Recent news


Ken Vorhees
Board Chair


Ken Vorhees joined Spokane Industries in 1997 as Controller and was elevated to Chief Financial Officer in 2003. Ken holds a BA in Accounting from Michigan State University and is a licensed certified public accountant in Washington. Prior to joining Spokane Industries, Ken spent eleven years in public accounting with both national and local CPA firms, including operating his own firm. In addition, Ken had over ten years as controller with a Spokane based manufacturer that had multi state operations. The combined manufacturing and public accounting experience provides a well-rounded financial background and an intimate knowledge of business operations. Ken has also served in officer positions on a variety of not for profit organizations, including trustee and treasurer for a private school.

Nancy Cunningham

Nancy Cunningham has been involved in elementary education for over 30 years, both as a teacher and an administrator in Colorado, Iowa, the Mead SD and Saint George’s School.  Most recently Nancy was the Head (Principal) of the Lower School at SGS for 13 years, and was involved in the process of SGS becoming an IB School.  She served on the Gifted and Talented Board at Whitworth U for a number of years, on the Leadership Conference Board for NWAIS, along with numerous other committees, and continues to be involved with the Krista Foundation.  Retired, Nancy is currently a community mentor at Roosevelt School.  In Kumbo, Cameroon last fall, working with local teachers, she successfully initiated a program to reopen one abandoned school, after a year of all schools in the region being closed due to political issues.  She hopes to return again this year.  


Nancy holds a BA from the University of Iowa, a MAT with an emphasis in Gifted & Talented programs from Whitworth University, and an Administrative Certification from Eastern Washington University

Dr. Stacy Hill



Dr. Hill currently serves as the Director of the Teacher Certification Program at Whitworth University. Dr. Hill teaches courses in research, child and adolescent development, methodology, and intercultural education. She also coordinates the university partnership between SIA and Whitworth. Dr. Hill previously taught English and History at Mt. Spokane High School. She holds a B.A. in political science from Western Washington University, an MIT in secondary education from Whitworth University, and a doctorate in teacher leadership from Washington State University.


Dr. Hill has been a member of the Spokane International Academy school design team from its inception. 

Dr. Matt Hoag


Dr. Hoag is an Associate Professor of Accounting at Gonzaga University. He currently teaches many different classes with an emphasis on auditing, financial reporting and financial accounting. His research ties into several broad areas of interest including corporate governance, ethics in accounting, audit quality and internal controls. Dr. Hoag graduated from Gonzaga University with a BBA in Accounting and subsequently worked for three years with KPMG, LLP, a large public accounting and professional services firm, in the Seattle office. In 2010, he obtained his PhD from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to his current role at Gonzaga, Dr. Hoag was on the faculty at California State University, Sacramento. He is a licensed CPA in the state of Washington.

James Wilburn Jr.
Board Member


James Wilburn is currently the Executive Director of Wilburn & Associates, LLC where he does motivational speaking, social justice advocacy and training related to diversity, equity and inclusion. He has worked for Spokane Public Schools in a variety of positions. His most recent position was Student/Family Re-engagement and Assessment Project Manager. He also served as the Supervisor for Youth Initiatives and Parent/Community Involvement and Achievement Gap Intervention Specialist, a program which he created. His Achievement Gap Intervention program has been implemented in high schools around the city. He has worked with African American male students to help close the achievement gap and the school to prison pipeline. 


He has also been an adjunct professor at Whitworth University where he taught African American film classes. His community outreach efforts are numerous. However, some of the efforts worth highlighting include: being president of the Spokane Branch of the NAACP; hosting the James Wilburn Humaculture radio show for 7 ½ years on KYRS 88.1 or 92.3FM; being a Commissioner on the Police Ombudsman Commission, being a member of the Police Advisory Council. He received the Washington State Jefferson Award, spring 2014, for his public service. Under his direction, the NAACP Spokane Branch #1137 was the recipient for the city’s first Human Rights Award for an organization.

James Hill
Board Member


James Hill has worked in the financial services industry for over twenty years, with time spent in banks, credit unions and payment services companies.  He currently focuses on regulatory compliance and risk management in the banking sector.  Mr. Hill also brings a wealth of small business experience from his time as the owner of an art gallery in Spokane and is currently the engine behind, an Excel training resource for risk managers.  He has volunteered with a number of non-profits in Spokane and recently served on the board of the Graceson Housing Foundation.  He is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager and has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Whitworth University.

Mary Velazquez, J.D.
Board Member

Prior to attending law school, Mary worked for the largest healthcare system in Western New York for 24 years.  Here she gained experience in many areas including payroll, human resources, risk management, physician accreditation, diet and nutrition, organizational development, and special event planning. Mary returned to college in 2004 as a single parent of two young children while still working full time.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York in 2007.  After moving to Texas and then Southern California, Mary obtained a Juris Doctor degree from Chapman University School of Law and was admitted to the California Bar in 2011.  In January 2012, Mary moved to Spokane, Washington and was admitted to the Washington State Bar later that year.  Mary has been active in the communities where she has lived and since moving to Washington has done volunteer work for several organizations including the Center for Justice, City of Spokane’s Mayor’s Office Department of Local Government and Multi-Cultural Affairs, Spokane Symphony, Christ Clinic, and Community Colleges of Spokane. 

Mary lives in Colbert with her husband, Frank and their son, Kevin who is a student at Spokane Community College.  Their daughter lives in Spokane and is a graduate of Whitworth University.

Jeff Hyslop
Board Member

Jeff Hyslop is an architectural designer and senior associate at NAC architecture. Jeff has over 10 years of experience specializing in K-12 and higher education design. He has worked on educational projects throughout the Spokane community, including Salk and Glover Middle schools, Shadle Park, Rogers, and Deer Park High schools. His higher education portfolio includes projects at WSU, Whitworth, Montana State University, Colorado School of Mines, Bellevue College, and Community Colleges of Spokane. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Washington State University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington. Jeff has previously taught graduate design studios at WSU and served on the Spokane Young Architects, Interns, and Associates board. Jeff is an SIA parent with a son in kindergarten.

Veronica Wise, J.D.
Board Member

Veronica Wise is a small business owner and a parent of two children who attend Spokane International Academy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Washington State University, and a Juris Doctor from University of Idaho College of Law. Prior to relocating to Spokane, she worked in the business/legal department for Battelle negotiating government contracts and commercial leases for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA. In 2011 Veronica and her family relocated to Spokane. After the relocation she took time off from full time employment to be with her family but continued to take a few clients part time consulting on government programs. 


Her volunteer activities include working as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children, board member for Rascal Rodeo (an organization that puts on rodeos for people with mental and physical disabilities all over the northwest) and she currently holds the Vice President position on the Community Advisory Team (the parent teacher association) at SIA. 


She has three children at home, two of them attend SIA.


Board Meeting Accommodations:


SIA strives to make its meetings and events as accessible as possible to all people. For questions about reasonable accommodations for a meeting, please contact our main office at 509-209-8730 or email For all accommodations, please contact our office no later than 1 full week prior to our meeting. This allows us time to ensure these requests are met to the best of our ability. We will do our best to accommodate requests made closer to the meeting date, but cannot guarantee that they will be able to be fulfilled to the best of our ability given the short notice.

If you need to reach the Board for any conflict resolution or information purposes, you may also email the group at