2021-2022 Genesee Hill PTA Board Members
(July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022)
Co-President Merrick Bodmer
Hello Genesee Hill Community! My name is Merrick Bodmer and I’m one of the Co-Presidents for the PTA this year. I have two children at Genesee Hill in grades 3 and 1. Although I grew up in New York and attended college in California, I have lived in West Seattle for 15 years and love this community so much! I work as an elementary school librarian at Cascadia Elementary School in north Seattle. I have learned a lot as a PTA board member, but continue to learn more every day. When I’m not doing things school related, I love to read, garden, travel and cheer on the Sounders. I look forward to building a community that welcomes all of our wonderful families.
Co-President Greg Deviny
Hello Genesee Hill! I am looking forward to making the most of these unusual times. My wife was one of the founders for the Dandelion initiative and together we have a lot of passion for education. We have two children, a 5th grader and 1st grader, and one holds the distinction of being the first child to break a bone on school property. I was born and raised in Seattle and had two stints outside of the area, one in California for undergraduate school, and another in Washington DC for graduate school. In my free time, I love to bike, woodwork, and travel.
Vice President Lia Barros
Hello Genesee Hill Community! My name is Lia Barros and I excited to be joining the PTA this year as Vice President. I have two children at Genesee Hill, one in third grade and one in Kindergarten. I grew up in Issaquah, ventured to the east coast to play soccer in college, and since have been living in West Seattle for the last 11 years. I work as a Nurse Practitioner at the University of Washington Medical Center. While my first year on the PTA board, I have spent the last three years a part of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. I am excited to expand my experience at Genesee Hill and help cultivate a welcoming and inclusive community for all our kids. When not at work or coaching my kids’ soccer teams, you can find me reading, cooking food from scratch, biking, and sailing the Puget Sound!
Secretary Margaux Plumer
I am excited to join the PTA this year as Secretary! This will be my 7th year as a Genesee Hill parent along with my two children, Isaac (6th Grade at Madison) and Rose (4th Grade), and my husband Nate. I was born and raised in Washington between Gig Harbor and University Place and went to college at Western Washington University where I met my husband. We have lived in West Seattle for the last 13 years and absolutely love everything this community has to offer, minus the current bridge situation. I enjoy spending time with my family, taking walks around the neighborhood while listening to podcasts, eating good food and traveling internationally (one day again soon I hope)! I currently work full-time as a Human Resource Operations Manager for Starbucks and have been with the company for almost 20 years! I wanted to become a member of the PTA board to continue to build relationships within our school community and give back to this great school that has provided so much to our family these last 7 years.
Fundraising Co-Chair Louanne Dempsey
Hello Genesee Hill Elementary Community! My name is Louanne Dempsey and it is a pleasure to be part of the 2021-22 PTA board as your fundraising co-chair. We have been part of the West Seattle community for over 10 years and a part of Genesee Hill Elementary for the past five years. We have an incoming second and fifth grader and all of us are very excited about the coming year ahead. I grew up in Minneapolis and Chicago and moved to Seattle after graduating from Purdue University in the late 90’s. Today, I work as a dental hygienist here in West Seattle. I joined the PTA board this year as a way to give back to a school who has given so much to our family. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy traveling, skiing, boating, and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to working side-by-side with my co-chair Courtney Hill and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish over the next year!
Fundraising Co-Chair Courtney Hill
Hello Genesee Hill Community! I am excited to be joining the PTA board this year as fundraising co-chair with Louanne. I grew up going to Seattle Public Schools and am so proud to have my kids (Tatum 5th grade and Leona 2nd grade) be a part of the SPS community. We have called West Seattle home for the past 12 years and I have spent the last 15+ years working in marketing. Looking forward to connecting more with our Genesee Hill community this year!
Communications Co-Chair Amy Leiboh
Growing up on the Oregon Coast, I have always been a Pacific Northwesterner at heart. While our family (Pearl 6, Benjamin 9, Lewis 41) has moved around considerably, we are grateful to have permanently landed in West Seattle. I have worked in education for the past 18 years, as a title 1 teacher, instructional coach, and director of teaching and learning. I currently work part-time for an equity-centered educational technology company. As PTA Communications Co-Chair I am excited to work to cultivate a warm and inclusive school community through welcoming communication.
Communications Co-Chair Leigh Ann Johnson
I am excited for my second year as Communications Co-Chair. My two daughters are both at Genesee, in 1st and 4th grade. I grew up in St. Paul, MN, but have lived in Seattle for twenty years now. My background is in both elementary education and backpack and luggage design. My passions are the outdoors, photography, activism, gardening, and fiber arts. I’m most looking forward to being involved in the PTA’s work around building community and increasing equity and inclusion in our school and district.
Volunteer Chair Ines Feiereisel
Hello all you fabulous foxes and fox families!! I’m Ines. I have two kiddos at Genesee Hill, Ella (3rd) and Emily (2nd). We love this school community and all that it has created for our family. I’m excited to serve as Volunteer Chair because it means I get to provide opportunities for many of you to engage and give back to our awesome school. My family has lived in the neighborhood going on ten years and while we are from Chicago, we are happily planting our roots in the beautiful PNW. In the summer you’ll find us on Alki beach combing and in the winter you’ll find us in the mountains skiing. Cheers and let’s make it a great year!
Legislative Chair Victoria Brown Bhegani
Hello! I am mom to Cameron (gr. 1) and Jamie (gr. 5) and am doing the legislative role for the PTA this year while also helping to coordinate Foxes of a Different Breed, a group of families of GH kids who are atypical learners. I care about equity and inclusion in education, schools being equitably funded, and the voices of all members of our school community being heard. My roots are PNW/ Eastern Canada, English/French speaking, Canadian/ American, so I get duality! My family, which is also biracial, has called beautiful WS home for five years and the community here is one of my favorite things about this place. I work as a freelance writer and editor and I am also almost done writing my first YA novel. I love laughing with friends, gardening, hiking, reading, and writing.
Membership Chair Dave Conway
I am excited to be part of the dedicated PTA team this year. This is my second year on the Board as the Membership Chair. I plan to support the important work the PTA performs as well as be an advocate for parents and teachers in the Genesee Hill community. My wife and I have three daughters at Genesee Hill, a 4th grader and two 2nd graders, all of whom have different abilities. So far, we have had a great experience at the school and within our community. I am originally from Upstate New York. We moved to West Seattle in 2009 and do not have plans to leave. I try to spend most of my free time with my family but I also enjoy golf, disc golf, and bike riding with friends.
Cohorts Chair Dawn Franklin
My husband, Jeff, and I are excited to have all four of our children in SPS this year: Marley (8th @Madison), Amelia (6th @Madison), Sam (3rd), and Rose (1st). I strongly value and believe in our public school system. I taught elementary school in the Renton School District for seven years and was heavily involved in my school’s PTA as a teacher rep during that time. Currently, I am a Parent Education Instructor for South Seattle College Co-op Preschools. I enjoy hiking, reading, and teaching group fitness classes. I’m looking forward to helping our community find ways to connect with one another this year.
Treasurer Holly Geisenhoff
Hello Genesee Hill! This is my first year on the PTA board and I’m looking forward to supporting the school and PTA! I was born and raised in southeastern Idaho, spent 4 years in Spokane at Gonzaga University, and my husband and I have been in West Seattle the last 15 years. We have two children at Genesee Hill – Ryan in 2nd grade and Jake in first grade. In our free time, we try to keep our boys active, and when I’m not chasing my boys around, I like to walk or sit outside with a book.
Vice Treasurer Sara Williams
Our family loves West Seattle and we are so grateful to have found our way here! My daughter Addie is a first grader and her two younger siblings (Macklen and Arwyn) will eventually follow her to GHE. Joining the PTA is an opportunity for me to get to know the school community on a deeper level, to support students, families and educators through PTA initiatives, and to connect with other parents. I currently work full-time, am passionate about sustainability, and in our free time my family loves outdoor adventures and hanging out in our backyard.
Equity Chair Kristen Corning Bedford
I’m excited to be the Equity Chair on the PTA this year. My youngest child is in 4th grade and my oldest is a 7th grader at Pathfinder, and I’ve been involved in a variety of volunteer roles throughout our years here. I was born and raised in Seattle, and with my husband, Slade, moved to Bellingham and Tacoma before moving back and making West Seattle our home a decade ago. I’m passionate about creating community and innovating a more just and ethical future, and I look forward to continuing to build a welcoming and inclusive school community at Genesee Hill.
Events Chair Katherine Hirt
Hello Genesee Hill Community! My name is Katherine Hirt and I am excited to serve as Events Chair this year as we navigate virtual and maybe later in-person gatherings. I have been a Genesee Hill/Schmitz Park parent since 2015 when my son, Edwin started Kindergarten and currently have a daughter, Grace, in 4th grade. My educational background is in second language acquisition and nineteenth century German literature. I taught beginning and intermediate German to university students while working on a doctoral degree in German literature and culture. I now work as a public records analyst at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where I have been almost 5 years. I have been planning virtual events with my colleagues and look forward to working on events for our community!
Teacher Representative Amber Vandermeulen
I am excited to serve as one of the teacher representatives on the Genesee Hill PTA board. This school year will be my second-year teaching 4th grade at Genesee Hill (in addition to 10 years of classroom teaching in Seattle). I am invested in supporting the students, staff, and families in the GHE community and believe my role will help me to gain a better awareness of the operations of PTA. I am committed to communicating the staff perspective with a parent lens. In addition to being a teacher, I am a mom to two boys. They will be in 4th grade and Kindergarten at GHE!
Teacher Representative Michael Washington
This is my fifth year teaching Kindergarten at Genesee Hill. I have taught in Seattle schools for eight years and was a preschool teacher for over five years. Coming into the 2021 school year I jumped at the opportunity to join the PTA board because I never really knew what went into all the hard work that they do. Being a parent and teacher gives me a unique perspective that I look forward to bringing to my work as a board member. My son Isaac is a first grader at Genesee Hill, and I have another son Owen who will be going to preschool for the first time this year. The three of us live in West Seattle with my wife Susan and fluffy canine friend Wally. I look forward to a productive and exciting year in the PTA.
The Genesee Hill PTA Needs You!
We currently have the following board positions open for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Events Chair
In addition to these open board positions, we have the following needs for support:
1. Nominating Committee
2. Volunteers on activities and committees; please check out the Volunteer page
3. People interested in board positions for next year
Please let us know if you are interested in the above board and volunteer positions or if you have any questions about them. Contact our PTA Presidents at firstname.lastname@example.org.