Executive director, North TexasKimberly Benavides is a passionate educational leader with 20 years of experience in public education. Most recently, she served as the principal at George C. Clarke Elementary in Fort Worth ISD , a proud Reading Partners campus. Kim’s work with students, families, and the community is fueled by her unwavering belief that children are our greatest asset, and literacy is the key to self-confidence and opportunity. She holds a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas at Arlington, and is a doctoral candidate at Abilene Christian University where her research is focused on the sustainability of school-community partnerships.
Senior Projects ManagerAshley graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (early childhood – fourth grade) and went on to teach in both public and charter schools for four and a half years. During her teaching career, she had the opportunity to work with students from second to fifth grade. While working as a fifth grade special education teacher, Ashley developed a passion for teaching reading and working with students one-on-one. Ashley helped launch Reading Partners in Dallas and is looking forward to continue helping Reading Partners have an impact on Dallas students.
External Relations ManagerAmber Martin graduated from Grand View University with a bachelor’s in liberal arts. She is currently completing a master’s of social work from New England University and holds a Community Health Worker Certification from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Amber is a dedicated, passionate professional offering a progressive 15-year career history advancing objectives of local to national level grant-funded programs. Amber strives for setting a strategic direction and mobilizing financial, staff/volunteer, and other resources to drive attainment of immediate and future objectives. Amber is effective in the design, implementation, and oversight of social, economic, and health-based programs fostering education and empowerment for individuals and communities.
Program ManagerAnnie McCormick graduated from the University of Texas in Arlington with a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies and earned an early childhood through fourth grade teaching certification. She spent nine years teaching third and fourth grade with a focus on math and science. To learn about education from another perspective, Annie decided to move out of the classroom and work with Reading Partners in her community. During her year of service as an AmeriCorps member, Annie worked with school staff and community volunteers to close the literacy achievement gap for students in Fort Worth. She is excited to continue this work as a Reading Partners staff member and believes a strong foundation in reading empowers students to be confident leaders in school and life.
Development ManagerKim Taylor graduated from Northwood University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While completing her degree, Kim decided to dedicate her career to organizations that make a positive impact in her local community. For over ten years, Kim has held a variety of roles ranging from development, special events, volunteer administration, and community engagement at local agencies. She received her international accreditation for Certification in Volunteer Administration in 2014.
Community Engagement OfficerWhile serving as an adult literacy tutor during her senior year at Knox College, Jennifer decided to pursue a career in education—a decision largely based on the passion for educational equity that the experience had sparked in her. Shortly after, she began her career in Denver, CO as an elementary school teacher with Teach for America. After completing her two-year commitment and earning an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado-Denver, she taught another four years before transitioning into the multifaceted role of instructional coach, family liaison, and manager of a 21st Century Community Learning Center at her school. Jennifer additionally served as an Urban Leaders Policy Fellow in Dallas, Texas where she researched and drafted recommended changes to the state’s English Language Arts standards and conducted case studies of schools in the DFW metroplex. Most recently, Jennifer worked as a policy analyst with the New Mexico Public Education Department where her key responsibilities included policy research and development, data analysis, and stakeholder engagement.
Program ManagerAmber is a graduate of Lake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in African American Studies. In 2014, Amber received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Arkansas and relocated to Dallas-Fort Worth to pursue a career in nonprofit management. Prior to Reading Partners, Amber gained invaluable experience working with K-12 students, families, and communities as an afterschool program manager and director, as well as an elementary school social worker. She has managed and supported programs for literacy and math tutoring, youth mentoring, and parent engagement. Amber is dedicated to serving students through a holistic approach that prioritizes both academic growth and social/emotional learning and development.
Chrystal Badillo, Compliance Officer, Westwood Holdings Group, Inc.
Lance Currie, Chair, Carrington Coleman
Tania Curry, Director of Government Relations, Project Lead the Way
Cathy Estrada, Community Volunteer
Matt Garcia, SVP – Public Policy, Dallas Regional Chamber
Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Kanter, Sr. Minister/CEO, First Unitarian Church of Dallas
Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director at the George W. Bush Institute and Senior Vice President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center
Myra H. Savage, Trust Officer, Bank of America Private Bank
Kathy Spicer, Community Volunteer
Von Trammell, Senior Manager, EY
James Walton, Partner, EY