Elizabeth Brands Vereecke
Executive Director TulsaWith 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.
Community Engagement AssociateLordly 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.
Senior Program ManagerLaura 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.
Program ManagerShasta 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.
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.
Development ManagerElizabeth 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.
Program AssociateBorn 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.
Program ManagerBefore 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.
Community Engagement AssociateUpon 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.
Program ManagerBrandy 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.
Community Engagement CoordinatorMarisa 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.
Program AssociateLauren 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.
Community Engagement CoordinatorBrenna 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!
Community Engagement ManagerJessica 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.
Program DirectorJessica 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 StacyAndrea 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.
Program ManagerDana 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.
Megan Sickler, VISTA Development Coordinator
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
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