Meet Our Administrators

Christina Sheehan

Executive Assistant to the Head of School; Lover of Yoga and Desserts

I love to work in places of education. There is so much energy and such a vibrancy of ideas. My role allows me to work with all facets of Bertschi life: from parents, to board members, to students - making so many connections is fantastic! My free time is spent with family and friends. I also love yoga, my walks to & from Bertschi, and having one too many sweet treats!

B.A., English Honors, California State University Northridge
M.A., Student Development Administration, Seattle University

Deanne Liu

Advancement Coordinator; Mini-Dachshund Wrangler, Foodie, and Pinterest Enthusiast. 

It brings me so much joy to see people fully realize who they are, and Bertschi School has such a special way of giving students the capacity to see their possibilities. In every facet of education, the learning we do makes ourselves and the world a better place, and I am happy to be able to contribute to the journey of those in the Bertschi community. In my free time I like to try out new recipes in my kitchen, hang out with my family and friends, and spend quality time with my two mini-dachshunds Oscar and Rolo. 

B.A., Communication Studies, Westmont College    
M.Ed., Student Development Administration, Seattle University

Dianne Filip

Landscaper, Crossing Guard; Northwest Gardener

I enjoy how Bertschi School cares about our kids, how everyone contributes to a spirit of community, and how the school instills an attitude of "look beyond yourself.”  I see it in the 2nd graders’ Pike Place Market project and in the canned goods drive for the food bank. With the media talking about how modern parents are raising narcissistic children, it’s nice to see Bertschi School giving our parents and students the chance to see different worlds beyond home and school environments—so they become more aware of the world in which they live. I enjoy the school’s gardens, and outside of work I really enjoy gardening at my home.

Jory Lum

Facilities Manager; Cook, Traveler, and Grandpa

Being new and not knowing what to expect, I was extremely impressed observing the way the students conducted themselves (polite, caring, outgoing, full of life) and with how welcoming the staff and community have been to me. Having worked in school facilities for over 8 years, I can honestly say that I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to be part of the Bertschi Family. I am really looking forward to the years to come. During my free time, I enjoy cooking Hawaiian food, traveling and spending time with my two granddaughters.

Keisha Wilson

Director of Advancement; Amateur Photographer, Chit-chatter, Mom and Friend

I become energized when I am supporting the success of my friends and colleagues. Being able to work in schools has given me the opportunity to do both, plus I love the enthusiasm and energy of kids, and the positive effect they have on my day. Away from school, I can be found knee deep in a cookbook, on the floor with a craft project, or chatting away with one of my boys.

B.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.F.A., Interior Design (In Progress), California College of the Arts

Ken Harrison

Facilities Coordinator; Artist, Outdoor Enthusiast

It is truly exciting to be part of the vibrant Bertschi community. I find it rewarding to be able to utilize a multiplicity of skills each day to facilitate safe learning environments throughout the school. Whether I am attending to a facilities need, or working inside the classroom; I truly value the evident positivity and abundant creativity that flourishes at Bertschi on a daily basis. Outside of work I enjoy hiking, rowing, bike riding, vegetable gardening, and making music. 

A.A., Shoreline Community College  
B.A., History, Western Washington University

Mary Ann Mason

Controller; Runner and Backpacker

Bertschi School is a wonderful place to work. It is driven by integrity and, as an accountant, I appreciate that very much. The Bertschi community is caring and thoughtful, and it leads by example. The students see how to care for where they live and the people they live with. I love supporting an organization that has such a positive influence on our children! When I am not counting beans, I like to run and go backpacking with my family.

M.B.A., Finance and Accounting, University of Washington

Midori Saito

Front Office Manager; Metalsmith, Cook and Smooth Operator

I came to work at Bertschi because I was thrilled to be able to work for an organization that makes a positive impact on people's views and understanding of the world. Bertschi School is full of unique personalities, experiences and ideas. I'm happy to be a part of such an energetic, creative community and help contribute to the smooth operation of the school. Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, reading and spending time with friends. I also like spending time in my art studio, keeping my hands and mind busy!

B.F.A., Metals, University of Washington

Mike Gardner

Chief Financial Officer; Dad and Outdoor Sportsman

I love being around kids. I enjoy their positive energy and their love of learning. And I am happy contributing in any way to their learning and life experience. When I’m not working at Bertschi, I love to spend time with my wife and two young children and do as much outdoors as possible, like camping, hiking, sailing and kayaking.

B.A., Psychology and French, Dartmouth College
M.B.A., Finance and Accounting, Boston University

Pam Lauritzen

Director of Admission and Financial Aid; Photographer and Screenwriter

The absolute highlight of my work is meeting our applicant children, getting to know them, and watching them grow up here at Bertschi.  As special a place as it is for kids, it's also an amazing place to work. I love to see the world through the kids’ eyes and to share in their enthusiasm is a gift I'm grateful for every day. When I'm not pouring my creativity into my work, I'm deploying it with writing screenplays, taking photos, and navigating the teenage years of my lovely daughter.

B.A., Psychology, University of Washington

Rachel Cumbow

Director of Extended Day and Summer Exploration Programs; Trivia Queen

Running Extended Day and Summer Exploration allows me to experiment and try new activities, new classes, and meet teachers from all over the community. It’s a wonderful way to engage and involve outside resources that don’t necessarily fit into the school day, and make a rich contribution to children’s lives. Watching kids of all ages develop friendships and social skills is continually rewarding and exciting. I love seeing the kids’ individual interests and personalities shine in a structured, yet non-academic environment.  Away from school, I enjoy watching movie and playing trivia; I currently play on three different trivia teams around the city!

Rafael del Castillo

Head of School; World Traveler and Lover of Science Fiction

On my first visit to Bertschi, I discovered a school where outstanding teachers are guided by a compelling vision. Education is a balance between what is timeless and what is informed by ongoing research on how each child learns best. Throughout its 40-year history, Bertschi has been an exemplar of that balance. Compassion, confidence, and creativity are woven into the school’s mission – and the goal for each child is deep learning for life as a global citizen. Consistently asking, “What’s next for our children?,” the school prepares them for their future, not our past.

When I am not on the Bertschi campus, I am connecting with all the diverse people that make up our great city. I love to read, and I am always planning for a future travel adventure with family and friends. 

B.S., Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida
M.S., Science Education, Florida International University

Stan Richardson

Director of Technology and Campus Planning; Reader, Walker, and Artist

Bertschi is an exceptional place. Working in technology and facility planning for young learners is especially rewarding. I like the challenge of planning and completing projects that make a difference.  Away from Bertschi, I enjoy reading, walking, and spending time at my cabin on Skagit Bay.

A.A.S., Industrial Electronics, Lamar University
B.F.A., Photography, University of Washington

Teri Barnett

Assistant Head of School; Beach-lover and Reader

I am so grateful to be part of a school whose values resonate with my own, and whose mission is visible in everything from the facilities, to the people, to the curriculum and student engagement. I love being part of a community where learning is joyful and risks are taken by children and adults, alike. When I’m not at Bertschi, I enjoy long beach walks, gardening, yoga, and reading.

B.A., English, Colgate University
M.A., English, University of Washington

Van Kantner

Assistant Controller; Bike Commuter and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer: Benin, West Africa

I enjoy working in the business office, interfacing with parents, faculty, staff and vendors. I studied mathematics in college, so numbers, patterns and problem solving are my strengths.  The accounting field fits me like a glove because I find organizing and filing soothing. Outside of work, I enjoy long distance running, day hiking, and reading.

B.S., Mathematics, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Accounting Certificate, North Seattle Community College

Vanessa McCray

Admission Office Intern; Gardener and Animal Lover

I love that the Bertschi community embraces student differences, allows them to get creative, and pushes them to learn by taking chances and making mistakes. I also enjoy caring and friendly staff! I am excited to learn and explore new areas that will combine my business education with my teaching experience. Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, knitting and crocheting, hiking, and spending time with my dog and cat.

A.A., Seattle Central Community College
B.A., Business Administration (In Progress), University of Washington