LEADERSHIP

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DONTE FELDER   |   EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Donte Felder began subbing for Seattle Public Schools twenty years ago in 1998 and became a full time teacher at Orca K-8 the following year. He has taught 2nd - 8th grades instructing children in history, language arts, social studies and theater. Eighteen years ago, he founded the Orca Drama Club which has been going strong since. Felder has been absolutely instrumental in creating extracurricular writing, theater, and film programs and has acted as a community leader and organizer, bringing together students with local nonprofit organizations in order to provide them access to opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable. In 2005, Mr. Felder was awarded Washington Education Association's Humanitarian Award for his play the First Day, a science fiction allegory about Brown versus the Board of Education that explored race relations. His play Katrina: I Too Am Worthy was subsequently produced at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Felder has used his own success as a playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer to mentor youth in both stage and screen, partnering with the Film School, Intiman Theatre, the Northwest Film Forum, and others, even going so far as to found the Columbia City Youth Theater Group to allow for Orca alum to continue being involved in local theater after they move on. Mr. Felder sits on the board of directors of the Hugo House, ArtsCorp, The advisory board of the Seattle Rep, and the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Foundation. On top of organizing a social justice film festival and the social justice conference, he also leads restorative justice workshops for the Seattle Art Museum and Creative Advantage.

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KELLY KARCHER   |   PROGRAM MANAGER

Kelly Karcher is a Seattle-based actor, singer, educator, administrator, and advocate. Originally from New Jersey, Kelly earned her B.F.A. from Montclair State University and spent the next seven years working as an actor out of New York City. She made her way out to Seattle in 2018 after completing her M.F.A. at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As an actor, Kelly has performed all over the country in both national tours and regional theatre. As an educator, she works with high school students to help them achieve their goals on the SAT, ACT, and Literature/Language tests. Kelly strongly believes in the power of theatre as an impetus for social change and is passionate about creating space for ALL stories to be told.

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DR. DONALD FELDER   |   CURRICULUM MENTOR

Dr. Felder is a traveling teacher. He visits schools to coach teachers, guide student workshops, and facilitate panel discussions.  He wants students to know the secrets of personal happiness and self-advocacy.  More so, Dr. Felder wants inspiring learners to engage in social justice affairs in their schools. Before retiring, Dr. Felder worked for Seattle Public Schools, beginning his career as a 4th grade teacher, helping 34 children bloom academically. The next year he transferred to Interagency Schools, teaching high school students math and science.  Five years later, he became the principal of this school.  While recognizing the lack of educational services for students challenged by community dilemmas, and/or learning/discipline issues at schools, he set his sights on developing small learning centers throughout the Martin Luther King County.  His reputation as a compassionate teacher, leader, and adviser grew.  Dr. Felder effectively protected the educational rights of struggling students pushed out of traditional schools, including those who were juvenile offenders, and/or in foster care. Under his leadership, a culture was created for teachers and students to thrive interdependently.  Consequently, Dr. Felder’s legacy still resonates in the operation of these schools, 15 years later.  After retiring from Seattle Public Schools, Dr. Felder joined Casey Family Programs and served as an ambassador for foster care children.  After nine years in this position, he decided to retire again to serve local communities. His focus is on developing partnerships that empower adults and young people to maintain safe neighborhoods, execute social justice goals, and become caretakers of schools.  Finally, in the name of fun, Dr. Felder makes his way around town as a Chicago Stepper, claiming he can still shake a leg among the best of the young.

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FRANCESCA BETANCOURT   
MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER   |   BLOG MENTOR

Francesca (Cessa) Betancourt is an administrator, actor, intimacy director, and educator. Her work is based in social/emotional learning, trauma informed facilitation, social justice, compassion, autonomy, and physical storytelling. She is the artistic director of a recurring storytelling event and podcast called "she is FIERCE: stories from the female and genderqueer perspective" and is a founding member of HERON, an interdisciplinary theatre ensemble. Cessa holds two BAs from Western Washington University in Theatre Arts and Sociology. and has trained in Applied Theatre at City University of New York.

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SARAH ARVEY    |   ACCESSIBILITY, INCLUSION, & ASSESSMENT

After eight years of passion for teaching special education, Sarah Arvey is excited to be a doctoral student at the University of Washington College of Education.  Her work centers the voices of youth with disabilities and disabled activists in K-12 curriculum and teacher education programming.  In collaboration with the Office of Education Ombuds and Rooted in Rights, she helped develop the One Out of Five: Disability History and Pride Project that includes six student voice videos and a variety of learning resources about disability identity, intersectionality, disability history, and solidarity.  As a disabled scholar and educator, it is amazing for Sarah to participate in emancipatory research that focuses on cross-disability and cross-movement activism within and beyond our classrooms. She utilizes arts-based methods in my teaching and research that centers the role of hope, joy, and emotionality in schools and academia. Sarah is excited to be working with South End Stories to support arts-based storytelling as a culturally sustaining method of inclusion across content areas. 

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KAITLIN KAMALEI BRANDON   
CULTURALLY SUSTAINING CURRICULUM COACH

Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon is a Native Hawaiian, multiracial educator and 2020 Teaching Tolerance Excellence in Teaching Award Winner. At the University of Washington, she completed her Masters in Teaching. She has taught Grades K-3, but she is currently a Grades 2/3 ELA Ethnic Studies Teacher at Leschi Elementary. With the goal of creating an empowering community for every student, Kaitlin Kamalei is an Ethnic Studies Curriculum Developer for Seattle Public Schools, Coach for the SEA Center for Racial Equity, and Founder of Colorful Pages to extend this work beyond her classroom. Her favorite things (besides diverse books and Colorful Pages) are watching and analyzing movies, listening to music, and going for runs with her dog, 'Īlio.

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DAN TRUOG   |   LEAD FILMMAKER

Dan Truog is a Seattle-based filmmaker with 15 years of video editing experience. He has spent most of his career in the advertising and documentary world. He also regularly teaches storytelling and filmmaking classes to students of all ages. When not at work, you can find him hanging with his daughter, watching movies, and drumming.