Meet the Board

Phone: (360) 402-0162 (Text)

Maria is a Washington native and WSD alumni. She currently works as the Executive Director at the Salish Sea Deaf School in Burlington since 2016. She started the Deaf Education field as a para-educator in 1994-95 then went on to getting her Bachelor of Science in K-12 Special Education at Western Washington University in 2000 and a Master of Science in Deaf Education in 2003 at Western Oregon University.  She worked as an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf in 2003 – 2010 and as an adjunct instructor for the Adult Basic Education program at Whatcom Community College 2009-2010.  Maria was involved as a Facilitator and Camp Director for the Deaf Teen Leadership camp from 2008-2017.

Her passion is to provide opportunities above and beyond for our young DHH children to become independent adults in our community. They are our future!

Maria and her husband, James “Dino”, have two girls and one dog, Faith. Maria enjoys playing with Faith, traveling with family, and exploring the nature.

VP: (425) 329-8433

Allie Joiner a.k.a “AJ” is from District 1. She  was born to hearing parents  in south part of Arkansas . She went to Arkansas School for the Deaf.  After 8 years there she got her blessing from her mother/father to be  transferred to Louisiana School for the Deaf in Baton Rouge.  After taking 2 years of Algebra, she entered Gallaudet College in 1952.  Her major was Education for the Deaf.

Allie taught at South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in a small town, Spartanburg for 2 years and 6 years at New Mexico School for the Deaf.  She taught for 5 more years at Colorado School for the Deaf.  Even though she enjoyed the kids, she was not sure of staying in the field. She decided to try for a different career so she attended University of Arizona and got her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling with Deaf Adults.  She chose Seattle for her internship with DVR over St. Louis and Rochester.  Allie might have ended up at NTID in Rochester but she disliked the snowy East and she thought of going up to Alaska at that time.

Fate changed when Seattle Hearing Speech Center offered Allie a job as a vocational counselor with Deaf Adult Services. This was pivotal in life, because she lived all her life in a closed community, never was exposed to discrimination of her people. When she tried to do job placement of deaf clients in businesses in Capitol Hill she hit the brick wall, realizing that fight for rights was needed to be done. During that time, she also was on the Local Evaluation Team assessing interpreters as a RSC interpreter. The women’s movement was rampant at that time which led her to activism. She learned about lobbying  (? testifying better word?) in Olympia  She had to scream at the DSHS brass and was successful in getting a program for distributed children. In 1984 Allie was in a group of protesters that  organized and succeeded in getting Governor Spellman to rescind the appointment of a superintendent at a school fighting to get a Deaf one..

Allie shook hands with every Governor.  Currently Allie thinks Gov. Inslee has been very very supportive of our cause for quality education. She attended many workshops and became involved with the Governor’s Committee of Handicapped and Employment Issues (old term) before it changed to GCDE. .

Allie decided to try for CSUN Leadership Training in the Area of Deafness in Northridge CA and she received a M.A. in Educational Administration and Supervision , however she felt she was not suited for this type of job. She was inspired by her Political Science professor who saw  Allie as an advocate.  Allie was not sure if advocates would get paid in the  late 70’s – little she knew she would become the first paid advocate in Seattle for the  Hearing Impaired in 1980.  Her first advocacy work was filing a complaint against the City of Seattle because she was discriminated against for that job!  The rest is history.

During the Troubleshooters year, Allie received intensive training from a well known and respected parent activist, Katie Dolan.  She was on of the parents who spearheaded HB 90 here in the State of Washington that eventually led to the passage of PL 94-142

Thanks to Deaf Services Coordinator, Leon Curtis, for his proposal for community service centers for 4 centers (Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver and Spokane) Allie was involved in the long process obtaining Referendum 37 monies for CSCSDHH.   After one year with Troubleshooters (Washington State Advocacy System) she worked as a Consumer Advocate in the Legal Advocacy Project at CSCDHH. And thanks to Temmie Brier, Legal Advocate, a wonderful mentor for Allie, Temmie would take her to many legal workshops. Twelve years at CSCDHH permitted her to travel all over the state supporting parents of Deaf children in making PL 94-142 work for them.  NAD workshops on Section 504 were great, too.  Allie attended many workshops on PL94-142, State Law Against Discrimination, and ADA.

After 12 years at CSCDHH Allie worked at Tacoma Coalition of Individuals with
Disabilities Center as Deaf Services Coordinator for 5 years before transferring to Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services  for another 9 years as Community Advocate.

In December 2007 Allie retired only to accept a part time job one month later at Deaf Blind Service Center as Senior Citizen Advocacy Specialist.  She is still at it, going on 15 years.   Everyone asks when she will FINALLY retire. She does not know; she will see how it goes.  She is still on the board at WSD now called Center on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth (new name now that it is a state level board.) She is still involved with the Medical Interpreting Task Force.

Allie shares a condo with Estie Provow (also Deaf) in North Lynnwood. They have been together for 53 years. They finally got recognized officially in 2013 thanks to the law that was enacted.  They enjoy playing Aunts with extended family who they practically raised. All nieces-nephews went on to universities.

Nancy Sinkovitz

Phone: (360) 910-0338

Nancy is retired after working in the WSD residential program for nearly 27 years. Nancy started working as a Student Life Counselor in 1988. Throughout her years at WSD she worked as Dean of Students, Residential Program Supervisor and retired in 2014 as Director of Residential Services.

Nancy is the daughter of Harold and Marjorie Stickel, WSD class of 1941 and WSD residential employees for over 20 years. She is also the sister of Pat Almer who taught at WSD for over 42 years. Her family has strong ties to the school and the Deaf community.

Nancy has two daughters, one hearing and one hard-of-hearing (WSD class of 1992) and 5 grandchildren, three hearing and two hard-of-hearing, all living in the Clark County area. Her hobbies include reading, movies, gardening, cross-stitching, camping and especially spending time with family.

Nancy has always maintained that the years working at WSD were the best years of her life. She is happy to continue supporting CDHY and WSD and hopes her many years of residential program experience will benefit the board, staff and students.

Ariele Belo

(206) 388-1275 (TTY)
(206) 452-7955 (VP/Voice)

Ariele Belo is the Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and Co-Executive Director of Hearing, Speech and Deaf Center (HSDC). She supervised staff within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (Advocacy, Case Management, Information & Referral, and Education & Trainings programs) in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellingham.  HSDC serves 13 counties in Western Washington.  Ariele works along with other Co-Executive Directors in supporting other programs (Audiology, Speech & Language, Parent-Infant Program, Rosen Preschool, and Interpreting Services) at HSDC.

Ariele is a native of Seattle and an alumna of the Hearing, Speech, and Deaf Center’s Parent-Infant Program (PIP). She had years of experience as an advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing. She is also a Qualified Deaf interpreter for Deaf and DeafBlind.

Since joining HSDC, she has graduated from Project LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Diversity), a United Way of King County program “which aims to increase the representation of people of color on nonprofit boards and in other positions of community leadership in King County”.

Ariele enjoys volunteering as her parents have always volunteered while growing up. Ariele is currently a board member of Deaf Spotlight. Deaf Spotlight inspires and showcases Deaf Culture and Sign Languages through arts.


Info coming soon…

Nancy Fitta

(253) 517-1070
(253) 922-0539
(253) 376-0414 (Cell)

Nancy Kastel Fitta has lived in Pierce County for over 30 years.  She is a CODA whose parents both graduated from WSD and later worked for the school for many years.  She retired in June 2021 after working as a teacher of the Deaf/HH, freelance interpreter, ASL teacher, program administrator, and special education director in Region 9.  She has long supported the school, and the CDHY mission of providing educational services and supports to all Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-blind children and youth and their families, regardless of where they live in our state.


Wes Henson lives in Tumwater, Washington, and represents District 10. He grew up working on his family’s farm in Yuba City, CA.

In 2000, Wes was commissioned as an Army Signal Officer at Oregon State University with a B.S. in Animal Science and minors in Chemistry and Military History. During his eight years of service, which included one year in Korea and two tours in Iraq, he held positions of increasing responsibility culminating in two years as a Company Commander.

Since 2008, Wes has worked for Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company. He is currently an Area Manager in outside sales, helping to grow and develop his team and work with manufacturing and food plants to improve efficiency and reduce fuel and water use. His goal is to bring the skills that he has developed in a diverse career to help CDHY to provide quality services to families and the Deaf community.

Wes and his wife, Monica, have two children, a hearing son, Seth, and a profoundly hard of hearing daughter, Claire. He enjoys camping, woodturning, and karate with his children.

Board of Trustees Meetings

All meetings will be held on the WSD campus (611 Grand Blvd, Vancouver) unless otherwise noted.

September 30, 2022: 10am – 3pm

October 28, 2022: 10am – 3pm

December 2, 2022: 10am – 3pm

January 27, 2023: 10am-3pm

February 24, 2023: 10am-2pm (This meeting has been cancelled)

March 24, 2023: 10am-3pm

April 28, 2023: 10am-3pm

September 25, 2020 (Board Packet for September 25, 2020 Meeting)

September 25, 2020 (Updated Board Packet for September 25, 2020 Meeting)

October 30, 2020 (Board packet 10.30.2020)

December 4, 2020 (2020.12.4 Board Packet)

December 4, 2020 (2020.12.4 Updated Board Packet)

January 29, 2021 (2021.01.29 Board Packet)

February 26. 2021 (2021.02.26 Board Packet)

March 26, 2021 (2021.03.26 Board Packet)

April 20, 2021 (2021.04.30 Board Packet)

May 21, 2021 (May 21 BOT Agenda (007))

June 11, 2021 (2021.06.11 Board Packet)

June 11, 2021 (2021.06.11 Board Packet Updated)

July 27, 2021 Special Meeting (July 27, 2020 Special Board Meeting)

September 24th 2021 Board Meeting (September 24th Board Agenda)

July Agenda (Agenda JULY (002))

July 26, 2019 (Retreat Agenda PDF)

September 13, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

October 11, 2019 (Special Meeting Agenda PDF)

October 11, 2019 (Updated Agenda 10.11.19)

October 25, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

December 13, 2019 (BOT Packet 12.13.2019 (002)

January 24, 2020 (1.24.2020 Board Packet)

February 28, 2020 (February 28, 2020 Board Packet)

February 28, 2020 Updated (February 28, 2020 Board Packet Updated)

March 27, 2020 (Meeting cancelled 3/11/2020)

May 1, 2020 (5-1-2020 Special Board Packet)

June 5, 2020 (Meeting cancelled 4/7/2020)

June 24, 2020 (June 24 2020 Special Board Packet)

July 28, 2020 (7-28-2020 Board Packet)

August 20, 2020 (Board Packet for August 20, 2020 Special Meeting)

Updated August 20, 2020 (Updated Board Packet for August 20, 2020 Special Meeting)

July 25-26, 2018 (Special Meeting Agenda PDF)

September 21, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

November 2, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

December 7, 2018 (Special Meeting Agenda PDF) 1:00 – 4:00pm

February 8, 2019 – Meeting Cancelled

March 8, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

April 12, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

May 10, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

June 13, 2019 (Board Packet PDF)

September 15, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

November 3, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

December 8, 2017 (Special Meeting) (Board Packet PDF)

February 2, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

March 9, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

May 11, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

June 14, 2018 (Board Packet PDF)

September 29, 2016 (Special Meeting)

September 30, 2016 (Special Meeting) (Board Packet PDF)

November 4, 2016 (Special Meeting) (Board Packet PDF)

January 6, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

February 3, 2017 – Board meeting cancelled due to inclement weather

March 3, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

May 5, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

June 15, 2017 (Board Packet PDF)

October 2, 2015 (Board Packet PDF)

October 30, 2015 (Board Packet PDF)

January 22, 2016 (Cancelled)

February 04, 2016 (Special Meeting) (Board Packet PDF)

February 25, 2016 (Cancelled)

March 25, 2016 (Board Packet PDF)

April 29, 2016 (Board Packet PDF)

June 16, 2016 (Board Packet PDF)

Meeting Minutes

Monthly Financial Status Report