The Foundation for Academic Endeavors strives to  promote a multi-cultural, and inclusive identity. Working together to affect change in our  communities, we stand in solidarity with those working to pursue their dreams and goals.


A Commitment to Integrity


Mark Blindheim

President Emeritus

Mark holds a Masters of Divinity, a Masters in Pastoral Studies, a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education and a Bachelor of Arts in History.


He worked as a General Contractor, an Army Reserve Officer and is an Ordained Deacon in the Episcopal Church.


He is a founding board member for the Foundation for Academic Endeavors. His volunteer experience includes: leading King County Jail worship services, Veterans Hospital volunteer and service as the Past President, Board of Directors of the Capitol Hill Community Resource Center.


He enjoys sports and all Washington Huskies teams, fly fishing, hiking and walking, Taizé contemplative worship and singing in church choirs.


He is an active supporter of migrant and immigration issues. He enjoys the study of Torah and continued religious studies as they relate to current issues.


Mary Allison


Ms. Allison earned her MA degree in Organizational System Design and Renewal from Seattle University, and her BA in Communications from Washington State University. Her professional career includes over twenty-five years of senior executive leadership and organizational development experience in the not-for-profit, private and public sectors. 


Her professional career includes executive roles for organizations such as Eddie Bauer, Garden Botanika and  For the last ten years she has been a Board of Directors member of Hanford Challenge, a cleanup oversight group focused on creating a future for the Hanford Nuclear Site that secures human health and safety, advances accountability, and promotes a sustainable environmental legacy. Prior to that she was Board member and Chair at Jubilee Women’s Center providing safe housing for homeless women. She currently volunteers with Sound Water Stewards working in and around Island County for a healthy, sustainable Puget Sound environment through education, community outreach, stewardship, and citizen science. And she is a founding member of Camano Island’s Water Toxins monitoring group testing Saratoga Passage for harmful alga blooms. 


 Ms. Allison lives in on Camano Island, Washington with her husband Bruce and has two grown sons.


Rene Acevedo Rodriguez

Vice President

My name is Rene Acevedo Rodriguez. I was born in Huajuapan de Leon Oaxaca Mexico. I work as a Family Support Specialist with the Everett School District and I have a Business and Retail Associates degree from Everett Community College. I am currently a board member of the Latino Educational Training Institute providing support for post-secondary students to develop leadership skills and mentor youth students.

 My future goal is to obtain a teaching certificate to further deepen my understanding of families and the educational system and to be able to continue my work as a Family Support Specialist. I am married to my wife Oriss Acevedo and have two beautiful kids Jazmin and Santiago.

During the weekends I run my par time DJ business and lighting production for local bands. My hobbies are spending time with my family, listening to music, and community involvement. I strongly believe that programs like the FAE Summer Academy are important for the community because it provides families with a place for their kids to continue learning in a fun and friendly setting.


Iris Carias

Board Member

Iris immigrated to Mount Vernon from Honduras in 1994, where she lives with her husband Alexis. Iris has always been involved in the community; first as a volunteer in the Mount Vernon Police Department’s domestic violence unit, then with Sea Mar Community Health Centers, DSHS, Skagit Valley Hospital and the Friendship House.

Iris has a bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Education from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She has also taken courses at Skagit Valley College.

She currently works for the Mount Vernon School District as the Migrant Program Educator and is a member of the Washington State Migrant Education Advisory Committee (SAC). Iris  helps families as a liaison at Community Action of Skagit County and works as a nursing assistant with Sunrise Services. Iris currently serves as a board member of Skagit County Child and Family Consortium, and Skagit Immigrant Rights Council, she is a member of Community Action’s Latino Advisory Committee.

Iris wants to be an inspiration for the whole community, especially our youth, who will become our next leaders.

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Patty Dunphy


Patty graduated from Parks College of St. Louis University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Administration and an Associates Degree in Airport Management.


During her 35 year career Patty held various management positions.The majority of her career was in leadership training with the last 15 years dedicated to Commercial Airplane Company’s international airline customers. She managed a staff responsible for executing leadership training for international airline executives from around the world, developing and delivery of Business Management and Leadership Development Programs and delivering Leadership Training to Boeing management at the Boeing Leadership Center. She has experience in Program and Project Management for a Fortune 500 Company.


Her volunteer experience includes: Board Member, Treasurer and classroom volunteer for the Foundation for Academic Endeavors, leadership team of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Camano Island, WA, Sound Waters Stewards Island County from 2016 to present and leadership and St. Vincent de Paul Member of Mary Queen of Peace Church in Issaquah, WA.


Jeb McGlinchy

Board Member

My name is Jeb McGlinchy, and I am in my senior year at Whitworth University studying Elementary Education. While at Whitworth, I have had the opportunity to found and lead a professional development club for education majors, called Teacher of Tomorrow. In our desire to provide support for future teachers, Teachers of Tomorrow has invited professionals to lead lectures, workshops, and panels that cover everything from ELL instruction, and religious rights in the classroom, to job and interview preparation. I have also served on the Student Advisory Board for the Undergraduate School of Education at Whitworth University. As a leading member of the Board, I have written articles and literature reviews in the department’s newsletter, and I have planned and organized events that focused on professional development.


After graduation, I wish to work in an intermediate grade classroom (grades 3-5). I enjoy working as a classroom teacher, but I am specifically interested in curriculum design and development. After teaching at the elementary level for a number of years, I intend to get my doctorate in gifted and talented education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction. Upon earning my doctorate, I plan to teach at the university level as a professor of education.


From 2017-2019 I worked at the FAE Summer Academy as a fellow and classroom teacher. In 2019 I had the opportunity to lead the 2nd/3rd class as the classroom teacher.


In my free time I enjoy playing organ for my church, practicing piano, reading, journaling, and hiking.


Bill McGlinn


Bill is a Registered Architect in the State of Washington earning his Bachelor of Architecture from Washington State University. He worked as an architect and project manager creating building designs, using client information, managing production of multiple projects.


He is a founding board member of FAE, served as food services director from 2015-2018 and Treasurer 2015-2016.


He volunteered with the Lutheran Church in Seattle cooking and serving meals to the homeless. He has served in leadership at Church of the Redeemer Kenmore administering contracts for flooring, furnishings, landscaping and office repairs.


In his free time he enjoys home repair / renovation, decorating, gardening, theatre, art and painting, traveling and walking.

Hugo Santiago

Board Member

Hugo is a graduate of Mount Vernon High School and earned his Associates degree form Skagit Valley College. He is a current student at Western Washington University studying Secondary Education and Spanish. He has been a fellow for FAE for three years from 2017 to 2019.

Hugo has worked as a Para educator and Lead Mentor for Compass to Campus  at Burlington Edison High School. He has also served as a Peer Mentor at Western Washington University. He has participated in the Migrant Youth Conference and is a Member of the Latino Student Union and the WWU Blue Group, serving undocumented students. Hugo is interested in Social Justice Education. 

In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, music and spending time with his family.


Robin Ringland

Executive Director

Robin graduated with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in  biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley in 1979.  In 1983 she earned her Masters of Science in Chemistry from California State University, San Jose. In 1992, she earned her Secondary Teaching Credentials from Western Washington University, and in 2004 her Washington State Administration Principal Credentials. She was Co-Director of  a German Program in Oldenburg, Germany:Internationaler Kulturaustausch from 1972 - 1974. Robin taught school in Stanwood from 1989-2015 as a math and science teacher at both the Middle School and High School levels. She was the head coach of the Science Olympiad Team. 

She was the Director of Resurrección Summer Day Camp from 2012 – 2014 and is  a founding member of FAE and serving as as Director from 2015-2018. She was ordained to the Deaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of  Olympia in 2010. She enjoys caring for grandchildren each week, swimming and biking, traveling, learning languages, and was an exchange student to Germany and to Finland. She is passionate about science and mathematics.


Carol Rodin

Executive Director

Carol graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and teaching credentials in Secondary English and K-12 French. She has taught French from the preschool to the high school level. Carol worked in the travel industry from 1987-1991.

Her volunteer work includes ten years of elementary school classroom support and a variety of Anacortes School District committees. She volunteered with the Ressureccion Summer Day camp from 2012 -2014. Carol volunteered with the Anacortes Learning and Lunches summer feeding and literacy program from 2012-2014 and served as the Program Director in 2014. She served as PTA Legislative Chair from 1999-2003. She is a founding member of FAE and served as Assistant Director from 2015-2018. She was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in 2012. Carol enjoys hiking, running, skiing  and reading. She loves spending time with friends and family. She has three grown children and lives in Anacortes with her husband.


Rosario Aguilar

Program Director

Rosario earned her Law Degree, from the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Mexico in 1990. She attended workshops at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) national convention, Dare to Disrupt! The Pathway to Excellence and Equity in Education in 2016. She completed Basic Excel, Word and Google Docs training at  Skagit Valley College in 2018 and began ESL classes at Skagit Valley College in 2019.  She served on the Citizen Participation Council in Mexico. And worked as a lawyer in training from 1990-93. She assisted with the INEGI Economic Census Mexico 1994-95, and worked at the Ayuntamiento de Mazatlán, Mexico Income Office from 1996-98. She has been the secretary of El Camino Lutheran Church since 2016. Rosario is a member of the Skagit Valley College Leadership Initiative Class of 2020.

Her volunteer work includes: Board Member of Foundation for Academic Endeavors (FAE) 2015-18, Resurreccion Episcopal Church Summer Program from 2012-13 and with the Defence of Human Rights program in the Municipal Jail of Mazatlan, Mexico 1992-93.

Rosario enjoys walking with her family and spending time with her grandson. She loves to read and watch movies.


Marlene Rios

Program Director

Marlene received her high school diploma from the  Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Tlaxcala, Mexico in 1998.  She completed ESL classes through Level 6 at Skagit Valley College, 2002-2004. In 2018 she took Basic Excel, Word and Google Docs at Skagit Valley College. She attended workshops at National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) national convention, Date to Disrupt!

 The Pathway to Excellence and Equity in Education in 2016. Marlene served as  the Foundation for Academic Endeavors as Assistant to the Program Director and liaison to the Latino community, curriculum development team,  and assisted with teacher training, and office oversight from 2016-2017. 

Her volunteer experience includes: Kiwanis membership and volunteer for Salmon BBQ, Little Mountain Elementary School- Classroom volunteer, Volunteer teacher aide and field trip chaperone from 2011-present, and  for the Mt. Vernon Co-op preschool Parent group 2010-2011. She spends most of her free time doing art, crafts and listening to music. She loves hiking with her family around Skagit and Whatcom county and  enjoys meeting new people. 

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Mailing address: PO Box 945, Mt. Vernon WA 98273

© 2018 Skagit FAE. All rights reserved.
Skagit FAE is a nonprofit charitable organization incorporated in the state of Washington and is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.