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Meet the 2024 SWSF Board…

From left, seated: Clyde Monma (Vice President), Cynthia Shelton (Secretary), John Riley (Treasurer), Derek Hoshiko, Cindy Rupp, Shelly Ackerman (SWSF Board President), Seth Raabe (faculty rep) Gabby Guidry (incoming Treasurer) Meredith Macharia, and Kim Williams. (Absent from photo: Board member Anna Lester, Justin Silva, and student rep Kalku Alexander.)



Shelly Ackerman, Board President

Shelly moved to Whidbey Island in 1997 to support her husband’s dream of designing and building their own home. She has two children, one who graduated from South Whidbey High School in 2014, and one that graduated in 2017.

She has been involved in PTA ever since her oldest was in Kindergarten, so with her youngest graduation, that makes a total of 16 years of PTA involvement! Wanting to stay involved with the schools in some way, the Schools Foundation was the obvious and easy choice.

Shelly graduated from UW with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She loves kayaking, walking the trails, biking, traveling, sailing, and this wonderful community and island!

Clyde Monma, Vice President

Clyde Monma retired to Whidbey Island in 2003 with his wife, Marcia, after spending 24 years as a research scientist at Bell Laboratories in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science. He joined Bell Labs immediately after receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell.

Clyde has a passion for tutoring and mentoring teens & twenty-somethings. He volunteers in the public middle-and-high school math classes. He also coaches Math Olympiad Teams, Grades 5-12.

Clyde has served on several non-profit boards, including the NSF DIMACS Center Board, Rutgers Preparatory School Trustee, Bayview School Council, the South Whidbey Commons Coffeehouse, Whidbey Children’s Theater, Whidbey Island Dance Theater, Island Shakespeare Festival, and the South Whidbey Schools Foundation. He is currently serving on the latter three boards.

John Riley, Treasurer

John grew up in the midwest and graduated college in 1985 with Architectural Engineering and Business Administration degrees from Kansas State University.  He met his wife, Donna, while living in San Diego, CA and they married there before moving up to the Seattle area in 1990.  John is currently a Principal-Partner with a small structural engineering design firm located in downtown Seattle.  His family resides near Langley, and all four of their children, varying in ages from 22 to 12, have attend the South Whidbey Schools.   Their oldest son graduated from SWHS in 2011, their middle son graduated in 2013, and their youngest son, Nathan, graduates from SWHS in June, 2015.  Their daughter Kristen is currently in 8th grade at the SWES.

Cynthia Shelton, Secretary

Cynthia graduated from Univ. of Montana with a BA degree in Education and competed her Masters degree from Colorado State University in Adult and Community Education.  She received her Principals credentials from Gonzaga University and her Career & Technical Education Administration certification from Central Wash Univ.

Her career included teaching high school in Utah, running a fabric store in Bellevue and marrying the two worlds as the Executive Director of PIPE, a non-profit partnership between the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle Public Schools.  She led the Vocational, then Career and Technical Education department for Federal Way SD, Shoreline SD and then Oak Harbor SD.  Before retiring, she led the Tech Prep program out of Skagit Valley College for a 10 school district consortium.  South Whidbey High School is a part of this on-going consortium.

Cynthia and her husband John raised their daughter Jill on Mercer Island and have lived on WI for 20+ years.  They have three fantastic grandkids living in Fairbanks, Alaska where their parents are both educators.   They love to hike, walk, bike, work out at IAC and entertain wonderful friends.

Gabby Guidry

After graduating from SWHS in 2005, Gabby moved away to attend college.  She received a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bastyr University.  Her love for food and wellness took her to Whole Foods Market where she has worked for the past 13 years.  Her experience includes store operations,  learning and development, and learning technology. She is passionate about leveraging technology to enable learning, connection and efficiency.

She returned to Whidbey in 2020 and now Iives here with her husband, Seth, and their two sons.  In her free time (which is scarce with a 2-year old), you will find her doing what grounds her most: knitting, cooking, ceramics, mosaics, anything she can do with her hands!

Derek Hoshiko

Derek Hoshiko is an organizer with For the People. For more the 20 years, Derek has managed groups of volunteers, activists, and entrepreneurs. In 2012, after witnessing continued inaction to stop global warming, he shifted his focus to climate action.

In 2015, he journeyed over one thousand miles on a bicycle pilgrimage from Seattle to the tar sands to witness and learn the suffering caused by fossil fuel extraction.

He heads Rapid and Just Climate Action, a project to stop global warming by 2030, mentors a youth climate justice coalition, and works to replace supremacy culture with solidarity culture in local movements.

Derek serves on the boards of E3 Washington and Salish Sea Cooperative Finance, and has worked for change at many organizations such as Greenpeace USA; Climate Solutions; Cascadia Climate Collaborative; YES! Magazine; Seattle Good Business Network; and Web Collective; among others.

He has lived on South Whidbey for 11 years and has three young children.

Anna Lester

Anna Lester has two children in the South Whidbey School District.

Meredith Macharia

Meredith moved to South Whidbey in 2018 but grew up in Portland, Oregon. As a youth, she attended a private international school and hosted many students from around the world. After living and working overseas in multiple countries, where she taught youth and refugees and after completing various humanitarian projects, she worked with immigrant populations in Boston and New York at the United Nations.

She has a diverse background which includes Anthropology, Sociology, Inter-cultural Education, Nursing and Public /Global Health.

Meredith loves the arts, is multilingual and is passionate about innovative education programs including integrated diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum. She currently works as a public health nurse for a K-12 school district.

Meredith is grateful to be settling into the Whidbey Island community where she is spending lots of time outdoors exploring and engaging in adventurous activities with her family.

Seth Raabe

Seth Raabe is the Agriculture teacher at South Whidbey High School. He grew up on South Whidbey, graduating SWHS in 2000.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia, studying abroad in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Hawaii.

He lived and farmed on Maui from 2002-2017. He moved back and began teaching at South Whidbey in Fall of 2017.

He lives outside of Langley with his partner Gabby and two sons Ezri and Elkan.

Cindy Rupp

Cindy grew up in St. Paul MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Nutrition Science. Along with her husband Bob, she moved to Seattle in 1973 when he was stationed at Sand Point Naval Air Station (now Magnuson Park.). His job took him to the Oak Harbor Naval Base – and they were introduced to Whidbey Island. They have now owned property on the island for over 30 years.

Cindy spent many years at home raising four children, but eventually worked for the Shoreline School District as a Career Specialist and later for the Tech Prep Consortium at Bellevue Community College. One of Cindy’s four grandchildren now lives on Whidbey Island and is enjoying her time at South Whidbey Elementary.

Cindy enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and gardening.

Justin Silva

Justin Silva is in his 9th year of teaching and his 11th in education. Prior to going into education, he worked in construction management, helping to design and build large scale construction projects, ranging from prisons to schools.

He has a degree in Political Science, and a Master’s in Education.

Three years ago Justin and his wife moved to Whidbey, and Justin took the position of Leadership teacher and ASB coordinator, during which he received the SW School Foundation’s Mentorship Award for Excellence in Teaching.

This year Justin has transitioned into the English department and is loving every minute of it. Justin has worked at a myriad of schools, always helping students and his community to critically assess their world and to fall in love with learning. He hopes to continue to inspire his students and others to push themselves to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Kalku Alexander

Student Rep.

Kalku Alexander is a student at the South Whidbey High School. She is involved in the sports cross country and tennis. She also is a part of the school’s Model UN club.

Kalku joined the Foundation during her freshman year on recommendation from her agriculture teacher and the School Foundation’s teacher representative, Mr. Raabe.


Kalku lives with her family in Clinton. You can usually find her baking, reading, crafting, hanging out with friends/family or playing with one of their six cats.

Kim Williams

I grew up in the foothills of Southern California, went to college at Cal State Dominguez Hills, moved to Redondo Beach and taught elementary school for ten years. I took a vacation to Washington state in 1975 and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. It took a year of planning, but in 1976, I moved to Seattle.

Ten years later, my mom and dad moved to Whidbey Island and I followed them here four years later.

I started working for South Whidbey schools in 1990 at the Intermediate School. The next year I was blessed to work with Charlie Davies at the Middle School. I moved on to High School in 1993 and worked with wonderful teachers, including Melanie Shafaat, and participated in some amazing programs. I had the pleasure of working at the High School for the next 23 years until I retired.

I raised three wonderful daughters here, who all insist they are only so wonderful because they got to grow up here. And I’ve worked with a generation of kids whom I stay in contact with and whom I will always love dearly.

Jo Moccia (ex officicio)

Jo Moccia graduated from Iona College with a BS in Psychology, completed her MS in School Psychology from the College of New Rochelle, and her doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University.

After 25 years working for a school district in NY in various roles including principal, director of special education, deputy superintendent and superintendent, Jo moved to the Northwest.

She has been the superintendent of schools for the South Whidbey School District since 2011. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandson. Jo also enjoys biking, puttering with power tools, and traveling.