John Coombs, President
Committee Work: Governance, Technology
John began serving on the Board of Trustees in 2010 as the parent of a Silverwood student. He currently volunteers his information technology skills to help with the continuing process of upgrading Silverwood’s IT infrastructure and keeping it up-to-date. John and his family moved to Kitsap County in 2004, and after living in four different regions of the U.S., he says this is his favorite by far. John graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After college, his first career was with the Navy as a submarine engineering officer. His last duty station was with the Navy’s deep-diving research submarine NR-1, where he discovered his love for the challenges associated with deep ocean engineering and exploration. While in the Navy, and after leaving the Navy, John had the rare opportunity to participate in several interesting projects that included robotic vehicle exploration of the Titanic and her lesser-known sister Britannic. One particular project was especially important to John, the discovery and partial salvage of the Israeli submarine Dakar, where he met his wife Donna who was the team’s principal sonar analyst. Even though ocean adventures are rare for John these days, he says the daily challenges of parenting and staying involved with his children’s education are equally rewarding.
Robert Davy, Vice President
Robert grew up in western Washington, and now lives in Kitsap County with his wife and two boys. Robert became involved with Silverwood after his oldest son began attending second grade. Robert served in the Navy for four years, graduated from Western Washington University and worked in the IT industry for several years while he attended law school at night. After graduating Seattle University School of Law, he and his wife spent a few years in Tucson, only to return to Kitsap to start their family. After a decade as a prosecutor, Robert recently put his law career on hold in order to stay at home and take over as the Domestic First Responder while his wife, Summer, continues to build her successful real estate career. Although he misses the courtroom, Robert enjoys being involved in ensuring students receive a quality education and “challenging them to become confident, compassionate citizens and skilled, life-long learners.”
Mary Kunish, Secretary
Committee Work: Auction, Marketing
Mary was born and raised on the Kitsap Peninsula. After a few years in Montana, where she earned her Environmental Engineering degree while working on a national super fund site, Mary returned to beautiful Kitsap County. She has spent the last few years supporting US Navy maintenance efforts both locally and abroad. Mary joined the Silverwood Board of Trustees in 2013, where she hopes to support the unique blend of learning that Silverwood provides. When not running her daughter between school, dance, and soccer, Mary likes to walk, craft, and settle down with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Neal Williams, Treasurer
Committee Work: Finance
Neal began working for the CPA firm of Hurley, Williams & Cook in 1997 as a staff accountant and worked his way up until becoming a shareholder of the firm in 2003. He currently provides services for governmental clients as well as small business and individual tax clients. Neal is a native of Washington State, having been born in Mt. Vernon and raised in Seattle. Neal graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Central Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Washington. After college, he began his career at a local CPA firm in Silverdale, Washington, before coming to work for his current firm. Recently, Neal was given the opportunity to provide CPA services to Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), a Washington governmental entity who received two ARRA grants totaling more than $138,000,000 for projects to expand their broadband network into underserved and unserved areas of Washington State. Neal assisted NoaNet in researching their administrative requirements and participated in the initial planning of the grant administration. From his research and planning, Neal developed several worksheets and methods of gathering data which were used by NoaNet during the three year grant period. Neal also prepares monthly and annual financial statements for NoaNet as well as providing audit preparation services which helped NoaNet get through three A-133 audits with no federal findings or questioned costs. Neal currently lives in Silverdale, Washington, with his daughter Elizabeth and enjoys being a father and volunteering his time to her school’s finance committee and board of trustees.
Matt Hebard, Board Member
Matt has two daughters. One attending Silverwood and the the other recently graduated; their experience at Silverwood has been wonderful. As a board member Matt hopes to see wonderful experiences continue to be extended to all Silverwood students. Matt volunteers with many youth oriented activities in the Puget Sound area. He enjoys eating pie.
Julie McElroy-Brown, Board Member
Julie has deep family roots in the woods and waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and as a Silverwood parent, she enjoys the special beauty of the school’s campus on a daily basis. Julie worked as a Registered Nurse for many years and then returned to school in 2004 to broaden her education. She graduated from the University of Washington, Tacoma with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and a minor in Environmental Studies, and then continued on to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) at Pacific Lutheran University. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing through Gonzaga University’s Online Graduate Program. Julie has a passion for education (she really likes school!), and brings her own inquisitive nature to the Board of Trustees in support of Silverwood’s other “intellectually adventurous life-long learners.”
Tom Danaher, Board Member
Captain Danaher retired from the Navy in August of 1996. His 30 years of active duty as a Surface Warrior were highlighted by numerous accomplishments, both personal and professional. He was chosen to command five times: the “ultimate” of all Navy jobs.
*As a Sailor from the enlisted ranks, Tom served on the Fleet Oiler-USS NECHES (AO-47). (USS NECHES deployed to West-Pac in 1967-68).
*As a Mariner, he served aboard eight surface ships, for three of which he was the Commanding Officer. His sea tours included destroyers, amphibs, aircraft carriers, and combat logistics (mostly in engineering). 18 of 30 years were spent on sea duty, and he has extensive experience in steam, diesel, and gas turbine ships as both an operator and an inspector.
*As an Officer, he served “in country” Vietnam as an advisor; was an Admiral’s Aide twice; was selected as the U.S. Pacific Fleet CRUDES Ship-handler of the Year; was the Navy League Junior Officer of the Year for Mid-Pacific Commands; and was the Athlete of the Year for Amphibious Forces Afloat, Atlantic Fleet.
*As a Teacher, Tom instructed Leadership and Naval Science at the U.S. Naval Academy (1978-81) and instructed and managed the curriculum at the prestigious Afloat Prospective Commanding Officer and Executive Officer Course at Surface Warfare Schools Command in Newport, Rhode Island (1984-86). He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a Masters from Providence College, both in education. He served as Commanding Officer (President) of Naval Academy Preparatory School from 1989-1991.
*As a Sea Captain, he arrived in Bremerton as first Captain of the USS RAINIER (AOE-7). He established the ship’s organization, assembled the ship’s crew, and monitored the building of the RAINIER at NASSCO in San Diego from 1991 to 1994. USS RAINIER was commissioned in Bremerton on January 21, 1995 – the first ship commissioned in West Sound in over thirty years and a ceremony attended by the CNO, Admiral Mike Boorda, and over 6500 distinguished citizens, congressional delegates, and townspeople. Numerous jobs such as Joint Staff duty at Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and Commanding Officer, and Pre-Commissioning Unit RAINIER fill in the rest of the blanks.
As a private citizen, Tom now lives near Kitsap Lake with citizen wife and math whiz/teacher Nancy (42 years). They have two sons: Leo, a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard (Class 2004 USCGA), and Ryan, a graduate of Western Washington University, and is a Child Development Specialist with the Dept. of the Navy. Both sons are Eagle Scouts.
Prior to joining Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) in January 2005 as Public Affairs Officer, Tom was in corporate industry as a consultant to Avalon Shipyards and LIPS Propeller, then VP/Director, Business Development & Government Relations for Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle for 8 years (1998-2004).
While at NBK, Tom was awarded the DoN Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Navy League of the United States Scroll of Honor. He served as the command’s public, community, and government liaison officer. Tom now works part-time for the Bremerton Police Department as Program Manager of the new Citizen’s Volunteer Program.