School Board

The board members are elected at the annual meeting. There are a minimum of six voting, or Executive Board members, the majority of whom (4 of the 6) must be present so that quorum for the Board can be achieved. An Executive Board member’s term is two years. The terms are staggered so that only three Executive Board members’ terms may end at the same time. The terms end on June 30 in any given year. The Board selects the teachers and determines their compensation.

Contact Us

We always welcome feedback about our program. Depending on the nature of your feedback, please choose from the options below:

Administrative or Board-Related Inquiries:
President: Tutta Lehto-Collin

Vice President: Emma Lehtosalo

Academic or Class Inquiries, Registration Status, Teacher Applications, Teacher Feedback
Principal Teacher: Airi Suomalainen

Financial Inquiries – Tuition, Billing, etc.
Treasurer: Jaakko Soininen

Fundraising Inquiries
Fundraising/Events Manager: Nina Vuorela

Library Inquiries or Suggestions for new Books
Librarian/Communication Manager: Hanna Naalisvaara


The association is called Seattlen Suomi Koulu Finnish School of Seattle. Its purpose is to provide a motivating Finnish speaking community for children and their parents. The school’s mission is to help children maintain the Finnish language and appreciate Finnish traditions among children of Finnish heritage and those interested in Finland. The parents of children attending the school become members when they pay the tuition in full (i.e., the membership fee). In addition, all active teachers and current board members are considered voting members of the school.

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President Tutta Lehto-Collin:
Executive Board Member
• Calls the board and parents’ meetings and the annual meeting, leads these meetings.
• Oversees the operation of the school.
• Develops and updates the strategic plan for the school.
• Acts as a liaison between the school and the facility where the school meets.
• Establishes networking relationships to benefit the school.
• Acts as tiebreaker if a pending Executive Board decision is deadlocked.

Vice-President Emma Lehtosalo:
Executive Board Member
• Acts as president in the absence of the president and as needed.
• Acts as secretary in the absence of the secretary.
• Acts as treasurer in the absence of the treasurer.
• Is involved in activities generating publicity for the school.
• Vice President supports the President in networking activities.
• Acts as the liaison between Suomi-Seura/Finland Society and other organizations and the school.

Secretary Liia Bennett:
Executive Board Member
• Records the meetings of the board and the annual meeting and minutes of the meetings.
• Archives all the meeting minutes and correspondence.
• Transfers kept records to the archivist at the end of the secretarial term.
• Updates school’s student database and registration information.
• Communicates the board’s decisions to the board members, parents, teachers and others.
• Helps keep the school mailing list up to date (all members, supporters, benefactors, sponsors).

Treasurer Jaakko Soininen:
Executive Board Member
• Responsible for the collection of registration fees and camp fees.
• Pays the teacher’s salaries and other compensations once a month.
• Reimburses the board and teachers for their expenses as authorized by the board.
• Keeps the books of the expenses and income, informs the board about the financial standing in the meetings and balances the books at the end of the accounting season (June 30th).
• Conducts banking transactions.
• Explains the method of accounting to any auditors and provides them.
• Keeps the accounting books and bank records.
• With the board, drafts the budget.
• Develops the financial strategy for the school.
• Responsible for the inventory of school assets.

Principal Teacher 
Principal Teacher Airi Suomalainen:
Executive Board Member
• Can be the principal teacher or another teacher selected by the principal teacher.
• Selects teachers
• Acts as a liaison between teachers and the board.
• Plans the curriculum for the school year in cooperation with other teachers.
• Plans and is in charge of the school’s end of the term parties (Christmas, spring).
• Plans and contributes to teachers’ meetings.
• Plans and contributes to parents-teachers’ meetings.
• Keeps the Parent’s Handbook up to date.
• Takes care of registration forms (collection & cataloging).
• Helps keep the school mailing list up to date (all members, supporters, benefactors, sponsors).

Fundraising Manager
Fundraising/Events Manager Nina Vuorela:
Executive Board Member
• Acts as a special events coordinator and a fundraising manager.
• With the board, executes grant applications.
• Generates publicity for the school.
• Helps keep the school mailing list up to date (supporters & sponsors).

Past President
Past President Hanna-Leena Javanainen:
• The purpose of the position is to help ensure continuity in the goals, projects and tasks of the Suomi Koulu board.
• Assists new school President in his/her tasks in order to help the new President become familiar with and effective in those tasks
• Meets or communicates regularly with the President in-between Board meetings
• Connects with the membership and community and communicates about the change to gain support for the new leadership.
• Participates as an active and contributing but a non-voting member in all Board meetings.

Librarian Hanna Naalisvaara:
• Manages the library materials (books, videos, games and others) in an orderly way.
• Informs the membership about the variety and new acquisitions.
• Writes reviews and keeps up a wish list in the newsletter.
• Keeps the records of projects and events.
• Archives photo albums and other materials for the record.