By Wendy Lawrence, Inspire Contributor


Eastside Prep is lucky to get talented board members with a wide variety of experiences, but Marta Picoto is bringing something new: experience as an EPS student! Picoto first joined EPS for sixth grade in 2007. She remembers her time at EPS with fondness. “I took classes that continuously sparked my curiosity and met with kind teachers who encouraged me to accomplish my goals.” She’s remained connected to EPS and is excited to work even more closely with the school. “I am most excited to work with and learn from an incredible group of creative and talented individuals on the Board of Trustees. As an alum on the board, I also look forward to the opportunity to act as a liaison between EPS and alumni.”

Picoto also brings the unique perspective of having lived the EPS mission. “The decisions I’ve made throughout my life are rooted in the core values of leading compassionately, innovating wisely, thinking critically, and acting responsibly. As a board member, I wish to validate these values through every decision for the school’s future.”

Picoto went to Whitman College where she graduated with a degree in Psychology. She works as a Certified Behavior Technician at the UW Autism Clinic, is a research assistant at the Bernier Lab in the Center on Human Development and Disability, and a first-year Ed.S. student at the University of Washington.


Alicia Moreno Gonzalez, PhD, is a bioengineer by training currently working at Philips Healthcare as a Clinical Development Scientist. Moreno Gonzalez and her husband Carlos moved to Seattle in 2000 where she skied for the first time and fell in love with it.

Moreno Gonzalez first found EPS for her sons, Carlos (Class of 2024) and Andres (Class of 2027). She loves the community culture and the experiences created for the kids. “I have benefited from taking risks, being an independent thinker and self-learner throughout my education and career.” She loves that EPS helps kids develop these same skills that have brought her so much success.

Joining the board, Moreno Gonzalez imagines she will be most helpful working with issues around student travel and safety. She’s also eager to help the school maintain its original mission and culture as it sustainably grows. Picking up on the magazine’s theme of well-being, Moreno Gonzalez says “I see the well-being of EPS centered between the students and teachers. The Board can contribute by assessing the environment in which these two groups interact and providing external feedback that can help strengthen
this balance.”


Mehrane Mokdad has been part of the EPS family for three years as a parent to students in the classes of 2025 and 2027. “I still remember the positive energy that exuded from the EPS staff, faculty, and students during our first visit. The culture of kindness, openness and progressiveness is embedded in everything the school does.”

She relates strongly to the theme of this issue, well-being, and believes it’s a noble goal. “There is an increased awareness of the importance of well-being in schools. The state of physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being is vital for a healthy learning environment where students can realize their full potential and feel good about themselves.” Getting to that point requires purposeful and coordinated effort. “Promoting a culture of well-being is a shared responsibility and partnership among the school leaders, faculty, staff, board, community, parents and students.”

Mokdad holds a Master’s in Public Health & Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology. She has worked in various roles across the health, electronics, and other industries, but her true passion has always been education. She loves traveling, reading and bringing diverse peoples together through food. Her family lived in England and the Middle East before coming to Washington State.