Executive Director, CharlestonKecia received her bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and received her master's in elementary education from Boston University. She has experience in corporate adult training and management consulting and taught elementary school in the public schools in Massachusetts. She has served as a curriculum and technology integration specialist for public schools in Massachusetts. She was school improvement chair for Berkeley County schools 2009-2011. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Kecia was the executive director of Charleston Volunteers for Literacy.
Dr. Bonnie Bella
Director of Development and StrategyBonnie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina. She has more than 25 years of executive management and senior leadership experience in the behavioral health care industry and nonprofit sector. She recently joined Reading Partners after serving as the senior vice president of community impact at Trident United Way. Prior to that she was the chief executive officer for Carolina Youth Development Center. Across her career she has been responsible for strategy, business, and resource development for small and large organizations.
Development AssociateKate is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in history. Upon completion of college, Kate pursued a position as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer coordinator for Reading Partners Charleston. Wanting to learn more about nonprofit management, specifically development, Kate committed to another year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA development coordinator for Reading Partners Charleston. Throughout her two VISTA terms, Kate has worked closely with the Charleston and National Reading Partners teams to develop strong internal and external communication with audiences of all kinds. Kate is excited to use her skills to help forward the mission of Reading Partners in the Charleston community.
Program ManagerErika received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the College of Charleston, SC. She began working for Charleston County School District in 2005. During her first years of teaching, she received her master's degree of integrating the arts into education from Lesley University. She worked at Charleston County School District as a teacher for eight years before she became a personalized learning coach, where she helped teachers individualize instruction for students. Erika is excited to further her career with Reading Partners, as she has always believed that reading with a student one-to-one was much more powerful and beneficial for her students!
Community Engagement ManagerChristine Messick has over 20 years of nonprofit management experience with an emphasis on volunteer engagement. Prior roles include serving as the executive director of Youth Service Charleston. She has worked extensively with outreach and volunteer support at MUSC Children’s Hospital. Christine's passions for volunteerism, collaboration, and coordination have guided her gifts of time and talent to Hotline Training, the Trident United Way, the Mayor’s Commission for Children, Youth and Families and the Community Volunteer Engagement System Organizing Committee to name a few. She is an enthusiastic and determined leader, skilled in developing a broad vision and cultivating excellent relationships with executives, community leaders, peers and volunteers. Ms. Messick holds a BA in English from the University of South Carolina and a certification in volunteer administration from the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.
Program DirectorKatie graduated with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the College of Charleston. She also holds her master's degree in school leadership and administration from Arkansas State University, and is currently working on obtaining her Ph.D. in the area of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Before coming to work with Reading Partners, Katie worked as an instructional coach, lead teacher, literacy interventionist, and first grade teacher in Charleston County School District. Katie loves working in schools with educators and students. She was a South Carolina Teaching Fellow and has always had an intense passion for education. She especially enjoys interpreting and analyzing data.
Special Projects Associate, AC ExperienceCierra is a graduate of College of Charleston, where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication and minor in linguistics. She has dedicated her career to serving youth and education in Charleston County since 2009, as she is passionate about supporting dynamic organizations that work to change the lives of youth. Prior to Reading Partners she worked as a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School Servant Leader Intern. She later served three terms as an AmeriCorps* VISTA member under Charleston County Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, as a volunteer coordinator and literacy site coordinator. In 2013, Cierra joined Reading Partners Charleston team as a site coordinator for Chicora Elementary School, and served there until the spring of 2016. Cierra is excited about her transition into a full-time position with Reading Partners, where she will work directly with AmeriCorps members to make their service year as meaningful as possible.
Program ManagerKathy Thomas started her career as an elementary school teacher. While teaching, she earned a Masters of Education in Reading. After receiving her master’s, Kathy earned a Ph.D. in educational research. Previously, Kathy worked for the South Carolina Department of Education before moving to Educational Testing Service in Atlanta. Kathy looks forward to expanding Reading Partners in Charleston, serving more students with Reading Partners’ research-validated curriculum.
Program ManagerJames received a bachelor's degree in childhood education from St. John's University located in Queens, New York. He worked for two years in the New York school system before moving to the Charleston area. He has worked in Charleston County School District for the past six years. James worked as a fourth and fifth grade teacher in Title I schools. He was a model classroom for Charleston County and was honored for his accomplishments through many awards. Additionally, he was personally selected by the international online learning platform PD36 to be video-taped to model exemplar teaching. James also had the chance to work with many educators through Personalized Learning and by promoting self-paced instruction. Lastly, he has recently completed a master's degree in administration from Southern Wesleyan University. James is excited to bring his passion for reading along with his skills to help Reading Partners take another step toward their goal of improving literacy in the Charleston community.
Brooke Emmonds, Senior AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator
Meagan Fong Yit, AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator
LauraKate Anderson, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Mary Ford Elementary
Hilary Bablewski, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Sanders-Clyde Elementary
Jeneen Bellman, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Chicora Elementary
Eric Blacks, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Pepperhill Elementary
Kayla Dash, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Cainhoy Elementary
Lisa Edwards, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Pepperhill Elementary
Ivana Ford, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Bonner Elementary
Rutha Frieson, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Main Street Elementary
Katherine Funderbunk, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Angel Oak Elementary
Ashlei Gamble, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Mary Ford Elementary
Kirsten Gamble, Senior AmeriCorps Regional Site Coordinator
Kasonja Glover, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Goodwin Elementary
Etoria Hallums, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Hursey Elementary
Kristen Hanna, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Lake City Early Childhood Center
Amanda Henderson, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Frierson Elementary
Rachel Jaffe, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Memminger Elementary
Sharonda Lawrence, Senior AmeriCorps Regional Site Coordinator
Laura Lesburg, Senior AmeriCorps Regional Site Coordinator
Sarmeka Major, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Lake City Early Childhood Center
Kathleen Massenburg, Senior AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Goodwin Elementary
Jacob Meyer, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Hursey Elementary
Liynaaa Muhammad, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Chicora Elementary
Paulina Peralta, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Mitchell Elementary
Lynda Pompey, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, St. Stephen Elementary
Tamora Providence, Senior AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Burns Elementary
Briana Quarles, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Whitesville Elementary
Brittney Reynolds, AmeriCorps Regional Site Coordinator
Kelly Shearon, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Angel Oak Elementary
Zanai Wallace, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Whitesville Elementary
Chelita Walters, AmeriCorps Literacy Lead, Burns Elementary
Hannah Rose Williams, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator, Main Street Elementary
GP Diminich, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
Nedra Hecker, Retired, Curator of Marine Mammals, National Aquarium in Baltimore
Louise Kohlheim, Community advocate
Mark Lea, Account Director, Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company
Barbara Navarro, Community advocate
Deborah Smith, Principal, Julian Mitchell Math and Science Elementary School
Richard Star, Board Chair, Founder, RJS Ventures
Jonathan Steinberg, Co-Owner, Charleston Steel and Metal Co.
John Strickland, Senior Vice President, SunTrust Private Wealth Management
John Thompson, Author