Once I returned from my trip, I began working towards earning my Master in Teaching degree endorsing in Elementary Education at Seattle Pacific University. At this time, I student taught in a first grade classroom at Mark Twain Elementary. What I love most about teaching is watching students gain the confidence to succeed in the classroom. Outside of school, I enjoy running, playing tennis, hiking, walking my dogs, traveling, and reading. I have a golden retriever named Wilson and a mixed-breed named Simba who was rescued from Peru.

1st Grade

Kelly Addison

Kelly Addison
I grew up in Northern Virginia until high school when my family moved to Florida. I attended the University of South Florida where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I enjoyed my first four years of teaching in Tampa, Florida, teaching first and second grade. In the summer of 2014, I made the 3800 mile road trip across the country (with lots of fun stops along the way!) and am so happy I found Sandburg as my new “home.”

I love the excitement and inquisitive nature of children in primary grades. What I love most about teaching is watching in amazement the growth that takes place in 180 school days each year! I am so proud of all of my students as they grow academically and in their independent learning skills. I have a passion for helping students build outstanding character and encouraging them be their best every day!
When I’m not teaching, I enjoy cooking and baking, trying new restaurants, watching football, curling up with a good book, or spending time with family and friends.

Nicole Payette

Nicole Baughn

I grew up in Bothell, attended Moorlands Elementary and Inglemoor High School, just down the road. After graduating in 2007 I set off for an adventure and new learning at the University of Montana in Missoula. I had a great time cheering on the Griz football team, making many new friends, learning to ski and whitewater raft, and discovered that I wanted to become a teacher. I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Elementary Education K-8. I was lucky enough to get hired to teach 2nd grade at Sandburg for the fall of 2012 and have taught here ever since. I was excited to learn even more about teaching reading so I pursued my master's degree at Seattle Pacific University and graduated in 2016 with an M. Ed. in Literacy. In my free time I love to go running, watch sports, dress up for the symphony, and eat lots of ice cream. This summer I got two new kittens, Tucker and Zeus, and absolutely adore playing with them and taking "cat naps". I'm thrilled that I get to work with such wonderful students, families, and staff here at Sandburg!

Sheri Morissey

Sheri Morissey

I grew up in the Juanita area, right here, on top of Finn Hill! I moved here from California when I was in 5th grade. I attended Juanita Elementary, Finn Hill Jr. and Juanita High school! Following my education at LWSD I went on to get my B.A. in Education from Central Washington University.

I began teaching in 1991 at Mark Twain Elementary. In addition to Mark Twain, I’ve taught at A.G. Bell, Thoreau and McAuliffe Elementary. I have been at Carl Sandburg since 1999 and am absolutely thrilled to be here!

I have been teaching 1st grade since 2002 and LOVE it! I have also taught Am/PM Kindergarten and 2nd grade.

Currently, I live in Juanita with my husband and two children, Ryan and Jessa. The have attended Carl Sandburg and Finn Hill Jr. and Juanita High School! My daughter is a graduate from Eastern Washington University. My son completed his schooling at Concordia University.

When I’m not in the classroom, I love family time with my young adult children and spending quality time with my retired husband, Scott! I also like to take walks, go to movies, visit with friends, gardening and reading great books!

I look forward to spending this year together, while working as a team, as we work on our common goal of educating your child so that they will LOVE learning and become life-long learners!

2nd Grade

Kacie Brown & Laura Frost

Kacie Brown

Kacie Brown
I grew up in the small town of Sultan, Washington. I spent four years in beautiful Bellingham at Western Washington University and graduated in 2005. After Western, I attended City University and received my Masters Degree in K-8 education. I did my student teaching at Carl Sandburg in 2006 and have been here ever since. I have taught both 2nd and 1st grade here at Sandburg. In 2010 I also received my National Board Certification in Early Childhood Literacy. I couldn’t be happier, I love this community, our staff and of course the kiddos!

Outside of school, I have a husband named Dave and we have two awesome, happy boys Mason and Wyatt. We also have the most laid back Boston Terrier named Jack. I love reading, baking, being outdoors with my family and of course hanging out with good friends.

Laura Frost

Laura Frost

I grew up in Woodinville, Washington. I spent four awesome years at Washington State University (GO COUGS!!) and graduated in 2003 with a K-8 Elementary Education degree. After leaving WSU I was lucky enough to be placed at Mark Twain Elementary to do my student teaching with a truly amazing 1st grade teacher. After student teaching I was hired by the Lake Washington School District as a part time reading teacher at Robert Frost Elementary. The following year I stayed on at Frost and taught 3rd grade. In 2005 I was excited to be given the opportunity to move to Carl Sandburg Elementary and teach 1st grade! I absolutely LOVE being a teacher at Sandburg.

When I’m not at school you’ll find me spending time with Mr. Frost and our sweet daughter Kinley. We also have two silly dogs, Benny and Izzy who love to cuddle and play chase. Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are watch movies, read a good book and go out to dinner with friends.

Michelle Hoehn

Hello! I grew up in Redmond, Washington.  I attended Horace Mann Elementary, Redmond Junior (Middle), and Redmond High School.  I went on to Central Washington University where I received my Elementary and Special Education degrees.  I began teaching in the district in 2011, teaching special education resource room.  I have also taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade.  I am excited to be teaching at Carl Sandburg Elementary.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with Mr. Hoehn and our adorable daughter Kaleigh.   In my spare time I love to cook, read, and run (I finished my first ½ marathon a couple of years ago).  I love spending time with friends and family.  I am fortunate enough to have them live close by.  Looking forward to a fantastic school year! 

Hannah Mahdieh

My name is Hannah Mahdieh and I am thrilled to be teaching 2nd grade because I truly believe it is the best grade!

I grew up in Redmond, Washington and went to school at Norman Rockwell Elementary, Redmond Junior High, and Redmond High School. I am so fortunate to work and give back to the community I was raised in!
I graduated from the University of Washington and received my BA in Early Childhood and Family Studies. Then I went on to receive my Masters in Teaching and ELL endorsement from UW making me a true Husky fan!
Outside of school I enjoy running and hope to complete a marathon one day! I also love photography and enjoy capturing those special moments in life through a camera lens!

Heidi Yamamoto

Heidi Yamamoto

I love working at Carl Sandburg! I truly believe it is one of the best elementary school in our district. I went to the University of Washington and started at Carl Sandburg as my first and only school. I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade.

I was born and raised in Seattle in the Queen Anne community. I live just a few blocks from my childhood home. I have a husband, Alan who is a communication marketing specialist. A son, Chris who is a archeologist who works in the Northwest. A daughter Nicole who works in HR and her husband Jarod who is an Army Ranger. We have a rescue dog named Jill who we love taking walks with her. I love to putter around in my garden, read and listen to audio books, Zumba exercise, spin class, and go on walks.

3rd Grade

Lisa Van Enkevort (until December)

Jennifer Daly

Jen Daly

I was born and raised just down the street in Bothell. As a kid, I went to Thoreau, Finn Hill, and graduated from Juanita High School in 1999. Next, I decided to head up north to beautiful Bellingham, where I attended Western Washington University. I graduated with a degree in psychology and certification in elementary education. In 2005, I joined the Sandburg family as a student teacher for 6th grade. I instantly fell in love with the students, staff, and school. I was grateful to be back home, in a community that I know and love so much. Since then, I have taught several grade levels, and I hope to stay here for the remainder of my teaching career. One of my greatest joys is seeing my students blossom into lifelong learners right before my eyes.

When I am not at Sandburg, I am living with the two loves of my life: my amazing husband, who I married in 2013, and my three-legged cat named Simba. Every fall, I become a football enthusiast and attend every Seahawks home game. I also cheer for Mariners baseball, Husky football, and every other local sports team. Otherwise, you can find me on the beach, curled up with a good book or searching for shells.

Tricia Goodleaf



Tricia Goodleaf

I grew up in Long Beach, California in the land of sunshine and hot days. After high school I moved north to attend the University of California, at Santa Barbara where I received a B.A. in Sociology. Following this I attended Humboldt State University in Eureka, California where I obtained my elementary teaching certificate. 

After completing my elementary teaching degree in 1998, I moved south to San Jose, California where I started my teaching career as a first grade teacher. I enjoyed teaching there, but in the end I decided the warm, dry climate wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I decided to move even farther north to the Seattle area.

In 2001, I started here at Carl Sandburg Elementary. The students have no limit to their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. During this time I returned to graduate school to achieved my Masters in Education. Then in 2009 I completed and received my National Board Certification. In 2019 I renewed this certification.

Outside of school I enjoy going hiking with my husband and son, learning and using anything technology related (I don’t know how I existed without the internet), reading, watching movies, and baking.

Barb Roy

Barb Roy

My name is Barb Roy and I love teaching the 3rd graders at Carl Sandburg! Math and science are my favorite subjects especially when I can integrate these into other areas of our curriculum.
Engaging students through design challenges, STEM projects, and simulations gives students meaningful and creative ways to learn, collaborate with others, and make connections to the community and world around them.

I'm a University of Washington graduate, National Board Certified teacher, and enjoy lots of time outside running, biking, hiking, and kayaking.

My goal each day is to make those small connections with each student, get to know them as individuals, and encourage their dreams and passions. Hopefully I can inspire them as much as they inspire me to work hard towards our goals, take risks, have fun, and become lifelong learners.

4th Grade

Judy Cook

Judy Cook

I am a 4th grade teacher who has been in the profession since 1995, teaching in the upper elementary grades. Previously, I was in the business world but I’m so glad I switched professions so that I am able to work directly with children. I grew up in Alaska, went to college at Colorado State University, received a masters degree and I have a National Board certification. Along with my fabulous husband, I have an adult son and a Siberian husky dog. I love all sports, especially soccer, and am a fan of the Seattle Sounders. It’s a thrill for me every day to be around energetic and eager to learn students!

Vendy Nashed

Vendy Nashed

I am so thrilled to be teaching 4th grade this year at Sandburg! I  graduated from the University of Washington Bothell. Upon graduation, I received my Bachelor’s in Education with a concentration in Elementary education, as well as an endorsement in Special Education. I’m so excited to use what I’ve learned in the classroom with my students, as well as continue to learn and grow from and with them.

I live in Bellevue and am currently engaged to my amazing fiancé. I love being active, spending time with family, and trying new things. I’m elated to be starting this new journey as a teacher. My first grade teacher inspired me to choose this path in life due to her compassion and love for every child that she worked with. I strive to be like her and to show my students and their families that each student matters. I believe that empathy, compassion, and a holistic education are key aspects to creating an enriching learning environment. I look forward to working with families and developing lasting and meaningful relationships.

Alison Staples 

Alison Staples

I am excited to be teaching 4th grade. I was born in Tacoma, WA and lived there for the first 30 years of my life. For college, I attended Northwest University, right here in Kirkland, and earned my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and received my Master’s in Teaching. I began my teaching experience at Tacoma School District for 6 years before moving up to Kirkland. In 2008, I was blessed to be hired at Lake Washington School District and have been here ever since. I enjoyed 10 years at A.G. Bell Elementary and am thrilled to be at Sandburg.

I am married to my best friend, David, and we have 4 amazing children (2 daughters, 2 sons) as well as a white Jindo dog, named Happy. We live right here in Finn Hill and I love my short commute to school.

When I’m not in my classroom, I enjoy going on evening strolls with my husband, spending time with family, and tending to my garden.

My kindergarten teacher was my inspiration in becoming a teacher. I vividly remember entering school with limited English and feeling nervous, but I will never forget my teacher’s care as she helped me during this time. My hope is that I can make an impact on my students, just as my kindergarten teacher touched my life..

5th Grade

Rosemary Allan

Rosemary Allan

I was born in Hawaii, to a military dad and teacher mom, and lived in North Carolina, New York, and California prior to landing on Finn Hill in 1978 as a 4th grade student at Carl Sandburg Elementary School. Growing up I was fortunate enough to spend 3 months each year back on Oahu, Hawaii my favorite place next to Washington. I attended Finn Hill Jr. High and Juanita High School. Following my education at LWSD I went on to get my B.A. in Parks and Recreation at Western Washington University, then went back to get my Teaching Certification also through Western Washington University.

I taught Pre School from 1992 to 2004 and went back to school to attain Early Childhood Education. During that time I also spent three years working for Microsoft in the Public Relations Group. I have been at Carl Sandburg since 2004 and have taught one year of First Grade and 12 years of Kindergarten. This year will be my first experience teaching Fifth Grade and I'm excited to work with this age group and the enthusiasm they bring to learning.

I have three children, McCormick, Jackson and Noelle all went through Sandburg, Finn Hill and Juanita High School. My son McCormick is a student at the University of Washington and Jackson is attending Eastern Washington University. Noelle will be in 4th grade this year.

When I'm not at school you'll find me spending time with family and friends or reading, running, swimming, riding our hiking. Yes, outdoors as much as I possibly can.


Karla Nelson

Karla Nelson

Mrs. Nelson is a teacher at Sandburg. She teaches 5th grade. Mrs. Nelson has taught remedial reading and math, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades. She went to Central Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, and City University. She received her National Teaching Board Certification in 2011 in Literacy. Her favorite subjects to teach are science and reading. She likes to go for long walks, reading, traveling and baking. She is married and has a son and a daughter. She has a West Highland Terrier, named Oliver. If she had any other job in the world she would own her own business (like a coffee stand).

Bernadette Schmitt

Bernie Schmitt

Having attended Alcott Elementary, Inglewood Junior High School and Eastlake High School, I am truly a product of the Lake Washington School District and I love working as a teacher in this district. I graduated from the University of Washington in Early Childhood Education and received my Masters in Teaching (MIT) from Seattle University. I have been teaching in the district since 2010 and love it! Outside of school, I really enjoy volunteering to coordinate events for non-profit organizations, traveling and spending time with my family and friends.




Library, PE, & Music


Kerry Glassburn

After growing up in Colorado, I moved to Seattle to attend the UW (Go Dawgs!), decided Seattle felt like home and stayed.  I started my professional career in communications/public relations, transitioned to private school admissions, and then took some time off to stay home with my daughter.  When it was time to start working again, it was also time for a change.  I taught preschool for several years but soon realized what I really wanted to do was combine my enthusiasm for books and information with my love of education.  

After completing my Masters in Teaching and spending a year teaching in various Lake Washington classrooms, I’m excited to be able to share my passions with the Sandburg/DCS community as the Library Media Specialist.  When not reading, I enjoy photography, baking and traveling the world.  I live in Kirkland with my family, two cats and five chickens.

Physical Education

Andy Sandbo

Andy Sandbo

I was born and raised in Kirkland, WA. and attended school in the LWSD. After high school, I went to Central Washington University and earned a BS in Physical Education and School Health. After completing my degree at CWU, I continued my education through Emporia State University earning a MS in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. I took my first teaching job a Carl Sandburg in the fall of 2003.

I have a wife named Stefanie and we have 3 children. The oldest attends Finn Hill Middle School and I have twins who attend Thoreau Elementary. During my time off, I love to camp with family and friends. If I’m not at school or with my family, you will find my exploring Washington rivers in search of Salmon and Steelhead.

I look forward to another great year and it’s a privilege to call Sandburg/DCS my home away from home!!




Bryan Melerski

Bryan Melerski

I have been the music teacher for Sandburg Elementary and Discovery Community School since 2017. Prior to this position, I taught at Bell Elementary for one year.

I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania and graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Education. In 2019 I completed my Master of Science degree in Curriculum & Instruction from Western Governors University.

Before moving to Washington in 2015 I was employed with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama (2011-2015) where I taught K-Grade 5 general music and Grades 6-8 band.

Outside of school my partner and I love to explore all that Seattle and the surrounding area has to offer; the Pacific Northwest is a great place to live and work. I love to cook, entertain, travel, and attend music/theatre events.

Special Services

Special Education Teacher

Jackie Lowdermilk

I’m originally from Visalia, California and moved to Redmond, Washington about four years ago. I earned my degrees and teaching credentials from California State University, Fresno. In 2010, I attended Chapman University and obtained my Autism Authorization certificate. For twelve years, I have served students in the resource setting for multiple grade levels. In addition to my work in the classroom, I spent two years at Seattle Pacific University helping student teachers obtain their special education certificates. When I’m not at school, I enjoy spending time with my amazing husband, Travis, our two awesome children, Noah and Jackson, our sweet cat, and our energetic chinchilla. We recently moved to Kenmore and spend most weekends working on our new home! I love gardening, sightseeing, and watching movies. Other unknown facts about me: I love sci-fi (books and movies), coffee Frappuccinos, Mexican food, and collect nail polish (strange – I know!).

Special Education Teacher

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

I was born and raised in Shoreline, Washington where I attended King’s Schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. During school I loved to play sports, particularly track/field and football. After graduating high school in 2011, I attended Shoreline Community College for two years and received an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education. My next stop was Western Washington University up in Bellingham, Washington, where I entered into the Woodring College of Education. After a long three year program, I graduated in June of 2017 with a dual endorsement in Special Education and Elementary Education. While attending Western I was heavily involved in the local YMCA where I worked before and after school care as well as numerous summer camps. This is my second year here at Sandburg/DCS and I am very happy to be back serving this community.

Safety Net Teacher

Marilyn Case

ELL Teacher

Teri Skaggs


Speech Teacher

Jessica Herrera

Occupational Therapist

Meika Nowak

Physical Therapist

Tiffaney Lansing


Amy Maglio

Amy Maglio

I was born and raised in Michigan but have been a die-hard Ohio State fan all of my life, thanks to a dad who attended there! I completed my graduate training at Central Michigan University and have my Masters and Specialist in Psychological Services degrees. I've been a school psychologist since 2012 and have worked at LWSD since 2015. I enjoy getting to know many amazing students and their families and being able to work with awesome school staff across the district!

In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my husband and our dog, cheering on my favorite teams (the Detroit Tigers and Buckeyes), curling up with a good book, and expanding my skills in the kitchen.



Tracy Measham

Tracy Measham

My name is Tracy, and I have been a school counselor for LWSD for the past 9 years. I am Canadian and grew up in North Vancouver, BC. I received a BSc. in Psychology from the University of Victoria,  which is where I met my husband Gordon. I earned my K-7 teaching certification from Simon Fraser University and went on teach in Vancouver, BC., while becoming a mom to three amazing daughters Allie, Jenna and Paige. Microsoft brought our family to Seattle, and while waiting for my green card to be processed, I went to Seattle U to earn my Masters in counseling.

When not working, you will find me watching my girls play soccer, volleyball and softball, traveling, reading, crafting and walking/playing with my 2 doodle dogs.

I love working with kids and strongly believe in building their courage, confidence and character through social skills education, leadership opportunities and small group counseling.

I am proud to work for such a strong school district and with my amazing colleagues at Carl Sandburg.

Instructional Aides


Extended Day