Liza has been supporting teachers and families in Seattle beginning when her older son started at the infant-toddler program at the EEU at UW, a comprehensive early childhood school community that provides inclusive education to children with and without disabilities. Since then, she has been heavily involved in all things public school-related, always seeking information and solutions. She has served on the Boards of several community organizations, including SPACE in Magnuson Park, Seattle Council PSTA, and the Wedgwood Elementary PTA. As a volunteer or invited visitor, she’s been to half of Seattle’s 102 public schools in person, and has relationships with community members at all but a handful of the second half, giving her great insight into the successes and the challenges of the Seattle school district.
Liza’s professional career has been as a designer and educator. With a Master’s degree of Fine Art in Scenic Design for Theater, she was a faculty member at CUNY: Queens College as well as a freelance designer and painter On- and Off-Broadway, NYC, and the surrounding area for several years before moving back to Seattle in 2010. Soon after the return to her hometown, she became deeply engaged in special education and early learning, which lead to supporting educators and quality public education for all students.
A firm believer in equity and inclusion, Liza has assisted families with open enrollment, attended IEP meetings as a volunteer advocate at the request of parents, organized supply drives, written resource guides for families and teachers around specific issues, rehabbed playgrounds, connected communities across the district to advocate together, packed weekend food bags, walked picket lines with educators and bus drivers, and written oh so many emails.
At the district level, she has testified at and attended countless school board regular and committee meetings, supported engagement and advocacy of parents all over Seattle, and worked directly with Superintendents and staff on high-level issues and policies. She has advocated against staffing cuts and displacements, for equitable boundaries and student assignments, for inclusive programs and stability for special education students, for a bell time and transportation schedule that eliminated unreasonably early and late start times, and for student- and educator-led efforts like Black Lives Matter at School and Ethnic Studies.
This work led her to engaging in Washington State legislative issues, and Liza has advocated in Olympia, created artwork and messaging for advocacy campaigns, and provided understanding of issues and sample messages to encourage broader advocacy efforts in the SPS parent community.
Liza has become a trusted and knowledgable source of information and support all over the district, online via the Facebook group Soup for Teachers, and in PTA as a vice president, legislative chair, communications chair, and leader in parent equity work, engaged in the above-mentioned efforts. Her collaborative skills, board experience, and deep knowledge of education and Seattle Public Schools’ diverse communities and central offices will make her an effective and engaged board member in the work to better serve Seattle’s kids.
She lives in the Meadowbrook/Lake City area of North Seattle with her husband, two sons (both SPS elementary students), three cats, the best dog in the world, and a rotating cast of foster dogs.
Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange (SPACE)
SPACE manages a gallery space and a lo-fi independent radio station and funds, facilitates and promotes arts and cultural uses of Warren G. Magnuson Park for the public, engaging diverse audiences
Seattle Council PTSA
June 2018—July 2019
Communications & Outreach Chair
Rebuilding of organization’s website, rebranding, building and executing effective communication for various audiences to promote our work, empower and inform Seattle PTAs, and engage families and community
June 2017 —June 2018
Followed legislation at the school district, city, and state level regarding children and education, reported to and informed SCPTSA board, shared information and suggested actions with local PTA legislative chairs all over Seattle Public Schools, wrote and shared resolutions, coordinated events, created messaging and graphics, advocated on behalf of Seattle PTAs
June 2016—June 2017
Vice President & Reflections Chair
Supported the Council President, Coordinated the PTA Reflections arts competition for all participating Seattle PTAs and the month-long showing in the Seattle Center Armory
Soup for Teachers
Managed, informed, coordinated, and engaged a group facilitated through Facebook that grew to 3500+ Seattle parents, educators, and advocates in discussion, knowledge and resource sharing, advocacy, and community-building in and around Seattle Public Schools
Regional, Off-B’way, Broadway
Scenic Artist & Set Designer
Worked as a freelance scenic artist (painter and sculptor) and designer in greater Seattle area including UW and Village Theater in Issaquah, in New York City and surrounding states including New York Theater Workshop, Berkshire Theater Festival, Westport Country Playhouse; managed budgets, schedules, staff for scenic work, taught and managed interns
CUNY: Queens College
Taught Introduction to Theater Design, served as scenic charge artist for Department of Drama, Theater, and Dance productions, taught practicum students in the scene shop in scenic painting and construction