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Leadership Team

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Leadership Team 2021-09-14T10:53:44+00:00

Leadership Team

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.

Summer Korst, Executive Director of Human Resources

Summer Korst is responsible for all aspects of the human resources operations and businesses processes, including recruitment, training, labor-management relations, collective bargaining, payroll and benefits, employee development and retention at Highline College. She leads the College’s efforts to acquire and sustain a diverse workforce, and strengthen the existing collaborative campus climate. Summer has over 10 years of experience in providing human resources functions in higher education. She earned her Master’s in Education Leadership and Policy Studies and Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Washington.

Dr. Emily Lardner, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Emily Lardner is vice president for academic affairs at Highline College. From 2017-2019, she served as the vice president for instruction at Grays Harbor College. From 1996 to 2017, Emily worked at the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, a public service center at The Evergreen State College, where she collaborated with post-secondary faculty, staff and administrators throughout WA State and nationally to implement strategies aimed at improving student success. She also taught as an adjunct in Evergreen’s Evening and Weekend Studies program. Emily holds an MA and a doctorate in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, and a BA in English from Augustana College.

Dr. 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.

Aaron Reader, Vice President for Student Services

Aaron Reader is the VP of Student Services at Highline college. He began as a WorkFirst advisor with Women’s Programs and served as Inter-Cultural Center Coordinator, developing and implementing the center’s programing from 2005 to 2011. Aaron was also a Dean of Student Success at Renton Technical College, where he served as a student-centered and equity-focused administrator. In his role as Dean, he oversaw the offices of Advising and Counseling; Entry, Outreach and Recruitment; Veteran Services; Student Conduct; Running Start; and International Students. Within the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Reader is a member of the Guided Pathways Change Facilitator group. He is also co-chair of the statewide Administrators of Color Leadership Program. Aaron also worked at Bellevue College as Director of Multicultural Services, serving underrepresented populations. While there, he taught education equity courses to tenure track faculty as well as courses in sociology and creative writing. After earning an associate degree from Highline, Aaron received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Saint Augustine’s College and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Argosy University.

Tim Wrye, Executive Director of IT Services and CIO

Tim Wrye leads IT Services at Highline, and acts as the institution’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). He joined the college in 1994, and led the Instructional Computing department prior to a merger of Instructional and Administrative technology functions at the college in 2014. Tim currently serves as Chair of the Information Technology Commission, and is a member of the ctcLink Project Steering Committee as well as Highline’s Executive Sponsor for the ctcLink project. Tim holds an M.Ed. in Educational Communications and Technology from the University of Washington, and a B.M.E. from Pacific Lutheran University.


  • Loyal Allen: Associate Dean for Student Funding Center
  • Gabrielle Bachmeier: Dean for Extended Learning
  • Justin Dampeer: Dean of College and Career Readiness
  • Shawna Freeman: Interim Associate Dean for Student Learning and Success
  • Maribel Jimenez: Dean of Academic Transfer Pathways and Partnerships
  • Dr. Paulette Lopez: Dean of Workforce
  • Dr. Tanya Powers: Associate Dean for BAS and Workforce Pathways
  • Ay Saechao: Dean for Student Support & Funding Services
  • Jennifer Sandler: Associate Dean for Access, Inclusive education and Employment
  • Jennifer Scanlon: Dean for Advising & Enrollment Services
  • Liz Word: Interim Associate Dean for Guided Pathways
  • Iesha Valencia: Associate Dean for Student Life