Board of Trustees

Maria Anderson : President

Maria Anderson


“The assistance of the Principal’s Emergency Checkbook fund to families in crises is so valuable.”
Maria lives in Olympia with her husband, Ryan, and two kids who are both in the Olympia School District. Maria is very active in the community- she teaches group fitness classes at Thrive and 5th Ave Fitness and trains in taekwondo (with her kids!) with the U.S. Martial Arts Center. Maria became involved with the OSDEF through her volunteerism in the classroom and the PTA; she was interested in supporting a group whose projects benefit children throughout the school district.

Katy Johansson : Vice President

Katy Johansson

Vice President

“It is gratifying to be a part of an organization committed to supporting both our hard-working teachers and students.”
Katy attended the Principal’s Emergency Checkbook Fund Breakfast for the first time in 2015. She left with a pocketful of tear-soaked tissues and the hope of one day being a part of OSDEF. A proud product of the Olympia School District, Katy has fond memories of Cispus, both as a student and high-school counselor, and is grateful to OSDEF for keeping this valuable program alive. She works as a paraeducator at Hansen Elementary, where her two boys attend school. Katy is a certified running coach and sits on the boards of the Capital City Marathon Association and Hands on Children’s Museum.
Committee: Grants, Marketing, PECF

Kelsey Christensen-Abel : Secretary

Kelsey Christensen-Abel


Chair: Marketing, Outdoor Education
Event Chair: Annual Play 

"I am so proud to be a part of such a dynamic and involved board. It's a fun group of dedicated community members."
The Canadian. Kelsey joined the board in 2013. Her background is in Outdoor Education and passion lies in curriculum development. Kelsey was immediately drawn to the partnership the OSDEF has with the district to fund the Cispus Outdoor Education program. Kelsey, her husband (Jordan) and dog (Chance) have fallen in love with Olympia since moving here in 2013. They welcomed their son, Owen, in 2016 and are already looking forward to having him benefit from the education the OSD provides.

Jennifer Ziegler : President

Jennifer Ziegler


“I know from my own experience that a small amount of help can make a huge difference in a kid’s life and future.”
Jennifer attended the Principal’s Checkbook Fund breakfast in 2013 and has been hooked ever since. Jennifer and her husband, Morgan, have a son who attends Marshall Middle School. She appreciates the long-lasting impact the OSDEF has on the children in the community, as she was greatly influenced by efforts of teachers and programs early in her education. Jennifer has a lobbying and public affairs business in Olympia.

Ken Blakeslee : Treasurer

Ken Blakeslee


"I support OSDEF because I want to give back to the community and help keep our schools strong so that the kids get the benefit of an excellent education”
Ken has been a part of the Board since 1999. A friend of his wife, Kris, invited him to sit in on a board meeting and the rest is history! At that time, his oldest child was in kindergarten and now, has just finished his junior year in college. Ken has been working as a certified public accountant for twenty six years and has been working from home for the last fourteen. Ken and Kris have been married for twenty five years and have three kids.
Committee: Development

Melissa Gombosky : Co-Chair: Grants

Melissa Gombosky

Co-Chair: Grants

"A kiddo can’t learn if she can’t afford glasses to see what needs to be learned.  OSDEF allows me an opportunity to make a small difference."
Melissa is the principal lobbyist at Gombosky Consulting. Prior to her work as a state lobbyist Melissa worked for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and was a high school English teacher for ten years. Melissa and her husband, Jeff, has two boys who attend Olympia High School where they play football and participate in a variety of clubs. After attending our annual Principal's Emergency Checkbook Fund Breakfast, Melissa joined our board to make a difference in the individual lives of our community members.
Committee: Nominating

Randy Gunderson : Co-Chair: Grants

Randy Gunderson

Co-Chair: Grants

“Whether it’s a grant for an arts or reading program or funding to support outdoor learning or a few dollars from a principal to cover this month’s rent, the OSDEF’s purpose hits my core beliefs of excellent education for everyone.”
Randy moved to Olympia when he was hired on as CFO of WSECU. He became a part of the board after learning about the OSDEF through his volunteerism on the PTA at Pioneer Elementary School. About the same time, WSECU identified education as a pillar of its community involvement. He, and his wife Kristine have two children in the Olympia School District; their daughter who is currently a Junior at Olympia High School and their son, who is currently in seventh grade at Washington Middle School.
Committee: Development

Jeanette Killip : Past President

Jeanette Killip

Past President

“Cispus is a rite of passage for our fifth graders. It allows them to grow as individuals and fosters independence.”
Jeanette joined the OSDEF board after serving as the L.P. Brown PTA President. Her work on the PTA was focused on leveling the playing field as much as possible for all kids by providing services and programs they might not otherwise have access to. Jeanette has a marketing consulting business, Killip Communications. Jeanette and her husband, Jeff, have two boys. Their active family loves running, skiing and travelling together.
Committee: Marketing, PECF

Matt Perkins : Event Chair: PECF Breakfast

Matt Perkins

Event Chair: PECF Breakfast

"I love seeing the difference every program makes to our kids, by removing learning obstacles"
Matt has attended our annual PECF breakfast for several years and after realizing how excellent a fit he would make with our board, a few current members nominated him to join us. Matt was born and raised in Olympia and loves the endless activities Olympia and the PNW has to offer. Matt works has been a real estate broker with Greene Realty since 2006. He currently lives in Olympia with his wife and three kids.
Committee: Development, Marketing


Christy Peters : Chair: Nominating

Christy Peters

Chair: Nominating

“All students in the OSD deserve the best opportunity for a successful education.”
Christy learned about the OSDEF through the Principal Checkbook Fund breakfast and strongly agrees with the mission of the OSDEF. Christy is the Administration Chief at Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. She lives in Olympia with her husband, Rick, and three children and thoroughly enjoys sports, music, theater, and travel with her family. One of Christy’s favorite aspects of the OSDEF is the Grants program for its wonderful innovation and supportive educational programs. Christy’s kids are either graduates, attending, or going to attend Olympia High School. Go Bears!
Committee: Grants, Play

Christine Brewer :

Christine Brewer

Laura Dietz :

Laura Dietz

Jo Edwards :

Jo Edwards

“I know how much teachers use their own money for so many things, so it is wonderful to be able to help them.”
Jo began working as an elementary school teacher for the Olympia School District right after graduating from the University of Idaho and ended her career at Garfield Elementary in 2008. Jo brings an invaluable point of view to the board, as retired teacher, which is why she was asked to join the OSDEF. Jo and her husband, John, have three daughters and five grandchildren, who she loves taking care of. Jo and John celebrated 45 years of marriage in 2014!
Committee: Grants, PECF

Ryan Hall :

Ryan Hall

“It is all about helping the people who need it most and understanding that when we meet those needs, we all rise up and are better for it.”
Ryan joined the Board in 2009, due to her efforts saving the Cispus program, after it was temporarily eliminated because of budget cuts. After many years serving on the Executive Team for Secretary of State Sam Reed, Ryan  started  a consulting firm, Olympia Consulting LLC, when Reed retired. Ryan has also served youth as a Girl Scout troop leader, PTA President (and many other PTA roles). A graduate of OHS herself, Ryan and her husband, Kurt, have two girls. Their oldest graduated from OHS and is now at Gonzaga. Their youngest is at Washington Middle School.
Committee: Development

Bob Hodges :

Bob Hodges

"As a principal, I see the results of the principal checkbook expenditures: happier and safer students, students with fewer worries, students who experience a little more kindness and opportunity."
Bob currently works as a POSA (Principal on Special Assignment) for the Olympia School District. He joined the OSDEF to work on our Arts Initiative program. After receiving many grants as principal at Garfield Elementary, he saw the value of what the Board does first hand. Bob moved to Olympia from Issaquah and quickly realized how much he loves our city and it's eclectic downton, the three colleges, the capitol dome, Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound.
Committee: Arts Initiative, PECF, Play

Kerry Hodges :

Kerry Hodges

“Few things are more important than investing in the children who become our future.”
Kerry has been an advocate for children, education and community service for many years having served on the Mercer Island Schools Foundation board and the Mercer Island Visual Arts League. Since 2011, Kerry has served as a board member and tutor for Invest in Youth, and continues to work with IIY as a volunteer tutor. Kerry is a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation and an outdoor enthusiast serving as a hike leader for the Mountaineers and a board member of the Washington Fly Fishing Club. Kerry retired as a Director of Lending Technology from Boeing Employees Credit Union after a 35-year career in commercial banking and looks forward to supporting the Olympia community.
Committee: Arts Initiative, PECF, Play

Jennifer Meyer : Outdoor Education Co-Chair

Jennifer Meyer

Outdoor Education Co-Chair

"Olympians really care about their neighbors and making the world, whether its our local world or the broader one, a better place for everyone. "

Jennifer was introduced to the OSDEF through the PECF breakfast; from the first time she attended, she knew she wanted to be actively involved in the Board. Jennifer has two kids in the Olympia School District and enjoys the beauty of the PNW.

Committee: Grants, Outdoor Education

Tom McBride :

Tom McBride

Tom comes from a long line of educators. He knows the value of a quality education and the importance of school and staff support, to ensure that our students develop the skills they need. Tom joined the board in 2014 as a way to continue his support of public education and the District. Tom is the principal of McBride Public Affairs and advocates for numerous public and private organizations in Washington State. Tom and Angela have two kids; their son graduated from Olympia High School where their daughter currently attends.
Committee: Development, Marketing

Jocelyn McCabe : Outdoor Education Co-Chair

Jocelyn McCabe

Outdoor Education Co-Chair

"I support the OSDEF because it has a clear mission supporting the success of all students."
Jocelyn joined the Board in January 2017. She and her husband, Chris, have lived in Olympia for more than 20 years. They have one son, who attends school in the Olympia School District.  Jocelyn is a public relations consultant and the owner of  Jocelyn McCabe Public Relations. In addition to her work with OSDEF, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Hands on Children's Museum and volunteers for the Olympia Lacrosse Club. In addition to spending time with her family, Jocelyn enjoys running, skiing, cycling, going to live concerts and cheering for the Huskies and Seahawks.
Committee: Marketing, PECF

Jim Webster :

Jim Webster

“I love that OSDEF makes a real difference in the lives of so many kids in this community”
Jim and his wife Ann, and their daughters Madeleine and Chloe, moved to Olympia from Minnesota in 2013. Jim joined OSDEF in January 2016 and is proud to be a part of its ongoing efforts to provide families and teachers in the community with needed resources and support that will contribute to children’s success. Jim is a business attorney with MN Law Group P.C. He enjoys tennis, biking, kayaking and traveling with his family.
Committee: Development, PECF, Play

Karen Janz : Emeritus

Karen Janz


“I believe I have the power to change the world by changing a child’s life.”
Karen joined the board after Ryan Hall invited her to join in some meetings. As the Program Chair, she has an excellent eye for choosing which grants should be funded and does an exceptional job representing the Program Committee’s thoughts and suggestions. Karen has three kids and four grandkids. Karen loves the Principal’s Emergency Checkbook Fund, where we often have live music as our guests enter. Maybe someday we’ll convince her to play the piano for us.

Anne Larsen Matheson : Emeritus

Anne Larsen Matheson


“I truly believe in the work of the Foundation and see the benefits in my own kids.”
Anne joined the OSDEF in 2009, in the midst of helping to organize the campaign to save the Cispus Outdoor School experience for her daughter's class of 5th graders. As the Development Director at the SPSCC Foundation, Anne understands the need for an educated community.  She is immersed in the non-profit world, and sees the joy in working for the underserved, removing barriers to education and arts, and bringing together local leaders, business owners, and decision-makers. Anne and her husband have a wonderful blended family, with five Olympia School District students under their roof.

Megan Price : Emeritus

Megan Price


“Being able to give an OSD Principal their own checking account is pretty amazing.”
Megan first heard about the OSDEF through a few of our events and was saddened to hear how much need there was. She was thrilled to learn there was an organization working to fill some of that need. When she learned she knew a few of the board members, she reached out and was approved as a member in 2012. Megan, her husband, and two kids love being active together. They enjoy sailing, skiing, ski racing, and she’ll still pull out the mountain bike.

Patrick Murphy : Ex Officio

Patrick Murphy

Ex Officio

Superintendent of the OSD

We are happy to welcome the new OSD Superintendent, Patrick Murphy, as an ex-officio member of the OSDEF. Previously, Patrick was the assistant superintendent in the Edmonds School District Prior to arriving in Edmonds, he has served as an executive director of secondary education, principal, assistant principal, teacher and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in educational leadership at Seattle University and Western Washington University.

Susan Gifford : Ex Officio

Susan Gifford

Ex Officio

"The community support in Olympia is second to none. Our students are surrounded by a caring and supportive staff and nearly 5,000 school volunteers, many of whom put in countless hours each year to help students succeed."

Susan serves on the OSDEF Board as a part of her role as the OSD Director of Communications and Community Relations. Susan has been married for 33 years, has a son, a daughter and a Golden Retriever who they love to take for walks at the river. We are thrilled to have Susan as a part of our Board!





Hilary Seidel : Ex Officio

Hilary Seidel

Ex Officio

OSD Board Representative

Bev Sperry : Coordinator

Bev Sperry


Bev has been with the Foundation since 2003. She has seen the OSDEF grow from just being able to provide a few teacher grants to the tremendous programs it offers today. Bev used to work as a teacher, then in the Tuition Reimbursement Program at JPL in California; she seems to always be connected to education. Bev loves to travel and combines it with her passion for reading and genealogical research. If you’re ever emailing, she’s the lovely lady on the other side!