Meet Our School Board
District 1 - Gretchen Maliska - President
Read the Q&A with Gretchen
Gretchen has been a strong community leader in education and active parent in North Thurston Public Schools since 2006. She has served NTPS students and community on North Thurston Citizens for Schools Levy Campaigns, and been part of the NTPS Boundary Committee, working directly with NTPS district leadership.
As a CTE Program Manager, she provides administrative planning and oversight to approximately 60 teachers in vocational disciplines. Gretchen has also served as an executive administrator at a K-8 private school, providing oversight on budget, funding, enrollment, curriculum, and staff development.
Always an active parent, Gretchen has managed youth football, served on preschool boards, and organized school fundraising. Gretchen has also provided advocacy for children with special needs and is an active supporter of Activities, Athletics and Performing Arts as part of a comprehensive public education.
Gretchen is dedicated to the success of students, families, staff and leadership in NTPS. “I am committed to open and honest discussion and input from our patrons and parents,” said Maliska, who is grateful for the excellent education three of her sons have received in the district. “I look forward to working with district leaders and staff to ensure that every child has a quality public education!”
Board term expires November 2023.
District 2 - Chuck Namit
Read the Q&A with Chuck
Chuck Namit was the Assistant Executive Director for the Washington State School Directors' Association (WSSDA) until his retirement in 2007. He was trained by John Carver at the Advanced Policy Governance Institute. Chuck is the recipient of NSBA's 2006 Shannon Award for staff member excellence in board training. He is a member of the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Thurston Regional Planning Council.
Chuck is currently the President of Strategem, LLC, a governance and management consulting firm. He presents regularly at the National School Board Association (NSBA) annual conferences, and has trained board members and administrators for more than 30 years. He has worked with Boeing executives to develop a model for implementing continuous improvement in schools. He has been involved in the exploration of change in education reform, and has developed community-wide change program. He also served as a member of the National School Board Foundation task force on Data-driven Decision Making. He has served as an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University, and has developed online training for school board members.
Chuck attended Portland Public Schools, and graduated from Central Catholic High School. He went on to earn a B.S. degree in History, with a minor in Political Science, from Portland State University. He also earned an M.Ed. degree from Oregon State University, a Master's degree in Communication (Journalism) from Michigan State University, and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Puget Sound.
He has lived in Lacey since 1981, and his daughter graduated from NTPS. Chuck is in his sixth four-year term on the North Thurston School Board.
Board term expires November 2021.
District 3 - Dr. Jennifer S. Thomas
District 3 Map (PDF)Dr. Thomas is currently serving as nursing faculty at the Pacific Lutheran University School of Nursing in Tacoma. Thomas lives in Lacey with her family, which includes five children enrolled in the school district. As a military spouse, she understands the challenges that come with frequent moves and is passionate about supporting and advocating for military families. “As a nurse, I come with a unique perspective of care that encompasses a holistic view. I find great value in seeing things from a socio-economical lens, beginning with the individual, then moving to interpersonal relations, organizational impact, community support, and public policy.”
The Board of Directors chose Thomas in accordance with District policy 1114. She will serve until the November 2021 regular election. Thank you to Mel Hartley for her service to the District since January 2017. Mel resigned her position in March 2021 due to accepting a new position with the Navy which required her to move out of state.
District 4 - Graeme Sackrison - Vice President
Read the Q&A with Graeme
Graeme has a long history with North Thurston Public Schools and the City of Lacey. He moved to the area with his family in 1956 and first attended Lacey Grade School, since replaced by a Safeway. He then attended North Thurston High School, which at the time included grades 7-12 and was a member of the track and swimming teams. Following graduation in 1962, he attended Centralia Community College for two years before transferring to Western Washington State College, graduating with a degree in economics and business in 1966.
After college graduation, he spent four years in the United States Air Force. Upon discharge, he worked for the Employment Security Department spending the majority of his career as the legislative liaison for the department before retiring in 1998.
In the community, Graeme spent 13 years on the Lacey City Council, including three two-year terms as Mayor. During that time, he worked collaboratively with North Thurston Public Schools on a variety of projects.
He’s been married to Cinda Sackrison for over 30 years with a daughter, granddaughter, and a great grandson who attends Lakes Elementary, their fourth generation attending North Thurston Public Schools.
Board term expires November 2023.
District 5 - Dave Newkirk
Read the Q&A with Dave
Dave Newkirk is a community leader, active parent and product of North Thurston Public Schools. He moved to Lacey in 1977 where he attended Olympic View Elementary, Nisqually Middle School and graduated from Timberline High School in 1992. The son of a U.S. Army military father, Dave moved between Germany and Lacey throughout his schooling. After graduation he joined the United States Marine Corps where he served six honorable years before returning to Lacey and getting his Associates degree from South Puget Sound Community College.
Volunteering is a huge part of Dave’s life. Dave firmly believes in the phrase "Service Above Self" and is a current member and past President of the Hawks Prairie Rotary. He has volunteered for many other great organizations, including coaching youth football, basketball, baseball, and soccer and volunteering for schools and the local levy and bond campaigns. Throughout his childhood and while serving his country, Dave has never lost sight of finding a greater purpose and lending a helping hand.
“There is no greater purpose than helping our children succeed. All of our children deserve a great public education. Our children are our future and I am honored to be able to work alongside the many great people of our community to ensure that our District will always be able to provide a great learning environment for our children,” Dave said. He and his wife have two sons, a senior at North Thurston and another in second grade. He is vested in this community.
Board term expires November 2023.
Samir Amin (North Thurston)
Samir attended Lakes Elementary School, Aspire Middle School and is currently a senior at North Thurston High School. His favorite subject is math, and he plans on attending a 4-year university as a recruited athlete for track/cross-country. Samir's outside interests are gaming on his PC with friends, and he enjoys most sports. Currently, Samir is the ASB president at North Thurston High School, he is an Eagle Scout, captain of the cross-country team, 4-year band member and involved in numerous clubs including renaissance, honor society and the math club.
Makayla Hamlin (River Ridge)
Makayla attended Holy Family School for elementary, Salish Middle School and is now a senior at River Ridge. Makayla's favorite subject is English, and her favorite class is Ms. Farley's AP Literature course. Makayla is a member of the varsity basketball team, National Honor Society, the Sports Medicine Club and the Black Student Union. She also serves on the Youth Advisory Committee for the Washington Ethnic Studies Youth Committee. Outside of school, Makayla is the Teen’s Chapter President for Jack and Jill of America Inc, Far West Region, Tacoma Chapter and is an active participant at Grace Gospel Chapel. After graduation, Makayla hopes to attend Stanford University where she plans to major in Human Biology and minor in Sociology to prepare for medical school. Ultimately, Makayla desires to become an Emergency Room Pediatric Physician.