In addition to West Wind’s capacity–rich, full–time staff, the company believes in actively providing opportunities for work and experience to people in our community. Examples of this range from working with local contractors—both from West Wind’s homebase and in the communities we adopt for the duration of our programs—to hiring students with disabilities from the Iowa City Community School District’s Transition Services Center, so that they may practice basic life skills and build confidence upon their entrance into the workforce.
Mandi Bozarth, Project Associate, conducts research for and writes briefing papers, policy memos and planning documents for use by leaders in education and education policy and advocates for education. Most of Mandi’s time is currently spent researching and writing about competency-based education, developing and supporting online communities of practice for educators and state education agency personnel, and organizing topical webinars for the national State Consortium on Educator Effectiveness, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Before joining West Wind Mandi held many positions in policy analysis, research and programming. She served as a policy director for Congressman Brad Carson and as a parliamentary analyst for Dehavilland Information Services in London, where she specialized in education and rural health issues. She later became an analyst for the political consulting firm VR Research and held a position as a program director for UC Berkeley Residential Life, where she organized educational programming aimed at fostering and supporting diverse, multi-cultural and international families.
Mandi holds a Master’s degree in English Studies from the University of London and a BA from Oklahoma State University, and has taken coursework in education from the Open University of Great Britain.
Office Manager & Bookkeeper
319-354-9378 ext. 106
Sally is West Wind’s office manager and bookkeeper. She is dedicated to assisting the company in its financial interactions with clients and vendors, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable. Sally makes certain that West Wind employees’ payroll and benefits are taken care of, and she also monitors and orders the supplies necessary to a smoothly running office.
Sally’s account managing experience began in 1988, where she monitored funds for a local bakery. Since then, she has hired, trained and supervised staff members, processed workers’ compensation claims, and managed employee records at a company of more than 500. Currently, Sally also prepares financial statements for property owners and condo associations in addition to her work at West Wind.
Sally earned her associate’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from City College of San Francisco.
Senior Policy Analyst
Deb is a senior policy analyst and started at West Wind in 2010 after 21 years at the Iowa Department of Education. During her time at the Department she played an instrumental role in developing and supporting state-wide systems and processes to improve professional growth of educators.
Deb began her career as a classroom teacher in Illinois and then became a consultant specializing in early childhood special education in two of Iowa’s regional education agencies before joining the Iowa Department of Education where she focused on teacher professional development. She advocates that having strong systems in place to build the capacity of teachers and school leaders is essential to accomplishing the goals of improved student achievement. Establishing high quality professional development requires skillful distributed leadership, intentional involvement of teachers, pro-active policies that require adequate a time and resources for in-depth learning, and an unrelenting focus on student learning. Deb dedicated her years at the Department to putting these variables into place in Iowa schools.
The Iowa Professional Development Model was co-authored by Deb. She provided leadership for the development for this state-wide system of professional growth and ongoing technical assistant in professional learning at all levels of the education system in Iowa. The Iowa Professional Development Model is widely recognized nationally as a resource for administrators and practitioners.
She served on the National Comprehensive Teacher Quality Center Advisory Board from 2007-2010; the National Staff Development Council: State Education Agency Professional Development Directors Network from 2009-present; and the Iowa Staff Development Council executive board from 2001-2008 where she also served as President in 2003-04. In 2008 Deb received the State of Iowa Governor’s Dome Award for Excellence which is presented to state employees for exemplary service.
Deb earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Special Education from Northern Illinois University; a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois; and completed graduate course work in Education Administration at the University of South Dakota, Iowa State University, and Drake University.
Bonnie Riggan (McIntosh)
Chief Operating Officer
Bonnie is West Wind’s chief operating officer, negotiating contracts, budgeting projects, and providing strategic and operational leadership. Bonnie manages the resources of the company, so that staff members have what they need to produce excellent work. West Wind relies on her to safeguard the company’s culture and mission, and to make sure employees grow professionally and are satisfied with their jobs. Bonnie serves the company as a catalyst for creation, anticipating staff and client needs and coordinating the necessities to fulfill them. She is also West Wind’s point person on leadership development and leadership coaching.
Bonnie brings to West Wind her experience in marketing and public relations, which she acquired throughout her position at The University of Iowa’s College of Nursing. She was responsible for marketing the college’s academic programs and advocating on behalf of the College to enhance the image of the nursing profession. Bonnie has a bachelor’s in communication studies from The University of Iowa.
Prior to working for West Wind, Valerie worked for a local school district designing and implementing cultural competence professional development for teachers and school leaders in K-12 schools. She was also involved in designing community outreach forums and conferences.
Valerie holds a doctorate in Education from The University of Iowa. She is a Holmes Scholar and Obermann Fellow, both recognizing her commitment to education, equity, and community-based scholarship and work. Valerie holds an Iowa PK-12 Administrative certificate and a Washington 4-12 Teaching Certificate.
Valerie holds a master’s in English and a bachelor’s of Education in English and Communications, both from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. She taught high school English, and taught college-level composition and was the Managing Editor for the Bellingham Review.
In 2007 she created and directed The Institute for Higher Learning (until 2011) and in 2011, created the Instituto de Latinos Unidos. Both are culturally specific summer enrichment programs for African American and Latino high school students.
Her research areas of interest include: sociocultural theory, multiliteracies and critical literacy, urban literature, girls’ literacies, out-of-school literacies, secondary teacher education, diversity issues in education, qualitative research, reluctant/resistant learners, and administrative leadership.
Circe is founder and president of West Wind. Under Circe’s direction, West Wind has developed a model for Systemic Equity Leadership, which is grounded in systems thinking, adaptive leadership, Critical Race Theory, and implementation science. Circe has facilitated numerous national and statewide blue ribbon panels and summits, cross-functional working teams, organizational strategic planning processes, and equity leadership teams.
For nearly 15 years prior to founding West Wind, Circe worked in non-profit associations in the fields of agriculture, higher education, and K–12 education policy in Washington, D.C. Circe also taught political theory at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in 2001 before investing her efforts in West Wind and her commitment to alleviate inequities in public education.
Circe earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, a master’s in government and politics from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s in political science from The University of Iowa. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Diversity Focus and the Advisory Board of the FasTrac Youth Leadership Program.
Technical Assistant & Web Developer
319-354-9378 ext. 110
Tina is savvy with graphic design and the virtual world which is a major perk for West Wind and our clients as she takes the lead on activities ranging from creating social networking sites for client projects to turning client deliverables into interactive tools, and impressively designing and programming this beautiful website. Tina also provides invaluable assistance to West Wind’s administrative team by maintaining the company’s extensive database and supporting other much needed office tasks. She is currently completing a degree in Computer Science at the University of Iowa.