Three new members join the Paraeducator Board

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May 4, 2020


Educators Lizzy Sebring, Jamie Wells, and Lisa Markussen are the three newest members to be appointed to Washington State’s Paraeducator Board. Lizzy, Jamie, and Lisa bring a wealth of knowledge, professional experience, and a track record of commitment towards improving and advancing education policy. We look forward to the support and oversight they will bring to the Paraeducator Board. We look forward to welcoming our new members at the May and July board meetings, as well as celebrating our transitioning board members.

A farewell 

We want to thank founding Paraeducator Board members, Jessica Giffin and Mandy Manning, for their board service as they have transitioned into new experiences and roles within the state. In July, Ann Williamson, currently serving as the SBCTC representative, will also be stepping down as a board member. Thank you to each of you for your service to the Paraeducator Board in helping to guide policy for standards, training and the career ladder for Washington’s paraeducators.

Meet Lizzy: PTA representative


Lizzy Sebring is currently a paraeducator doing reading interventions at the elementary school level. She has also worked in a life skills room providing 1:1 support. Her three-year term on the Paraeducator Board began on April 13, 2020, and her first formal board meeting will be in May. 

As a new member of the Board, Lizzy most looks forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration. “I’m a people person and am very social, so it’s fascinating to me to meet new people and learn about their life experiences. I want to be able to educate myself on what the Board does, and how our policy recommendations will impact people.”

Lizzy’s background is in political science, and has led an active role in volunteer work, including the PTA, United Way of Snohomish County, and Washington Family and Community Engagement Trust. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in educational leadership. 

Meet Jamie: SBCTC representative 


Jamie Wells has served Washington State’s community and technical college system for over 24 years. In 2014, she became Director of the Center of Excellence for Careers in Education hosted at Green River College. Her term on the Paraeducator Board will begin following the May board meeting, and her first formal board meeting will be in July. 

When asked what she most looks forward to as a member of the Paraeducator Board, Jamie “believes this is an exciting time for our state’s instructional paraeducators because there are many opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills to best serve our students and schools.” She adds, “I am honored to represent the community and technical college system as we look at ways to support paraeducators’ continued growth and development. Our vision is to help them to the next point in their education should they decide to pursue a career in teaching.”

Jamie earned her associate degree at Highline College, a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science at Washington State University, and completed her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

Meet Lisa: Teacher representative


Lisa Markussen is currently a learning support teacher in the Edmonds School District. She works with students at Mountlake Terrace Elementary through both special education and the Title I reading intervention program. Her term on the Paraeducator Board will begin on April 10, 2020, and her first formal board meeting will be in May. 

In addition to her role as a classroom educator, Lisa’s professional experience includes a variety of state-level policy committees, including OSPI's Ready and Successful Schools Work Group. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to support students in P-12 from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, in a variety of educational settings. 

As a new board member, Lisa most looks forward to “being part of the continuing work to impact student learning by improving access to quality professional development opportunities for all educators and supporting the paraeducator certification system.” Lisa notes that she is often inspired by “the village” of working in a Title I school. “The love my colleagues put into their daily work with our students is what keeps the promise of public school alive.”

Lisa is a renewed National Board Certified Teacher (Exceptional Needs Specialist) and earned her master’s in early childhood special education from the University of Oregon.

About the Paraeducator Board

The Paraeducator Board was established by the Legislature to provide consistent statewide professional development training to instructional paraeducators so that they can best support the academic success of students.

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