“I have never worked somewhere that had such a supportive and positive atmosphere.” Stacia Wasmundt, Past Staff Member
Meet Our Staff
Meghan runs the organization collaboratively with Meagan Darrow. She coordinates administrative staff, represents TOGETHER! in the community, oversees a large portion of our substance abuse prevention programs, and more. Meghan is a certified yoga teacher and former snowboard lesson instructor. Spending time with her family (cats included!), friends and her husband make her the happiest. One of her cats looks like he belongs on a Scholastic book fair kitty poster. Her guilty pleasure is Netflix, sweats and not leaving the house for an entire day. She dreams of sailing in the Caribbean and as a child read and re-read the book Island of the Blue Dolphins.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
Meagan runs the organization collaboratively with Meghan Sullivan. She coordinates human resource staff, represents TOGETHER! within the community, and oversees the majority of our school-based and community-based youth development programs. Meagan’s guilty pleasure is takeout from Curry Corner and drinking way too much coffee! Her family has a Little Free Library in front of their home and they love building community through books! Meagan is happiest when she is with her two amazing boys and husband, reading in her jammies with a cup of coffee, and being in the woods.
“Create what sets your heart on fire and it will illuminate the path ahead.”
Jenifer leads and coordinates financial management of the agency, provides numbers and guidance to staff where needed, and works with the Board of Directors and the Finance Committee. She is our longest-serving employee, having joined the team in 1996! She can often be found camping with her husband in their fifth wheel, enjoying the Northwest, and spending time with grandchildren. She is an amazing quilter and loves chocolate!
HR & Office Manager
Shannon manages the day-to-day operations of our administration office as well as human resources for the agency. In her free time, Shannon enjoys reading and tends to get wrapped up in a good book! She has a Sharpei/Lab mix who weighs about 65 pounds, yet he thinks he is a tiny Chihuahua. Shannon loves getting hugs and smiles from her children and family; knowing that she is a positive influence in their lives is priceless! She is passionate about providing children a healthy foundation (mentally and physically) to which they can build a successful life and continue the cycle of well-being.
“Be true to yourself first and always!”
Caitlin Moore is the Program Manager for TOGETHER!'s Rainier programs. Caitlin grew up in the Pacific Northwest riding her fixie-bike and playing in the vegetable garden with her dad. She has a Bachelor of Science focused on genetics from Evergreen State College and a Master of Arts in Policy Studies from University of Washington. She loves to travel and has visited over ten countries; including working on a small farm in France. Some of her favorite things are reading books, hiking, and playing acoustic guitar.
Community Schools Admin Manager
Before joining the staff at TOGETHER!, Ari served two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is happy to continue serving her community. In her spare time, she is a multidisciplinary artist engaging with many mediums from film to drawing to writing. Ari attended the Evergreen State College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2013 focusing in American Cultural Studies. Her favorite book is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and she hopes to one day visit King City and Monterrey, CA where Steinbeck lived and wrote. One of Ari’s favorite quotes is from the anime Ghost in the Shell and helps to remind her to continue to grow and change.
“Your effort to remain what you are is what limits you.”
Club House Director
Eva coordinates the day-to-day operations of our before- and- after-school and summer 21st Century Club House program at 3 elementary school sites in the North Thurston Public Schools district. Eva was born in San Francisco, California and moved to Olympia in 2007. Eva loves it here! Eva studied science at The Evergreen State College and is still very much a self-proclaimed nerd. When not working, Eva is either walking their dog, watching science fiction or hanging out with their sister who also lives in Olympia. Eva is passionate about youth and social justice work and is studying at University of Washington Tacoma to get their Masters in Social Work. Eva is also very silly and can be spotted dancing around in the office from time to time.
Pleasant Glade Club House Site Manager
“All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”
― Shel Silverstein
When she was 10 years old, Cat's mother made her to go summer school. Obviously, she didn’t want to go and lamented to her mom, “I’m going to be going to school for the rest of my life.” That was a prophetic cry.
Her journey in education started with teaching Lamaze classes and continued when she started teaching preschool in a tiny town with no official education. Later, she became interested in interpreting for the Deaf and took a position interpreting for a Yelm school, again, with no formal education. During this time, she became aware of the deficiencies in education for Deaf children. This prompted her to return to school to get her degree in education and special education.
Upon finishing her degree, she worked in public schools for many years and many locations from Washington State to Georgia. When she decided to take a break, she found TOGETHER! Since she has been with TOGETHER! she has had the opportunity to grow professionally, spiritually, and intellectually, adding to her colors.
Meadows Club House Site Manager
Llyffant Rhedyn is excited to be our Meadows Elementary Club House Site Coordinator! He joins the TOGETHER! team with a background in Community & Youth Development and Social Justice. As a recent transplant, he loves exploring the Pacific Northwest, gaining a deeper understanding of this bioregion, and spending time with the tall trees and prolific ferns. He has a certification in Permaculture Design and loves all things compost. Most of his free time is filled with studying folk spirituality and decolonizing ancestral studies. Someday he hopes to finish his memoir or complete a Masters of Divinity. Either way, he is always busy.
Current inspiring quote: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Y. Davis
Lydia Hawk Club House Site Manager
Nora Ortiz is the site coordinator for Lydia Hawk Elementary School. She is passionate about serving her community in any way she can and as a Mexico born Latina she is also passionate about bridging resources to marginalized communities. In her spare time she loves staying active with her son, they love lifting weights, running, swimming, hiking; pretty much anything that keeps them moving, keeps them happy.
Her favorite quote: “We rise by lifting others”
Lead Community Schools Manager
As team leader, Jennifer supports the growth of our Community Schools program by supporting new team members, taking the lead on key projects and helping delegate tasks to the growing team. Jennifer is originally from the Midwest (Go CUBS!). She loves hanging with her family, eating pizza with friends and playing board games. She enjoys painting (walls not canvases) and renovating her and her family’s old home. Her happy place is hiking Watershed in Olympia and the ocean. Her and her family don’t have pets but live vicariously through others who do. She has a secret talent of bargain shopping and getting great deals on airline tickets.
Secondary Community Schools Manager
Lindsey manages Community Schools at Bush Middle School and Tumwater High School, bringing outside services in to serve the kids where they are already: in school. Lindsey is the mama to two ridiculously awesome daughters, who she refer to as her “Beasts” because they are, indeed, fabulously crazy, hilarious beasts. – Sophia (“Big Beast”) is 9 – and Charlie (“Baby Beast”) is 4. Lindsey also has two “fur children” – Fanoona, a 10 year old Lab mix who is, paws down, the best dog in the whole wide world… fur reals… and Brian, a very grumpy 3 year old Chihuahua – who thinks he’s 83 – and is quite possibly the world’s worst dog – but even bad dogs need cozy homes, so alas, he stays. Lindsey is married to an amazing human – who she call her Husbeast – because, well, that’s clearly where her children get their beastliness! When Lindsey is not Community Schoolin’ – you can usually find her out on an adventure of some sorts – hiking, clam digging, sledding, skiing, visiting grandparents, or coaching one of her beasts’ teams - fastpitch, tee-ball, basketball, and soccer! Her life motto is “Hakuna Matata” (it means no worries, for the rest of your days) and she truly believes that anything can be accomplished with a positive attitude, good manners, and lots of coffee!
Elementary Community Schools Manager
Arianne manages Community Schools at the elementary schools in the Tumwater School District, bringing outside services in to serve the kids where they are already: in school. Arianne grew up in the Olympia area, and is happy to be back serving this community after attending school at Central Washington University. She is passionate about public health, and eliminating social and health disparities. In her downtime, Arianne loves exploring new places, reading a good book or article, attending local events, and catching up with friends and family.
"Live less out of habit, and more out of intent."
Middle School Community Schools Manager -- Tumwater
Michael J. Dennis is the Community in Schools Manager for Tumwater Middle School and Bush Middle School. As a military dependent, Michael was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Oceanside, California. He moved to the Pacific Northwest to finish his Bachelors and Masters degrees at The Evergreen State College. When is not at work, Michael is making documentary videos, going to concerts, attending religious services, and engaging in community and cultural events. Michael is very politically active and has organized and volunteered for several political causes and campaigns. He enjoys sci-fi and learning about modern and future technology. Michael also loves to cook and his sister-in-law has taught him how to cook numerous Thai dishes. He is the proud uncle to 4 nieces and one nephew that live in California and Texas. Michael is extremely passionate about being proactive in solving problems and believes in the quote
"People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life's biggest mistakes." – Rabbi Noah Weinberg
Middle School Community Schools Manager -- Yelm
Originally from Cincinnati, Maria graduated from Ohio University, where she met her husband, with a B.S. in Public and Community Health and minors in environmental health and military science. She participated in Army ROTC in college and is now an officer in the Washington Army National Guard. Maria loves reading, exploring outside and her rescue dog, Cassie, who is a crazy wild child with a hilarious personality and a penchant for chewing up cardboard boxes. Maria is passionate about changing kids' lives. Her biggest role models as a student were a track coach and a teacher, who still inspire her today. If she can change one student's life in Yelm, she will be very happy. Her favorite quote is:
I don't know where I'm going but I know I'm on my way.
Communications & Mentoring Coordinator
Cynthia manages TOGETHER!'s communications as well as the school-based mentoring program. Besides working for TOGETHER!, Cynthia is also an astrologer and tarot reader who can be found stargazing and card-reading around Olympia and online. She loves reading and writing poetry, making music, drinking tea and learning about herbal medicine. She’s passionate about community-based conflict resolution, trauma theory and the science of positive relationship. She has this quote from Barbara Kingsolver posted on her office door:
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
Right from the Start Coordinator
Nancy grew up in Rochester and is a Rochester alumna. She moved to Bellingham, WA to earn her Bachelor's Degree at Western Washington University and stayed there for 7 years before moving back to Rochester to be close to family. She's happy to be back. Nancy is passionate about serving her community in any way she can. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her son and husband, hiking, reading, and baking.
Dianalyn is passionate about working towards a positive future for everyone. She really appreciates nature and is fascinated with just about anything that has to do with it. In her free time she practices plant identification (medicinal and edible), beading, cooking, gardening, relaxing, and spending time with her family. She loves to learn and considers herself a student of life. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children, reading, watching documentaries, comedy, and listening to music. She has several quotes that are her favorite, but right now these two quotes from her childhood seem to hang around her head:
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, it's not going to get any better, it's not"~ The Lorax (Dr. Susses)
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much"~ Helen Keller
AmeriCorps VISTA - RALLY
Adrienne is our AmeriCorps VISTA for RALLY and Community Schools. She recently graduated from Central Washington University with a double major in psychology and human services. She is passionate about reducing inequality within the community and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to be happy, healthy, and safe. Adrienne loves the Olympia area and enjoys drinking a warm cup of tea on a rainy day. In her free time, she can be found either out hiking in the woods, reading, or watching Netflix. Her favorite book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
"There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." --Fred Rogers
AmeriCorps VISTA - Volunteer Coordinator
AmeriCorps Youth in Service - Community Schools