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About Our Students

Students in this geography come from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. 41% of the RIZ students live in households where English is not the primary language. Although Spanish is most prevalent in total, the four schools each have different demographics.


These children are also living in families who face daily economic challenges. Over 7% of adults over age 25 have less than a ninth-grade education, which is more than double the rate in Renton as a whole (3.1%) and King County (3.6%).

The percentage of families living below 100% of the federal poverty level ($30,750 in 2017 for a family of four) in these neighborhoods is 17%, which is greater than Renton School District’s overall rate of 12% and nearly twice as much as King County as a whole (9%).


Housing instability in the Renton Innovation Zone (RIZ) is increasing. The current housing crisis in the region has been driving housing costs up in this area significantly, as displacement has risen to a high level of concern for families and community partners.


Homelessness and housing instability create significant challenges to students’ ability to learn and thrive.

There are at least 105 homeless students in the four RIZ schools (8.3% of its total population), as determined by McKinney Vento Status. This is a federal classification for children and youth experiencing homelessness and the designation provides additional support for students.


Due to a severe lack of quality early learning opportunities, many of the children who begin kindergarten have not had access to quality early learning activities, which creates challenges as they transition to kindergarten.


While there is variation among our schools, overall, only 40% of children are assessed to meet six of six WaKIDS (Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills) domains (social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy, and mathematics).


Challenges persist for students as indicated by their 3rd-grade English Language Arts (ELA) and 4th-grade math assessments, which vary significantly by the school and by ethnic group. In total, only 38% of third-grade students met reading proficiency on the English Language Arts standards in 2016-17, and only 44% met proficiency on the 4th-grade math assessment. Importantly, there are significant disparities among racial and language groups.





We’re a team of makers, thinkers, explorers and go-getters. We approach work and play with curiosity and strategy, using what we learn to connect communities and schools within the Renton Innovation Zone to improve the well-being of children and their academic performance.


Advisory Board of Directors



These individuals are serving in an advisory board role under the RIZP's fiscal sponsorship of RVC Seattle!

Erin Ohlson

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Erin, her husband, and two kids (age 10 and 12) are from Gustavus, AK, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.  Erin works for Alaska Airlines and the family moved to Seattle this summer when Erin transferred to a new position at the SeaTac Airport.  Erin has experience as the executive director for an early childhood nonprofit and as a 911 dispatcher; and she has a Master's in Public Administration, a Bachelor's in General Studies, and an Associate's in Sociology. When she's not at the airport, Erin enjoys the outdoors, spending time with her family, traveling internationally, and playing board and card games.

Kellee Rodriguez

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Hi my name is Kellee Rodriguez. I grew up in Bellevue and currently live in the Skyway area with my husband, 2 year old daughter and my dog Mousse. I currently work for the King County Housing Authority as an Asset Manager and had previously worked for the Renton Housing Authority. During my years at the Renton Housing Authority and in my role here at the King County Housing Authority, I have loved helping families in our community. I love being involved in my community and helping influence change.


Tiffany Lynch

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I am a Certified Public Accountant with over 18 years of finance and accounting experience focusing on government and non-profit organizations. I started my career as an auditor and transitioned to positions focusing on budgeting, financial forecasting and planning, and operational leadership. I am currently the Director of Finance for the Washington State Bar Association and prior to this position I was the Chief Finance and Operations Officer at a non-profit, overseeing all aspects of the Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Facilities teams. I live in Renton where my husband and I both grew up, attending K-12 Renton schools and have two children who currently attend McKnight Middle School.

Greg Schmidt

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A graduate of the University of Washington in 1985, Greg taught High School for one year before joining law enforcement and working for 33 years. He retired in 2020 as a Police Commander. Greg is the Founder and Executive Director of Families First of Washington which for the past 17 years has been located in the Skyway area. Greg and his wife have lived, worked, and volunteered in and around the Renton Community since 1989. Their 4 children attended schools in the Renton School District.

Monique Wise-Price

Monique Wise-Price

For the past 8 years I have served as Administrative and Executive Assistant with the Renton School District supporting executive leaders and various other staff. In 2020 I was nominated and selected as the district support person of the year for being an innovative, collaborative team player, who is always looking to streamline and improve district processes. I am a proud product of Renton Schools, Kindergarten through 12th grade, ultimately receiving my Bachelor's Degree in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations from Washington State University, after stints at Green River Community College and Virginia State University, an HBCU. The past several years I have found myself more drawn to community work and wanting to utilize my skills to aid marginalized communities in shaping a more inclusive future. On the personal side, I am an avid concert-goer and believe music is the universal language. I enjoy local restaurants, history, travel, financial literacy and learning not to kill my houseplants. I pride myself on being a dependable friend and family member who is supportive, honest, and always encourages reflection and personal growth. 

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