Barbara Frailey, Head of School
BA – Math and Women’s Studies, Wesleyan University; Teaching Credential, San Francisco State University; M.Ed – Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Long Island University. Barbara has been working in small, innovative elementary and middle schools since 1997, and has been a school leader since 2010, when she became Lower School Director at Greene Hill School in Brooklyn, NY. Before coming to Explorer West in 2019, Barbara was the Assistant Head of School at Seattle Girls’ School for five years, where she was known as a collaborative leader and a creative and patient problem solver. Barbara also has extensive experience with instructional coaching and leading professional development, and taught both undergraduate and graduate education courses at Long Island University. In 2016 she was selected as a member of the first cohort of NWAIS Pathways to Leadership, a program for women school leaders preparing to become Heads of School. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Spruce Street School, an independent elementary school in Seattle. Barbara loves the energy and creativity of middle school students, and really appreciates the energy and creativity of their teachers! When she’s not working, Barbara loves exploring the hiking trails of the Pacific Northwest’s mountains with her husband and daughters, knitting, running, and trying to keep up with her book club.
Katie Auker, Director of Admissions
BA, Speech Communication, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; M.Ed, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Washington. Katie joined Explorer West in 2015 after working in education administration for 15 years. She has managed non-profit programs in public schools as well as ran her own after-school language business and an education center in California. She is the girls basketball coach and an outdoor education faculty trip leader. She is excited to work at a school that has a focus on sustainability and outdoor education that allows her to share her enthusiasm with the community. Outside of school, you can find her hiking, backpacking, camping, cooking, chasing live music, and hanging out with her rescue dog, Barley.
Kelli Horn, Head of School’s Administrative Assistant
BA, Washington State University; Teaching certificate, St. Martins University. Kelli started substitute teaching at Explorer West in 2009 and she has taught every subject except Music. She has a background in management and sales. Her interests include travel, yoga, raising her four children and spending time at the Hood Canal.
Carol LaMotte, Business Manager:
BA, Honors – Spanish, Gonzaga University; BBAd, Honors – Accounting, Gonzaga University; CPA – Carol has worked in public accounting and private industry accounting roles in Seattle for over 20 years, including a 2-year assignment in Prague, Czech Republic. She has been a volunteer for Explorer West for many years and is thrilled to join the school on a full-time basis. Her interests include family, travel, scuba diving, learning new languages, cooking with and for friends and family, and being outdoors.
Vic Larson, School Counselor:
MA Social Work, University of Washington. Vic has worked with children and families in a variety of settings for 35 years. He has extensive experience in school settings both public and private and has worked at University Prep for 15 years. He currently is in private practice and is working with the Explorer West community as a counselor and parent educator.