President: Kim Mead
Mead took office as the WEA president in July 2013.
Mead was one of two female industrial arts teachers in the state in 1985 when she began her teaching career in the Everett School District where she taught middle school "shop" classes, including architecture, mechanical drafting, plastics, electronics, wood shop and computer technology.
She has served as a local president of the Everett Education Association and has been a longtime building representative, vice president and president of Pilchuck UniServ Council. She joined the WEA Board in 2004 where she served on the executive committee. She also served six years as NEA State Director. She says she has loved serving in every capacity, and particularly enjoys lobbying around Elementary and Secondary Education Action (ESEA) issues.
"Our strength is our ability to come together with diverse views, and through our democratic process, stand up for the best interests of public education and our members," Mead says. "The work before us is great, but the rewards for our members and our students are worth the hard work. I am excited for the future of public education, driven by those who are the experts, the teachers and school employees who are the WEA."
Miller taught social studies in a high-poverty middle school in Bellevue before being elected as the Association's Vice President. He has served members in Bellevue for many years as a building rep, bargainer, secretary, vice president and president of the Bellevue Education Association. He has served on multiple WEA committees, including the WEA-PAC Board. Most recently, he led the WEA-Sammamish Council as president and he served as a WEA Board member and NEA State Director.
"I bring my daily experience of working in school to my responsibilities as a leader at the council, state, and national level," Miller says. "I understand the diversity of our members' experiences across the state and will work on behalf of them all."
Executive Director: John Okamoto
Okamoto came to WEA as executive director in May 2008 after working as the chief administrative officer
for the Port of Seattle.
He brings a strong personal commitment to our state's public schools and the value of public education. Okamoto plans to use the experiences he gained working on international commerce for Washington to reach out to state business leaders in support of education.
"Collaboration has been one of my strengths in my career," Okamoto says. "I already have built solid connections within the business community, the community at large, and with elected officials at the state and federal levels. It seems like there is so much support for public education, yet we often don't agree on how to get there. My goal is to help find common ground, and then move forward."
At the Port, Okamoto oversaw public affairs, government relations, human resources, labor and other key departments. Previously, Okamoto had served as an assistant secretary for the state Department of Transportation, and in cabinet-level posts as engineering director and human resources director for the City of Seattle. He is a Seattle native, a graduate of the University of Washington, has taught business courses in China, and has a lengthy community service record including board positions with the Trade Development Alliance, the Seattle Aquarium Society, the Japan-America Society, the Mountains to Sound Greenway, and Leadership Tomorrow.