Meet our Team

  • Oscar Harris 

    oscar harris Chief Family and Community Engagement Officer

    Born and raised in the Southeastern part of the United states, Oscar relocated to Spokane in 1996 in pursuit of educational and employment opportunities. To date he has earned a BA in History, a master’s in social work, and an Educational Doctorate Degree (Ed.D) in Transformational Leadership. His research interests include community engagement and advocacy to/for marginalized families and improving the service delivery efforts of agencies.


  • Nicole Jenkins-Rosenkrantz

    nicole  Director of Community Relations & Diversity Training

    Nicole joined Spokane Public Schools in April 2018. Prior to this position she worked at Spokane County Juvenile Court for 17 years in various roles. She is passionately engaged in on-going efforts to reduce the disparities experienced by historically underserved families and youth of color. She believes that her work in the juvenile justice system and public school system gives her a unique perspective and connections that can lead to positive collaborations for systemic change. Nicole views championing the creation of just and equitable outcomes for historically underserved communities as not just a hope and a wish but a necessity. She is a passionate disruptor of the school to prison pipeline through creation of innovative programs.


  • Emily Blunt

    Office Manager, Family & Community Engagement/BECCAEmily Blunt

    Emily grew up in Spokane and started working for Spokane Public Schools soon after she moved back to Spokane in 2015. Emily graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Arizona State University in 2023. In her free time, she enjoys exploring, baking, crafting, and hanging out with friends and family. The last few years have brought many positive changes to Spokane and Emily’s main goal is to continue to make Spokane the best community possible for everyone.


  • Patrick Donahue

    Community Partnerships Manager/Foster Care LiaisonPat Donahue

    Pat joined Spokane Public Schools in August 2021 as the Manager of Community Partnerships. He was born and raised in Spokane Valley before attending Washington State University where heearned a BS degree in Psychology and Child and Family Studies. Prior to joining SPS, Pat worked for 24 years at Spokane County Juvenile Court. His last position was the CASA/Guardian ad Litem Program Coordinator of which he worked for 14 years supporting staff and volunteers in their advocacy for youth involved in the foster care system. Using his years of experience with volunteer recruitment and community resource connections, Pat looks forward to expanding our volunteer mentoring program and bridging community organizations to SPS students and families.



  • Tamika LaMere

    tamika lamere Native Education Coordinator

    Tamika is a member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians out of Great Falls, Montana. She is also a descendant of the Cree Nation and the third great-granddaughter of Chief Little Bear. She moved to Spokane as a teen and relocated to Southern California for almost a decade where she earned a bachelor's in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She moved back to Spokane and earned a master's in social work. She has worked for SPS since 2016 as an Intervention Specialist and is now the Native Education Coordinator. She is dedicated to serving her community and will continue to strive towards creating excellence for all students.


  • Erin Lipsker

    Restorative Practices and Mediation Program ManagerErin Lipsker

    After growing up in Spokane and attending Gonzaga University for an undergraduate degree in history and political science, followed by a master’s in teaching, Erin is thrilled to join the Department of Family and Community Engagement. As a former teacher and the proud mom of three SPS students, Erin is a fierce advocate for teachers, students and their families. With a strong belief that all people deserve to be seen, valued, and supported, Erin works to create inclusive and equitable environments where people can thrive, and communities can deepen their bonds, and cultural awareness. Erin’s heart is rooted in the well-being of the entire SPS family and she is committed to using restorative dialogue and relationships to meet the various needs of all those she works with. This position is an extremely meaningful opportunity, and she is excited to work with this incredible team towards meeting the goal of seeking excellence through equity.


  • Shon Davis

    Shon Davis Student-Family Engagement Liaison

    Shon was born and raised in Compton/Los Angeles, California. He relocated to Spokane in 1994. He is the senior pastor of a local church and a community advocate for youth & families. He has served on multiple City committees and boards such as Spokane Law & Justice Counsel, the Mayor’s multicultural advisory committee, United Way Board member, and Police & Faith Leaders Alliance.

    Pastor Shon has founded multiple faith-based programs such as prison re-entry, gang prevention and intervention, youth & family mentoring, and a multicultural church alliance. He is a strong advocate for our marginalized communities and high risk youth. He is committed to providing preventative services to keep our kids out of the criminal systems as well as restorative practices to create pathways for a successful future.

    He joined Spokane Public Schools in 2015 as a mentor and gang intervention specialist.


  • Millini Goodman

    District Diversion LiaisonMillini Goodman

    Millini was born and raised in the Spokane area and is passionate about the wellbeing of youth in the community. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. Prior to her role with Spokane Public Schools, she worked for 10 years at LCS Northwest as a Sexual Assault and Crime Victim Advocate and Program Supervisor, working closely with youth and their families impacted by traumatic crime victimization. She is aware of the intersectionality of trauma, victimization and its impacts on education. Millini is dedicated to creating safe spaces for students to be met where they are and be supported in ways that guide them to success in a future that brings them hope.  


  • Chauncey Jones

    chauncey jones Community Engagement Board Liaison

    Chauncey Jones was born and raised in Southern California. He spent summers and holidays in Spokane before permanently moving here in summer of 1994. He graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1995, received an AA from Spokane Community College in 1998, and a BA in Journalism from Eastern Washington University in 2000. Prior to joining the DFCE, Chauncey spent 21 years at KHQ-TV. He has been mentoring youth through after-school programming, basketball and football coaching, and community advocacy. As Community Engagement Board Liaison, he will assist with connecting families to district and community services to promote active participation of families in the education of their children.


  • Rebekah Lawson

    rebekah lawson Truancy Liaison

    Rebekah was born and raised in Spokane, earning her bachelor's and master's of Public Administration from Eastern Washington University. Prior to working for Spokane Public Schools, she worked at Spokane County Juvenile Court in Social Files, Diversion, and the Court Investigation Unit. As a first generation high school graduate, Rebekah understands the complexities and challenges families face in obtaining high school diplomas and college education, and is an avid supporter of public education. Rebekah believes that each child, if given the proper information and appropriate resources, can find their own success and positively impact their life, their families, and their communities.


  • Shannon Behrens

    School Community SpecialistShannon Behrens

    Shannon Behrens was born and raised in Spokane, Washington and graduated from Rogers High School in 2000. She earned her AA in Early Childhood Education and her BA in Human Services. Before joining the DFCE, she worked with children and families for more than 16 years in the Spokane area. Shannon supported the development of safe educational programs for children of all ages while advocating for children and families that need support and resources. As a School Community Specialist, she will assist with family engagement to ensure all students and families have equitable access to resources.  


  • Rachel Dannen

    School Community SpecialistRachel Dannen

    Rachel was born in Tacoma and grew up in Bremerton and Seattle, WA. She received her AA from Olympic College and went on to earn her BA from Eastern Washington University in Sociology & Criminal Justice, specializing in Social Justice and minoring in Applied Developmental Psychology.

    Prior to her work with the district, Rachel served as the Racial & Social Justice Intern at YWCA Spokane and helped pilot its Community Engagement department as the Community Engagement Associate. Currently, she stays involved with the YWCA's shelter program and ongoing racial and social justice work.

    As a School Community Specialist, she is passionate about bringing community into our schools through connection and advocacy, helping others discover their own strengths and sense of identity. Rachel assists students and their families in navigating resources, discovering their own pathways to success, and connecting to community as she continues her work with the DFCE.  


  • Jera Donner

    School Community SpecialistJera Donner

    Jera was raised in the Spokane area and graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.A. in recreation management. She has a diverse background in providing community programs, building partnerships with local organizations, as well as working in a variety of school settings. Her greatest passion is connecting with youth and their families and building community.

    A career highlight for Jera, when she was a teen coordinator, was receiving the National Youth Congress Grant which allowed her to improve her teen leadership program by teaching leadership skills, placing teens within the community to learn job skills and facilitated town hall forums giving teens a voice in the community.

    Jera is excited to be working for Spokane Schools. She is a School Community Specialist in the RISE Mentor Program where she mentors students and provides restorative interventions aimed at preventing suspensions and expulsions and keeping youth in school.


  • Diego Lerma

    School Community Specialistdiego lerma headshot

    Diego was born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz. He received his A.A. from South Mountain Community College and went on to earn his B.S. from Arizona State University in psychology and minoring in sociology. While in college, Diego started working for Ohana Homes in 2018, the leading social service company in Arizona. While working in a trauma-informed group home for kids, Diego found his passion to help others. Diego remained working in the group homes until he moved to Spokane in September 2021.

    Soon after his move, Diego started working for Spokane Public Schools. Diego found a home with the Department of Family and Community Engagement as a school community specialist. Diego has a diverse coaching background and currently coaches baseball and football at North Central High School. Diego believes that students can achieve any goal no matter their adversities or background through dedication and perseverance.  

    “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.”


  • Natalie Marshall

    Student Assistance SpecialistNatalie

    Natalie grew up in Spokane and attended K-12 in the Spokane Public School District. Natalie has a bachelor’s degree in psychology (2012) and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Central Washington University (2015). After graduating, Natalie served Spokane Public Schools as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for 7 years. In 2022, Natalie opened her own practice to provide a safe and welcoming space for BIPOC and other marginalized populations to receive mental health services.

    It is Natalie’s experiences working with and studying people that has led her to strongly believe that all people are capable of growth and change, and that people experience the most evolution when they feel seen, valued, and heard. Natalie is eager to bring her experiences and passion to DCFE in the role of a Student Assistance Specialist.


  • Brandi Praytor-Marsters

    School Community SpecialistBrandi Praytor-Marsters

    Brandi has spent most of her life in the northwest, calling Spokane home for the last 12 years. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Brandi joined the Federal Way Public Schools AmeriCorps program where she supported youth in their social emotional learning through mentorship and after school programming. Prior to this role, Brandi directed youth mentoring and development programs at Gonzaga University in partnership with Spokane Public Schools. She completed a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership in 2021.   

    Brandi believes in using a strengths-based approach and understands we are each experts of our own experience; we simply need a supportive community to walk alongside us. She is excited to be a connector for schools, community and families. 


  • Sadarah Witherspoon

    School Community Specialist - Native EducationSadarah Witherspoon

    Sadarah is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree tribe located in Rocky Boy, Montana. She was born in Spokane, Washington, attended Tribal school in Montana for a short time and moved to Oregon to continue her education at Chemawa Indian School. There, she became enriched in her understanding of the diverse Native American community of which she was a part, including several tribes that are represented across the United States.

    She then pursued a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree at Willamette University where she majored in Sociology with a minor in American Ethnic Studies. Sadarah did not only have the experience of receiving an education from various educational institutions - Public, Tribal, Federal, and Private - she also had the experience of working with Native youth within these various educational institutions as an Educator, Mentor, Programmer, and Residential Assistant. She joined our SPS team in November 2023 and will work closely with Native Education working as a RISE School Community Specialist, applying both her knowledge and experience in serving Native youth within the education system.


  • Donna Sharp

    Student Support Specialist - Native EducationDonna Sharp

    Donna was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is Inupiaq Eskimo and Gwich’in Athabascan. Donna received her bachelor’s in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2013. Donna also worked for Alaska Native Education, and Migrant Education with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for five years. She joined Spokane Public Schools in August of 2022 after relocating with her family from Alaska.


  • Mandy Simmons

    Student Diversion SpecialistMandy Simmons

    Mandy has worked with youth for twenty-six years focusing on children and teens who exhibit at-risk behaviors. She is passionate about 2-generation mentoring and has worked as a peer support for parents who have children struggling with mental health issues.  She models her work after being the support person she needed in her life as she was growing up.  She has an AA in Social Services and Biblical Studies.



  • Martin Whelshula

    Student Support Specialist - Native EducationMarty Whelshula

    Marty Whelshula is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho and Colville Tribe descendant. He identifies himself as a grandfather, traditional war dancer, drummer, and singer. Marty has worked for more than 12 years in Indian Education from Head Start to Tribal College instructor. He worked at Spokane Public Schools' Native Education program as Cultural Facilitator/Instructional Aide back in the mid 1990s. He then moved to the Colville Indian Reservation and served as Indian Education Director with the Inchelium School District where he fully expanded the language and culture program.

    Marty developed and taught courses in Tribal Traditional Knowledge, Native American regalia construction, and the Okanagan Salish Tribal language to students grades K-12. Marty also served as Cultural Resource Specialist in a Native American inpatient treatment facility for drug and alcohol addicted youth. He facilitated weekly ceremonies such as Sweat Lodge, Welcoming & Transition Ceremonies. Marty has excellent skills in developing rapport with children and youth. He strives to support students in building cultural resilience and a sense of personal empowerment.