Dawn Fornear, Director of Admission
BA - Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Sciences: Diversity Focus, Central Washington University. Dawn has an eclectic background in education. She taught cooking and nutrition classes for children and adults at Whole Foods Market in Seattle, Washington and Naples, Florida. She volunteer-taught seminars for teenagers on food justice and food sovereignty with Seattle's Community Alliance for Global Justice, and she spent a year in an independent elementary school in Bangkok, Thailand teaching English, math, and science classes. Dawn came to her position at Explorer West after five years with the Admissions Team at Seattle Academy. In her free time, she forages for mushrooms and wild foods. She also has big plans for that constantly growing pile of books next to her bed.
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.
Lisa Keith, On-Campus Cohort Supervisor
MA, Seattle University. Lisa (she/her) grew up near Olympia and spent her childhood playing in the woods, raising tadpoles and woolly bear caterpillars, and exploring tide pools in the South Sound area. As a child, she wanted to be a ranger or a wildlife biologist but got a little distracted. Years later, after work in pre-hospice care, a stint as a professional gardener, and a serious habit of science volunteerism, it dawned on her that becoming an environmental science educator could allow her to pursue the best parts of her childhood dream. Prior to joining Explorer West, she spent 6 years at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, most recently as School Programs and Site Supervisor. There, she led field trips, mentored high school interns in riparian fieldwork and community outreach, and developed and taught curriculum for teen programs.
As supervisor of Explorer West's on-campus online learners, Lisa strives to create a warm and welcoming environment where students of all backgrounds can feel supported socially and emotionally, as well as academically.
Carol LaMotte, Director of Finance & 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.
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.
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.