• 4403 South Ferdinand Street
  • Seattle, WA, 98118
  • United States

Please join Jenny Zavatsky, humanities teacher, Lake Washington Middle School; Heather Clark, racial literacy consultant, and teacher at University of Washington, Cascadia College, and Rainier Scholars; Eliaichi Kimaro, filmmaker and activist; and Nisha Nathani, Dean of Students and Inclusion, Lake Washington Girls Middle School for a special evening to talk about how our program, grounded in disciplines of social justice and mindfulness, is empowering the next generation of young women to be Strong in Mind, Body, and Voice.

Featured guests:

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Jenny Zavatsky
Humanities teacher, Lake Washington Middle School

Ms. Jenny joined the L-Dub faculty in 2006, and over the years, she has taught humanities, math, drama, social studies, outdoor education, and mock trial. Prior to coming to L-Dub, Ms. Jenny taught writing at the Seattle University’s School of Law and taught middle school and upper school English and history at Seattle Academy. In addition to bringing her passion for rigorous academics, lively theatrical productions, and outdoor education, Jenny designed L-Dub’s three-year Walls to Bridges social justice curriculum, focused on activism, leadership, and voice—exploring identity and ally-ship, historical movements for social change, and privilege and oppression—and helping girls develop tools to become agents of change.


Heather Clark
Racial literacy consultant, University of Washington and Cascadia College anthropology teacher, and Rainier Scholars teacher

Heather Clark’s graduate school research explored how individuals in the Pacific Northwest who identify as African American and Deaf navigate their many cultural identities. A sociocultural anthropologist, Heather has worked as a consultant with independent schools and organizations around issues of privilege, equity and social justice for several years. She is passionate about empowering faculty and staff to gain skills in racial literacy, and to have students thrive in any educational environment. Heather currently teaches Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Washington and Cascadia College. Heather also teaches at Rainier Scholars, exploring how young scholars of color navigate their many cultural identities.


Eliaichi Kimaro
Filmmaker and activist

Eliaichi Kimaro uses art and video to bring stories of struggle, resistance, and survival to a broader audience. Eli brings a lifetime of personal and professional experience exploring issues of culture, identity, race, class, gender and trauma to her award-winning directorial debut, A Lot Like You. She is currently on the campus/conference lecture circuit, engaging with communities around the world about gender-based violence, global mixed race/multicultural issues, cultural identity and the power of personal storytelling. Through her production company, 9elephants productions, she has produced over 80 videos for local and national nonprofits working within underserved communities to address social and economic justice issues.

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Nisha Nathani
Dean of Students and Inclusion, Lake Washington Girls Middle School

Ms. Nisha graduated from McGill University with a MA in culture and values in education and a BEd in mathematics and English literature. Ms. Nisha began her teaching career in a small public high school in Montreal, PQ where she taught math and English literature. She then spent nine years as adjunct faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, BC where she taught a social and emotional curriculum within the medical school. Over the past five years, Ms. Nisha has taught math in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at L-Dub, she helped to establish our school's mindfulness program, and she currently chairs the STEAM department. As a key member of the leadership team, her focus is on students and inclusion. Ms Nisha engages in equity and social justice issues, restorative justice, and our L-Dub school culture.


Patricia Hearn
Head of School, Lake Washington Girls Middle School

Lake Washington Girls Middle School hired Ms. Hearn as its first Head Teacher in 1998. She worked with the parent board to plan the opening of the school and wrote and taught the humanities, math, and enrichment curricula for all three grades. As the school grew and changed, so did its administrative structure. In 2005, the LWGMS Board appointed Ms. Hearn Head of School, and she has led the evolution of the school every step of the way. A hands-on leader, Ms. Hearn directs the eighth grade play each year. A frequent speaker on the value of secular, middle school education, Ms. Hearn is also a member of the boards of NWAIS and The Bush School.


Lake Washington Girls Middle School (LWGMS) empowers girls to be strong in mind, body, and voice. Committed to shaping a community that fosters creative confidence, LWGMS opened its doors in 1998 as the first secular girls middle school (grades 6-8) in Seattle. We encourage girls to take risks, explore leadership, solve problems, collaborate, and stand up for themselves and others. Our innovative curriculum is designed to educate the whole girl—intellectually, socially, and emotionally—with a focus on integrating social justice and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) curriculum.

LWGMS is one of the most diverse independent schools in Seattle—diverse in terms of students’ race, ethnicity, economic status, and family configurations. Our staff of 21 currently serves 108 girls annually, approximately 50% of whom identify as students of color (compared to 26.5% across Washington independent schools). Almost 30% of our families receive financial assistance (compared to 21% at Washington independent schools).

For more information, please contact Becky O’Boyle, Director of Institutional Advancement, Lake Washington Girls Middle School, at boboyle@lwgms.org or 206.550.5068.

For news and information about LWGMS, please visit our website or The LWGMS Voice blog.