Board Members Take Oath of Office, Dec. 11

At the Dec. 11 meeting, Superintendent Greg Baker administered the Oath of Office to new school board member Katie Rose following her election in November, and re-elected board members Kelly Bashaw and Camille Diaz Hackler. Each December, the board also elects a president and vice president from among its members. The school board elected Doug Benjamin as president and Jenn Mason as vice president.

The Bellingham school board governs by focusing on outcomes – what Bellingham Public Schools students and graduates should know, understand and be able to do as defined in The Bellingham Promise.

The board consists of five members elected at large by district voters:

Elected to the School Board in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2015 and 2019, Kelly Bashaw earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Tulsa. She works as an educational planner, financial aid advisor and grant coordinator at Whatcom Community College. Ms. Bashaw has lived in Bellingham since 1994 and has two children who have attended district schools.

Douglas Benjamin was appointed to the vacant board position in August 2014. He was elected for a two-year term in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. He has worked as a licensed mental health counselor in Bellingham for 30 years. He earned his bachelor degrees in psychology and political science from Seattle Pacific University and his master’s degree in clinical and counseling psychology from Western Washington University. Mr. Benjamin is a father of five, all of whom have attended (or are attending) Bellingham Public Schools.

Camille Diaz Hackler was elected to the school board in 2011 and re-elected in 2015 and 2019. She graduated from Bellingham High School, Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University. Ms. Hackler and her husband have two sons who attended Bellingham Public Schools. She is currently employed by a local small business.

Jenn Mason was elected to the school board in November 2017. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and sociology from Western Washington University and her master’s in public administration from Seattle University. She’s worked for 15 years on behalf of families and children, including as a community educator and trauma counselor in public schools throughout Whatcom County. Currently she is a small business owner working with nonprofit organizations and government agencies on resource development, communication, and events. Ms. Mason has lived in Bellingham since 2001. She and her husband have a daughter who attends Bellingham Public Schools developmental preschool.

New school board member, Katie Rose, is sworn in.
New school board member, Katie Rose, is sworn in.

Katie Rose was elected to the school board in November 2019. She is a lifelong Whatcom County resident. She grew up in Ferndale and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University. For more than 10 years, she has worked in community outreach and development on behalf of children and families impacted by poverty and abuse, all the while developing a special passion for coaching neurodivergent adults and children. Ms. Rose currently organizes community blood drives. She lives in Bellingham with her two children who are both currently enrolled in Bellingham Public Schools.