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About REL Northwest

REL Northwest serves five states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. To address the priorities and interests in these states, REL Northwest works in partnership with school districts, state departments of education, and others to use data and research to improve academic outcomes for students.

REL Northwest works to bridge the worlds of education research and education practice. We offer various supports to the collaborative research partnerships and other stakeholder groups in the region:


Fiona Helsel

Fiona Helsel

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Jennifer Esswein

Deputy Director
Jennifer Esswein

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Partners and External Experts

REL Northwest—administered by Education Northwest—partners with the following research and technical support organizations:

  • Concord Evaluation Group
  • MDRC
  • Portland State University
  • RAND Corporation
  • Temple University
  • University of Oregon
  • West Wind Education Policy


Governing Board

REL Northwest is guided by a Governing Board representing constituent groups in the Northwest, including chief state school officers, superintendents, educators, researchers, and community members. The REL Northwest Governing Board is charged with ensuring that the work being conducted addresses the high-leverage problems of the region and that progress is being made in meeting the intended outcomes of the federal REL program.


Sharyl Allen
Deputy Superintendent, Montana Office of Public Instruction
Helena, Montana

Jioanna Carjuzaa
Professor, Montana State University; Executive Director, Center for Bilingual and Multicultural Education
Bozeman, Montana

Doug Gray
Principal, PAIDEIA Cooperative School
Anchorage, Alaska

Aleksandra Hollingshead
Associate Professor, University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho

Tim McMurtrey
Deputy Superintendent, Operations, Idaho State Department of Education,
Boise, Idaho

Karen Melin
Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development
Juneau, Alaska

Michaela Miller
Deputy Superintendent, Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Olympia, Washington

Rebecca Mitchell
Teacher and K-12 Curriculum Director, Vision Charter School
Caldwell, Idaho

Carmen Urbina
Deputy Director, Oregon Department of Education
Salem, Oregon

Gene Sharratt
Center for Educational Effectiveness
Bellevue, Washington

Andy Shouse
Chief Program Officer, Washington STEM
Seattle, Washington

Alma Trinidad
Associate Professor, Portland State University
Portland, Oregon

Curtis Yarlott
Executive Director, St. Labre Indian School
Ashland, Montana