Leadership Team

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Leadership Team 2019-05-07T12:30:49+00:00

Leadership Team

Dr. Jeff Wagnitz, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jeff Wagnitz is currently in his 10th year as vice president for academic affairs at Highline College. From 2000 to 2008, he served as Highline’s dean of instruction for transfer and pre-college education. Before moving into administration, Jeff taught pre-college and college-level English. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Washington Tacoma, as well as a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Eastern Washington University. In 2016, he earned the Award of Excellence in Leadership from Washington’s Community and Technical College Leadership Development Association.

Michael Pham, Vice President for Administrative Services

Michael Pham joined Highline College in 2015 and oversees the Administrative Services division. Previously, he spent over 24 years working for Seattle Central College and Seattle College District in various leadership positions including executive director of financial services and vice president of administrative services. Michael is in his final year of pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Washington Tacoma. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration.

Josh Gerstman, Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Josh Gerstman works with the Institutional Advancement team to build valuable relationships and establish meaningful presence within Highline College’s communities, resulting in support for the college and our students. Josh has 20 years’ experience working in the community and technical college system, primarily at Green River College, where he worked with staff, faculty and community to develop a series of financial interventions to assist students in clearing a path to their degrees. Josh is active in the community as a Kent Rotarian, and along with his wife Heather as volunteer search dog handlers in King County, and as a father of a graduating high school senior. Josh earned a master’s degree at Wayne State University in Detroit and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a tuba player in the Michigan Marching Band.

Dr. Saovra “Sy” Ear, Interim Vice President for Student Services

Sy Ear has spent close to two decades serving students in Washington’s community colleges. He joined Highline in 2018 after working at Edmonds Community College, where he oversaw the Enrollment and Entry Services areas and served as interim vice president for the Student Services division. In addition to his work at Edmonds, Sy has worked at Green River College and South Seattle College in a number of areas, including advising, ELL transition services and financial aid. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Washington Tacoma and his master’s degree in student development administration from Seattle University.

Steve Sloniker, Interim Executive Director of Human Resources

Born in Georgia, Steve has spent the majority of his life in the Northwest. He’s previously held management positions in general government, and has worked with public employees across the state. He brings an extensive background in the areas of human resources, labor relations, collective bargaining, classification and compensation. A Highline College graduate, Steve holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy, a Minor in Business Administration, and a Human Resources Management Certificate from the University of Washington and is currently enrolled in a Master’s of Science program.


  • Loyal Allen: Associate Dean for Student Funding Center
  • Gabrielle Bachmeier: Dean of Extended Learning
  • Reagan Copeland: Interim Dean of Instruction, Transfer and Pre-College Education
  • Monica Luce: Dean of Instruction, Instructional Resources
  • Alice Madsen: Executive Dean of Instruction, Professional Technical Education
  • Ay Saechao: Dean of Student Support & Funding Services
  • Jennifer Scanlon: Dean of Advising & Enrollment Services
  • Iesha Valencia: Associate Dean of Student Life