About Summit Atlas
Since opening in the fall of 2017 with a founding class of 6th and 9th graders, Summit Atlas has served the diverse communities of West Seattle and White Center. We believe that every student is capable of college success, that it takes character and academics to achieve that success, and that serving others is part of the joy and responsibility of success. These three elements are evident in everything we do, from project time to basketball practice — for every student, every day.
Our students are thriving in our personalized learning environment. In 2020, Summit Atlas was recognized by the Washington School Recognition Program for growth and excellence in student achievement.
Summit Atlas is authorized by the Washington State Charter School Commission as a tuition-free school that is open to all students. Summit Atlas is serving grades 6 through 12. Our first class will graduate in spring 2021!
The Summit Difference
Our promise is that Summit students will be prepared for success in a 4 year college. But beyond this, Summit students grow as happy, kind, independent and curious young adults prepared with the habits and skills they need for success in life.
Summit students spend their days solving real-world problems and building the skills of self-direction, collaboration and reflection – critical for college and life success. Our curriculum is based in proven learning science and supports development of the whole child.
We founded our inaugural school, Summit Preparatory High School, in 2003. Today, we are proud to operate some of the best public schools in the country serving diverse communities throughout California and Washington states.
Summit Atlas Middle School | Executive Director
Andrea is happy to have found her home at Summit Atlas! Before joining Summit, Andrea held teaching, curriculum development, and leadership positions at New York City’s highest performing charter network for 9 years. As a 2006 Teach for America Corps member, she taught in Newark, New Jersey. Born and raised in Montana, and the mother of Michael, 7, and Mathers 5, Andrea is passionate about providing all children with quality, innovative, and personalized education that provides opportunities and access to every young person’s next step. Andrea received her undergraduate degree from Whitman College and teaching credential through Seton Hall University. When she is not thinking about, talking about, or working on education, Andrea can be found spending time with her family and friends hiking, reading, and enjoying being back in the PNW!
Summit Atlas Middle & High School | Director of Operations
Yesenia Barajas came to join Summit with a great degree of experience in project management, marketing, and communications. Growing up in the South Seattle area, after graduating from Chief Sealth, Yesenia Barajas went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University. Knowing that many in her family never had the opportunity to access education, Yesenia went on to serve with Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta. Her experience reshaped her future career plans and she has worked in education for many years since.
As a first-generation American and college graduate, Ms. Barajas is passionate about providing all children with the opportunity to access a quality, rigorous and personalized education that prepares them with the skills, knowledge, and habits they need to pursue a fulfilled life.
Outside of work, Ms. Barajas loves to sail with her partner and their dog Marley, spend time with her younger sisters, travel and explore the outdoors!
Summit Atlas Middle School | Director of Culture & Instruction
Ms. Lima has worked in schools since she was 16 years old and now centers her work around joy, safety, and liberation. Her work in training adults in anti-racist teaching, restorative practice, and culturally reponsive teaching brought her to Atlas. Her experience in effective teaching and learning, coaching, and curriculum development, comes from her time as a Spanish Dual Immersion teacher leader in San Francisco, CA. Her curriculum development work includes partnering with the Center of Excellence for Teaching at Stanford University and Science Leader fellowship which developed the science curriculum Atlas MS uses! She studied Spanish and Applied Educational Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, received her teaching credential in K-8 multiple subjects with Spanish authorization from Loyola Marymount University, and studied International and Multicultural Education with a Human Rights emphasis at the University of San Francisco. In her free time, she’ll either be playing video games, or at a dog park with her dog Chewyyy. Before joining Summit Atlas, she did some work around policy and advocacy in education and found out it wasn’t for her, but now is so happy and grateful that the universe led her to Summit Atlas!
Summit Atlas High School | Executive Director
Dan Effland is a native of West Virginia and West Virginia University alumni but credits the great city of Chicago for shaping him into the person he is. After 10+ years as a working musician in the Windy City, Dan underwent a career change inspired by incredible experiences working with students in Chicago Public Schools and some guidance and advice from trusted friends and family. Going through Teach for America, Dan earned an M.S. in Special Education from Dominican University and worked as a Special Education teacher for grades 6-12 in Chicago and eventually Seattle. He also served as the Dean of Culture & Instruction for Grades 11-12 at Summit Sierra in for two years and received his M.Ed. in Public School Building Administration from Columbia University. Dan is thrilled to serve and lead the Summit Atlas High School community.
Summit Atlas High School | Dean of Culture and Instruction
Stephanie Day is the Dean of Culture and Instruction at Summit Atlas High School. For the past two years she served as a Learning Specialist demonstrating a deep commitment for all learners to feel successful and supported in the school community. Prior to becoming an Orca, Stephanie served in a variety of teaching and leadership roles in her 15 years in Washington DC and was awarded the 2010 DC Teacher of the Year and the Sontag Prize in Urban Education. She loves live music, sports (particularly Oregon Ducks!) and spending time with her family. She feels incredibly honored to work with the amazing students and families at our school and looks forward to an amazing 2022-2023 school year!
Summit Atlas High School | External Partnerships Manager
Portia Riedel has local roots and grew up attending elementary, middle, and high school in nearby Normandy Park and Burien. She stayed in Seattle to graduate with honors and earn a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Washington, spent a quick year in Honolulu, HI, and retreated back to beautiful West Seattle. After nearly 15 years of working with young people in STEM fields and informal education at the iconic Pacific Science Center, the pandemic brought on a sudden career change, jump-started by supporting virtual learning for her own children. Ms. Riedel was drawn to support Summit’s commitment to mentorship and joined the Atlas middle and high school teams as a paraprofessional and became a mentor mid-year. In the role of External Partnerships Manager for Expeditions, she is honored and excited to continue as a mentor and to connect all Orcas to impactful experiential learning experiences that will provide the confidence and awareness they need to develop their concrete next step toward a fulfilled life.