• Board
  • Press Releases
Puget Sound Educational Service District Appoints Two New Board Directors

November 17, 2020

Renton, WA


The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Board of Directors is excited to announce its appointment of two new Board Directors. The two appointees fill vacant positions on the nine-member board.

Eric Harris (District 2, serving North/Central/West Seattle, Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island) and Mehret Tekle-Awarun (District 5, serving Renton, Kent and South Seattle) have been appointed to the PSESD Board of Directors. 


Eric Harris

Eric Harris is a native of North Carolina, but like many in the tech industry, has found the Pacific Northwest as his new home. He currently works as the Senior Program Manager at Microsoft helping bridge the customer experience journey across various Microsoft products.

During his spare time, he enjoys mentoring youth and young adults in the areas of technology, financial literacy, and personal development. He is active in his local church and volunteers in the local community with organizations such as S.O.D.A. and the Red Cross. His previous experience with organizations such as HIP, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The Boys and Girls Club has shaped much of his perspectives around things such as food security, educational programs, and public advocacy. He understands the necessity of equity in education and serves with different organizations empowering local leaders to think differently about the present issues and how they can reduce or solve them. 

His passion for helping others has led him to author two books on technology platforms, speak at various engagements, volunteer as a strategic business consultant for small businesses, and help organizations locally and at the state level address issues facing many at-risk youth/families today.


Mehret Tekle-Awarun

Mehret Tekle-Awarun is Senior Manager of Education Strategy at Building Changes, a statewide agency that works across systems to advance equitable responses that address housing and education crises experienced by children, youth, and families. Mehret transforms ideas into action, fostering the supportive relationships and healthy environments needed to improve student centered services for the more than 40,000 students experiencing homelessness in Washington. 

She has more than a decade of experience working for school districts and the nonprofit sector in South King County. Mehret is an equity-driven and highly experienced manager with a history in leading successful program development and initiatives for low income and immigrant and refugee communities’ access to education and health opportunities.

Mehret currently resides in Renton with her husband and toddler daughter. Mehret grew up in a rich culturally connected community of Southeast Seattle where she was influenced greatly by her upbringing. She is committed toward culturally responsive solutions that respect and honor the perspectives and strengths of all families and students. She believes strongly that families are experts in their children’s lives, and students are experts in identifying their academic goals. An Eritrean American, Mehret works in cordial partnership with families, students, and communities that have been historically marginalized to ensure they are engaged fully in the education process and achieve education justice. Mehret relates well to the desires of educators, families, and students to be successful, having achieved success herself through the encouragement and support she received from her schools, her family, and her community.


"The primary work of the PSESD Board is to oversee and guide the PSESD in achieving our End, Success for Each Child and Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity. I am confident our new board directors will contribute tremendously to this important work," said Jordan Posamentier, PSESD Board Chair. 

ESDs are governed by a board of directors consisting of seven or nine citizens who are accountable to and elected by the school board members in the region's public school districts. The board members represent geographic director districts based on U.S. Census data. 

The ESD boards provide direction to their superintendent who is advised by local school district superintendents. Newly appointed board members were sworn into their positions at the October 16, 2020 Board Meeting, held virtually. Each appointee will be required to run in the next general ESD Board Director election in fall 2021.



The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Board of Directors is excited to announce its appointment of two new Board Directors. The two appointees fill vacant positions on the nine-member board.

Eric Harris (District 2, serving North/Central/West Seattle, Bainbridge Island and Vashon Island) and Mehret Tekle-Awarun (District 5, serving Renton, Kent and South Seattle) have been appointed to the PSESD Board of Directors. 

Read More about Puget Sound Educational Service District Appoints Two New Board Directors
Closing Gaps with the Washington State Fellows’ Network

The Washington State Fellows’ Network is a leadership program focused on equitable mindsets and practices. Puget Sound Fellows are teacher leaders, instructional coaches, administrators and curriculum specialists across our 35 districts. Fellows focus on standards-based, racially just and humanizing instruction in their content area. Consulting research and national and statewide guidance on equitable practices and change management, Fellows learn together to evolve their individual practices and leadership. Fellows apply their learning in an action plan to target an opportunity gap in the school or district in partnership with their principals

Read More about Closing Gaps with the Washington State Fellows’ Network
Leaders in LTFS: Christina deVidal

How to Become an Antiracist Educator

Christina deVidal from Lake Washington School District, is an educator and a member of the PSESD ELA Fellows network. Christina will be presenting to the WA Senate Committee on Early Learning & K–12 Education on November 30 about her journey as a culturally-responsive and antiracist educator. In this interview, Christina talks about her journey as a teacher, her “why” for teaching, and what it means to be antiracist educator.  

Read More about Leaders in LTFS: Christina deVidal
Creating Connections through the PSESD Student Support Center

Creating Connections Through the PSESD Student Support Center

As we return to school, we are discovering students are enrolling and showing up. What we are learning is that many of our students are lonely and have felt disconnected and possibly abandoned by the adults they depend on. Our youth crave and value the feeling of being cared for by adults. Social-emotional learning, per se, is not a curricula, a task, or a universal screening with a triage procedure. Each of these have a place, as they are designed to support youth and enable access to needed resources. However, these are strategies only. Strategies are not what create connections and are not the things that are sought out first. They are activities that become effective once a youth feels cared for, connected to, and valued for who they are. We cannot create that kind of connection by focusing on being busy, creating structures, and leading with a need for efficiency. 

Read More about Creating Connections through the PSESD Student Support Center
Implementation Plan Approved in Support of King County Promise

On September 1, 2020, the Martin Luther King County Council approved the implementation plan for historic legislation investing $318 million to improve educational outcomes for children and youth over the next 15 years. The investment, funded through voter-approved Sound Transit 3 proceeds, supports King County children and youth across the entire age spectrum, from early learning through college, career and technical education completion.

Read More about Implementation Plan Approved in Support of King County Promise
Young students playing with puzzle pieces

Back in March, all Educare Learning Network schools closed their physical locations in response to COVID-19. Just a month later, Educare Seattle was the first Network school to reopen their building, providing on-site childcare for enrolled children and families of essential workers. We touched base with Educare Site Manager Aeryn King to hear about her journey to her current position and the lessons learned along the way.

Read More about Stories Across the Agency - July 2020 - Adapting to Change with Aeryn King
Two babies and mother play with rattles

Four mothers share their experiences being parents in the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). With help from PSESD's Early Head Start at WCCW, the mothers are able to build healthy relationships with their children, receive parenting and childcare support, participate in child development education, and prepare for their futures upon release.

Read More about PSESD Early Head Start at WCCW Supports Mothers and Children From the Beginning
Educare Seattle logo

At the onset of the pandemic, Educare Seattle took a bold step in assessing the risks and rewards of reopening, to provide services to parents who are first responders. After adopting and implementing strict policies, procedures and practices for health and safety of staff and students, the White Center-based service, carefully welcomed students back in early April. Read about the process here. Learn more about how Educare was founded and their guiding principles.

Read More about Educare Seattle Leads the Way in Early Childhood Education
Screenshot of ISB animated video

PSESD’S Science Department, in partnership with Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), offered a number of four-hour workshops for STEM teachers. The powerful event connected workshop participants with practicing scientists and engineers from ISB to maximize professional development and learning.

Read More about Systems are Everywhere
Students and teacher outside at ReLife

Principal Lynne Truitt and the ReLife staff have found a creative way to engage students with the invention of Amusement Park Month! Each student will have a 30-minute, in-person, outdoor physically distanced educational activity and interaction with staff to get new assignments, drop off completed work, get important school messages and information, and enjoy tasty treats.

Read More about July is ReLife Amusement Park Month
Best Starts for Kids King County Logo

The PSESD Strategy, Evaluation, and Learning team joined with partners at Mill Creek Middle School in Kent School District to host a webinar on June 11, 2020. We shared what we are learning about equitable partnerships in schools through the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) School Partnership Evaluation.

Read More about Learning about Equitable Partnerships in Schools with Best Starts for Kids Investments
Regional Art Show Screenshot

Superintendent Chris Reykdal, and our Washington State school community of 16 student honorees, a host of teachers, parents and friends, celebrated the arts on May 29 in Olympia, Washington via Zoom conferencing. For the first time in Art Show history, people gathered online to celebrate the work and accomplishments of the artists. See a replay of the show on Facebook and view the online gallery.

Read More about Celebrating Student Artists at the 2020 Superintendent's High School Art Show
Black Lives Matter

Puget Sound Educational Service District acknowledges the pain, anger and trauma resulting from George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, Monday, May 25, 2020. All PSESD offices will be closed starting at noon, Friday, June 12, as we stand with our Black and African-American colleagues, friends and loved ones, as well as people that advocate and fight for humanity, against racism of all forms, in the statewide silent march and general strike to end police violence against the Black community.

Read More about Racial Trauma Press Release