Executive DirectorFor 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.Read
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.
Director of External RelationsAmanda Fisher is responsible for developing fundraising and community engagement strategies to help support expansion of 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.
Program ManagerShannon 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.
Program ManagerA 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.
Program ManagerAn 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.
Program DirectorJenny is thrilled to be a part the Reading Partners team. Committed to ensuring that all students regardless of zip code have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life, Jenny believes in the crucial importance of early literacy. After studying education policy at Princeton, she taught pre-K through Teach For America and earned her master’s in early childhood education. While teaching, Jenny prioritized students’ literacy and language development to support kindergarten readiness as well as a lifelong joy of reading. Jenny then joined Teach For America’s national strategic initiatives and partnerships team, serving in several roles including director of Teach For America’s early childhood education initiative. Most recently, Jenny has served as the director of partnerships at Baltimore Corps, a nonprofit organization that builds robust, equitable pipelines to enlist talent in advancing Baltimore’s most promising social innovations.
Senior Site Coordinators
Regional Site Coordinators
Mary Virgina Kizer Ball
Regional Advisory Board
Ted Blankenship, Board Chair
Development Director, The Joseph Richey House of Gilchrist Hospice Care
Corporate Partnerships, Baltimore Ravens
State Affairs Manager, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BGE)
Vice President of Group, Individual Investors &; Intermediary Technology Solutions Delivery, T. Rowe Price
Co-founder, Collins + Wilson Communication
Vice President and Regional Community Reinvestment Officer, M&T Bank
Kyle E. McNair
Controller, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Environmental Policy Consultant, Policy Works LLC
Senior Associate, Hord Coplan Macht, Inc.
Project Manager, The Bozzuto Group
Tutor Advisory Board
Site Director, Baltimore City Teaching Residency
Chief Clerk, Baltimore City Council President’s Office
Tutor Advisory Board Chair
Communications Manager, Parking Authority of Baltimore City
Teach for America 2nd Grade Teacher, Baltimore City Public Schools
Manager of Financial and SEC Reporting, Constellation Energy
Apply now for our final few AmeriCorps positions!