Board of Directors

2018-2019 BOARD MEMBERS

MARK ANGELL
Board Chair

Mark and his wife Liz joined the Lighthouse family in 2010 and have two children: Ethan and Emily. From the day they became part of Lighthouse, they felt blessed to be part of such a great school. “Everyone has such a great passion and heart for serving God in support of the school’s mission, which I wanted to be a part of and serve in any way I can.”  He is a Senior Manager at a local shipyard.   Mark has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah and has an extensive background in ship maintenance and modernization. This has allowed him to develop expertise in project management, strategic planning, change management, quality assurance and Lean Six Sigma. Mark enjoys outdoor activities and sports as well as spending time with his family.  As the chairman, Mark is both honored and humbled to work in support of the administration, teachers, and staff to support the vision and mission of the school.

JOHN BURLEIGH
Vice Chair

John and his wife Annie live in Gig Harbor and have four children, two of whom currently attend Lighthouse.  In addition to being President of the “Married Up Club” he is the principal attorney at Burleigh Law, PLLC, a Gig Harbor-based law firm serving the legal needs of condominiums and homeowners’ associations in Washington.  John is a graduate of Gig Harbor High School, the University of Washington (B.A., Speech Communication) and Gonzaga University School of Law (J.D.).  John enjoys spending time with his family and friends, taking road trips, and golfing.  He and his family love the Lighthouse community and are inspired and humbled by the opportunity to help shape the future of this important school.  “There is no greater responsibility than the teaching of children and, as such, we must endeavor to make an endless supply of Truth and Love available to all who pass through Lighthouse.”

MICHAEL NESLAND
Treasurer

Michael and his wife Melissa have four children. Their oldest daughter is a junior at OSU, they also have a sixth-grade daughter, fourth-grade son and 4-year-old girl Michael is the Chief Financial Officer of Burkhart Dental and is a CPA with both an MBA and CGMA. Michael’s heart is to give back to Lighthouse since “Lighthouse has been such an important part of our family and has given us so much.”

EVAN THOMAS
Secretary

Evan and his wife Ember live in Gig Harbor and have two girls at Lighthouse.  He holds a degree in Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University and an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.  He works in business strategy and design at Providence St Joseph Health.  Regarding Lighthouse, “I love that our girls have the opportunity to attend Lighthouse Christian School.  The culture of academic excellence and encouragement in their relationships with Jesus is truly extraordinary.  It is a blessing to have the opportunity to be a part of this community.”

AT-LARGE MEMBERS

CONNIE ALSTEAD
The Alstead family has lived in Gig Harbor and been involved with Lighthouse for twelve years. Connie and her husband Troy have three Lighthouse graduates, and their fourth child is currently in middle school at LCS. Connie feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom who has enjoyed being part of Lighthouse through serving in a variety of volunteer roles. Her other volunteer activities are with One Hope Church and Bellarmine Preparatory School. In her time involved with LCS, she has seen many changes but notes one constant is the school’s focus on being “God’s school.” “Our family is so very thankful to have Lighthouse as a school option. More than a place to send our children for academic instruction, LCS is an extended family. I’m honored to serve on the board to help advance the school’s mission for other families seeking quality Christ-centered, Biblical-worldview education.”

BENJAMIN CEDARLAND

Benjamin is owner and managing partner of Cedarland Forest Resources LLC, a timberland management and harvesting company with operations in the Pacific Northwest and the South Eastern United States. His responsibilities include the marketing and brokering of export and domestic log sales, oversight and direction of Harvest Management Plans for institutional investors and private landowners and general management of operations. Benjamin was blessed to grow up in a Christ centered home and his own faith in Christ became an important part of his life at a young age. He and his family are currently members of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor. He has been married to his wife Heather for 15 years and they have four children, three of whom attend Lighthouse Christian School. When not working Benjamin enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, fly fishing, boating, hiking, skiing, good food and good conversation.

MAYA HIZZEY

Maya grew up in Gig Harbor and is a stay-at-home mom to three daughters.  She and her husband, Duncan, became part of the Lighthouse family in 2014 when they sent their eldest daughter to attend Kindergarten… and never left.  After graduating from Gig Harbor High School, Maya attended Covenant Bible College in Canada, where she received her degree in Biblical Studies.  Maya and Duncan are members of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church, but find themselves involved with the Church at large.  This is Maya’s third year as a LCS board member and believes in offering whatever you have, wherever you are, for God’s Kingdom!  In addition to serving others and LCS, she loves hanging out with her funny husband, her friends, and realistically traveling with her family.  Before the return of Christ, she would like to regularly golf as she did in her youth.

BRIAN KERR

Brian and his wife Tiffany have two sons, Gavin and Parish, and have been a part of the Lighthouse family for six years. After growing up in the Tacoma area, Brian went on to graduate from WSU and Oregon Health and Sciences University (dental school).  He is a dentist with practices in both Lakewood and Silverdale.  “I am very passionate about Lighthouse Christian School and what it has to offer,” says Brian. “I am excited to be a part of the future and direction of this great program.”  In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, skiing, and playing golf and tennis.

KELLY MERRY
Kelly and her family joined the Lighthouse community in 2015 when her oldest son entered Kindergarten. Now with both children at LCS, she feels truly blessed to be able to give back by serving on the LCS Board. Kelly brings over 15 years of experience as an advancement professional in the Puget Sound region. She has previously served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of both the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington Chapter and the Northwest Development Officers Association. Currently, she is the President of the Board of Directors of the Washington Planned Giving Council, which is a Seattle-based association uniting non-profit, legal, financial and tax professionals in philanthropic planning. She is also a proud member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest and entering the not-for-profit sector, Kelly worked at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, DC. She holds a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University.

DEB ROBERTSON

Deb is married to Gary.  They have two children, both Lighthouse alumni, and two grandchildren. Deb graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a K-12 teaching degree and Special Endorsement in Reading. She has taught in both public and private schools. She has been a business owner and was a founding member of Lighthouse.  Deb served on the LCS teaching team until taking her current position as Director of Ministries for Children and Families at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church.  Lighthouse has always held a special place in her heart and she is glad to be able to serve the Lord and the school as a board member.

KIP VANDEVENTER

Kip retired after serving 32 years in the insurance industry as a commercial insurance broker and CFO of his firm. Believing in giving back to his community, he has served on numerous boards including serving six years on the Franciscan Foundation Board. Kip fell in love with the mission of LCS during the ten years his wife, Lynda, worked as a teacher and then in administrative roles. He has continued to be involved serving on the finance committee and consulting on insurance issues for the school. He has also been on other committees in the past several years.

TRACY VON TROTHA
Tracy and her husband Eric became a part of Lighthouse in 2011 when their daughter entered kindergarten. “As followers of Jesus, we believe the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. We desired our daughter’s education experience to correlate with what she learns about walking with God by grace through faith in Christ at home and church.” Tracy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Memphis and a Master of Architecture degree from North Carolina State University. Tracy has worked at architecture firms in the southeast and pacific northwest. She is currently a homemaker. Tracy is a member of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church and is thankful to serve the Lord at Lighthouse in support of the school mission to glorify God through education with Christ at the center

BOARD MEMBERS EMERITUS

TROY ALSTEAD

Troy Alstead served two terms on the Board and led the Finance Committee as the school’s Treasurer. In early 2016, Troy retired from Starbucks Corporation after 24 years with the company, having most recently served as Chief Operating Officer, leading the day-to-day global operations of the company. He previously held the positions of Group President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Administrative Officer, and he spent a decade in Starbucks international business, including roles as Senior Leader of Starbucks International, President Europe/Middle East/Africa headquartered in Amsterdam, Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks Greater China headquartered in Shanghai, and Representative Director of Starbucks Coffee Japan headquartered in Tokyo. Troy has developed a new dining and social concept, Ocean5, which recently opened its first location in Gig Harbor. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Levi Strauss & Company, where he chairs the Audit Committee. Troy and his wife Connie have four children who all have attended Lighthouse, with three now graduated from LCS.

RICK BARNEY

With wide-ranging experience as a corporate attorney and a litigator, Rick Barney has blessed our Board with his strong acumen in business law. He and his wife Barb are grandparents of one LCS alumni and two current LCS students as well. Rick has a huge heart for the Lord and for serving others. The Barneys enjoy spending time with their family and traveling to Hawaii.

DION RURIK

Dion Rurik and her husband Greg are one of the founding Lighthouse Christian School families. In their 18 year history with LCS Dion has served in many Board positions ranging from the building committee and human resources to Board Chair, a position she held for many years. Four Rurik children have progressed through Lighthouse Christian School. “I had a passion to help create a school of solid academics which was based on the word of God…and a passion to create the best learning environment for my kids as well as others,” says Dion. She enjoys being a homemaker and community volunteer as well as gardening, quilting, horseback riding…and family.

MARK SOUPISET

Mark served on the Board from 2008-2015, including six years as Chairman of the Board. During his tenure, LCS experienced a time of improving financial strength and enrollment growth, and the development and implementation of its 10-Year Strategic Plan (2013). Mark is a Director of Communications for USAA, a San Antonio-based diversified financial services firm that serves the military community and their families. Mark and his wife, Robin, have three children and now live in San Antonio. They are members of First Baptist Church of San Antonio.

DENNIS TRITTIN

The Board Chair for 3 years and now an Emeritus member, Dennis is the parent of two Lighthouse Alumni – Michael, a graduate of Pepperdine University, and Lauren, who is in the Master’s program at Seattle Pacific University. The Trittins came to Lighthouse in 1995 and have been involved ever since! A retired Portfolio Manager for Russell Investments, Den has now moved on to a new passion as a publisher, author, educator, and mentor. His passion is in equipping young people with the leadership/life skills they need to succeed. Den serves on the Finance Committee and is a mentor for LCS administrators. When asked why Den serves at Lighthouse he replied, “Because of my passion for young people, the overwhelming need for Godly leaders in this country, the incredible foundation LCS gave our children and my love of this community.” A huge golf fan, Den also enjoys vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin, spending time with family and friends, and any opportunities to be with young people.