Meet Our School Board

District 1 - Gretchen Maliska - Vice 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 - Mel Hartley - President

  • Read the Q&A with Mel

    Melissa "Mel" Hartley, JD, is a devoted mother, grandmother, and avid volunteer in the district, as well as an honored U.S. Army Veteran. She is committed to diversity, and the inclusion of every student, and has experience with both the highly-capable and special education programs in Washington State.

    Mel earned her Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she started her career in Human Resources with the college. During her time in Chapel Hill, she volunteered as a Big Sister with the United Way. She later returned to school, earning her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, where she was a proud member of American Indian Law Review and inducted into two legal honor societies. As a Law Student, she volunteered in the Juvenile Justice Center, and served as a tutor for incarcerated youth.

    Mel completed two tours with the Army, and is currently a civilian attorney and instructor, practicing and teaching health law and ethics at Madigan Army Medical Center. During her career with the Army, she was awarded numerous individual military and civilian awards, and was inducted into the Order of Military Medical Merit for lasting contributions to Army medicine.

    "I will listen to all views presented, and work toward a decision that is fiscally sound, morally responsible, and that which will benefit our students and the community we serve," Mel said. She and her husband Jeff have lived in Lacey for 18 years. Their children have all received excellent education while enrolled in the district, the youngest of whom is currently attending High School in NTPS.

    Board term expires November 2021.

District 4 - Graeme Sackrison

  • 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.

Sativa Valles

  • Sativa Valles Sativa Valles attended Mountain View Elementary, Komachin Middle School and is currently a senior at South Sound High School. Her favorite subject is science, and she plans on attending college and choosing between criminal justice or veterinary science as her focus. Her outside interests are video games, movies (documentaries & horror), and learning about historical crime cases as well as other subjects.

Emma Waldon

  • Emma Waldon Emma Waldon attended Horizons Elementary, Aspire Middle School, and is currently a senior at North Thurston High School. She is heavily involved in her school's orchestra and is the ASB vice president. Emma's interests outside of school include playing the cello and the responsibilities that come with being this past year's Lakefair Queen. After graduation she hopes to attend Boise State University and major in Communications, or pursue a career in either public speaking or sports journalism.