Open Doors Summit

October 26–27, 2023 Seattle (Southcenter), WA

Facilitator Bios

CPRI Sessions

Emi Fujita-Conrads, Ph.D.

Emi Fujita-Conrads is a Senior Researcher at Education Northwest with experience in mixed-method designs, collaborative and participatory approaches, and culturally responsive research and evaluation. Her research focuses on understanding students’ educational pathways and factors influencing postsecondary enrollment and persistence. In her work, Emi seeks to prioritize the values and experiences of the program community to develop studies that promote learning, educational equity, and community-led change.

Shelby Cooley, Ph.D.

Shelby Cooley is a Principal Researcher in Applied Research and Equitable Evaluation at Education Northwest, where she supports organizations as they implement equity values across strategy and measurement portfolios. Prior to her current role, Shelby developed and led Seattle Public Schools’ first research portfolio for the system’s equity strategies and Black student success. In her role as research director at the Community Center for Education Results, she supported the King County-based Reengagement Provider Network with data systems, collaborative inquiry, and youth-led research.

Michelle Hodara, Ph.D.

Michelle Hodara is a Senior Leader in Applied Research and Equitable Evaluation at Education Northwest, where she directs research and evaluation projects related to postsecondary access and success. Dr. Hodara has been working with postsecondary institutions for over a decade on implementing innovative solutions to improve student retention, completion, and pathways into careers. Hodara is trained in quantitative methods and enjoys linking and analyzing data from different sources to understand students’ journey through the education and workforce pipeline.

Nick Mathern

Nick Mathern directs Achieving the Dream’s agenda for K–12/college partnerships and guides delivery of services to the Gateway to College network. Nick leads an innovative team focused on creating more equitable access to college-in-high-school experiences for students underrepresented in higher education. Nick was previously vice president of programs for Gateway to College National Network, which merged with Achieving the Dream in 2019. Since 2005, Nick has brokered agreements between colleges, school districts, and state education agencies to launch youth reengagement programs in more than 50 communities.

Christopher Mazzeo, Ph.D.

Christopher Mazzeo serves as the Senior Director, Applied Research and Equitable Evaluation at Education Northwest. He has more than 20 years of professional experience and a deep background in the areas of postsecondary success, youth reengagement, and collaborative research. From 2013–2019 he served as Director of REL Northwest, overseeing its day-to-day financial and program operations and providing leadership for all activities, partnerships, and subcontractors. Prior to joining Education Northwest, he served as the Associate Director for Policy and Outreach at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, where he managed the Consortium’s nationally focused policy, capacity-building, and communication and dissemination efforts, working closely with policymakers, district leaders, universities, and other local partners across the country. Chris has also served as a senior evaluation and strategy consultant to a number of nonprofit, education, and philanthropic organizations. He holds a doctorate in social sciences, policy, and educational practice from Stanford University.

Andrew O. Moore

Andrew O. Moore serves as Director, Youth and Young Adult Connections at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families. Within this foundation-funded “action tank,” which helps municipal leaders implement practical solutions on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities, Moore leads initiatives focused on equitably connecting children with nature and expanding the growing national network of reengagement centers. He edited and wrote Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America’s Schools (Rowman & Littlefield 2016).

Mandy Paradise, M.Ed.

Mandy Paradise is the Program Supervisor for OSPI’s Open Doors Youth Reengagement Program. Prior to her state employment, Mandy spent 10 years doing direct service in secondary schools and several years working in adult education and community-based programming. She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and is a content expert in adolescent health, youth development and intervention, and youth reengagement.

Julie Petrokubi, Ph.D.

Julie Petrokubi is Managing Researcher for Equitable Learning Environments at Education Northwest and lead for the Community Partnership for Reengagement Initiative. Julie is passionate about efforts that empower and engage young people and their families in addressing issues of equity both inside and outside of school systems. After two decades designing and managing youth programs in the nonprofit sector, Julie now works at the intersection of data, policy, and practice to increase the connections across the three. Julie specializes in qualitative, collaborative research and evaluation to understand organizational and systems-level change from multiple perspectives.

Laurie Shannon, M.Ed.

Laurie Shannon was a Program Supervisor for OSPI’s Open Doors Youth Reengagement Program, Statewide Truancy Program, and System and School Improvement Program. Laurie has worked in education for over 40 years as an outdoor and environmental educator, secondary teacher, school counselor, dean of students, college and career readiness coordinator, and education consultant. Her career in education included work in elementary and middle school, high school, alternative school, skill centers, and with adults.

Peer-To-Peer Sessions

Susan Adams

Susan Adams, Managing Director, SkillSource, has enjoyed a career in education and workforce development and is currently the Managing Director for the SkillSource Regional Workforce Board serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Adams, and Okanogan counties. Susan spent over 10 years teaching secondary and postsecondary career and technical education before managing SkillSource ALE, Open Doors, and Workforce Investment direct delivery programs for 15 years. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in business and education from Eastern Washington University. When Susan is not working, she loves hiking, biking, skiing, and spending time with family.

Jody Bortz

Jody Bortz, Director of Basic Skills at Big Bend Community College, has been an advocate for underserved and underrepresented Washington residents for 30 years. She started her career as a special educator for middle school students and eventually found a passion for transition services. This allowed her to assist students in developing their personal goals and career choices. Jody began working as a job coach in supported employment and eventually began working with individuals needing multiple resources, intensive support, and advocacy. Focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a mainstay of her service delivery. She has presented at numerous conferences, summits, and councils. Fun facts about Jody: She is a grandma of four. She enjoys outdoor activities including camping, four-wheeling, and hiking. She is involved in animal rescue and is the secretary of the Animal Outreach board of trustees. She is the historian for our basic education state board council and is a lifelong Washington resident who enjoys traveling around our great state.

Jeff Corey

Jeff Corey, Program Director at Northwest Education Access, has been working for nonprofit organizations in Seattle for over 20 years. Prior to assuming his current role in 2011, Jeff worked with the Street Outreach Service’s Syringe Exchange program and the Capitol Hill Homeless Youth Case Management Program. Jeff is a co-founder of the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, which operates the University District Syringe Exchange. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington. In addition to his work, Jeff enjoys soccer, cooking, and spending time with his amazing partner, VeraEve, and his two beautiful children.

Sean Marushia

Sean Marushia, Faculty Director of High School Programs at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, has been teaching since 2006, when he earned a Master in Teaching degree at Seattle University. He has always focused on students who do not fit in traditional settings, and in 2010 began teaching IBEST, HS+, and Running Start students at Renton Technical College. In 2016, he joined Lake Washington Institute of Technology to teach in its high school programs. He finished a second master's degree in political science during the pandemic, and sincerely regrets not figuring out sourdough baking instead.

Christy Mataya

Christy Mataya, SkillSource, has been a Workforce Development professional for over 22 years. Over time with SkillSource, she has provided direct workforce development services to over 1,200 youth throughout north central Washington. Collaboration between Open Doors, Wenatchee School District, North Central Educational Service District, and community partners has created many career exploration opportunities for youth. Her focus on case management, overcoming barriers, individualized career planning, and work-based learning opportunities, through WIOA funds, has helped youth to succeed with both education and career goals.

Cooper Metz

Cooper Metz, Program Director at Northwest Education Access, worked for six years at the Academy for Precision Learning, a nonprofit K–12 inclusion school serving neurodiverse learners. She joined Northwest Education Access in 2018 working as an education advocate in the North Seattle area. After three years in this role, she transitioned into leading efforts around student and alumni engagement with the organization. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology as well as a nonprofit management certificate from the University of Washington.

Jenna Millet

Jenna Millett serves as the OSPI Attendance and Reengagement program specialist. Prior to working at OSPI Jenna worked as an Open Doors case manager for ESD 112 in the Vancouver and Clark County area. She’s worked with out-of-school youth since 2019 and brings a passion for reengagement to this work.

Dana Osterlund

Dana Osterlund has dedicated herself to SkillSource for 16 years, driven by her passion for working with youth and inspired by their ability to rise above life's greatest challenges. She tirelessly identifies and provides essential resources to support homeless youth in staying in school, graduating, and planning for their futures. Dana's commitment to helping young people extends beyond her work as she has also volunteered as a court appointed special advocate for three years and plans to return after retiring. When not working or volunteering, she enjoys gardening, spending time with family, and indulging her interest in true crime literature.

Angela Pierce-Ngo

Angela Pierce-Ngo, Program Director at Northwest Education Access, has worked in postsecondary access for 13 years. She has been on the staff at Northwest Education Access since 2012, having also worked as an education advocate and tutor with opportunity youth. She grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Pacific Lutheran University and a nonprofit management certificate from the University of Washington. Angela identified as a low-income student growing up and was supported by several college access programs and mentors. She attributes her passion for education justice from her personal experiences navigating education. In her free time, Angela stays busy chasing her toddler and two pups around.


This summit is being made possible by the Community Partnerships for Reengagement Initiative, which is funded by the Ballmer Group and Kaiser Permanente.

WA OSPI logo
Ballmer Group logo
Education Northwest logo
Kaiser Permanente logo
Achieving the Dream logo
National League of Cities logo