Tulsa

Our Team

  • Elizabeth Brands Vereecke

    Elizabeth Brands Vereecke

    Executive Director Tulsa

    With experience as a classroom teacher and as a fundraising and education policy professional, Elizabeth is passionate about ensuring every student has access to high-quality education opportunities. Elizabeth arrived in Tulsa as a fifth-grade teacher through the Alliance for Catholic Education Service through Teaching program and later taught middle school language arts and reading. After leaving the classroom, Elizabeth created the first director of development position for under-resourced private schools in the city, where she worked on capital campaigns, annual appeals, and donor cultivation. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Elizabeth served as a program officer at Tulsa Community Foundation, where she managed donor relationships with the foundation’s over 900 donor-advised funds and 300 agency funds, administered education programs to serve surrounding public school districts, and collaborated with a diverse array of funders to build consensus around priority needs in the community. Elizabeth is a graduate of  the University of Notre Dame with a master’s in education and holds an  executive doctoral degree in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. She is the vice president and founding board member of Collegiate Hall, a Building Excellent Schools charter school, and is a member of the Tulsa Area United Way Community Investment Committee.
  • Lordly Beard

    Community Engagement Associate

    Lordly Beard is a proud native of Tulsa, OK! With a passion for education in urban areas, Lordly studied at Missouri Southern State University. After many successful years at KIPP Tulsa, Lordly quickly developed a passion for continuously raising achievement for students. Lordly became part of the onboarding and recruiting team with Tulsa Public Schools to bring excellent teachers to the district.
  • Laura Brown

    Senior Program Manager

    Laura Brown graduated from Northeastern State University - Broken Arrow with a degree in elementary education and received a master's degree in educational leadership studies from OSU. She taught second and third grade for four years within Tulsa Public Schools. Previously, she was in the U.S. Army Reserves for eight years where she served 15 months in Afghanistan. Laura's favorite children's book is Love You Forever.
  • Shasta Davis

    Program Manager

    Shasta Davis graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in elementary education. After college she taught first and second grade at Marshall Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools. She later got a master’s in library science and school administration from Northeastern State University. She spent a few years as a library media specialist at Marshall. Last year she was the principal intern at Hamilton Elementary, also in Tulsa Public Schools. Shasta is very excited to be a program manager for Reading Partners and to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on students across the TPS district. Shasta’s favorite book growing up was James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
  • Bree Decker

    Program Manager (Emphasis on Regional Data)

    Bree Decker graduated from The University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in English literature focusing on elementary and early child education. She has worked with children in several settings including as a coach, instructor, and mentor. Bree was hooked on literacy at a very young age. As a child, her favorite book series was The Boxcar Children.
  • Elizabeth Edwards

    Development Manager

    Elizabeth Edwards graduated from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2012. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts in communications, she began working at a nonprofit in Tulsa. In January of 2016, she joined Reading Partners in hopes to work upstream of the many issues impacting the Tulsa community. The shift in reading to learn is crucial to developing lifelong learners through a passion for reading, thus enabling students to reach their full potential.
  • Ashley Horning

    Program Associate

    Born and raised in the Midwest, Ashley moved to Oklahoma in 2007 where she went to the University of Oklahoma, met her husband, and is here to stay. After volunteering with the United Way in OKC tutoring kindergarteners, Ashley found her passion and joined Reading Partners Tulsa as a site coordinator at Celia Clinton Elementary. Ashley is currently getting her master's degree in public administration at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa.
  • Lindsey Ison

    Program Manager

    Before joining Reading Partners, Lindsey worked for eight years as a speech pathologist and brings a unique set of experiences to the Reading Partners Tulsa team. Her first loves were language and reading. As a program manager, she will work to instill that love of reading in students. Lindsey also founded Nerdy Girls Tulsa, a women-focused organization whose mission is to create intelligent community in Tulsa and make our city a better place. When she's not working, Lindsey enjoys reading, running, music, and spending time with her husband and two dogs.
  • Rebecka Jimenez

    Community Engagement Associate

    Upon graduating from Oral Roberts University, Rebecka worked for her alma mater for several years in the Alumni Relations office and later the University Relations office. Though she left the world of academia for a brief adventure doing HR in the world of retail, she was overjoyed to join the Reading Partners team in the summer of 2016. Her favorite childhood books were The Berenstain Bears series, and she is currently enjoying a phase favoring classic literature. She and her husband are the proud parents of Titus, a charming and energetic Bull Terrier.
  • Brandy Jones

    Program Manager

    Brandy Jones graduated from Northeastern State University with a master's degree in reading education and is a certified reading specialist. She has worked in both Tulsa Public Schools and Union Public Schools as a reading specialist. Brandy understands the value of teaching literacy skills to students at a very early age. She believes that when low-income students build strong literacy skills in their early childhood years, they will be better equipped to be successful throughout primary and secondary school, graduate high school, go to college, find a career they truly enjoy, and not live in poverty as adults. Brandy is proud to work with the Reading Partners team to ensure that all students have the literacy skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
  • Marisa Morgan

    Community Engagement Coordinator

    Marisa Morgan graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 with a degree in communication and a minor in writing. She worked in journalism for two years and is happy to have found herself in the nonprofit world. She considers herself a Tulsa native even though she moved here when she was eight years old. Marisa is happy to share the joy of reading with children in a city she loves.
  • Lauren Murray

    Program Associate

    Lauren Murray graduated from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, with a bachelor’s degree in English. She left her hometown of Centreville, Maryland, for Tulsa, Oklahoma, to pursue her career in the nonprofit sector. She served two years as an AmeriCorps member with Reading Partners and loved the mission of the organization so much that she decided to stay. Lauren is currently pursuing her master’s in public administration at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa so that she can continue to learn about the nonprofit sector and how to make a difference in the community.
  • Brenna Peterson

    Community Engagement Coordinator

    Brenna Peterson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders, focusing specifically on deaf education and deaf studies. She has previous experience with volunteer management, ranging from nonprofit work at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Tulsa to organic farming at Johnson's Backyard Garden in Austin, Texas. Brenna is honored and excited to continue learning and growing in the role of community engagement coordinator. In her free time, you can find Brenna reading, playing in the sun, shopping at the farmer's' market, or two-stepping!
  • Jessica Risenhoover

    Community Engagement Manager

    Jessica Risenhoover joined Reading Partners in 2014 as community engagement manager. Prior to Reading Partners, Jessica worked in public relations with nonprofit clients at Saxum, a regional integrated marketing communications agency. Jessica has a bachelor’s in public relations from Oklahoma State University.  
  • Jessica Smith

    Program Director

    Jessica Smith is program director for the Tulsa region. Jessica brings more than ten years of public education experience to the organization. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Jessica was a library media specialist for 9 years and was an administrator in Tulsa Public Schools for the 2012-13 school year. Jessica was a master teacher for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, holds her National Board certification in library media, obtained her master’s in library media science with Northeastern State University, and is currently working on her doctorate with the University of Oklahoma in educational administration, curriculum, and supervision. Jessica’s favorite children’s book is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.  
  • Andrea Stacy

    Andrea Stacy graduated from Northeastern State University with a degree in elementary education. After college she taught sixth-grade math for three years at Gilcrease Middle School and has spent the last six years teaching third through fifth grade at Marshall Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools.  She has spent the past few years growing professionally as the internal behavior coach, serving on the child study team, and acting as teacher in charge at Marshall Elementary School. Andrea is very excited to be a program manager for Reading Partners and to have the opportunity to continue her work with Tulsa Public School students. Andrea’s love of reading is credited to her favorite childhood author Peg Kahret.
  • Dana Whittaker

    Program Manager

    Dana Whittaker graduated from Northeastern State University in 2007 with a degree in elementary education. After college she taught fourth grade at a Title I Tulsa Public School. After teaching Dana moved on to become program manager for Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. She is very excited to be a program manager for Reading Partners and to make a difference in her community through literacy. Her favorite book growing up was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

AmeriCorps Team

Development Coordinator

Megan Sickler, VISTA Development Coordinator

Site Coordinators

Nereida Aguirre, Literacy Lead, Hamilton Elementary School

Emily Bibens, Literacy Lead, Mark Twain Elementary School

Amanda Blackwell, Site Coordinator, Celia Clinton Elementary School

Jeremy Britt, Site Coordinator, McClure Elementary School

Ashlee Cabrera,  Regional Site Coordinator

Christa Cervantes, Site Coordinator, Eugene Field  Elementary School

Dee Chambers, Literacy Lead, Celia Clinton Elementary School

Lissa Chidester, Literacy Lead, Columbus Elementary School

Allen Conner, Site Coordinator, Cooper Elementary School

Jackie Davis, Literacy Lead, Penn  Elementary School

Brandon Fitzgerald, Literacy Lead, Hawthorne Elementary School

Havilah Freeman, Site Coordinator, Mitchell Elementary School

Chelsey Gay, Literacy Lead, Eugene Field – Orange Elementary School

Jessica Goodman, Regional Site Coordinator

Marie Harris, Literacy Lead, Sequoyah Elementary School

Brandy Harrison, Site Coordinator, Hamilton Elementary School

Mike Haskins, Site Coordinator, Columbus Elementary School

Jessica Hotzapple, Site Coordinator, MacArthur Elementary School

Jakesia King, Site Coordinator, Sequoyah  Elementary School

Amy Lewis, Site Coordinator, Kendall Whittier Blue – Elementary School

Madi Lousch, Site Coordinator, Kendall Whittier Orange – Elementary School

Martha Lowe, Site Coordinator, Park Elementary School

Reubin McIntosh,  Regional Site Coordinator

Izzy Mason, Site Coordinator, Kerr Elementary School

Megan Miller, Site Coordinator, Key Elementary School

Roz Morris, Site Coordinator, Academy Central Elementary School

Soraya Payne, Site Coordinator, Jackson Elementary School

Kaci Pena, Floating Site Coordinator

Jessica Rallins, Literacy Lead, Gilcrease Elementary School

Kyle Reed, Site Coordinator, Hawthorne Elementary School

Tammy Robbins, Site Coordinator, Marshall Elementary School

Olivia Rogers, Site Coordinator, Skelly Elementary School

Mia Starks, Literacy Lead, Academy Central Elementary School

Danie Thomason, Floating Site Coordinator

Jen Thomas, Site Coordinator, Gilcrease Elementary School

Tess Tucker-Trainum, Site Coordinator, Tulsa Legacy Elementary School

ShaQuia Verner, Site Coordinator, Penn Elementary School

Joshua Walton ,Regional Site Coordinator

Brettin White, Site Coordinator, Mark Twain Elementary School

Bryan Willis, Literacy Lead, Cooper Elementary School


Board

Kathy Taylor (Chair), Lobeck-Taylor Family

Phil Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer, Charlton Investments Inc. – Franchise Concepts

Dr. Keith Ballard, Director of Professional Development & Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Kim Boyd, Associate Professor and Dean of the College of Education, Oral Roberts University

Susan Bynum, University of Tulsa law student

Errick Greene, Chief of Schools, Tulsa Public Schools

Omare Jimmerson, Program Director, Communities in Schools of Mid-America at Tulsa

Daniel Keating, President, Summit Consolidated Group

Fred Lawler, Sr. Vice President Service Delivery, Level 3 Communications

Dennis Neill, Senior Program Officer, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Marcus Paul, Senior Staffing Specialist, CAP Tulsa – Reading Partners New Voice Board Intern

Connie Pearson, Senior Account Executive, Jones RP

Susan Pennington, Community Volunteer

Rodrigo Rojas, Director of Operations, La Semana Del Sur, Oklahoma’s Weekly Bilingual Newspaper

Marlow Sipes, Community Volunteer

Kaci Skidgel, Executive Vice President, Corporate Retirement Plans, Summit Financial Group

Ben Stewart, Program Officer, George Kaiser Family Foundation

 

Thanks to Tulsa Partners

  • Tulsa Area United Way
  • Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation
 
Americorps

Thanks to our partners

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