We Believe statement banner

Education is a powerful force that changes lives, communities, and the world.   

We’re asking educators and supporters of public education, “what is your why?” Your WHY is your purpose, who you are, your cause, what you stand for and what you believe.   

What drives you to make a difference in students’ lives? Their stories are personal and reflect the lived experiences that have shaped, motivated and driven them to make our community a better place.  


Sade Morris, Mason Middle School, Stadium High School

Special Education Teacher, Mason Middle School, Head Coach, Stadium High School Girls’ Basketball, Varsity Coach, Mason Middle School Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball.

“There are times that our youth need someone other than their family to believe in them or to tell them everything is going to be okay. I am going to be the reason a student comes to school or comes to practice; I know there is some young soul who needs what I can provide.”

A PURPLE BAG OF SKITTLES. On September 11, 2001, as many of us watched the attacks on the World Trade Center unfold, Sade’s father was entering her middle school in his military uniform. He hugged his daughter and said, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I love you.” Unsure and scared, Sade returned to class. A teacher’s simple gesture of a purple bag of Skittle helped to calm Sade’s fears and leave an imprint of kindness on a growing heart. Today, Sade Morris shows up to school with this same compassion and empathy for our students. She lives into her purpose by creating safe spaces for all our students both on and off the court.

#WeBelieve every student deserves a trusted adult to connect with every day.

Coming soon...

Clara Stewart

Clara Stewart, Dual language teacher, Blix Elementary School

“It is a privilege to use my mother tongue and my second language to intertwine cultures from all around the world. It is a joy when a student comes to me and says, ‘I know this, and I know it in Spanish.’ That tiny moment is my why!”

Solja Warnick

Sulja Warnick, Retired TPS teacher and founder of the Korean Women’s Association

“My belief is that teaching breeds learning, learning breeds understanding, understanding breeds good citizenship, which leads to wonderful communities—in the 
neighborhood and in the city, in the state, country, and, indeed, the world!”

Micah Haven

Micah Haven, band teacher, Meeker Middle School

“There is a musician in ALL of us. I believe every student has their own unique ‘music,’ and my job is to help them discover and learn how to express it. Their music is part of who they are.”

Elizabeth Brobbey

Elizabeth Brobbey, teacher, Tacoma Online 

“I believe that for students to learn and grow, they need to be able to connect with their teachers. They need to feel the passion of their teachers. They need someone who cares, loves, and sincerely believes in them.” 

Steve Primas

Steve Primas, Social Worker, Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) 

“I believe that every student should be treated as an investment and given the same grace and support we’d give to a significant community member. I am committed and desire to be a positive influence for our students and staff alike.” 

Angelina Nicole Nockai

Angelina Nicole Nockai, Indian Education Advisory Board Member, Native American Cultural Specialist, Artist in Residence, TPS Graduate and TPS parent. 

“My WHY has always been to share my Native American culture – I want everyone to know that we are still here. I foster a passion, a pride, a sense of belonging and community to my intertribal students.” 

Ravi and Karen Jaskar

Ravi and Karen Jaskcar, husband and wife; TPS parents; Counselors, Hunt Middle School and Sherman Elementary 

“We want to see a world where every student has the opportunity to be who and what they want to be.  We work to make this a reality by getting to know every student in our schools and helping them find their path in life.” 

Dr. Natasha Wyatt

Dr. Natasha W\yatt, Principal, Fern Hill Elementary 

“Students need to be seen, heard, and taught through a culturally responsive lens. I want to create spaces for change and spaces where families feel like collaborative partners in their student’s education. My why is to build community; it is to make the past, present, and future schools where I serve feel like home.” 

Lincoln Nguyan

Lincoln Nguyan, student, Lincoln High School class of 2022 

“Through education, we not only understand ourselves better, but the world around us. Education is important to me because it creates opportunity for anyone. How you seize those opportunities is ultimately up to you and your passions.”