Executive DirectorBrooke has dedicated her professional career to the belief that education is the lever by which we will change the world and the future for low-income individuals. As a member of the College Possible leadership team, she developed strengths in program management, curriculum design, implementation, and evaluation. Through multiple promotions as the organization grew from one region to a national organization, she effectively led the creation of the college program from inception to implementation across multiple sites. In 2011, Brooke received the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Catalytic Leader Award. Recognizing that reading is the foundation for educational success, Brooke took the opportunity to join Reading Partners as program director for the Twin Cities during its inaugural year in the region. She effectively led all programming and volunteer recruitment efforts, ensuring strong programmatic results for students, and helped Reading Partners Twin Cities more than double in size by year three. Brooke holds bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and Spanish, with a minor in english literature from Bethel University. A lover of laughter, Brooke gets plenty of it as a mom to one year old Josie (named after Jo March in Little Women).
Program ManagerJordan Castleberry is originally from Buffalo, New York, so she is no stranger to the Twin Cities’ winter weather! She attended SUNY Geneseo for undergrad, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and received her Master’s degree in Literacy Education from New York University. Jordan has taught at the elementary level in the city of Chicago, as well as the Bronx, New York, where she worked hard to instill a passion for reading and books in all of her students. Jordan has been able to see firsthand the need for literacy intervention in our schools. Her most recent professional experience includes having worked as a program director at the University of Cincinnati. Jordan managed a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to investigate how kindergarten students learn to write. Jordan is true lover of reading, her favorite genre is historical non-fiction, mixed in with the occasional novel.
Program ManagerAsha Farah is a former language arts teacher and Peace Corps volunteer. She received her master’s degree in language, reading and culture from the University of Arizona where her focus was on literacy and second language acquisition. She's very excited about the mission of Reading Partners because she knows that individualized instruction is the key to unlocking children’s potential and that volunteers help students build confidence and develop a love of reading.
Program AssociateGrace Herndon is an AmeriCorps alumna, having served as a site coordinator with Reading Partners at Hamline Elementary in 2015-16, then as regional site coordinator for the St. Paul Schools in 2016-17. She has her Bachelor of Arts in public health education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has recently returned to school for her Master of Arts in elementary education at Hamline University. She is passionate about lowering our state's achievement gap and ensuring that all students have access to equitable, quality education.
Community Engagement ManagerKelly Rynda is an AmeriCorps VISTA alumna and received her master’s degree in English as a Second Language (ESL) from Hamline University. She splits her time between Reading Partners and the Minnesota Literacy Council and is passionate about quality education for all learners no matter what point they’re at in their lives. She’s dedicated to Reading Partners’ mission of fighting the achievement gap and supporting the success of our Native students, students of color, and students experiencing poverty.
Development ManagerGraham Sutherland is a development professional with a strong commitment to social justice and education equity in the Twin Cities. He believes that a love of reading can unlock the potential to become powerful self-advocates and lifelong learners. Prior to joining Reading Partners, Graham worked in development in the realm of college access and success with College Possible. Originally from Seattle, Graham earned his bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN.
Community Engagement Team
Monika Hetzler, Senior Volunteer Coordinator
Hunter Jones, Volunteer Engagement VISTA
Sarah Hanlon, Development Coordinator VISTA
Regional Site Coordinators
Jeff Schaller, Regional Site Coordinator
Allegra Wallingford, Bethune Community School
Anna Carrie Brooks, Lyndale Community School
Audrey Smebakken, Maxfield Elementary School
Emily Black, Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet School
Malik Earle, Cityview Community School
Marissa Heim, Hamline Elementary School
Rachel Banen, Anishinabe Academy
Satchel Bruna, Elizabeth Hall Elementary School
Sophia Pellizer, Whittier Elementary School
Tachinia Moss, Ascension Catholic School
Xander Gershberg, Benjamin E. Mays International Magnet School