Student Support Staff


Elizabeth Tyning

School Counselor

Ms. Tyning is excited to serve the Rainier Valley community as Rainier Valley Leadership Academy's founding School Counselor. She graduated from The New School in New York City with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with an emphasis in Sociology. While completing her undergraduate studies, Ms. Tyning worked as a volunteer and tutor for Achievement First Charter Schools, ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, and The Fortune Society’s alternative to incarceration education programs. Ms. Tyning completed her Masters in Social Work from NYU, and as a part of her graduate studies, trained in community mental health and medical social work. Prior to joining the Green Dot team, she has broadened her clinical experience as a Mental Health Therapist with Seattle Children’s Hospital for the last two years. Ms. Tyning is passionate about empowering individuals, especially children, to recognize their potential and boost their overall well-being, so that they can achieve their personal and academic goals.

As a native to the desert climate, Ms. Tyning enjoys the sun and being outdoors. You can find her most likely hiking with her dog, on her bike, or growing vegetables in her backyard. When indoors, she turns to books, movies, and wood carving! Ms. Tyning looks forward to partnering with the Green Dot community, providing creativity, compassion, and dedication, so that all students and families are heard and supported in their educational journey.

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Claire Finders

Special Education Teacher

Ms. Finders is honored and thrilled to be the Rainier Valley Leadership Academy Founding Lead Special Education Teacher. After earning her B.A. in Communication from University of Southern California, Claire moved to New York planning to start a career in marketing. She very quickly realized her passion for education, joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and began her graduate coursework. While teaching a 6th grade special education class in an NYC public school, Claire simultaneously earned her M.S. in Teaching Students with Disabilities (Middle School emphasis) from Pace University. After 3 years in the classroom, Claire and her husband moved to Dallas, TX, where she began teaching enrichment classes with Mind Lab. Claire’s experience in marketing and PR helped launch Nexplore, a national educational enrichment company that offers various after school, in-school and summer programs. As the Chief Business Development Officer at Nexplore, Claire was responsible for Nexplore’s sales, market expansion, program/curriculum development and management of instructors/programs.

Claire recently moved to Seattle and is ecstatic to return to a school setting to support RVLA students as they prepare for college and grow academically, socially and emotionally. When not developing new ways to engage and inspire students, Claire enjoys travelling, cooking, graphic design, yoga, trying new restaurants and exploring Seattle’s unique and beautiful offerings.


Danisha Harris

Instructional Aide

Ms. Harris is excited to be a founding Instructional Aide at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy! In 2011, she became a founding member and Summer Teaching Assistant, designing and directing an art-centered activism curriculum for youth in East Baltimore, through the Baltimore United Viewfinders program at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Working with the Viewfinders, she developed a passion for mentorship and youth advocacy. Her passion for youth and social justice led her to her work as a Shelter Counselor, working with chemically dependent teens in group homes, and also with vulnerable adults living with mental disorders in shelters around Seattle. Continuing social justice work in a new setting, Ms. Harris joined City Year Seattle for the 2016-2017 school year as an AmeriCorps Member, providing academic, and social-emotional support to middle school students at Aki Kurose Middle School. She is passionate about fostering healthy self-determination in her students, and collaborating with community groups that promote this outside of the school setting.

She is currently studying Behavioral Science at Seattle Central Community College, and plans to pursue counseling or teaching in coming years. Ms. Harris spends her time pursuing creative interests including singing, writing, and short filmmaking!


Rahmo Rashid

Instructional Aide

Ms. Rashid is honored and excited to be a founding Instructional Aide at Rainier Valley Leadership Academy. She has managed underserved students for 2 years as a K-5 program manager at East African Community Services. She also has experience working with all age groups and families in various roles, including as a summer coordinator, team leader, and a teaching assistant. Ms. Rashid is very passionate about helping underserved students because she can personally relate to their stories. She holds an AA from South Seattle College, Early Childhood Education certification from Highline College and hope to soon become a certificated teacher. Ms. Rashid looks forward to working with the founding middle school class. During her free time, she loves to read, write and explore Seattle with her children.

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Rainier Valley Leadership Academy

3900 S Holly Park Drive

Seattle, WA 98118

Phone: (206) 305-0646