Our Team

  • Jeffrey Zwillenberg

    Jeffrey Zwillenberg

    Executive Director

    For the past 10 years, Jeffrey has focused his career in education reform to help ensure that all kids have the opportunity to be successful in school and beyond. Jeffrey comes to Reading Partners from New Leaders, where he held several positions as a member of the Maryland team as well as the national program team. As the development director in Maryland, Jeffrey created a partnership with Institutes of Higher Education and district partners to win $3.8M from Maryland's Race to the Top award. He also recruited and formed the first local advisory board of six members for the Baltimore program. As a member of the national team, he served as chief of staff to the chief program and cities officer, where he led the implementation of a reorganization and change management process to support new program delivery, realized more than 20% in savings by creating better budgeting practices, and facilitated and led the senior leadership team workgroup. Most recently, Jeffrey reformed and led a community of practice for city operations staff and designed and led three multi-day professional development trainings resulting in tighter communication across local sites, greater community engagement, and a more collaborative culture.

    Jeffrey has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. He also holds master’s degrees in the liberal arts from St. John’s College, and in education policy and leadership studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Jeffrey currently is completing his MBA as a member of the executive MBA class at Loyola University Maryland. He lives in the Hampden neighborhood in Baltimore city with his wife, Jen, their son, Max, and daughter, Natalie.

  • Alexis Acciani

    Alexis Acciani

    Community Engagement and Program Manager

    Alexis is an accomplished academic as well as a seasoned tutor committed to an inclusive and integrity-rich approach to education. She received a presidential scholarship to study at San Francisco State University and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in humanities. After her undergraduate studies, she worked for an after school nonprofit as a tutor and coordinator for a weekly self-esteem group for girls. In 2011, she received an international scholarship to complete a master's in American studies in Norwich, UK, where she focused on children’s literature and gift theory. After receiving her master's, she lived in Istanbul, teaching ESL to early learners, and then Seattle, where she began her relationship with Reading Partners. She's served two AmeriCorps service terms with Reading Partners in Seattle and Baltimore and now serves full-time in Seattle as the community engagement and program manager.
  • Amanda Fisher

    Development Director

    Amanda Fisher is responsible for developing fundraising strategies to help support expansion for the organization. She brings more than a dozen years of fundraising and event planning experience in addition to her talent and enthusiasm for developing creative and goal-oriented campaigns. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Amanda served as the director of development for the Village Learning Place where she oversaw and implemented all major fundraising efforts. She has also worked as the event manager for Moveable Feast in Baltimore. Originally from North Carolina, Amanda earned her bachelor’s degree from Furman University in Greenville, SC.  
  • Cassidy Francik

    Development Manager

    Growing up in Baltimore, Cassidy cultivated a passion for giving back to the community. Since graduating from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, she has worked in various informal and formal education settings. During her first AmeriCorps term, Cassidy served as the AmeriCorps leader for a Vermont program where she worked with underserved populations. Before joining the Reading Partners Baltimore team full-time, Cassidy served her second AmeriCorps term as a site coordinator and helped launch the Francis Scott Key Elementary reading center. Cassidy is most excited to help spread the work of Reading Partners and instill a lifelong love of reading in Baltimore City elementary students. Currently, Cassidy is pursuing a master’s in environmental science and public policy from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Maria Goodson

    Community Engagement Manager

    Maria is a life-long advocate of reading, writing, and education and could not be more excited to combine all of her passions at Reading Partners.  Her two years serving as an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners solidified her love for nonprofit and volunteer management, as well as community building. She is thrilled to continue this work as the community engagement manager.  Maria earned a bachelor's in English from West Virginia University and a master's in creative writing from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford England.  She first developed her enthusiasm for volunteerism working as the volunteer coordinator at the Story Museum, a center for storytelling in the center of Oxford. Maria has 10 years of experience in a variety of different customer service and arts administrative roles and is exceptionally excited to use her experience to empower community members and students in Baltimore City.
  • Shannon Held

    Program Manager

    Shannon Held is thrilled to contribute to the Reading Partners team.  After completing her bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, she served as a Teach For America corps member teaching elementary literacy in Miami, Florida.  Teaching third and fourth grades, she saw the direct and powerful impact that building skills and confidence in reading had on students. During her time in the classroom, she mentored and coached new teachers as a literacy content leader and a corps member advisor. Shannon completed her master's in education from Johns Hopkins University and continues to strengthen her passion for literacy through service to students in Baltimore City.
  • Crystal Lowery

    Program Manager

    A native of Baltimore, Crystal was educated in Baltimore County Public School and attended Coppin State University, earning her bachelor's degree in psychology, minoring in early childhood education. She's worked with infants to kindergarteners in various education settings. Her work is not limited to children; she also mentors and trains volunteers. She joined Reading Partners as an AmeriCorps regional site coordinator, became staff as a program associate, and is now a program manager. As an educator, she realizes that literacy is the foundation for success in learning and life. She believes that to help someone succeed, you must provide the right care and attention. In addition to working with children, Crystal enjoys working with administrators, educators, specialists, parents, and the greater community; she believes that educating children is a collaborative effort.
  • Kendra Padilla

    Program Manager

    An avid reader as a child, Kendra brought her love of reading to teaching students in a variety of educational settings for over 10 years before joining Reading Partners. Most recently, Kendra spent five years teaching third grade in Baltimore City at an Expeditionary Learning charter school, working as literacy lead for three years. She has extensive experience designing curriculum that incorporates literacy skills into science and social studies lessons in project-based learning environments. As a former AmeriCorps member with Citizen Schools, Kendra is passionate about bringing community volunteers into schools. Kendra earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Williams College and then earned her master’s degree in education from Lesley University.
  • Craig Reinauer

    Senior Program Manager

    With a passion for education, Craig Reinauer attended Towson University for a dual major in elementary and special education. Leadership roles on campus and within the residence halls inspired him to look at teaching as its own kind of leadership. This perspective led to Teach for America, where he served as a third grade teacher in Baltimore City. Craig earned his master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University which fueled his enthusiasm for literacy and helping young children learn to read. As program manager, Craig is thrilled to support site coordinators and students with data-driven decisions, instructional strategies, and a supreme joy of reading.  
  • Daniel Ruppert

    Program Director

    Daniel has been part of the Reading Partners team since 2012, and joined the Baltimore region in February of 2014. In addition to his time at Reading Partners, Daniel brings with him teaching experience at a Title I school in San Diego, as well as working with at-risk youth and their families in Oregon and Northern California. He has a passion for working with underserved populations and is excited to have the continued opportunity to work with the students and community of Baltimore. Daniel attended UC Davis for his bachelor’s before attending San Diego State to receive his single subject teaching credential in English-Language Arts.  

AmeriCorps Team

Pamela Bennett, Senior Regional Site Coordinator

Eric Boelsche, Senior Literacy Lead

Alexis Bond, Senior Regional Site Coordinator

Arnetra Burnett, Senior Site Coordinator

Courtney Claytor, Senior Site Coordinator

Michael Doughtery, Senior Site Coordinator

Patrick Gardullo, Senior Regional Site Coordinator

Allison Jones, Senior Regional Site Coordinator

Perry McAlister, Senior Site Coordinator

Casey Morris, Senior Site Coordinator

Amber Ware, Senior Literacy Lead

Brian White, Senior Literacy Lead

Literacy Leads

Rosemary Chang, Literacy Lead

Teshima Davis, Literacy Lead

Erin Duffie, Literacy Lead

Esaite Lakew, Literacy Lead

Adrienne Luciano, Literacy Lead

Linda Meadows, Literacy Lead

Grace O’Connor, Literacy Lead

Jessie Reed, Literacy Lead

Jonelle Whitlock, Literacy Lead

Martin Widmann, Literacy Lead

Site Coordinators

Jennifer Breau, Site Coordinator

Ashley Chambliss, Site Coordinator

Michael Cobb, Site Coordinator

Tyresha Cooper, Site Coordinator

Tylor Dacres, Site Coordinator

Jada Davis, Site Coordinator

Sara Fralinger, Site Coordinator

Gabriel Gryffyn, Site Coordinator

Mark Losha, Site Coordinator

Sierra Safak, Site Coordinator

Merhawit Tesfay, Site Coordinator

Eean Thomas, Site Coordinator

Cady Zuvich, Site Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinators

Amy Burke, Volunteer Coordinator

Shaunna Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator

Stephanie Schlueter, Volunteer Coordinator

Kayla Williams, Volunteer Coordinator

Regional Advisory Board

Allyson Black
State Affairs Manager, BGE

Ted Blankenship, Chair
Development Director, Joseph Richey House of Gilchrist Hospice Care

Sherrice Davis
Vice President and Regional Community Reinvestment Officer, M&T Bank

Carrie Greene
Community Volunteer

Kyle E. McNair
Controller, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Kristin Rowles
Environmental Policy Consultant, Policy Works LLC

Casey Smith
Senior Associate, Hord Coplan Macht, Inc.

Tutor Advisory Board

Garima Bhatt
Site Director, Baltimore City Teaching Residency

Winnie Borden
Community Volunteer

Liam Davis
Chief Clerk, Baltimore City Council President’s Office

Stacy Euhus
Community Volunteer

Carrie Green
Tutor Advisory Board Chair

Tiffany James
Communications Manager, Parking Authority of Baltimore City

Lizzie Majchrzak
Teach for America 2nd Grade Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools

April O’Neill
Manager of Financial and SEC Reporting, Constellation Energy

David Spitz
Community Volunteer


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