Israel Vela has been serving on Kent Youth and Family Services Board of Directors since 2007. Israel served as Board President from October 2011 to September 2013. Israel Vela is the Executive Director of Schools for the Southwest region in the Seattle School District. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Student and Family Engagement in the Kent School District. The KSD mission is to successfully prepare all students for their future. Israel has been an educator for 24 years and during this time he has served as a classroom teacher, staff development educator, elementary school principal, and special services director. Israel oversees a wide variety of state and federal support programs serving the district’s highest need students and families and his expertise relative to ensuring success for English Language Learners (ELL) is constantly sought by both professionals in other districts and OSPI state officials. It was Israel’s vision that resulted in the KSD Refugee Transition Center becoming a reality. Israel has had first hand knowledge of how critical support and high expectations are to making sure that all students are prepared to be highly skilled and productive citizens. In addition to serving as a board member for Kent Youth and Family Services, he has been a strong advocate for the Lucy Lopez Center in the City of Kent. Also, Israel is highly respected as someone who works to build bridges among the various cultures in our educational system and community. Israel is a productive leader whose actions exemplify true professionalism.