Our Team

  • Margie Thirlby

    Margie Thirlby

    Senior 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 (DC). 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.

  • Ashleigh Madonna

    Program and Development Manager

    Ashleigh comes to Reading Partners with a variety of experiences in education. She spent about four years working with Denver Public Schools’ central office and had the opportunity to work with aspiring principals seeking to start new schools. Ashleigh is a City Year Denver AmeriCorps alum and spent time teaching ECE in southeast Denver. She has a bachelor's degree in peace and justice studies and seeking her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University. She is a Colorado native and enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. Ashleigh is the program and development manager and is looking forward to supporting a small number of reading centers in the region, as well as supporting the organization’s grant writing.
  • Amber Meade

    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.
  • Zach Ward

    Program Manager

    Zach joined Reading Partners in the spring of 2014 as a reading center coordinator at College View Elementary. After a year at College View, Zach transitioned onto the management team as a program associate. Since 2016 Zach has been in his current role as program manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of our program. 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 - Bloomington with a bachelor's in secondary education with a focus on history and political science. To contact Zach, feel free to email at
  • Elizabeth Way

    Community Engagement Manager

    Elizabeth comes to Reading Partners with a passion for service and early literacy programming. She spent the last few years in Boston working for the Massachusetts Service Alliance, where she managed AmeriCorps programs focused on education and environmental stewardship, including Jumpstart and Reading Corps. Prior to her work in Boston, Elizabeth worked in development for Easter Seals New York and served two terms with AmeriCorps. Elizabeth completed her bachelor’s degree in history and international studies at Nazareth College of Rochester, and obtained her MPA and a nonprofit certificate from Northeastern University. She loves being outside, and relocated to enjoy the many outdoor activities of Colorado, including skiing, mountain biking, playing ultimate frisbee, and adventuring with her cat. Feel free to contact Elizabeth at

Reading Center Coordinators

Karissa Ciarlelli, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Dora Moore ECE-8 School

Christine Ekleberry, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Kaiser Elementary School

Amanda Garami, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — College View Elementary

Lisa Henderson, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Columbine Elementary

Tim Kitchens, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Garden Place Academy

Kristen Rochester, Senior Reading Center Coordinator — Trevista Elementary School

AmeriCorps Team

Jordan Crawford, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator — Ashley Elementary

Hannah Lemon, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator — Force Elementary

Shelby Pavelka, AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator

Katie Priske, AmeriCorps Regional Site Coordinator

Amanda Rowell-Morris, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator — Samuels Elementary

Elise Shulman, AmeriCorps Site Coordinator — Joe Shoemaker School

Veronica Wiegenstein, Volunteer Flex Coordinator


Helen Apthorp, Community Volunteer

Karen Barker, Principal, Dora Moore Elementary School

Erich Bethke, Attorney Senn Visciano Canges P.C.

Nicole Capage-Brown, Program Ambassador, Innovations for Learning

Dan Galemba, Vice President, DaVita HealthCare Partners, Inc.

Pat Heneghen, Technical Accounting Manager – Prologis

Ryan Hill, Operations Officer, Pro Athlete Advantage

Jessica Morse, CKD Program Manager DaVita

Danny McCormick, Independent Education Consultant

Cesar Rivera, Principal, Samuels Elementary School

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

Cindy Westergaard, Community Volunteer


Thanks to our partners

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