Greg Baker

Greg Baker

Superintendent

Dr. Greg Baker became superintendent of Bellingham Public Schools in July 2010. During his first year, he prioritized partnering with staff, students, families and our community to develop The Bellingham Promise, a living document serving as the district’s strategic plan, a plan that continues to guide the work of our school district every day.

In recognition of his outstanding leadership, Dr. Baker was named the 2020 Washington State Superintendent of the Year by the Washington Association of School Administrators. He was also awarded the 2014 Washington state Crystal Apple Award, in recognition of his commitment to inclusive and transparent communications and The Bellingham Promise.

Prior to leading in Bellingham, he served as a deputy superintendent for Portland Public Schools, as an intern and special assistant to the superintendent of Boston Public Schools and as an administrator for Spokane Public Schools. He began his career in Alaska as a teacher and assistant coach. Dr. Baker earned his doctorate from Harvard University; a master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University; a master’s degree in secondary education from Western Washington University; and a bachelor’s degree with distinction from Gonzaga University. He and his wife live in Bellingham with their three children, who attend or are alumni of Bellingham Public Schools.

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Jackie Brawley

Jacqueline Brawley

Executive Director, Communications and Community Relations

Jacqueline Brawley was hired as the Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations in March 2018, after serving as the communications director for five years with Bellingham Public Schools. Brawley graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She worked at KGMI for eight years as a news reporter, morning anchor and later as a program director. Brawley then worked as the director of marketing for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism for three years. Brawley and her husband live in Bellingham with their small children.

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Mike Copland

Michael Copland

Deputy Superintendent

Dr. Mike Copland joined Bellingham Public Schools in the summer of 2013 to serve as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. He began his teaching career at Whatcom Middle School, later becoming assistant principal there and went on to lead Shuksan and Fairhaven middle schools as principal during the 1990s.

Dr. Copland served as a lead senior program officer on the U.S. team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation prior to returning to Bellingham. Copland previously served as associate professor and chair of the area of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington College of Education, and directed the Leadership for Learning Ed. D. program there. Earlier, Copland served as a faculty member and director of the Prospective Principals Program at Stanford University.

He graduated from Bellingham High School, and earned his bachelor’s degree in music and master’s degree in school administration, both from Western Washington University. His doctorate is from Stanford University. He and his wife, Brenda, also a Bellingham native and graduate of Bellingham High and WWU, have three grown children.

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Arionda Feeney

Arionda Feeney

Executive Director, Human Resources

Arionda Feeney was hired as the Executive Director of Human Resources in July 2022. Previously, Ari served as principal at Carl Cozier since 2018. Prior to her principalship, she taught at Wade King Elementary and served as a dean at Silver Beach. Before joining our district in 2015, Ari taught at St. Paul’s Academy in Bellingham and Kealakehe Elementary School in Hawaii. She was an elementary principal at Westside School in Seattle from 2013-15. Ari has a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science, and master’s degree of education from Western Washington University. She is nationally board certified in literacy and received her administrative certification in 2012. Before going into education, Ari worked as a paralegal for seven years at two different law firms in Seattle and Bellingham.

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Kurt Gazow

Kurt Gazow

Executive Director, Educational Technology

Kurt Gazow was hired as Executive Director of Educational Technology in January 2014. He previously worked for Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Wash. as the manager of information technology, a senior leadership position for the fifth largest school district in Washington state. He worked for Evergreen from 2005 until he joined Bellingham Public Schools. In Evergreen he was known for using his leadership in information technology to facilitate the creativity and success of students and staff. From 1999-2005, he was technology director for Camas School District. Previously, he worked as Academic Cooperative program manager for Microsoft. Gazow has his bachelor's degree from the University of Washington.

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Jay Jordan

Jay Jordan

Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning

Dr. Jay Jordan was hired as Executive Director of Teaching and Learning in April 2018 and became Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning in November 2020. Previously, Jordan served as principal at Shuksan Middle School from 2011-15. In 2014, Jordan was the recipient of the Leader of the Year Award for Bellingham Public Schools. Jordan began his educational career in the classroom teaching English from 1996-2005. From 2005-11, he was an assistant principal in Spokane Public Schools. More recently, Jordan worked as a consultant for the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, Calif. During the 2017-18 school year, Jordan served as resident to the superintendent of Cambridge Public Schools in Massachusetts. Jordan has a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Washington State University and a master’s degree in education from City University. He earned his principal certification from Washington State University. In June 2018, Jordan earned his doctorate in education leadership from Harvard University. During his career, Jordan has focused on supporting children who are most in need and helping school leaders develop safe, healthy, and thriving school cultures for students and staff to learn and work.

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Isabel Meaker

Isabel Meaker

Executive Director, Family Engagement

Isabel Meaker was first introduced to Bellingham Public Schools as an AmeriCorps Volunteer working as a diversity specialist with Woodring College of Education in 2009. In 2011, Meaker was hired as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Family Engagement. In 2019, she became the Executive Director of Family Engagement. Meaker has a bachelor's degree in business from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Western Washington University.

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Simone Sangster

Simone Sangster

Assistant Superintendent, Finance

Dr. Simone Sangster was hired as Assistant Superintendent of Finance in May 2015. Since 2011, Dr. Sangster worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Lane County School District 4J in Eugene, Ore., and also oversaw nutritional services. Prior, she worked as Assistant Superintendent for Finance, Operations and School Support in Bellevue School District. While working on her doctorate, she conducted research analysis for Education Resource Strategies. She earned her doctorate from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and her bachelor's degree from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

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Jessica Sankey

Jessica Sankey

Executive Director, Operations

Jessica Sankey was hired as the Executive Director of Operations in April 2020. She has served as our district’s director of wellness since 2015. Sankey is known and respected in many of our schools through her previous position as wellness director and her former position as coordinator of the Whatcom Early Learning Alliance and coordinator of our Farm-to-School Advisory Group. She’s worked in many areas in our community, including the planning and administering of a Pediatric Obesity Task Force from 2007-2009. She has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s from Northwestern University. Sankey also has children in our schools.

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Matthew Whitten portrait photo

Matthew Whitten

Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources

Matt Whitten was hired as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources in July 2022. Matt served as the principal of Shuksan Middle School and has as principal of Birchwood and Geneva elementary schools over the last 11 years. Prior to coming to Bellingham Public Schools, he was the principal of Concrete Elementary School (K-8) and worked as a program support specialist in Arlington. He started his career as a physical education specialist in 2002. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Pacific Lutheran University and his master’s degree in educational leadership and principal certification from City University.

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