Our Team

Portrait of Sara Okun

Sarah Okun, Executive Director

Sarah has supported special educators in her roles as Program Specialist and Director of the TMC since September of 2017. Prior to moving to Washington, Sarah served as the Special Education Director at a charter school in Los Angeles. She began her career in public education in northern Virginia, where she taught K-2 Special Education and led pre-referral intervention teams. Sarah has also worked as an academic coach for college students and a director of afterschool education programs in San Francisco. When not at work, Sarah can be found running, hiking, swimming, and exploring the Puget Sound region with her husband and three children.

Contact Sarah at sokun@thetruemeasure.org

Portrait of Sara Okun

Amanda Pharis, Associate Director

Amanda leads the TMC team’s school-facing coaching, technical assistance, and professional development work. She brings to our team 20+ years of experience with charter and district schools and special education, as well as proven skills in behavior analysis, coaching, and program management. Amanda’s career started in California as a mentor teacher for San Francisco State University, a program director for the Down Syndrome Connection, and an inclusion specialist for the Berkeley School District. In Washington she has served as a consultant for school districts across the greater Seattle area and as a BCBA at an interdisciplinary clinic for clients with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Amanda is a passionate advocate for equitable treatment of individuals with disabilities and applies practices to promote inclusion in all aspects of life. Amanda enjoys spontaneous weekend trips, trying out new cuisines, and attending shows by local musicians.

Contact Amanda at apharis@thetruemeasure.org

Portrait of Sara Okun

Andrew Mitchell, Program Manager

Since 2019, Andrew has provided tailored support for special educators through the True Measure Collaborative as a Program Manager. After graduating from the University of Washington, Andrew began his career in Tukwila, WA as a middle school special education teacher. Andrew then worked as a Program Manager at Puget Sound Education Service District before joining the TMC. Living in Washington his whole life, Andrew enjoys fishing, bird watching with his wife, dining at fancy restaurants, and playing lots of disc golf.

Contact Andrew at amitchell@thetruemeasure.org

Portrait of Sara Okun

Cassie Watkins, Program Manager

Cassie has long been an advocate of equity in education. During her time as an undergraduate at Whitworth University, she was part of the Students for Education Reform (SFER) group. Her affiliation with SFER opened up many opportunities to advocate for change in education in Washington State. Shortly after graduating, Cassie was immersed in the work of teaching at PRIDE Prep charter public school. As the Director of Special Education at PRIDE, she was directly responsible for coordinating student services, overseeing the delivery of specially designed instruction, and ensuring that students of all abilities received the accommodations and modifications necessary for accessing their education. In her downtime you can find Cassie entertaining her two fur babies, traveling around the world, and most importantly spending quality time with friends and family.

Contact Cassie at cwatkins@thetruemeasure.org