Staff Directory

Office Staff

Blake Baird - Head Learner & Principal


Blake came to Leaders in Learning after searching for a consistent way to leverage his privilege to disrupt oppressive systems and engage in anti-racist work in public education as a teacher for several years. Suffice it to say, he’s been hooked ever since.Prior to becoming Head Learner at Leaders in Learning High School, Blake spent several years teaching science at the Bellevue Big Picture School and studying suspended animation at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 

In his free time, Blake enjoys blacksmithing, foraging wild foods, reading, and exploring the greater Pacific Northwest with Dear Ones.

Linda Hampton - Office Manager






Crista Langston - Nurse





Crista is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner, and a graduate of UW. Most of her career was in the private sector working in women's health, but always enjoyed working with her teen patients the most. Crista has 3 teens of her own, her oldest in college, with 2 more currently at Monroe High School. She enjoys volunteering yearly on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua, where she gets a chance to serve others and work on her Spanish.

Kelly Ward - Paraeducator, Attendance & Lunch


JeNell Buchanan - Counselor

Buchanan Photo




This is my 11th year working as a counselor at Leaders in Learning High School and my 15th year working in the Monroe School District.  My family moved to Monroe at the beginning of my junior year of high school, so, although I've lived in several places over the years, I really do consider Monroe my home.  After college and prior to becoming a school counselor, I worked as a paralegal, a waitress, and a Language Arts teacher. 

In addition to spending time with my family, I enjoy traveling, taking walks on a sunny day, ballroom dancing, horseback riding, reading, writing, and volunteering. 

I'm very grateful for the opportunities I've had to continue my education after high school, which include earning a Bachelors of English from Whitman College, a paralegal certificate from the University of Washington, a Masters of Education from The Ohio State University, and an Education Staff Associate Certificate from City University.

I look forward to getting to know our students and their families and working together to support the personal, academic, social-emotional, and career interests of all students. Welcome to Leaders!

Tonya Colvin - Math





Marta Fivehouse-Niemann - Art





Marta grew up in Colorado. She went to the University of Northern Colorado where she earned her BA in art education. She taught elementary art in Colorado for 15 years before coming to Leaders. Last year was her first year at Leaders. Marta and her husband live in Everett with their 2 cats. They love to travel and bike ride.


Tim Langley - English





Tim grew up in Bellevue, Washington and loves to see students thrive in his classroom! His favorite moments are when, under his encouragement, he sees students excel at writing, and really "get into" a short story or novel. Tim has one BA from Northwest University, a second one from the University of Washington, and a Master's degree from Western  Governors University. A few of his hobbies are working out, reading good books, making music on the guitar or piano, and eating great food!

Jesse Lee - Social Studies


Rachel McKay - Science

Rachel Photo




Rachel grew up in Northern California and moved to Seattle to attend University of Washington, where she received her degree in Oceanography. After college, Rachel spent time working and exploring in Alaska, Oregon and California before coming back to Washington. After working for several years supporting oceanography research, she attended Seattle Pacific University to get her Masters in Teaching. She is excited for her first year teaching at Leaders in Learning. She lives in Everett with her husband and dog and enjoys baking, gardening, yoga and running.

Kim Ohlson - Paraeducator



A graduate of Monroe High, Kim has been married to her high school sweetheart, Ron, for 28 years and lives on 10 acres in Sultan with their 3 sons, a Goldendoodle named Yukon, a Boston Terrier named Mittsy, 5 chickens, and a large garden of corn. Kim enjoys all outdoor activities and has worked as a para educator in both Sultan and Monroe School Districts for 13 years. mainly in the area of special education.

Support Staff