Our Team

  • Margie Thirlby

    Margie Thirlby

    Executive Director

    Margie comes to Reading Partners with more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. She joined Reading Partners in August 2015 after serving seven years as executive director for Rebuilding Together Seattle, where she oversaw operations, development, and programming in order to provide free home repair services to low-income homeowners in need. Margie also served on the Rebuilding Together National Affiliate Council and National Board (D.C.). Prior to Rebuilding Together Seattle, Margie worked in development in Seattle at an education foundation, Fulcrum Foundation, helping coordinate a $40m capital campaign and the organization’s annual gala. Margie’s other experience includes public relations, marketing, and journalism.

    In addition to her work in the nonprofit sector, Thirlby is a former sports journalist, volleyball coach, camp counselor, and Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Margie graduated Magna Cum Laude at St. Olaf College with a bachelor’s degree in English and media studies, and received her certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Washington.

  • Amber Matkowski

    Special Projects Manager

    Amber comes to Reading Partners with a strong passion for individualized education. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Amber obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. Amber joined the Reading Partners Colorado team in 2015 as a reading center coordinator and served as a Program Associate for the beginning of the 2016 school year. Amber is now in the position of special projects manager and is excited by the opportunity to serve Reading Partners in this versatile role.
  • Jess Morse

    Community Engagement Manager

    Jess is an advocate of experiential learning, thoughtful design, and exploring innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Before joining the Reading Partners team, Jess co-founded ThinkImpact, an education travel company that built programs for college students to explore immersive learning, leadership, and design thinking in rural communities across Africa and Latin America. At ThinkImpact, Jess wore many hats, but found her niche in the world of community engagement, building successful partnerships with top universities including University of Southern California, Northwestern University, and Dartmouth to name a few. A Bay Area native, Jess received a BA from UC Davis in international relations and a MA in international education from George Washington University. She lights up when she is vinyl hunting, backpacking, and meeting new people!
  • Zach Ward

    Program Manager

    Zach joined Reading Partners in the spring of 2014 and served the last year as a reading center coordinator. He is thrilled to step into his current role as a program associate and to continue impacting the lives of young readers in Colorado. Prior to his time with Reading Partners, Zach served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working in a Denver Public Schools turnaround project and taught high school history in his native state of Indiana. Zach graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's in education with a focus on history and political science.

Reading Center Coordinators

Jessica Boberek, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Force Elementary School

Leslie Cairns, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — College View Elementary School

Karissa Ciarlelli, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Dora Moore Elementary School

Christine Ekleberry, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Kaiser Elementary School

Summer Shetenhelm, Reading Center Coordinator — Samuels Elementary School

Mary Hambrick, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Ashley Elementary School

Lisa Henderson, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Columbine Elementary

Michelle Kenney, Interim Reading Center Coordinator — Ashley Elementary

Tim Kitchens, Interim Reading Center Coordinator — Force Elementary

Jonathan Merkel, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Garden Place Academy

Kristen Rochester, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Trevista Elementary School

AmeriCorps Team

Ruth Jackson, Development Coordinator *VISTA

Alaina Shires, Senior Volunteer Organizer*VISTA


Karen Barker, Principal, Dora Moore Elementary School

Erich Bethke, Attorney Senn Visciano Canges P.C.

Sarah Davis, SCD Marketing Communications

Dan Galemba, Senior Director, Insurance Strategy at DaVita HealthCare Partners, Inc.

Alison Gillis, Attorney

Barb Goettelman, Early Childhood Educator, Hope United Methodist Preschool

Danny McCormick, Independent Education Consultant

Robert Rosenthal, Underwriting Counsel/Commercial Escrow Officer, Assured Title Agency, LLC

Kara Williams (Board Chair), Director – Advisory, KPMG LLP

Cindy Westergaard, Community Volunteer


Thanks to our partners

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