Meet Our Administrators

Dianne Filip

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.


Jennifer Schlobohm

Jennifer Schlobohm

Advancement Coordinator; Aspiring Baker, Seasoned Calligrapher, and Lover of Typographical Arts

As a mom of two school-aged children (my son is in Kindergarten and my daughter is in pre-school) working at a K-5 independent school truly resonates with me. Bertschi's values align with my own in the workplace and at home. I am excited to help advance the mission and am energized by the passion and creativity I see on campus everyday.

B.A. Art History and German, Vassar College


Jessie Kaarbo

Jessie Kaarbo

Admission Coordinator and Registrar; Globe Trotter, Baker, and Details Gal

I love working in schools because I love to always be busy with the most important kind of work there is: children! Specifically, I love working at Bertschi because it isn't just work, it's home, too. I value, and share, Bertschi's commitment to sustainability, excellence, and big-heartedness. I live here in the Roanoke Park neighborhood with my family in a little mid-century modern house, am a bakery afficionado, and I love the water.

B.A., Architectural Studies, University of Washington
M.S., Elementary Education, Old Dominion University


Jory Lum

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.


Laura Fierce

Laura Fierce

Director of Technology; Yoga Enthusiast, Proud Aunt, Mexican Food Lover

I enjoy working in an educational environment because it means I am always growing and learning with the people around me. Working with children inspires me to make positive changes in the world. I'm excited to be part of a school that promotes environmental sustainability and values people from all different backgrounds and experiences.

When I'm away from my job, I love to hang out with my non-fiction book club, listen to podcasts, make guacamole, and explore the wilderness with my husband.

B.A., Liberal Studies, Minor in Women's Studies, Seattle University
Master in Teaching, Seattle University
Project Management Certification, Bellevue College


Michelle Wotherspoon

Michelle Wotherspoon

Front Office Manager; Collector and Music Enthusiast

I am thrilled to be a part of the Bertschi family! I am excited to contribute to a school that works so hard creating a space for children to unlock their potential and spark their imagination. As a child advocate, I derive such fulfillment in my life working for an organization that contributes to the successes of our youth and community. In my free time, I love to explore and create. I am a collector of “things” and can often be found listening to records and entertaining with friends.

Certificate of Early Childhood Education, North Seattle College


Midori Kishan (formerly Saito)

Midori Kishan (formerly Saito)

Executive Assistant to the Head of School; 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

Mike Gardner

Chief Finance Officer/Chief Operations 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

Pam Lauritzen

Director of Enrollment Management; 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


Rafael del Castillo

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


Rory James

Rory James

Director of Extended Day and Summer Camp; Hiker, Biker, Adventure, Musician, Comedian, and Yogi

I first moved to Seattle just over six years ago to persue a recording project with a Seattle based producer. Since then I have worked in a wide spectrum of schools ranging from Reggio Emilia to Waldorf. I bring my diverse skill set to the Bertschi community as well as my joy of knowledge and adventure of learning.

B.A., Environmental Studies, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Certified in Wilderness First Aid Certified Behavioral Technician


Rose Bellini

Rose Bellini

Director of Development; Professional Cellist, Food-Lover, and Mom

At Bertschi, I get to connect families with each other, help sustain a supportive and inclusive community, and ensure that Bertschi kids will have a positive impact on the world for many years to come. On my own time, I am an arts and culture enthusiast and perform as a professional cellist all around the region–from classical orchestras to rock bands. I also volunteer my development expertise within the local arts community, and enjoy cooking and being outdoors with my family.

B.M., Cello Performance, Indiana University
M.M., Cello Performance/Business, Indiana University
D.M., Cello Literature and Performance/Music Education/Business, Indiana University


Saul Vest

Saul Vest

Technology Support Specialist; Walker, Biker, Restaurant Foodie, KEXP lover, and Cat Enthusiast

I worked in local Television for over 25 years doing almost any role imaginable in News, Sports, Creative Services and Engineering. I am so excited to move into an entirely new discipline among so many passionate, enthusiastic and bright minds and personalities both young and not so young. I'm looking forward to supporting and contributing to the Bertschi Mission.


Stan Richardson

Stan Richardson

Director of 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


Steve Moses

Steve Moses

Facilities Coordinator; Hiker, Musician and Bookworm

I believe the external environment is a direct reflection of the collective internal state; therefore, I am thrilled to help create beautiful spaces that enable children to explore and learn. Sustainability is an important value in my life philosophy, and I intend to integrate this value within my work.


Susan Sidman

Susan Sidman

Mental Health Consultant; Cook, and Lover of Children’s Literature

At Bertschi, I provide various whole-class lessons on topics related to social-emotional themes, emotion regulation, and strategies for having positive attitudes about learning and school. While I don't do 1:1 counseling with students, I consult regularly with the teachers on the needs of individual students in their classes. I also work with teachers and other administrators to support conversations with individual or small groups of students.

When I am not at Bertschi, I can be found either in my private practice or at Seattle Children's Hospital, where I have worked in the Department of Psychiatry for over 25 years.

B.A., B.S., Theatre Arts and Psychology, Virginia Tech
M.Ed., University of Washington
Licensed Mental Health Therapist


Teri Barnett

Teri Barnett

Associate 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 facilities to community members and from curriculum to 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


Tito R. Ramsey

Tito R. Ramsey

Assistant Director of Extended Day and Summer;
Nature Boy, City Convert, Musician, Kid at Heart

We learn best when we learn what we love. Music and drama were my gateways into loving to learn and teach. I am a creative first. Improvisation and creative problem solving play a major role in my approach to work and life. Working with the students, faculty, staff and parents at Bertschi will allow that perspective to thrive as this community continues to grow.

B.A., Concentration in Music Composition, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts


Van Kantner

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