Joshua Halsey

Executive DirectorJosh Headshot

Joshua was appointed Executive Director of the Washington State Charter School Commission on October 7, 2013.  Prior to leading the Commission, Joshua was a Regional Program Developer at Puget Sound Educational Service District where he oversaw multiple education improvement grants and spearheaded the development of the South King County STEM Network, a key component of both the South King County’s Race to the Top Grant and the Road Map Project.  Joshua has also worked closely with multiple school district leaders throughout King and Pierce County, as well as state and national level leaders.

Joshua has a passion for serving others and supporting systems improvements in service of students and families.  His primary goal at the Commission is to lead the Commission to become the model charter school authorizer of the nation.

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Arts from Linfield College and a Masters of Arts in Organization Systems Renewal from Seattle University.


Paula Kitzke

Deputy Director

Paula joined the Commission in September 2016 as a Special Education Program Supervisor and in July of 2017 started in her role as Deputy Director. She began her career in education as a teacher in Colorado where she assumed various leadership roles in the districts. Paula accepted a teaching position at the University of Colorado – Denver where she worked to train teachers and administrators to support personnel working with students with disabilities. She also held a joint appointment at the University of Idaho between the College of Education and College of Life Sciences to support teacher evaluation and STEM resources for rural school districts.  Paula brings extensive experience supporting special education in charter schools at the state level. She has worked as a Program Specialist with a focus on policy and implementation for charter schools in Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and most recently four years in North Carolina.

Paula’s focus remains on supporting administrators in an educational system that meets the needs of students who are at risk and creatively utilizing all resources available so that every student will learn. She believes all students need a community in which they feel safe and are able to contribute within their environment.

Paula holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts from the University of Colorado. She remains a Badger and Green Bay Packer fan.


Dr. Catherine Fromme

New School Application Director

Cathy began her journey as an educator 35 years ago, as a first grade teacher in California and has held district, regional and state department positions in Washington, Oregon and California.  Prior to the Commission, Cathy was with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) where she developed Washington’s statewide Special Education Mediation System, chaired statewide education committees, and coordinated statewide professional development.  She was also the Diversity Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources where she facilitated positive/inclusive working relationships and diversity in the workplace.

Along with her state level policy development and implementation experience, Cathy brings extensive experience evaluating programs, projects and proposals at the local and state levels.  She is a long standing Peer Reviewer for federally funded programs, editing consultant and field researcher.  Cathy was most recently the Deputy Director for the Commission.  Her current work with the Commission focuses on directing the Commission’s charter school authorizing activities.

Cathy has consulted, written and presented extensively in the areas of workforce diversity, trust, relationship building, and transition and the change process, designing and implementing strategies for employee workforce diversity and conflict engagement.

She holds a B.S. in Kinesiology and Education from UCLA, an M.S. from San Jose State University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington. A Washington resident for over 20 years, Cathy has two grown sons, both of whom attended North Thurston Public Schools in Lacey, WA.


Alyce McNeil

Communications Director and Legislative Liaison

Alyce McNeil joined the Commission staff as Communications Director in July 2017. She brings to the Commission extensive experience in communications, public relations, strategy, marketing, audience engagement, reputation management and crisis communications. That valuable experience comes from both the corporate world, as well as non-profit and agency experience. She spent more than 17 at State Farm insurance, having worked in three regional offices and the corporate headquarters. Most recently she was Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Engagement at Tacoma Art Museum; prior to being employed she served for six years on the board of trustees.

Alyce is passionate about education and community engagement, and has followed charter schools’ growth and impact since living in New Jersey 15 years ago.   As Communications Director and Legislative Liaison, she looks forward to working with media, legislators, partners and communities to expand perspectives around charter public schools on the spectrum of public education, while building new partnerships of advocacy and support.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO, Alyce has strong ties to the Midwest. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree and Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She and her husband Frank Boykin live in University Place and are actively engaged in membership and service with more than 10 community organizations. She is an elected officer in her local chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and chairs the Arts and Letters committee in the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Besides rooting for the Missouri Tigers, she’s an avid Cardinals fan. She enjoys running, cooking and decorating.


Amanda Martinez

Executive Assistant

Amanda joined the Commission in 2016. Prior to her work with the Commission, Amanda worked as an Executive Assistant for more than five years in the cosmetics industry, as well as for non-profits in the Seattle area. Her administrative experience working with a Vice President of Sales and Marketing, a General Manager and an Executive Director enhances the breadth of expertise, efficiency and energy she brings to the mission, and running the office. A passion for education, Amanda is our resident authority on Commission meeting management and organization, technology and all administrative functions in the office.

A proud “local girl” who grew up in Tumwater, Amanda received her BA degree in Finance and Management from Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. She is “mom” to two puppies and a proud auntie to six nieces and nephews.