Rainier Prep’s Founding School Leader Maggie O’Sullivan has served as a teacher, a para-educator, a coach, and a principal in public schools throughout the Seattle area for 20 years. She is inspired by teachers and students who are pushing their limits to stretch for something better for themselves and others. Ms. O'Sullivan works at Rainier Prep because she believes that "what I do matters, so I try to do it well." She has received awards for her leadership from her high school, her college, and her principal program.
When not working, Ms. O'Sullivan likes to be outside to hike, ski, garden, and play with her dog Stella. She spent a year between her two principalships traveling from Guatemala to the tip of South America, mostly by yellow school bus. She would like to learn how to speak several other languages fluently.
Maggie attended Bowdoin College (BA), Wesleyan University (MA), Stanford (MA), and UW (Principal Certification – Danforth).
Director of Operations
Karen Lobos is excited to give back to the community in which she grew up and to share the unique educational opportunities Rainier Prep has to offer with prospective families. As a Cohort II Alumna of Rainier Scholars, a First-Generation graduate of Scripps College, and daughter of Latino immigrants, Ms. Lobos understands first-hand the impact a supportive yet challenging academic community can have in the lives of students who face a number of barriers to achieving higher education. The most inspiring part of her job is working alongside families and teachers to support students in their academic journeys.
When not working, she likes to spending time with family or in nature. She would like to learn more languages!
Karen attended Scripps College (BA) and the University of Washington (MPA).
Director of Instruction
Morgan Fernandez works at Rainier Prep to be a part of a different option for students and families that provides a supportive and rigorous learning environment based on our community’s needs. The most inspiring part of her job is seeing the small light bulbs of learning that take place each day for each student, and bearing witness to major growth in students over time here. When not working, she enjoys teaching her dog new tricks, cooking, and reading mystery novels.
She grew up in Portland, OR, although her favorite place that she’s lived is Cape Town, South Africa. She began her career teaching 3rd and 4th grade in DC, and then moved to Seattle as Rainier Prep’s founding 5th grade math teacher. She would like to learn how to speak Spanish to communicate with more families at school as well as with her husband’s family.
Morgan attended Colgate University (BA), Trinity University (MA), and Seattle University (SpEd endorsement).
Gisela Mella works at Rainier Prep to give back to the community she grew up in. The most inspiring part of her job is helping parents, and eliminating language barriers so that parents can be part of their students’ education. When not working, she likes traveling, photography, hiking, and exploring Seattle.
She has traveled to Chile and Cuba for service trips, and she would like to learn how speak multiple languages.
Gisela attends Highline College, currently working on her degree in Business Administration.
7th Grade Science Teacher
Perry Anderson works at Rainier Prep because our administration, teachers, students, and families all are enthusiastic and committed to an excellent science program. The most inspiring part of her job is seeing students work really creatively and collaboratively in lab. When not working, she likes swimming in lakes, playing soccer, and watching her dog learn new things.
She has previously lived on four continents as well as New Zealand! She taught 4th grade in New York City before moving to India to teach English, then made her way to Seattle for 7th grade science. She would like to learn how to speak all languages.
Perry attended Whitman College (BA) and UW (M.Ed.).
5th Grade Science Teacher
Lamia Abdalkader works at Rainier Prep because the community that she found at Rainier Prep feels like home -- “It is nice to be home again after 7 years!” She is inspired by getting to work with students at this amazing phase of their lives, to learn about their needs, and to support in the best way she can. When not working, she enjoys biking and gardening.
Previously, Ms. Abdul worked at Inglemoor High School (WA), Kawasaki School of Medicine (Japan), and Mansoura University (Egypt). She would like to learn more about sports and the local teams here. She has lived in Egypt, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. She loves water, and is afraid of heights and spiders.
Ms. Abdul attended Okayama University School of Medicine (PhD) and Mansoura University (MS, M.B.B.Ch).
Nico Andrade works at Rainier Prep to help students have the same opportunities he did when he was younger that they otherwise might not have. The most inspiring part of his job is seeing the students grow and mature throughout their years here to become more confident in themselves and more passionate about their own education. When not working, he enjoys running on his own time as well as in races. He has run 3 marathons as of this year, with plans to run more!
He has recently visited Machu Picchu in Peru with plans to travel more in the future. Previously, he worked with Rainier Scholars as a Student Advisor. He would love to learn how to play the guitar.
Nico attended Union College (BS) and currently Seattle University (Ed.S.).
5th and 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Michael Augustine works at Rainier Prep because “I am dedicated to building relationships with our students and reaffirming the strengths and joy they have as middle schoolers.” Aside from joining pick-up basketball on occasion during recess, he is inspired by seeing students present in class or at school-wide community meetings. When not working, he enjoys cooking, hiking, drinking coffee, and writing.
Previously, Michael worked with young people in the context of writing tutoring, voter registration, and teaching English as a foreign language. He would like to learn to speak conversational Vietnamese. He spent a year after college living and teaching in Viet Nam's Mekong Delta, which allowed him to deeply explore the country and even get out and visit places like Laos, Hong Kong, and Thailand.
Michael attended Whitman College (BA).
6th and 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Rachel Berner-Hays is excited to work at Rainier Prep “where we see value in our students and their communities and work to empower young leaders.” She is inspired when students take ownership of their education and are able to advocate for what they need and want. When not working, she enjoys cooking and eating yummy food with family and friends, as well as being on or near water.
Previously, Rachel served as an AmeriCorps College Coach with College Access Now for two years, working with 11th and 12th grade students at Nathan Hale High School. She would like to learn to speak and understand lots of languages!
Rachel attended Scripps College (BA).
5th Grade Science Teacher + Science Content Lead
Gabie Brosas works at Rainier Prep because of the flexibility and support to give students educational opportunities in a public school setting: “We have a very special school culture which fosters student learning and leadership.” As a science teacher, she loves seeing students get excited by their coursework and making connections between science and their worlds. When not working, she enjoys spending time with family, playing soccer, cooking, and playing board games.
Prior to Rainier Prep, she tutored and mentored students through AVID and City Year. Her wish is for all students to have equitable access to quality education. She feels a strong connection to the Seattle community and is excited that she gets to build her teaching career as a member of the Rainier Prep staff.
Gabie attended Whitman College (BA) and the University of Washington (MIT).
Finance and Human Relations Officer
Kamille Dye works at Rainier Prep because “this school makes a difference in the lives of people in my community.” She is inspired by seeing future generations value their education and worth as leaders in their community. When not working, she enjoys gardening, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and advocating for wider inclusion of all people in our communities and school systems.
Previously, she was a founding staff member at Rainier Prep (Operations, along with helping to start our drama program), and now is glad to be back. She would like to learn how to speak Spanish and ASL.
Kamille attended University of Montana (BA).
Student Support Specialist
Krystel Ferris works at Rainier Prep because she really loves the culture we've created here: staff collaboration, the mindset we all share of "students first", and how we celebrate student diversity and emphasize being an active member of both school and outside communities. The most inspiring part of her job is watching students discover their leadership abilities and how to take ownership of their learning: “It amazes me how students use their experiences and the skills we teach them to not only voice their ideas and opinions but also find ways to act on them as well.”
When not working, she likes reading, and arts and crafts. Previously, she served in the Americorps program City Year for two years at Highland Park Elementary and was the Art Camp director for Boys and Girls Club in Kirkland. She would like to learn how to use more fine art techniques.
Krystel attended Hofstra University and Wilmington University.
Learning Specialist + EL Content Lead
Dinorah Flores works at Rainier Prep to create sustainable change that will impact our communities in a positive way: “My core values align with the vision of Rainier Prep to prepare a path for students to access higher education and become leaders in their communities.” She is inspired getting to know the families that make up our school, since everyone brings something unique that adds to our community in enriching ways. When not working, she enjoys reading, writing poetry, daydreaming, exploring different parks in her neighborhood, and talking with people about interesting or funny topics.
She previously lived in Navajo, NM, where she taught an amazing group of 2nd grade kids. She has also done community advocacy work in South Seattle.
Dinorah attended University of Washington (BA) and the University of New Mexico for graduate coursework.
Physical Education Teacher
Joseph Froehlich works at Rainier Prep because of the good energy from both students and staff. The chance to support and teach in such a welcoming environment was one he could not pass up. He is inspired by seeing young students engaging and learning with each other, and watching them grow to understand that they have the abilities to succeed: “This is what inspires me to provide the best experience I can.” When not working, he enjoys exploring art.
Previously, Joseph has worked in youth development in both athletic and educational settings for over a decade. He has always wanted to learn how to backflip like Nani. He has spent time in his home country of Paraguay, and plans to return as soon as possible.
Joseph attended Beloit College (BS).
5th Grade Math Teacher
Renn Gutierrez chooses to work at Rainier Prep because he believes that we are changing outcomes for students in south King County: “Our students are expected to work hard, and the rigor that we set is pretty challenging for a lot of students to meet. However, because of the way we hold kids accountable, they are consistently encouraged to rise to high standards.” The most inspiring part of his job is having students start the year not enjoying math, and ending the year excited to learn more about math in 6th grade.
Previously, he served with City Year Seattle/King County as an AmeriCorps member and as a Program Manager. His number one goal in life is to beat Indika Ekanayake at ping pong.
Renn attended UCLA (BA) and UW (MIT).
8th Grade Science Teacher
Bashar Haidar works at Rainier Prep because “this is a unique school with an inspiring mission that resonates with me as an educator. It harnesses the power of education to transform individual lives and communities.” He is inspired by the students' ability to adapt to new surroundings, and to see them grow and develop strong opinions of their own about the society that surrounds them. When not working, he enjoys hiking, reading on his balcony, and mountain biking.
Previously, Bashar was working with students from all over the world with a focus on conflict resolution, peacemaking, and sustainability. He grew up in Lebanon, and lived in Armenia for two years before moving to Washington. He loves traveling, regularly visits Tbilisi and Istanbul, and he would like to learn glassblowing.
Bashar attended United World College Dilijan and Whitman College (BA).
6th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Stacy Harbour-Van Hoy works at Rainier Prep because Rainier Prep feels like family: present, supportive, and with the highest of expectations for its students, families, and staff. “It's like tough love: challenging, and good for you, too.” She is inspired by those moments when we connect; whether it's over a common interest, understanding of a new topic, or mastery of a new skill, and seeing the joy that comes with these "light bulbs" is pretty great. When not working, she is roller skating!
Previously, Stacy worked at The Museum of Flight in curriculum development in STEAM topics for middle + high school youth. She has worked in education for just about 20 years now. She would like to learn to speak another language fluently. Stacy was born in Arizona, and has lived in both the desert and the mountains. “Appreciate it all,” but she will always choose to live near water.
Stacy attended the University of Washington (BA) and the University of Colorado-Boulder (MA).
Family Engagement Manager
Kowsar Hassan works at Rainier Prep because it's a school that holds every student to high expectations academically, and it prepares a diverse background of students for a path to higher education. “As a first-generation college student, I understand the barriers students face, and I’m excited to give back to my community.” The most inspiring part of her job is creating a collaborative environment between teachers, families, and students and eliminating language barriers so parents can be involved in all aspects of their children's education. When not working, she likes spending time with family, reading books, and exploring the outdoors with her sisters.
Previously, Kowsar interned for Communities in Schools as as case manager with students. She is starting to learn how to speak Arabic. She has lived in Kenya and migrated to this country 10 years ago.
Kowsar attended the University of Washington-Tacoma (BS).
Director of Development
Scott Hicke works at Rainier Prep because he enjoys starting new initiatives and collaborating with smart, dedicated change-agents for meaningful social justice. He is inspired by how the staff, students, and families have created a community school where the emphasis on building students’ confident, powerful voices is so strong. When not working, he loves hiking and exploring mountains, listening to KEXP, and following through on book recommendations.
Previously, he has taught neuroscience, evolution, and aerospace science in DC and Seattle, and he has also worked as a musician, ghostwriter, and curriculum developer when not traveling. He would like to learn how to fly a plane and skydive.
Scott attended Saint Joseph's University (BS), Duke University (MTS), and Fordham University (MA).
6th Grade Science Teacher
Vanessa Howard works at Rainier Prep because “I want to be part of a team that is committed to building genuine relationships and bringing exciting STEM opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds.” She is inspired by watching students grow through challenging and complex areas of learning. When not working, she enjoys listening to music, jumping rope, and making treats with her daughter.
Previously, Vanessa conducted and presented engineering lab research, participated in STEM outreach, and worked in an engineering charter school in Boise, ID. She would like to learn how to speak another language and play the piano. She grew up in Idaho, lived in both Oklahoma and Kansas, and recently settled in the great state of Washington.
Vanessa attended the University of Oklahoma (BS) and Boise State University (3 years of coursework in Biomedical Engineering), and currently attends the University of Washington (MiT).
Food Service Coordinator
Maria Juarez works at Rainier Prep because she likes the cultural diversity and the great opportunity that is offered to each student. She is inspired by how each student receives adequate food, and that they feel happy when taking their food. Maria coordinates parents and volunteers to help with food prep, service, and clean-up, bringing even more attention and joy to the students' time away from their academic classes. When not working, she loves spending time with her family (including one of our alums from the Class of 2019), especially walking, playing cards, or going shopping.
Previously, Maria worked in restaurant service. She would like to learn to play the guitar and the piano.
5th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Lynnie Kehoe works at Rainier Prep because of the value on rigor and high academic standards: “Teaching at Rainier Prep also allows me to create my own curriculum to meet the unique needs of my students, and to practice teaching methods that I believe are best for young learners.” She is inspired whenever her students are engaged in a thoughtful, lively discussion, and witnessing their thought processes in real time. When not working, she likes reading, watching TV, and spending time with her cat, friends, and family.
She is from New York State, and has driven coast to coast a total of five times! She recently found her passion for teaching reading, writing, and children's literature when she managed a reading tutoring center for elementary students. Someday, she would like to learn how to speak several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin.
Lynnie attended Allegheny College (BS) and University of Pennsylvania (M.S.Ed.).
School Social Worker
Shauna Larson works at Rainier Prep so that she can be part of a closely-knit, community-based option to traditional public education. “The most inspiring part of being at Rainier Prep is the trust and teamwork developed between the school, families, and students, and being able to support all learners as they achieve their social and scholarly goals.” When not working, she likes going to movies, spending time with family, and watching Seattle sports teams.
Previously, Ms. Larson worked in the office of Diversity and Community and in Global Programs at a local independent school. Ms. Larson is thrilled to be part of the dynamic learning community at Rainier Prep!
Shauna attended Scripps College (BA) and the University of Washington (MSW).
8th Grade Language Arts Teacher + ELA Content Lead
Shakari Lige works at Rainier Prep because “Rainier Prep believes that even as a middle school, students should be preparing and thinking about college. For this reason, I immediately knew Rainier Prep was the perfect fit for me!” The most inspiring part of her job is witnessing the growth and changes that students make over the course of a school year. When not working, she likes watching Netflix and trying out different restaurants.
She has taught five years of middle school (Science & ELA). She would like to learn how to fly an airplane.
Shakari attended Bowling Green State University (BS, M.Ed.).
7th Grade Math Teacher + Special Education Lead
Mash Makhlyagina works at Rainier Prep because of the sense of inclusion and community -- "you can feel it radiate from students and teachers!" They are inspired by seeing all students grow into their best selves, surprising themselves at how much they can achieve. When not working, Mash is conquering their annual book list, hiking, and learning to be a better cook.
Previously, Mash worked with diverse learners ages 4-26 in the classroom as a teacher, as a program educator in foster care agencies, and as a nonprofit organizer. They would like to learn how to build a house from scratch. Mash immigrated from Ukraine when they were almost five years old.
Mash attended McDaniel College (BA) and Relay Graduate School of Education (MA).
7th Grade Language Arts Teacher
John Masla works at Rainier Prep because “I am able to constantly learn, work with people I respect to solve problems and overcome challenges, and be part of a caring community.” Seeing students put in hard work that leads to incredible growth, both personally and academically, is the most inspiring part of his job. When not working, he likes reading, playing basketball, and cooking.
He previously lived in Sarawak, Malaysia on the island of Borneo, and in Rome, Italy. He was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Grant in Malaysia.
John attended Whitman College (BA) and University of Washington (M.Ed.).
English Language Coordinator
Heather McKey works at Rainier Prep because “I want to work at a school with a strong mission that ties to social justice.” The most inspiring part of her job is that the teachers she supports are fantastic educators. When not working, she enjoys time with her children exploring local parks, rivers, beaches, and mountains.
She previously lived in VeraCruz, Mexico on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Heather taught middle school English in Prague, Czech Republic, as well as English Language Learners in public and private schools in the Seattle area and in several foreign countries.
Heather attended Princeton University (BA).
Dean of College Success
Shannon Smith Moe loves working at Rainier Prep because “I collaborate daily with a community of talented educators in our shared goal of improving our craft and offering the best education possible to our students. Our flexibility as a small charter school allows us to work closely with families to quickly adapt to the ever-changing strengths and needs of our students.” The most inspiring part of her job is watching our students develop a strong sense of agency and seeing the meaningful leadership roles they take on in their community and high schools.
When not working, she likes traveling, relaxing, or exploring the outdoors with her young son and husband. Before joining Rainier Prep, Shannon served 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, South America and 6 years teaching Biology and AVID at Federal Way High School. She would like to learn how to play the violin!
Shannon attended University of Washington (BS, BA) and Harvard (M.Ed.).
6th Grade Math Teacher
Minh Anh Nguyen works at Rainier Prep because “I admire the staff's dedication to the students' success and I believe this small and tight-knit community provides the crucial support for students to develop into scholars and leaders.” The most inspiring part of her job is thinking of creative ways to explain a lesson to help students understand a tricky concept and the rewarding aha! moments when an idea just clicks. When not working, she enjoys painting and other creative projects, traveling, and hiking.
Previously, Minh served as a camp counselor with Camp Kesem (a camp for kids affected by their parents' cancer) and as an advisor to incoming first-year college students. She would like to learn how to fly a plane. She was born in Vietnam, grew up in Portland, Oregon, and later studied abroad in Spain for 6 weeks and in Chile and Argentina for 4 months. She is a first-generation college student, a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, and a Gate Millennium Scholar.
Minh attended Yale University (BA).
Dean of Humanities
Allison Robbins works at Rainier Prep because of our commitment to meeting the needs of each individual student and family, and the collaborative spirit in pursuit of educational equity and opportunity. The most inspiring part of her job is the mindfulness, drive, and enthusiasm of our students and families. When not working, she likes running, trying out new restaurants, time with friends and family, and watching old movies.
She has lived in Brooklyn, NY; Charlotte, NC; Los Angeles, CA; and Park City, UT. Previously, she taught Social Studies and English-Language Arts at the middle school level in Charlotte and Brooklyn. She would like to learn how to fold a fitted sheet properly.
Allison attended University of Southern California (BA) and the Relay Graduate School of Education (MA).
8th Grade Math Teacher
Xochi Suarez works at Rainier Prep because of its community-driven mission that truly finds a way to empower students, while simultaneously providing them with skills that can further their own careers as they navigate life. The most inspiring part of her job is the ability to get to know so many people and really feel connected with both students and families. When not working, she enjoys being in her hammock, hiking, concerts, painting, and reading in her free time! She also loves sharing good food with people that she loves.
Previously, Xochi mentored students in the South King County area through the University of Washington Dream Project, which furthered her understanding of what educational equity can look like and the need for greater resources for our students in preparing them for their futures. She would like to learn how to speak French, and to be a better cook so that she stops eating so many bagels. Xochi has lived in the Seattle area her whole life and grew up in Kent.
Xochi attended the University of Washington (BS).
Dean of STEM
Tim Tran is excited to move back to the Pacific Northwest where he grew up to work at Rainier Prep. He is a proud Vietnamese American and loved growing up with his huge Vietnamese family, including over 30 cousins. Tim loves working with students and helping them grow and experience success. When not working, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, and traveling to new places.
Previously, Tim spent the last 10 years as a secondary math instructor and Dean of Students at YES Prep Southwest in Houston, Texas. He would like to learn to be fluent in more languages. He was born in Texas, was raised in Seattle, moved back to Texas after college, and is now returning to his Seattle roots.
Tim attended University of Washington-Seattle (BA) and Rice University (MBA).
Brie Wattier works at Rainier Prep because of the trust, support, and confidence we have from families to do what's best for their child, and the freedom to create a curriculum that is interesting, thought-provoking, and relevant for students. The most inspiring part of her job is when a student discovers a new interest or passion for something they've never experienced/learned about before. When not working, she likes playing with her kitty, Lucy, scrapbooking, and playing outside (hiking, camping, kayaking).
She lived in London for 3 months, studying Victorian British literature and theatre: “It was absolutely the highlight of my entire college career and I think everyone should be given the opportunity to study abroad in college.” Previously, she worked as an Intervention Specialist for Shoreline School District. She would like to learn how to scuba dive!
Brie attended the University of Washington (BA, M.Ed.).
Physical Education Teacher
Sarah Wheeler works at Rainier Prep because she loves the educational culture here. The most inspiring part of her job is working with students and co-workers. When not working, she likes cooking, traveling, and hanging out with friends.
Previously, Sarah has coached soccer and sailing, and she has since moved to classroom teaching and educational program coordination. She has worked with K-12 students, college students, and adults. She would like to continue to learn new recipes and explore more places.
Sarah attended Cuesta College (AS) and the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA).
8th Grade Math Teacher + Math Content Lead
Nora White works at Rainier Prep because growth made in middle school can have a huge impact on outcomes. In her previous work with high school students, she saw students build their success on a strong foundation from middle school. She is constantly inspired by the dedication of both students and staff to the ability to grow and improve: “Just because something isn't working for you one day, it won’t be that way forever. Just because you're doing something well, does not mean you can't make it better. I love working at a place where everyone is seeking to improve themselves.”
She previously spent a semester studying mathematics while living in Budapest, Hungary. As an AmeriCorps Member, she worked with students at Como Park Senior High in St. Paul, MN on college and scholarship applications.
Nora attended Carleton College (BA) and the University of Washington (M.Ed.).
Anna Casey works at Rainier Prep because teachers, administrators, and all staff embody the persona of the “warm demander,” an adult who develops strong relationships with each student while holding them to high expectations. The most inspiring part of her job is seeing student growth and celebrating with students and families as they meet their goals. When not working, she enjoys reading, walking around Green Lake, and playing video games.
She grew up on the foggy coast of California, in a little town with the world’s only Taco Bell that’s right on the beach. Previously, she was a Licensed Nuclear Reactor Operator. She would like to learn enough Spanish to present assessment results to Spanish-speaking parents.
Anna attended Reed College (BA) and UC Berkeley (PhD).