Keynote Panel

Brandon Hersey currently serves as a school board director for Seattle Public Schools and teaches elementary school in Federal Way Public Schools. He has been an outspoken advocate for Ethnic Studies in Seattle.

Dr. Brent Jones is the incoming interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. Dr. Jones is a multi-generational resident of Seattle and a graduate of Franklin High School. He received a B.A. in Zoology from the University of Washington, M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Human Resource Development, and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas-Austin.

As an educator for 20 years, Shane Baguyo has served as a school psychologist/school counselor (ESA), assistant principal, principal, assistant director, and executive director for several school districts in Washington State. Most recently, he was a school psychologist at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle Public Schools before moving into his new role as a Program Specialist in the Advanced Learning Department. He is also a Racial Equity Coach for SEA Center for Racial Equity and Adjunct Faculty at Seattle University. Shane has delivered professional development on racist ideologies, racial bias, and exclusionary intent for identification and services for students of color who navigate the special education and/or highly capable systems. His graduate courses teach students how to use protocols and school-based structures to reduce racial disproportionality. Shane has also presented at district, regional, state, national, and international conferences.

Rachelle Horner is a 13-year teaching veteran of Eastlake High School. She teaches AP US History and University of Washington in the High School Composition 131 and Comparative Literature 240; a social justice focused English class. She leads her school’s equity team that provides professional development on social justice pedagogy and cultural humility for staff members through collaborative and equitable partnerships with parents and students. She started a Student Equity Advisory Board and is the Black Student Union Advisor. In both spaces she builds students’ capacity for leadership on equity issues which culminates in a variety of student led initiatives to create an equitable school culture. In addition, Rachelle is a social justice consultant working with companies around equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. She was a finalist for the 2020 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her motto is “social justice is not an additional burden you have to shoulder; it is the lens with which you choose to see the world.”

A University of Washington graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in History minor in Elementary Education, I am an ESP(Educational Support Professional) in the role as Intervention Specialist (Academic and Behavioral) at Rochester High School for Rochester School District. I have been in this role since 2017 and was instrumental in creating the PACE (Positive Alternative Classroom Environment) Room where the ISS standards were realigned in a positive environment, I currently serve in many capacities such as Building Representative (RHS) and Bargaining Member for RESP Union, WEA RA Delegate, ESP Rep for RHS SLT (Staff Leadership Team), Building and District Behavioral Team, ESP Representative for the District Facilities Committee, Building Equity Team, Liaison Representative for the Chehalis Tribal Community and the ESP Representative for the Instructional Team Leadership Team. I am also the WEA and NEA ESP At Large Board of Director representing our union members statewide and nationally respectively. Besides all of the above, I am most proud to be a member of the WAESN as it is the “heartbeat” of WHY I do what I do. I am a strong advocate for racial, social and economic justice and am vocal about the importance of Ethnic Studies. Ethnic Studies is critical because it provides a multidisciplinary lens through which new approaches to learning will emerge. Ethnic Studies develops culturally competent, global students with diverse perspectives of valuing their own cultural identity and appreciating differences around them. It provides understanding of each other’s worlds that are different from their own. Integrating social justice in whatever you do is also a critical and decisive factor of Ethnic Studies as it applies diplomacy, awareness in order to be engaging with different communities.

Priyanka Mukhara is a junior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington. She started getting involved in activism as a freshman, and is spearheading the effort to integrate antiracist curriculum into the Bellevue School District’s learning standards. She joined WAESN as a way for her to get her ideas out there, and to help fulfill her passion for achieving racial equity.

Back to Program Schedule