2020-2021 School Year

PTA Board of Directors

Here are the 2020-2021 PTA Board of Directors:

  • President: Karen Mitchell Smith
  • VP Programs: Melanie McKenzie
  • VP Communication: Jennifer Snyder
  • Secretary: Emily Cross
  • Treasurer: Mumtaz Zimbalist
  • Membership: *OPEN* (find info about this role here)


The PTA Board members each wanted to share an introduction - and let you know that you can contact any of them at any time with question / comments / suggestions. 

Karen Mitchell Smith (President)

My name is Karen Smith. I was born in Buffalo, NY, but spent most of my life living in North Carolina. I have recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest and am proud to have a grandson attending Canyon Creek Elementary. Both as a grandparent and the site director and talent acquisition for the Champions before and after school care program, I have had the opportunity to grow to love and cherish Canyon Creek Elementary School. I am excited to be working with a community with such diversity and commitment. Whichever direction we choose to take in this upcoming challenging year, I will be there to support you and help facilitate the evolution of our school, community, and organization.  

I first came to visit the Pacific Northwest from North Carolina in 2015. The moment my plane banked, and I saw the Puget Sound, with the Olympic Mountains in the background, I knew this was where I wanted to live. In 2018 we finally relocated to Bothell and have absolutely loved our time here. In over 20 years as a childcare director, I have had the pleasure of watching children learn and grow. I have even had their children come under my care. During this time, I have learned a lot about how to create a warm and nurturing environment for children, and work with their families to ensure all their needs are being taken care of. In 2016, I earned my Master's degree in early childhood education, furthering my commitment to our next generations. I followed this up with an MBA in 2020 to help round out my knowledge.

Outside of the PTA, I love reading, playing games, cinema and theater, gardening, and spending time with my grandchildren. Before putting down roots in Bothell, I had the chance to travel, living in Warsaw, Poland for two years and visiting England, France and Germany while there. I hope to see more of the world once it is safe to travel again.

This year will bring numerous new challenges that none of us had anticipated at this time last year. I look forward to meeting you and will take all your concerns and feedback into consideration. Canyon Creek is a fantastic school, but together we can make it even better. The more parents become involved in their children's education, the better off they will be. Please feel free to reach out to me with any initiatives you would like to see get started. Our community is what makes us successful and we need every parent, teacher, and student to be heard if we want to make the most of this upcoming year.

Email Karen 


Melanie McKenzie (Vice President: Programs)

With all the uncertainty and uneasiness of our current climate, this upcoming school year is already overwhelming and a tad stressful. Despite that, I am so honored and proud to still be part of Canyon Creek PTA. My name is Melanie Mckenzie and I am the VP Programs for this year. For that past two years, I served as the President of Canyon Creek PTA and that enriching, engaging experience has led me to this new position.

I am the proud mom of 4 boys (yes, really) - ages 24, 22, and 9 year old twins. I grew up in Southern California and moved up to this amazing Pacific Northwest nearly 10 years ago. My twins have attended Canyon Creek for the past three years and sadly we only have two more years at our incredible school.

I look forward to this upcoming school year, despite the challenges. However, as we all know, challenges bring new opportunity for growth and that is what I know our school and PTA will do.

Email Melanie


Jennifer Snyder (Vice President: Communications)

Hi! I’m Jennifer (Jenn) Snyder and this is my 12th year as a Canyon Creek parent. My youngest child will be in 4thgrade. Over years I have seen many changes at Canyon Creek as our school has grown. The one constant has been how much we love being a part of the Canyon Creek family.

I have three children attending Northshore School District schools. In addition to my fourth grader, I have a middle schooler and a high schooler.

I have served in various roles with Canyon Creek PTA. I have been Advocacy Chair, Membership Chair, Nominating Committee member, Summer Fun Playdate Chair, and enjoy helping where I am needed. This year I am taking on a new role for me as VP-Communications.

Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, I worked in the field of social services. My passion has always been helping others, which makes PTA a good fit for me. My husband and I have called Bothell home for the last 14 years. Before moving to Bothell, we lived in Southern California where I was born and raised.

If you ever have any questions or just want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Email Jennifer

Emily Cross (Secretary)

My name is Emily Cross and my family and I moved to Bothell and Canyon Creek 3 1/2 years ago. Moving mid school year seemed like an impossible transition but my children immediately felt at home here. They quickly made friends and felt welcomed and cared for by the teachers and staff. I have 3 children, but this year only two will be at Canyon Creek. Aria is in 2nd grade, Lucas is in 5th and my eldest Ella will be attending Skyview as a 6th grader.  
My husband and I are originally from the Bay Area (California) but have lived in Washington for about 10 years. We love the community and even the weather and are happy to now call the Northwest our home. I attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo an received my degree in Ecology and Systematic Biology. I worked in the environmental sector for King County, the US Forest Service, EarthCorps and various environmental education programs. My favorite things to do generally include being outside.  I love hiking, biking, kayaking and gardening. I also love animals and we have a 6 year old dog, Sadie Mae, and two orange kittens, Hammy and Spats. 
As a Canyon Creek parent and stay at home mom I wanted to jump in and help our school community where I could. There are lots of options and I found it fun to try a variety and see what the best fit for me was. I started by going on field trips and reading with kids in class. Then I grew to helping in the library and cutting paper projects for teachers and even leading art lessons through the docent program. I also thought it would be interesting to hold a PTA position so I became the PTA Secretary for the 2019-2020 school year and will continue that role for another year. I am also one of the Art Docent Directors this year. 
I look forward to the Fall and hope to see old and new families, teachers and staff -- all in person!

Email Emily


Mumtaz Zimbalist (Treasurer)

My name is Mumtaz Zimbalist and this coming fall, I will have a 5th grader (Sofia) and a first grader (Laila) at Canyon Creek. Last year was our first year at Canyon Creek, and despite it being a school year unlike any other, my  family got to know and became friends with many wonderful, warm, and interesting people in the Canyon Creek elementary community.
We moved to Bothell from Seattle just last year as the school year was beginning. My husband and I have moved around ALOT in the last 15 years. I grew up in Alberta, Canada and my husband is from San Diego, CA. We met and married in NYC, switched apartments twice while there, moved to Los Angeles and lived in 3 different places, and then moved to Seattle, where we are now in our 4th place! I feel so lucky to have found this great community in Bothell, and am hoping there are no more moves for at least the next 10 years!!
Prior to serving as the Treasurer for the Canyon Creek PTA, I was the assistant treasurer at my children's last elementary school in Seattle. I am a "numbers and process" person and utilize these skills in my professional life as well. I am a CPA and currently work at a large medical corporation, overseeing the Compliance Audit function, and report to the Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to this role, I held similar roles over the last 20 years at biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and financial services companies in Los Angeles and New York. While I am lucky to be able to be challenged and enjoy my work, being able to serve in a volunteer capacity at the school, as part of the PTA, and in the classroom, and being connected to my children's school life and activities, is what I truly enjoy and what fills my cup! Other things that I do include being a Girl Scout troop co-leader, supporting my 10 year-old's passion for cooking and art, and getting the kids to and from all of their other activities. My personal interests include exercise, nutrition, home projects, baking, as well as advocating for all kids to have fair and equal access and support to education and related activities.
I look forward to continuing to serve on this board, getting to know more of the school community, and learn more about the ways in which the PTA can support Canyon Creek families, especially in these unusual times. 
Email Mumtaz