Alisa grew up in Renton, attending Talbot Hill Elementary, Nelsen Middle School and Lindbergh High School. She met her now husband, Michael, at Nelsen Middle School in 8th grade (that’s the first yearbook signature to each other they’ve found!).
After being named a Washington State Scholar and being supported by the community with scholarships, Alisa attended Western Washington University and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She also earned a Master of Arts in education at Western Governors University.
In 2007, Alisa was hired by the Auburn School District to teach elementary school and spent 10 years teaching 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. In 2016, Alisa earned her endorsement in teaching English Language Learners. Since then she has been a teacher of students learning English as a second (or third!) language. Alisa also supports teacher professional development as a teacher coach, advises her school’s Associated Student Body, serves as the school’s technology coordinator and facilitates Auburn School District’s National Board candidate cohort.
Alisa earned her National Board certification in 2011 and was named Auburn School District’s Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2016. She then was named Puget Sound Educational Service District’s 2017 Teacher of the Year and was a state finalist for the 2017 state award.
Alisa was part of the inaugural Washington State Teacher Leader cadre in 2014 and worked on elevating educator voice through blogging about education policy and teacher leadership conferences for several years. Additionally, Alisa served two years on the Teacher Advisory Council for the Gates Foundation, advising the foundation’s direction in education. She currently serves on the Washington State Teacher Advisory Council. She has also done contracted work for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession on a regular basis.
Alisa has been married to her husband, Michael, a research and development engineer at Boeing, since 2010. Alisa and Michael adopted their daughter, Carly (who will proudly attend Renton schools!), in 2019. The three of them live in Southwest Renton with their two Australian Shepherds. Together, Alisa and Michael serve on the Board of Directors for Way Back Inn, a Renton non-profit focused on providing transitional housing to families with children. Alisa serves as Way Back Inn’s president and co-chairs the organization’s annual fundraising auction.
Both Alisa and Michael support local Renton groups and businesses. They are members of the Next Curve, as well as regularly support Renton Schools Foundation and the Renton Community Foundation.
When Alisa has free time she enjoys reading about education policy, enjoying local parks, cooking and traveling.