Renaissance is fortunate to have a great staff who are not only experienced and creative but also truly care about each of the students who join the school.
- Todd Apple, Principal
- Cheryl Kenyon, Associate Principal
- Shirley Poblete, Office Manager | Registrar | Attendance
- Martha Daman, Lead Teacher
- Elizabeth Rothwell, Teacher
- Lily Cortes, Special Education Teacher
- Haakon Standal, Teacher
- Mariana Borgiani, Teacher
- Tessa Hinn (D'Alessandro), Counselor
- Rebecca Harris, Nurse
- Coeleen Kent, Youth Eastside Services, Counselor
Cheryl Kenyon joined LWSD in 2021 as the interim principal of Sammamish River Valley Online School. In 2023, when
the district decided to close its online operations, Cheryl joined the administrative team at EHS/RSAR. Cheryl started her school administration journey in 2005 and has been a principal and associate principal in Alaska, Arizona, and Washington, focusing primarily on turnaround schools and promoting educational equity for students furthest from it. She is excited to broaden her skillset at EHS/RSAR in the coming school year.
Mrs. Kenyon lives in the beautiful Skagit valley with her husband, Dan; daughter, Emma; and German Shepherd, Venus. As a family, they like supporting the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken, and attending local concerts. When she has the time, Mrs. Kenyon enjoys reading and quilting.
Mrs. Kenyon’s primary office is in EHS; however, you’ll be able to see her visiting the RSAR campus regularly, too.
Martha Daman, the last remaining founding member of the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning staff and lead teacher, teaches 8th grade language arts and social studies, 6th through 8th grade Performing Arts, and Guild (aka. advisory). Her preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers.
Martha Daman has been teaching in the Lake Washington School District since Fall 1999. She began dancing and performing at age three in Cupertino, California, where she spent her first seventeen years. After moving to Redmond and graduating from Redmond High School, Martha pursued her college career in Ellensburg, Washington at Central Washington University. Following her marriage to John Daman in August of 1998, she completed her student teacher training at Rose Hill Junior High under the supervision of Gary Iverson. Martha got a job in the Lake Washington School District right after graduation in June of 1999 at Kirkland Junior High (now Kirkland Middle School).
In August of 2000, Mrs. Daman started teaching at BEST Night School program (now Emerson Night School), where she developed independent learning plans for students wanting to graduate from high school. Following the year at Night School, Ms. Daman was offered a position in the BEST High Day School (Emerson School) program, where she taught all levels of high school English and a few History classes, as well Performing Arts. While at BEST High School she co-directed the plays Willy Wonka and Bugsy Malone with the high school students.
In 2004, Ms. Daman joined Diane Kane, Christopher Fraley, and Kathy Colombo to plan the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning. On June 3, 2006, Ms. Daman gave birth to her first daughter, Molly, and in August of 2006 helped open the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning on the EHS campus. On February 11, 2011, Ms. Daman delivered her second daughter, Addison.
Ms. Daman believes very strongly about the importance of building strong working relationships, opportunities for choice, and partnering with families to establish an environment of success for her students. She welcomes visitors to her classroom to see what students are actively engaged in. Rigorous studies in English language arts, social studies, and performing arts are all passions of Ms. Daman, and she expects students to give each subject equal attention and care. She does not expect perfection from them; however, she does expect everyone to give their best and grow through the experiences she provides them.
Ms. Rothwell holds a Master of Science in Biology from Northern Arizona University, and first discovered her love for education while teaching undergraduate laboratory courses during her time there. After completing her degree, she worked as the lead science instructor at a small private high school based in Sammamish for about two and a half years. She taught 1-on-1 science and math courses, developed curricula for biology, chemistry, and algebra, and supported science and math instructors in their professional development as teachers and tutors.
To move toward teaching in public schools, Ms. Rothwell completed a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Science from Western Governors University. She completed her student teaching at Lake Washington High School, and then worked as a substitute paraprofessional and teacher for the Mercer Island School District before taking on her role at Eastlake and Renaissance in the Lake Washington School District.
Ms. Rothwell has found that students in this middle school are naturally curious and excited about science, and enjoys fostering that appreciation for STEM. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner, Chris and her Golden Retriever, Jackson.
I'm Lily Cortes, a special education teacher at Renaissance and Eastlake High School. Raised mostly in Washington, I graduated from Lake Washington High School in 2016, followed by studies at WSU. There, I majored in Asian Studies with a focus on modern-day China and a minor in psychology. Despite plans to teach in Chengdu, China, after graduating in 2020, the Covid-19 lockdown altered my path. I adapted, becoming an IA at Eastlake, where I fell in love with working with students in the special education department and the broader LWSD community. In 2021, I joined a teaching program, pursuing my teaching certificate and masters while an IA at Eastlake. This journey deepened my bond with this remarkable community and affirmed that my teaching path was right here. At my core, I believe in providing students a secure space to embrace growth and explore their identities. In the upcoming year, I'm unwavering in my commitment to cultivate an environment where each student thrives, discovers strengths, and ignites curiosity. Let's work together to create classrooms that nurtures growth, celebrates diversity, and sparks the joy of learning.
Haakon grew up in Everett, attending Cascade High School. He went to Gonzaga University in Spokane for his Bachelor’s, and WGU for his Master’s in Education. His favorite class during his Master’s program was Arts Integration – skills and techniques he uses in the classroom every day at Renaissance.
In addition to building artistic skills, Haakon believes strongly in using the visual arts as a way to demonstrate learning from other classes, as this is shown to dramatically improve academic outcomes, as well as overall motivation, for students.
In his free time, Haakon loves hiking, going to concerts, trivia night, sporting events, and watching sports and documentaries with his cat, Meowchelle Opawma.
6th and 7th Math
6th, 7th, and 8th Art
Mariana Borgiani is a sixth-grade ELA/SS, seventh-grade ELA/SS/Math, sixth to eighth Guild teacher at the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning since Feb/2023.
Mariana is an MD from Brazil with a pediatrics and pulmonology specialization and a Ph.D. in Telemedicine. She graduated from the University of Sao Paulo and worked at various hospitals, private clinics, and NGOs for underserved communities. After having her first boy, the family moved to the USA through her husband's IT work to Bellevue, where they welcomed another boy.
Intending to help her kids succeed in the American school system, Mariana started to be involved with schools by volunteering, participating in the PTSA, working as an instructional assistant in different schools at Bellevue School District, and eventually becoming a teacher. Mariana was a 3rd grade teacher and long-term substitute teacher before coming to LWSD.
Mariana is a problem solver and adaptative learner; she is eager to improve her skills and help people to succeed and thrive. She loves sports, traveling, learning new cultures, and family. Mariana firmly believes "Knowledge is Power!"
6th ELA/SS and 7th LA/SS/Math
Tessa is returning as our counselor at RSAR and Eastlake High School. She graduated from Linfield College with a degree in Exercise Science and completed her Master’s in School Counseling in August 2021. Before joining the LWSD, Tessa worked as a Behavior Technician in an elementary Special Education program. She is excited to returning to work with Renaissance students, families and staff. Tessa is a Seattle native who has lived in North Seattle her entire life. Outside of work, Tessa enjoys cooking, walking, reading, playing soccer, and spending time with friends and family.
Coeleen is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and a fully credentialed Substance Use Disorder Therapist with many years of experience. Coeleen has training in CBT and DBT and is particularly skillful working with neurodiverse youth. Coeleen has many years of experience in the mental health field, the last six with YES working as a BHSS in the Bellevue Middle Schools, where she responded to and worked with all 5 Middle Schools, often responding to students with the most acute mental health needs. Coeleen works best one to one and in small groups. She is dedicated to partnering with parents and staff towards student wellbeing while respecting student privacy. An example of Coeleen’s commitment to consistent services is that during remote schooling she met parents and students at the park by the YES main office and conducted sessions in the park with masks and social distancing so that her students could continue services and have a healthy break from being inside at home as well. She assisted many parents with creative problem solving during this time as well with youth who refused to leave the house or sometimes even their bedroom. Coeleen is also mindful of the additional social determinants of health and connecting youth and families to other school and community resources, once locating a donated sewing machine for a student with that passion but no resources to purchase one.