Founder & Principal
Starting a private school after 27-years in public education is not a typical venture, but neither are the professional experiences of Bob Hagin. He has taught in traditional classrooms in grades 1-9, alternative education in grades 1-12, a secondary summer school principal for seven years, and a superintendent and a teacher of a one-room-school district in Eastern Washington. Bob is currently a doctoral student at Northeastern University, earned a BA in Education, M.Ed in school administration from Western Washington University.
Each experience challenges Bob to address the needs of students and the system. In 2008, he founded Northwest Liberty School. Amidst a state budgetary cutback that impacted school districts, Bob’s response was to continue to offer some of the same services that were being eliminated from public high schools like online courses, curricular choices, and additional support.
Bob’s hard work and entrepreneurship continues to guide him. His experience and current studies lead him to believe and develop more choice in curriculum, additional interest-based learning opportunities, and utilizing the agility and flexibility of private education. “I have the passion of a beginning educator, the experience of a veteran teacher, and the freedom create solutions. Why would I ever retire?”
Outside NWLS and being a student again, he and his wife enjoy their family and friends, Whidbey Island, cycling, and travel.
English and Social Studies teacher
For 23 years Bruce Blizard taught high school English and history, including advanced placement courses at Richland High School in Eastern Washington. He has also coached track and field and cross country at the high school and college level. He is currently and assistant track and cross country coach at Richland High School.
Bruce has won numerous awards for both teaching and coaching, including the prestigious Crystal Apple, awarded to outstanding and innovative teachers in Washington State.
He has also published two young adult novels with a third due the summer of 2017.
His wife, Tina, is a middle school physical education teacher, and they live in rural Southeastern Washington. Bruce has two grown daughters, one a first-grade teacher and the other a registered nurse.
French and Science Teacher
Jillian Lacey graduated from Walla Walla University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and Biology Minor. After completing her Masters in Teaching at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA, she currently teaches French to 8th and 9th graders and Life Science to 7th graders in the Northshore School District and teaches French through the Apex online program at Northwest Liberty School.
She enjoys reading, traveling, food, and anything mentally stimulating. She is married and owns a cat and a dog named Willow and Ivy, respectively.
Linsey is a Pacific Northwest transplant originally from Southern California. There she taught English for 8 years before moving to Mount Vernon, WA, in search of mountains and trails to run. She taught for 7 years at Sedro-Woolley High School just north of Seattle before deciding to stay home with her two tiny humans, Luka (3) and Soren (1). When not engaging in political activism, she is planting carrot or radish seeds and finding trails to tackle. She is excited to be a part of the “future” of education at Northwest Liberty School.
Celeste will be teaching at Lynnwood High next year, she has been teaching for 13 years, with the last 5 being in WA on the east side. Prior to moving to Washington, Celeste taught 8 years in Mesa, Arizona at Skyline High School. She has experience teaching a wide variety of high school and middle school math courses. She resides in Bothell, and spends her free time reading, hosting dinners with friends, hiking, or just spending quiet time with her husband and their pets.
Señor Alejandro Zahajko began at Northwest Liberty School in 2015. He currently teaches at Bothell High and has been in the Northshore School District since 1996. Alejandro has taught all levels of Spanish including University of Washington Spanish 201 College in the High School. Spanish is his first language due to his parents being raised in South America, his mother in Argentina, and his father in Brazil. Alejandro is passionate about teaching and firmly believes in teaching with passion, energy, and entertainment. He also believes that all students can be successful if they are willing to open their mind to it.
Alejandro played soccer and studied at the University of Washington. He has traveled extensively through Mexico, South America, and Europe. Alejandro has also coached soccer locally at Bothell High School, FC Alliance, and is the director of Cougar Soccer Camp in the summer. Alejandro has been married since 1997 and has 3 children. They enjoy sports, traveling, and summers together. Alejandro also loves to read, cook and follow sports.
Jen relocated to the Pacific Northwest from the Midwest in the spring of 2012 with her family. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Prior to moving she spent 13 years as a certified chemical dependency counselor working with people who have co-occurring disorders. She’s been with Northwest Liberty School since the fall of 2013.
Jen is married and has two daughters and a dog. In her free time Jen enjoys outdoor activities including camping and hiking. She also enjoys reading a wide variety of books and trying new recipes. Jen is actively involved in the PTO/PTF organizations at both of her daughter’s schools.
Kerry was born and raised in Woodinville, Washington. She began her story at NWLS as a student and after completing her Bachelors degree she came full circle and joined the staff. Kerry graduated from Washington State University with her degree in Strategic Communication with emphasis in Public Relations. She has a passion for helping others and enjoys connecting with students even in the moments where she finds her “hip lingo” is severely outdated.
When not at work Kerry enjoys playing with her kitten Peanut, watching Cougar Football, and spending quality time exploring all the beauty the PNW has to offer.