During School Board Recognition month, TPS board members share why they serve
School board members group photo

Our five School Board members selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality schooling for our kids. Their efforts are instrumental in helping us realize the hopes and dreams we have for the children of our community.

Now, during School Board recognition month, our board members share their thoughts about why they serve, and what they are trying to bring to the students and families in Tacoma Public Schools. Learn more about the role of our school board, meeting information, and how to contact the board.

Elizabeth Bonbright rings bell on first day of school

Elizabeth Bonbright, President

Why I serve

I serve on the Tacoma School Board to move the needle on critical equity policy work in our community and to ensure that all children in our district have access to high quality education and career pathways. For over 30 years, I have lived in Tacoma and dedicated my professional career to building an affordable, accessible high-quality child care, early learning and afterschool care system in Washington State and across the nation. 

In 2019, I sought an appointment to serve on the Tacoma School Board as a way to make a significant positive impact in my community and to share my extensive public policy and systems building expertise.

Having served in leadership roles on the Tacoma School Board now for over 3 years, including through a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and anti-racist social unrest, my commitment to this work has broadened, deepened and strengthened.

My focus areas as a board member

  • Effectively addressing the growing mental health crisis among our students and our staff. This was a critical issue prior to COVID- 19. To succeed, we must embrace a holistic approach that extends our Whole Child initiative beyond the school day to include the Whole Community in support of our students’ wellbeing.
  • Dismantling systemic racism and advancing racial equity by shifting mindsets and building foundational social and economic infrastructures that address disparities in race, culture, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation or socio-economic status so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our work in this area must continue to evolve and expand.
  • Providing safe educational environments for all our students, offering compelling curriculum integrated with whole child enrichment, and supporting our highly trained, dedicated educators who inspire and empower every student to dream, and who teach our children how to think, question, solve problems and experiment without fear of failure.

What I love about serving

My favorite part of serving on the Tacoma School Board is spending time at various school sites engaging with our students as they learn, and meeting our exceptional staff, serving in every job classification. Listening to students sharing their ideas about school and speaking about their real-life challenges informs my thinking about our school district policies and strategic plan for the future. 

I am honored at the end of every school year to participate in high school graduation ceremonies. This is a time of joy and celebration. I am proud of our graduating seniors and grateful to all their families who have supported them throughout their K-12 schooling and helped to prepare them to move successfully into adulthood. 

I get great pleasure and satisfaction from collaborating with other elected officials and community partners to address the various challenges facing our community.  The work we do collectively makes the greatest impact on the lives of individuals.  We are truly #BetterTogether!

Korey Strozier with Lincoln students and staff

Korey Strozier, Vice President

Why I serve

I pictured myself operating in this capacity years before it actually happened. So, I serve proudly because there is work to be done! Representation is extremely important. I wanted to step up and show young folks, especially those that look like me, that their voice holds weight at this level and there is space for them. I am a product of this school district and a former employee of this school district. My siblings went through the district and my children are currently on their journey—I’m invested and will continue to be, not because I have anything personally to gain, but because we are working to build the future of public education. I truly understand that decisions made while serving as a School Board Director ultimately makes a difference for future generations. 

My focus areas as a board member

  • Ensuring the way forward is clear, through our Strategic Plan and Board goals. 
  • Building positive relationships within the community and throughout the district. 
  • Ensuring the strategic use of resources in a way that prioritizes student benefit. 

What I love about serving

This is an opportunity. It’s not a guarantee, and it’s not permanent. What I love about serving in this role is the fact that together, in partnership with my board colleagues, the superintendent, and every staff member in this district, there is a chance to make positive long-term impacts on the lives of our students. You can live each moment of your life from a place of service. When you put others needs above your own and desire no benefit for yourself, your act of kindness/service will significantly affect those around you.

Lisa Keating shakes hand of student at graduation

Lisa Keating

Why I serve

Helping improve the lives of the children in our community is at the core of why I serve. I do not do this work alone. It is done in concert with countless others, and I am humbled to have the trust of so many to serve on the Tacoma School Board.

I have been fortunate to have served the community and Tacoma Public Schools in many roles over the last 12 years. My service includes PTSA involvement and advocacy, school based and district committees, and youth and family advocacy locally and with the legislature.

My focus areas as a board member

In addition to serving on the board, I am also elected, by my peers, to serve as the legislative representative for the board and district. My focus areas are informed by this role. I work closely with Superintendent Garcia and staff advocating for resources, access and increased opportunities on behalf of our students and families.

Additionally, I serve on the Washington State School Director Association Federal Relations Network with other school directors across the state on behalf of all Washington students. There is a significant amount of work and advocacy that happens behind the scenes that I am grateful to participate in.

The magnitude of the challenges we have all lived through in the last three years is difficult to articulate. Leading and living through a crisis, as a new board member, was nothing I could have imagined. The responsibility of safety expanded dramatically and weighed heavily on my mind and soul. So much of that was done in isolation, which leaves one a lot of time with their thoughts. I love being part of finding solutions, identifying gaps, and improving systems and processes. The pandemic certainly provided no end of opportunities to do all of those things!

What I love about serving

I have been asked many times if I am having fun being on the board, which is a funny question to me. I’ve experienced joy, humility, compassion, awe, heartache, frustration, pride and inspiration in this role. I think what I love most is bearing witness to the determination, resiliency and capacity of our students. And contributing to their ability to be and feel successful.

Enrique Leon speaking with a microphone

Enrique Leon

Why I serve

I serve to improve educational opportunities for students and quality of work for staff while keeping health as a priority. 

My focus areas as a board member

  • Equity in education and work environment 
  • Improving health and safety of all in our purview 
  • Improving family and student voice and cooperation 

What I love about serving

I like serving because great schools help our community become stronger and safer. 

Chelsea McElroy with student on first day of school

Chelsea McElroy

Why I serve

I think it’s really important that children who grow up here see themselves represented in every level of decision making that affects their life. People who look like them should also represent them. As a former Tacoma student, district partner and ECEAP teacher, I think it’s important to bring that voice to the table.


 

My focus areas as a board member

  • Transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Respect for families

What I love about serving

I love talking to families and helping them solve problems. Within the district and outside of it, I want to help them understand the system, know who they should talk to and who they can connect with. I like just being so involved in the community that people trust me to do that for them.

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Contact Us

Our Communications Department serves as a liaison to the community and provides various services to promote effective communication and partnerships. Contact us by email at info@tacoma.k12.wa.us or by phone at 253-571-1015.

Media Requests

Tanisha Jumper
Chief Communications Officer
253-571-1015
tjumper@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Kathryn McCarthy
Assistant Director of Communications
253-571-1015
kmccart@tacoma.k12.wa.us