Directors Bios

Nathanael O'Hara -
Doug Ross

Doug and his family moved from the mountains in Colorado to Port Townsend in 2004.  He and his family found PT as they traveled through No. America in a travel trailer for 20 months visiting 40 states.  Once they finished the trip they decided Port Townsend would be their new home. 

Doug has a BA in Business Management from Cal State University Los Angeles and an MBA from the University of Denver.  His early career was spent in the ski industry where he and his wife met at Keystone Resort in Colorado and later both worked for Vail Resorts.  

Doug eventually left the ski industry and found interest in selling outdoor apparel with Helly Hansen. Work in the outdoor industry led him to his current role  selling performance textiles to the No. American Outdoor Market for HFI a Taiwanese Textile Company.  

Doug’s daughter and son have experienced many educational options on the peninsula including: Mountain View, Salish Coast, Blue Heron, ICE/Ocean, Pi, Jefferson Community School, PTHS, and Peninsula College.  Doug became interested in education as his mother was an elementary school teacher.  

Doug has enjoyed supporting our local non-profit community including serving on the The Main Street Program board, supporting our local High School Mtn Bike Team and more recently serving on the Skillmation Board.  As a mentor with Skillmation, Doug learned more about the opportunities to serve our district on the school board.

When not at work or at a School Board meeting Doug enjoys hiking and skiing with his family, as well as spending time riding mountain and road bikes.

Jennifer James-Wilson

Jennifer James-Wilson was first elected to the Port Townsend School Board in 2009. She is currently serving her fourth 4-year term and is one of the longest-serving school board directors in Jefferson County.  

Jennifer is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, comes from a long line of educators and mariners, was raised in Seattle, graduated from Queen Anne High School and earned a BA in Communications/ Journalism from the University of Washington. After graduation, Jennifer and her husband Scott Wilson made their way around the Sound living and working in Tacoma, Olympia and Shelton before settling in Port Townsend in 1989. They co-published the Port Townsend-Jefferson County Leader until its sale in 2016.


All the Wilson children -- Hana, Sophie and Walker -- attended PT schools from kindergarten to graduation. Jennifer was an active classroom and school volunteer, as well as president of Quimper UU Fellowship, a founding board member and president of the Jefferson County Family YMCA, a member of the Jefferson Education Foundation board and various scholarship committees including the Deb Johnson Memorial Scholarship.  Upon the twins' graduation in 2009, Jennifer became the third member of her family in four generations to be elected to a school board. She has served in multiple positions on the board and considers schools the heart and soul of the community.


In her free time Jennifer does landscaping in her yard, is a backyard birder and an avid walker fond of the city's public trails and beaches. She reads extensively, travels by air, land and sea and loves to play Sequence, Scrabble, and Settlers of Cataan.

Jeff Taylor

Jeff is currently the secondary science teacher at Quilcene K-12 school. Previously, he taught AP Environmental Science and AP Chemistry at Flagstaff High School in Arizona, as well as, science and math for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Italy. Jeff was named an Arizona Educational Foundation Ambassador for Excellence in 2015 and Coconino County Teacher of the Year in 2014.

He has served in various leadership capacities and leadership teams in both Flagstaff and Quilcene including serving on committees that revise and propose district policies, funding and budget committees, and administration and teacher hiring committees. 

Jeff earned his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Zoology from Michigan State University, focusing his thesis research on habitat use by bats in the managed forests of the Cascade Range. He also worked as a biological technician at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and as an interpretive ranger at Olympic National Park. He helped develop educational curriculum and led forums on the Elwha Ecosystem Restoration Project for the park.

Jeff is an avid hiker and traveler. He is a Washington native, having grown up in Tacoma, before spending many years in other states and overseas, before finally returning to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula to work in Quilcene and take up residence in Port Townsend. His daughter is currently a student at Blue Heron Middle School.

John Nowak

John Nowak has been a lifelong Port Townsend community member, graduating from Port Townsend High School in 1974. After education at Peninsula College and Washington State University, he returned to the community to work at Jefferson Healthcare for more than 40 years. During his employment there as a nurse he served in several clinical roles, including director of the Emergency Room, Intensive Care, and Labor and Delivery. In his last 15 years there he held several administrative roles including director of IT, project manager, chief of performance improvement, and executive director of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). John also served on the Leadership team for five years.  

John has been involved in many community activities including Jumping Mouse board member and president, Rhody Run board member, Port Townsend Parks Recreation and Trees Advisory Board, and Jefferson Transit Advisory Board. He also volunteered as an assistant coach at PTHS for nine years in soccer and basketball.

John has had a lifelong interest in helping kids in the community. He and his wife Lynn raised two sons in Port Townsend. His work with Jumping Mouse helped him to understand the issues of mental health in children. John’s work in coaching gave him a special understanding of issues that kids face on a day-to-day level and insight about how amazing the youth in the community truly are. Working at the hospital gave him experience in administration, leadership, working with the community, community health and how to interface with the public. His experience with CHIP was particularly helpful in understanding the issues of youth. While working on CHIP he facilitated a team focused on the Youth Age Band, which spent about nine months developing a plan to improve the health of youth in the community. It had a specific focus on mental health.

John has always had a passion for kids and education. His mother Rose Ann was a pioneer as one of the first women on the school board in the 60’s and 70’s. He has been interested in serving on the school board for most of his adult life, and now with his recent retirement he has the time to commit to this work. He also enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, repairing vintage typewriters, and spending time with family, including his grandson. John cares deeply about the youth of the community and believes the highest calling is to serve them and those who help shape them. 

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