Head of School
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1120
B.A., Spanish and Secondary Education, Notre Dame of Maryland University
M.S., Educational Leadership, Columbia University
Brenda has worked in independent middle schools across the country. In Philadelphia, Brenda worked with Breakthrough Collaborative, a non-profit focused on helping low-income students move from middle school through college, which was housed at local independent school Germantown Friends School. Brenda then taught middle school Spanish and worked on diversity initiatives at The Baldwin School, an all-girls PreK-12 independent school, and The Shipley School, a co-ed PreK-12 independent school. After completing a graduate school program focused on private school leadership at Teachers College Columbia University, Brenda moved to Austin, Texas to become the Middle School Head at Trinity Episcopal School of Austin, a K-8 independent school. An opportunity to be the Middle School Head at The Overlake School, a 5-12 co-ed independent school, in Redmond brought Brenda to the Puget Sound. She is excited to now be the third Head of School at Seattle Girls’ School.
Why I love middle school: Middle school is an exciting time in a student’s life when the main constant is change. There are so many parts of oneself to discover and explore; it’s possible to end up just about anywhere. While that idea may seem daunting or a bit chaotic to some, it is the joy of middle school. Our girls are working hard to become themselves in all areas of their lives: as students, friends, activists, daughters, athletes, thinkers, artists, community members and more. And, while we don’t know exactly where they will each end up in each of the many facets of their lives, we value the journey because we get to see them learn, laugh, and courageously face and overcome obstacles. Our girls awe us daily as they grow and teach us moment to moment what possibility looks like.
Assistant Head of School
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1640
B.S., Biology, Duke University
M.S., in Science Education, U.C. Berkeley
Phelana worked in schools in California, Texas, and Saudi Arabia before joining SGS in 2014. She has a true passion for learning and supporting others in their learning and leading. Phelana taught biology, chemistry, geology, and physical science at the middle and high school levels, and she has served as a mentor for pre-service and beginning teachers at different schools. Some of her summers were spent excavating dinosaur fossils in Alaska and working with the Center for Neurotechnology at UW. Phelana values building relationships with students, families, and faculty, collaborating to support student learning. Phelana has two daughters and enjoys hiking, reading, volleyball, and good food.
Why I love middle school: In middle school, students learn so much about themselves. It is a fun, but challenging journey. I love helping students cultivate their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. It’s also very important for students to have strong allies and role models through the tougher parts of adolescence, and I love to support students through their joyous moments and their uphill climbs.
Director of Advancement
Phone: (206) 709-2228
B.A. French Studies, Wesleyan University
Certificate in Writing for Children, University of Washington – Seattle
Lexi serves as the Director of Advancement for SGS. For the past decade, Lexi has supported young people through development work at innovative community organizations. Most recently, she was the Development Director at Summer Search, and previously built the development function at Bike Works, one of SGS’s community partners. Lexi currently serves on the Board of Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC), a coalition of organizations, schools, educators, parents and caregivers, and community leaders working to improve education for all children, especially those farthest from opportunities. When she isn’t at SGS, she’s tromping around the Pacific NW with her spouse and three kids, playing volleyball, hanging out with neighbors on Seattle’s most awesome block, reading speculative fiction or making negligible progress on her first novel.
Why I love middle school: I find that middle schoolers are both silly and serious, curious and eager to contribute; they want to make a difference and are continually learning who they are and who they aspire to be – exactly the kind of people who I love to be around and aspire to be like myself.
Director of Business Operations
Phone: (206) 709-2228 ext. 1335
B.A., Economics, State University of New York at Binghamton
M.Sc., Accounting and Finance, London School of Economics, UK
Roberta is part of a globetrotting family. Together with her husband, two children and a cat called Barney, she has lived in London, Vancouver, Chicago and Seattle, although she was born and raised in NYC. Roberta holds a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics, and has widespread experience in the fields of accounting and finance, working predominantly in the private sector with companies such as Prudential-Bache Securities and William Mercer. Roberta comes to the world of school finance through her involvement with the Chicago Waldorf School, where she served on the Finance Committee, as Treasurer and as part of the Board Executive Committee.
Why I love middle school: My daughter Sophie has just completed her middle school career, and has lived to tell the tale. It’s fascinating to see her and girls her age broadening their understanding of the world around them. She surprises me every day.
Director of Enrollment Management
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1220
B.A., Journalism, University of Arizona
Certificate Leadership in Enrollment Management, USC Rossier School of Education
Asha is a native Seattleite who most recently worked at University Prep as the Associate Director of Upper School Admission and Community Engagement. She has a natural ability to build relationships and create connections; it is because of this she was drawn to the field of enrollment management. Asha is an avid sports fan and has coached youth track and cross country for the last 18 years. It was her time as a college coach in both Arizona and Montana, she unknowingly began learning the ropes of admission as she recruited athletes. She is excited to be joining the SGS team and continue growing in the profession of enrollment management. Asha lives in Seattle with her husband Patrick and three school-aged children
Why I love middle school: I believe middle school is a sweet spot developmentally; students are learning to manage increased independence in addition to a whole new array of choices available. I feel fortunate to be an adult member at SGS to support our students during this time.
Dean of Student Life
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1015
B.A., English Literature and History, University of Toronto
B.Ed., York University
Miryam brings 14 years of teaching and administration experience to SGS, working in a range of schools in the Toronto and Philadelphia areas, where she taught Spanish and English language and literature courses. Miryam’s teaching interests extend to community service, where she has taught semester-long GED classes and Catechism classes in Spanish to local residents. She also has a three year old daughter and enjoys exploring and learning through her eyes. Miryam relocated to Seattle with her family in 2019, and she has a true passion for building relationships with our students and families. She is thrilled to join our community as our Dean of Student Life this Fall.
Why I love middle school: In middle school, students have an infectious curiosity about the world around them and a true joy of learning. Their questions help me further develop as an educator and they push me to reflect more about the world we live in. Middle school is filled with moments of beautiful messiness, student passion, and excitement, which make my heart smile.
Director of Athletics
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1910
B.S., Sports Management, Menlo College
M.A., Athletic Administration and Coaching, Concordia University, Irvine
April has been at SGS since the spring of 2010 and is the Athletics Director. She also coaches the basketball teams at SGS and helps out with the various sports offerings throughout the year. In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Why I love middle school: I love middle school because everyday is different, and you never know what is going to happen. I love being able to be part of a community where we see the girls grow right in front of our eyes, and to be able to watch that transformation as it takes place.
B.A., Biology, Harvard University
Rosetta has been at SGS since the school’s first year of existence. She is also the Professional Outreach Specialist, in which role she designs and delivers trainings for all constituents of the school community, as well as the local and national educational and nonprofit sectors. Since 2004, Rosetta has been a diversity speaker and trainer on a variety of issues including cross cultural communication, identity development, prejudice reduction and coalition building, gender and sexuality diversity, facilitation skills, relational aggression among girls, bullying in schools, and gender bias in the classroom. Rosetta has presented at numerous conferences and nonprofit organizations such as the White Privilege Conference, Junior League, and City Year. She has also worked with over 75 K-12 public and independent schools throughout the country, as well as a number of colleges and universities. She has served several years on the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Diversity Leadership Institute, as well as NAIS’ diversity think-tank cadre, Call to Action. Rosetta is the recipient of NWABR’s 2007 Outstanding Partner in Education Award and recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Teacher Award for the Washington Federation of Independent Schools. She holds a Bachelor Degree from Harvard University (Biology Concentration).
Why I love middle school: Middle school is this magical time where young people are optimistic and innocent AND ready to think about tough and abstract topics. It is a time when they are both able to follow the rules AND challenge their fairness. Middle school youth can share with you the most mind-bendingly deep thought one moment and then hang upside down on the monkey bars like a six year old the next moment. They’re like New England weather – wait five more minutes and you’ll see a whole new side to them! They’re such passionate, curious, challenging, and interesting people; it’s a mystery to me that everyone wouldn’t want to work with middle school youth!
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1320
B.S., Accounting, University of Utah
Betty works in the accounting department at SGS and she is also a mom to Zora, an SGS student. She has worked and volunteered with several nonprofit organizations and in many different settings with young people. Before taking five years off to be a full-time parent, Betty worked at Solid Ground for ten years, first coordinating a homeless prevention program and later working in the accounting department. Prior to working at Solid Ground, she was the volunteer coordinator for the Pike Market Senior Center, a Vista Volunteer working with teens in an urban 4-H program, and coordinator of an after-school program at Rainier Beach Community Center. Before moving to Seattle in 1992, Betty was the Director of Purchasing for Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah, where, in addition to buying hotdogs and roller coaster parts, she trained and supervised teenage staff.
Why I love middle school: I love the curiosity and energy of middle school students.
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1260
Amanda coordinates technology initiatives and provides day-to-day support for all technology systems at SGS. A native of New Zealand, Amanda began her technology career there as a Systems Engineer working in small to medium businesses. More recently, she segued into running a martial arts school, parlaying a beloved hobby into a successful business opportunity; during her tenure there, she created a monthly self-defense course designed for women and taught exclusively by women. Passionate about empowering women and helping them realize their capability, Amanda is excited to return to her technology roots to help advance SGS’s mission.
Why I love middle school: This period sets a person up for how they see themselves and the world: middle schoolers have untapped potential, and are so smart and insightful. I love an environment where I can learn and grow from their ideas while also sharing my skills and experiences.
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1305
Capital Campaign Associate
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1230
B.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Co works on the Rise Up campaign, SGS’s effort to build a permanent school home. She supports the Board of Trustees and Campaign Cabinet through donor strategy, cultivation, and solicitation. Four years ago, Co moved to the PNW. She previously worked at Wayfinding Academy, and now serves as a board member for the alternative college. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, discussing popular culture, and tending to her plants.
Why I love middle school: Middle school is a special time when students begin digging deeper into who they are and what it takes to build a community. Middle schoolers are also great role models when it comes to unapologetically liking something, whether it’s a book series or a particular artist.
Administrative Assistant to Head of School
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1125
Angie supports Head of School Brenda Leaks, the Board of Trustees, and other volunteers in their efforts to build community support for our permanent home. Angie just relocated to the Seattle area with her husband and two kids. Prior to SGS, Angie was the Executive Assistant to corporations formerly known as Bosch, Toshiba, and Behr Process. She obtained her Business Administration degree in 2006. Angie is very excited to be a part of the SGS community because SGS empowers young girls and allows them to reach their max potential.
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1240
B.A., Government & Legal Studies, Bowdoin College
M.A., Fundraising & Grantmaking, New York University
Colin manages all things communication at SGS, from the website, newsletters, digital and print materials, and social media. Prior to SGS, Colin held a similar position at The Cathedral School, a K-8 independent school in New York City. He is excited to be a part of such a warm and nurturing community with a strong equity and social justice mission.
Why I love middle school: I love working with middle schoolers. They are inquisitive, silly, unapologetic, and just trying to figure out who they want to be. It’s amazing to witness the growth and development of the next generation.
Phone: (206) 709-2228, Ext. 1000
B.A.S, Philosophy and Environmental Design, Quest University Canada
Riley serves as the SGS Receptionist/Registrar/Morning Care Enthusiast. After graduating SGS in 2007, she lived in Canada and Mexico. Happy to call South Seattle home once again, she spends her time adventuring with her dog, working on her Spanish, and moonlighting as a wildlife tracker and certified yoga teacher.
Why I love middle school : Middle schoolers have an ability to be goofy, adventurous, and playful while still being able to engage in sophisticated discussions. I am appreciative of their inclination to test limits and investigate boundaries. As such, they bring unique perspectives to problems/issues that challenge my way of thinking.
B.A Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz
Casey supports the work of the SGS development office, including the development and organization of all aspects of the annual fund and luncheon. He brings to the team experience in marketing, business management, and education, and he can talk your ear off about regenerative agriculture and rural revitalization. Find Casey outside the office running, reading, writing, or rustling up good eatings.