Julie Brock, School Counselor
BA, MS - Cal State Long Beach; Sociology (diversity focus), School Counseling. Julie considers herself a wayfarer after moving 20+ times. Her passion is experiencing the beautiful diversity of people and the many ways of being human in this world, which fuels her commitment to social justice. Originally from Southern California, she lived and worked in more than 8 states, including 2 years in Germany, before settling in Seattle in 2019. Outside of Explorer West, Julie works as a parent educator, especially engaging families (like hers) with ADHD-wired minds. She renews herself through time with close friends, travel, exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and by singing and dancing with her 3 young kids.
Gina Byrd Saunders, Aftercare Coordinator & Substitute Teacher
Bio coming soon!
Dawn Fornear, Director of Admission and Community Engagement
BS - Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Sciences: Diversity Focus, Central Washington University; MS - Human Relations: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice, University of Oklahoma. Dawn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Explorer West Middle School. Dawn's passion for education is as diverse as her background. She has taught cooking and nutrition classes for both children and adults at Whole Foods Market. Her commitment to equity and inclusion led her to serve on the Equity and Inclusion Task Force at Coyote Central, where she has helped to ensure that all students have access to creative and educational opportunities. Her international experience includes teaching at an independent elementary school in Bangkok, Thailand. This experience deepened her understanding of diverse educational systems and the importance of cultural humility in education. Before joining Explorer West, Dawn spent five years with the Admissions Team at Seattle Academy, where she worked to ensure a diverse and inclusive student body. At Explorer West, she continues championing equity and inclusion, striving to create an environment where every student feels seen, heard, and valued.
Kelli Horn, Special Projects
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, Director of Finance and Operations
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 two-year assignment in Prague, Czech Republic. After many years as a volunteer for Explorer West, she was thrilled to join the school on a full-time basis in 2014. Her interests include family, travel, scuba diving, learning new languages, cooking with and for friends and family, and being outdoors.
Alex Ung, Administrative Manager
Iowa State University Alum – Out of the cornfields of Iowa, Alex came to Seattle in 2007 and has loved everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. He studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at Iowa State University, but has been teaching dance and choreographing for over 15 years at studios and schools and has also coached award-winning competitive dance teams. He is currently the Artistic Director of his own dance company, the Guild Dance, centered around sharing stories, experiences, and love for the social betterment of all. His other hobbies include rock climbing and bouldering, paddleboarding, backpacking, and all forms of outdoor adventure, but teaching and being around students is his passion. He is excited to share the energy, laughs, and dance moves to all of the EW students and families and loves to encourage students to challenge themselves and is ready to help you achieve that goal you never thought was possible.