Founder, Visionary, Program Director
In 1988, Terry McGill traveled to East Africa and saw the incredible poverty and hardship resulting from twenty years of civil war and a ravaging AIDS epidemic in the small country of Uganda. He was forced to ask a very personal question,
“ If I really am the kind of person I like to think I am, what should I do?”
Upon his return to Seattle, he shared his experience with local school children who, after seeing pictures of the conditions in Ugandan schools and orphanages, responded with overwhelming generosity. Terry returned to Uganda with hundreds of pounds of donated school supplies and clothing. As he distributed the items in Uganda he saw communities transformed as hope returned to hundreds of children, their parents and their teachers. Terry knew he had to share what he’d seen with the children whose willingness to get involved had made it all possible. Returning home, Terry revisited each participating U.S.
In the more than 25 years since that first trip, Terry has spoken in more than two hundred local schools, shared his story with thousands of local students and teachers and helped deliver more than three-quarters of a million pounds of supplies donated by U. S. school children to their counterparts in Uganda.
Seven years ago, when Asia joined Sister Schools as their Ugandan Country Coordinator, she dreamed of being part of the change in her country. She had no clue what immense changes she would be part of. Asia grew up in a Ugandan village where 90% of the children didn’t attend school, education was hard to come by, and life was very difficult. She always knew that education was the gateway, even if she had to walk seven miles to school and scrounge for supplies. Asia excelled in school and received government sponsorship to attend University, where she received a BA in Development Economics.
Asia started work as a librarian. After two months of struggling to teach children how to read, she fell in love with the beautiful smiles of triumph that filled their faces the first time they were able to pronounce a word right. Soon after, she started working for Sister Schools, identifying schools and orphanages for our partnership, working with sponsorship students, and overseeing all Sister Schools projects and programs in Uganda. Asia sees first-hand schools transformed from shambles to first class schools with well-stocked literacy centers, as well as cemented and painted classrooms. Education is a matter of life and death in Uganda and anything counts, be it a pen, book or even a ball to play with during break time. Those little things mean a lot to the children, their teachers and families, and are rays of hope for many.
Carol Lycette is a proud native of Seattle, Washington. She and her husband have been married for 30 years and they have one daughter, Julia. Julia is 26 years old and an Assistant Account Executive at Edelman Seattle. Carol completed an Organization Systems and Design graduate degree in June of 2013 from Seattle University. She attended the University of Washington where she received a BA in Psychology. Her professional career has been in management almost entirely in technical groups or with technology companies. Carol has worked for Safeco Insurance, Attachmate and the last 15 years for Microsoft. She is currently the Director of Business Management in the Microsoft Global Business Support organization.
Carol is a respected leader of results driven, high performing teams that also have fun. She is skilled at conceptualizing and orchestrating operational forecasting exercises that align with long-term strategic plans. She is considered an expert in bringing the right people and the right skills set together to deliver on commitments while thinking globally and strategically. She is experienced in managing a wide range of specialties within the Technical Support discipline including quality, process, tools, offerings, and operations.
On a personal note Carol enjoys international travel, she does service/citizenship work in Africa, and she likes to garden, cook and sample wines of the world.
Nick is a Director at Microsoft responsible for Skype Business Online support delivery. He has been at Microsoft for seventeen years and loves all aspects of technology. Nick grew up in Miami, FL as well as Martinique in the French West Indies and now lives in Redmond, WA. He has lived in the Seattle area since 2002. Outside of his core responsibilities at Microsoft, Nick is passionate about education and Citizenship. Over the past few years, Nick has been increasingly involved in driving some Citizenship efforts at Microsoft. Projects focus on empowering non-profits thru technology and also using technology to help with education. Two years ago Nick had the unique opportunity of traveling to Blantyre, Malawi with a group of fellow Microsoft employees in order to bring technology to classrooms. The project had a heavy emphasis on enabling the teachers so that they could use the technology effectively in the classrooms. Nick worked closely with Carol Lycette on this project, which is how he was first introduced to Sister Schools. “I have been impressed by the Sister Schools mission and impact to date, not only in helping children in Uganda but in making a connection with the kids here,” says Nick.Outside of work, Nick loves to spend time with his wife Jen and their five-year-old daughter Kate. They are passionate about traveling and visit a few new countries each year. Nick is also an avid squash player and a big fan of live music.
Julia is a communications consultant at Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Julia was introduced to Sister Schools as a student in elementary school and ended up traveling to Uganda in 2005 with Terry and a large group of other students. This experience opened her eyes to the life-changing impact of Sister Schools’ mission and it has been her cause ever since. Ten years later, as a working professional with more time to volunteer, Julia returned to Uganda in 2015 for the spring distribution trip. She also serves on the Gala Committee, helping to plan Sister Schools’ largest fundraising event of the year. She looks forward to rolling up her sleeves and getting to work as one of the newest members of the Board of Directors!
Katherine Berry is the Music Specialist at Fernwood Elementary in Bothell, Washington. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington and holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from Lesley University.
Katherine has been actively involved in Sister Schools for more than ten years. Her involvement has included two supply drives, hosting students visiting from Uganda, and eight benefit concerts. These concerts have raised more than $25,000 to aid in the construction of school improvements and literacy centers in Uganda.
Katherine’s dedication to Sister Schools is driven by her desire to help all children succeed in their education and life goals and to foster the spirit of generosity in her school community. She resides in Edmonds, Washington, with her husband, Sean, her two daughters and their devoted dog, Dallas.
Tara is an Associate with the DLR Group, focusing on business development in K-12 education architectural design. Tara is passionate about helping children and has traveled extensively in the developing world. She’s also a gifted athlete and completed the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride in 2014. Tara brings years of strategic planning and marketing experience to Sister Schools. Tara is a member of Council for Educational Facility Planners International, Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business Leadership Initiative, Bisnow.
Melissa is an Account Executive with McKinstry, a design, build, operate and maintenance firm that advocates collaborative and sustainable solutions. Melissa volunteered for years with programs for children with disabilities. She was drawn to Sister Schools because of her strong interest in the overall well-being and future of all children. Melissa has extensive business development, marketing, sales and strategic planning expertise. She’s a member of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International, the Washington Association of Maintenance and Operation Administrators, and a participant in Economic Alliance of Snohomish County. Melissa is also an accomplished horsewoman.
Liz is a science teacher at Canyon Park Middle School in Bothell, Washington. She has been teaching for just over six years and has spent some time teaching in Italy. While working at Fernwood Elementary, she met Katherine Berry and was first introduced and inspired by Sister Schools. One of her firm beliefs is that education should be a basic right for all. Working with Sister Schools allows Liz to support education for all, around the world.
Additionally, Liz grew up in Richland, Washington and has a love for travel and experiencing new adventures. Spending time with her four, beautiful nieces, three sisters, parents, and puppy named Trigger are also her top priority. In between teaching and working with Sister Schools, Liz also volunteers her time with an animal rehabilitation center and works at farmers markets on the weekends.
“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai
Kelley is the Business Manager at The Meridian School in the Wallingford neighborhood. She moved to Seattle from Colorado in 2004 to attend the University of Washington. In 2011, she served some time in Ethiopia as an English Teacher Trainer with the Peace Corps. That experience opened her eyes to the role education has in poverty alleviation. Motivated to make a difference in the world, Kelley completed her Masters of Public Administration from UW’s Evan’s School of Policy and Governance, focusing on international development and nonprofit management.
Kelley first heard about Sister Schools from friend’s at the Evan’s School. Inspired by Sister School’s devotion to fostering global citizens both here in Washington and Uganda, she decided to join the Board in 2017.
In her free time, Kelley loves to run, hike, and enjoy the outdoors with her husband and son.
Jean is a local Seattlite and finance professional, specializing in corporate finance in the field of venture capital. She received degrees in Finance and International Business while taking leadership positions in multiple clubs. Highly results oriented and enthusiastic, Jean joined Sister Schools as a Board member in 2017. Outside of work and Sister Schools, she is an avid traveler, climber, and diver.
Khetiwe works in marketing and consumer business finance at Microsoft. She has been at Microsoft since 2003 and continues to be fascinated by technology, particularly as a solution to increase productivity across the globe. Khetiwe was born in Nairobi, Kenya, grew up in Harare, Zimbabwe and has lived in several other cities including Seattle and Johannesburg.
Khetiwe loves thinking about simple solutions to mitigate socio-economic disadvantages in her community. To that end, she volunteers with like-minded organizations such as Sister Schools, Munhu, Inc, and others based in the United States and Africa. During her down time, Khetiwe enjoys traveling around the world with her family, with her favorite destinations being Maragoli, Kenya and the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.