Our Team

Jacque Daughtry
Chief Executive Officer

Jacque Daughtry is the Chief Executive Officer of Making It Better DBA: Literacy Now and has been with the organization since its inception in 2006. Along with the board of directors, she is responsible for strategic planning while directing the staff to accomplish board-approved plans and goals. Jacque also develops programs, policies, initiatives, and procedures for the organization.

Jacque received her bachelor’s degree in business, emphasizing Personnel Management, from the University of Houston and had 25 years experience in accounting and business management in the for-profit sector before joining Making It Better. Her passion for serving children and her community as a church volunteer and in multiple volunteer capacities at each HISD school her children attended paved the way for her to help launch Making It Better. Jacque considers it an honor and privilege to serve the organization’s students and their families throughout the community; their dedicated staff, volunteers, and board of directors; and their Houston ISD partner schools

She also serves the community through active participation on the Greater Houston Partnership’s Education Committee, Change Happens! Good Life Outcomes Community Engagement Advisory Board, the HCC Alief West Houston Business Community Steering Committee, and women’s Bible study leader at BridgePoint Bible Church.

Jacklyn Wilson
Chief Operating Officer

Jacklyn received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma and a Master’s degree in Education Leadership from the University of Texas in Arlington. She has worked with students of all ages for 17 years, from early childhood to secondary education. She is also an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  Jacklyn is dedicated to making sure students are being met where they are and are given every opportunity to thrive successfully in school and life.

Ken Kelly
Development Director

Ken attended Texas A&M University and has 27 years of experience with a proven track record for all aspects of fund development for several nonprofit organizations in the Houston area. Ken is also proficient in marketing and communications strategies, and has a strong ability to integrate the functions of development and marketing to raise funds while building and enhancing relationships with the community. Ken’s passion is to help underserved children and their families by providing the means where they can rise above their circumstances and gain opportunities to reach their full potential.

Keenan Lemons
Program Director

Keenan is a native Houstonian and an avid reader. She received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Keenan has served in public schools for 15 years as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, and school administrator. She is passionate about serving children and the community through building relationships, addressing needs, and providing quality education.

Angel Ardoin
Events Manager

Angel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication/Public Relations from Louisiana State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M-Kingsville. After working in public relations for a few years, she decided to pursue elementary education where she taught for 16 years.  Angel has taught in Alief ISD, Houston ISD, and spent two years teaching abroad in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Angel has also worked as a project-based consultant for a local fundraising and non-profit management consultancy.  While a consultant, Angel coordinated logistics and planned special events for various non-profit organizations that met the client’s expectations and goals.  As a member of the board of directors for the Greater Houston LSU Alumni Association, Angel planned the annual Crawfish Boil which raised nearly $200,000 in sponsorships and donations for LSU scholarships.  Angel strives to make an impact in the lives of others and believes in the success of meeting and exceeding the organization’s mission.

Emily Boyle
Program Coordinator

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University. After teaching English in Singapore during her husband’s overseas posting, Emily returned to Houston and worked as a reading skills tutor. Her most recent role was in administrative support in a local school. Emily joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.

Regina Trevino
Development Coordinator

Regina has a passion for volunteering and community outreach; some of her favorite organizations to volunteer with include Baker Ripley House, Aldine ISD, the Astros Foundation, and the Houston Texans Foundation. With over 15 years of administrative and HR experience, Regina is excited to join the Literacy Now team and work for an organization that supports the schools and community she grew up in.

Ashley Servin
Operations Coordinator

Ashley received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston in 2014. She has 16 plus years working as an administrative assistant as well as various Human Resources roles. In her most recent role, she was the Staff Assistant at Lonestar College Tomball, where she worked with the Honors College students. She has always had a passion for helping others any way she can and is so excited to be part of such a wonderful organization that gives so much! In her free time, Ashley likes to spend time with her family and sweet but mischievous dogs. Ashley joined the Literacy Now team in 2023.

Precious Daniels
Volunteer Coordinator

Precious received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Southern University. She has a strong background in education with experience as a teacher, K-8 Reading Interventionist, and recruiting aspiring Educators across various districts in the Houston region. Her passion is to assist at-risk students with the literary skills and resources needed to drive student development and achievement. Precious joined the Literacy Now team in 2021.

Pearl Martinez
Executive Assistant

Pearl has dedicated the last 8 years to working and volunteering with various nonprofit
organizations. She enjoys helping the community she grew up in by supporting the children and
homeless animals across the Houston area. She has been an avid book reader since she was a
child and continues to read at least 30 books a year. She hopes to pass on her passion for
reading to the next generation of children.

Maribel Acosta
Reading Interventionist

Maribel received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the Central University of Venezuela. She lived in Singapore for a couple of years when her husband transferred there for a job. After returning to the United States, she earned a Certificate in Performance Technology from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). She worked for HISD at Ashford Elementary over the course of 14 years as a Registrar, Attendance Specialist, Lecturer, and Dual Language Teacher who primarily served ESL students. She strongly believes education empowers children and their unique minds, and would like to continue to make an impact in their academic achievements and growth.

Yola Allen
Reading Interventionist

Yola received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University. She taught for 27 years in Fort Bend Independent School District. While at Fort Bend ISD, she became certified as a literacy teacher for the Reading Recovery Intervention Program, which specializes in improving the reading development of struggling readers in the primary grades. Yola retired after 27 years of teaching at the same school and joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.

Cheryl Ballard
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Cheryl received her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in reading from Lamar University. She attended Prairie View A&M University where she received her early childhood certification. Cheryl has served in education for 40 years with Hardin-Jefferson ISD, Aldine ISD, and in Los Angeles, CA. Cheryl enjoys teaching children, encouraging them and building their confidence to become successful learners in all academic areas, socially and emotionally.

Monica Benton
Reading Interventionist

Monica received her BS in Marketing from St. Edward’s University. After 10 years as a Patient Care coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine, Monica left to become a full time Mom to her two daughters. Always a voracious reader and an empty-nester, Monica turned her time and attention towards helping the next generation of readers excel. A participant in Cohort 1, LN’s pilot program for non-education professionals, Monica is excited about the opportunity to educate and support learning for struggling readers.

Ty Bryant
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Ty received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Houston. Afterwards, she went on a journey from non-profits programs to full-on teaching. She has over ten years of experience working with students, varying from primary to higher education. Her passion lies in helping students grow to understand their full potential.

Kintra Blackmon
Reading Interventionist

Kintra received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Southern University. While raising her children, she volunteered in HISD schools for almost twenty years. She also teaches children in her church and in Community Bible Study. Kintra has been with Literacy Now since 2009.

Cynthia Bosie-Colbert
Area Program Manager

Cynthia attended Prairie View A&M University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics as well as her Masters in Counseling and Administration.

Cynthia has 31 years of educational experience. She has served in several Independent School Districts throughout the state of Texas in various leadership roles. She is a recent retiree from Aldine ISD and very excited and ecstatic about joining the Literacy Now Team.

Kelli Burleigh
Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator

Kelli received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Prairie View A&M University. She began her teaching career in the San Antonio Independent School District in 2007, and she has taught kindergarten through second grade. Her passion to give all students the tools they need to be successful continues to grow. Kelli joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.

Ana Call
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Ana received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University. She has experience working in early childhood education as well as working with at-risk youth through her former role as a case specialist with Child Protective Services. She strongly believes reading opens many doors and shares the passion Literacy Now has for helping children improve their reading skills. Ana joined the Literacy Now team in 2018.

Angelique Coleman
Reading Interventionist

Angelique received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Howard University. She has worked in both the corporate and nonprofit fields. She has 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit field with at-risk adolescents, and later moving on to work with senior citizens. She appreciates the fulfillment gained in the nonprofit sector and has loved enriching the core foundation of students through the spirit and team at Literacy Now since 2016.

Monica Coverson
Reading Interventionist

Monica earned her bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked in the healthcare industry for 30 years before discovering her calling – teaching. Monica completed the Literacy Lab Program (Cohort 1) in Spring 2023 and is thrilled to be onboard as a reading interventionist. Participating in the development of the minds of our little ones is a sacred trust, and Monica is passionately committed to helping each child become a confident reader and student. She tutors students through her church and has also volunteered as a tutor in HISD. Monica has been a volunteer with Literacy Now since 2022 with the Reading Express Mobile Classroom and in other capacities. Her favorite books are biographies and mysteries, and she’s an avid tennis fan and thrifter.

Daisy Cukingnan
Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator

Daisy earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines and her MBA from Ateneo de Manila University. She is recently retired from HISD where she spent many years teaching Resource Reading, PALS, and acted as a dyslexia interventionist. Daisy speaks four languages, loves to cook (sometimes in collaboration with her husband), read, and cross stitch. Daisy has a true passion for helping young scholars become great readers and future leaders of this country. She joined the Literacy Now team in 2021.

Kadijah Dancy
Reading Interventionist

Kadijah received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio with plans of becoming an educator. In 2017, she took a gap year and served as an Americorps member for CityYears SA focusing on community outreach and increasing graduation rates for middle and high school students. It was there she found her love for the non- profit world. Becoming a part of the Literacy Now team in  2018 was a wonderful way to merge her love for education and helping others.

Stephanie Davidson
Reading Interventionist

Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Elementary/Special Education from Mississippi State University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership/Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.  She has taught Pre-K through 12 over her 39-year career in both public and private schools in Mississippi, California, Virginia, and Texas. She also served as a Literacy Coach instructing teachers in the implementation of a state-adopted reading program. Stephanie retired from YES Prep Public Schools in Houston in May of 2019 and continues her passion for working with young children as a part of the Literacy Now team since 2019.

Stephanie Dunn
Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator

Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Indiana University. After graduating, she moved to Houston and taught 1st and 3rd grades in Spring Branch ISD.  She spent 12 years at home, raising her three children and volunteering and returned to part-time work as a part of the Literacy Now team in 2019.

Suzanne Edison
Reading Interventionist

Suzanne earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Denison University in Ohio. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University in Illinois. For ten years, Suzanne worked as a television news reporter, as well as in corporate communications. She has taught college students, ESL adults, and volunteered with elementary school children struggling with reading. Her favorite group to work with is young children. Watching them learn to read and open the door to a whole new world is remarkable and exciting!  Suzanne joined the Literacy Now team in 2023.

Tasnim Elmamoun
Reading Interventionist

Tasnim earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from Indiana University Indianapolis, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Purdue University, where she graduated with High Honors Distinction. She has experience in public, charter, and private schools and is passionate
about supporting the scholarly growth of students through the written word. An ardent bibliophile, Tasnim is often found with her nose in a book, or faithfully clinging to aesthetically pleasing surroundings in the midst of trees and forestry ridden areas.

Peg Fitzgerald
Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator

Peg Fitzgerald received her bachelor’s degree in French from Elms College in Massachusetts and her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. She has 37 years’ experience teaching, 32 of them at Houston ISD’s Wheatley High School. Peg joined Literacy Now in 2014.

Jazmin Flores
Early Childhood Outreach Specialist

Jazmin Flores attended the University of Houston- Downtown where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, focusing on early childhood development. Jazmin has experience working with children at her local LDS church, volunteering in preschools and doing years of service at Big Bothers Big Sisters. She has also served as a mentor at the high school she attended.
Her biggest inspiration was seeing her mom work with preschool students for more than 25 years. She continues to apply her early childhood development knowledge as a mom of 3 young children after marrying her church friend of years! Jazmin is excited to continue growing and helping more families in the years to come.

Ann Green
Reading Interventionist

Ann received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University. After working in the pharmaceutical business for many years, she followed her passion to work with children as an Elder in the children’s ministry at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. She was a substitute teacher for the Little Yellow School/MDPC, and Spring Branch ISD. She also volunteered at multiple schools, was in the National Charity League, served as a youth leader at her church, and continues to stay active in her community. Ann has a true passion for developing the “whole” child, helping to build confidence in literacy skills, social/emotional skills, and leadership abilities. Ann has been part of the Literacy Now team since 2015, serving as both a Reading Interventionist and a Lunch Bunch mentor.

Pam Gevaldo
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Pam received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. She taught for 18 years in Spring ISD and Cyfair ISD. While at Cyfair, she developed a passion for helping struggling readers grow and reach their full potential. She joined the Literacy Now team in 2022.

Mary Gross
Reading Interventionist

Mary received her bachelor’s in social work at The University of Vermont and master’s in social work at State University at Albany. She worked at the Syracuse Rape Crisis Center as a child therapist for 6 years prior to moving to Houston. After staying home for 12 years to raise her three girls and being a very active volunteer at the schools and in the community, Mary started a part-time monogramming business which she continues to enjoy. She joined Literacy Now in 2022 and is looking forward to being a part of the children’s reading journey.

Ines Guzman
Reading Interventionist

Ines has worked as a substitute teacher for Katy ISD and trained and mentored journalists in more than six countries since 2013. Her teaching draws on a 16-year career as a reporter in Latin-America and United States. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Political Science. She is determined to provide students with appropriate learning activities and experiences designed to fulfill their potential.

Michel Hinton
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Michel received her bachelor’s degree in History and a teacher’s certificate from the University of Houston. She taught History and Social Studies for 7 years at Hogg Middle School. Upon the birth of her daughter, Michel transitioned to consulting on various educational projects, including a curriculum guide for The John H. Reagan WWII Memorial Association and volunteering for the Bush Elementary PTO Nature Center, where her daughter attended school. Michel has been with Literacy Now since December 2013, serving as a Reading Interventionist and Site Director and in her current role since 2021.

Audrey Hollis
Instructional Coach

Audrey received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Human Development. Before joining Literacy Now in 2013, she had over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit field. She provided leadership and supervision for staff and volunteers and created, implemented, and evaluated programming for youth and families. She is determined to provide quality instruction in reading backed by the latest research and innovative techniques. Audrey is passionate about allowing youth to succeed and grow through the ability to read and giving them the best tools to accomplish these goals.

Cynthia Johnson
Reading Interventionist

Cynthia graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Marketing. After working in sales for a while, she realized her true calling was to teach children. She participated in the Alternative Certification Program with Houston Independent School District and has never looked back. With 19 years of experience teaching children, she is excited to join the team of Literacy Now and begin helping children be successful, confidant readers.

Georgia King
Reading Interventionist

Georgia received her bachelor’s degree from Harding University. She retired from Houston Independent School District in 2012 where she taught for most of her 30-year teaching career. She has always had a passion for working with at-risk students and has been a part of the Literacy Now team since 2017.

Mercedes Martinez
Reading Interventionist

Mercedes received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has over ten years’ experience working in the private sector, banking, and marketing, always in challenging and customer-focused demanding roles. In 2010, she moved to The U.S. and later got married and had a daughter. She was a stay-home mom for five years and later found her passion working with ELL students at LaSalle Elementary School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She specialized in working with ESL kids doing bilingual intervention, parent liaison, and interpreting/translating in Spanish.  In 2019, she moved to the Houston region following her husband’s career and joined the LiteracyNow team in 2020.

Rebecca Minnock
Area Program Manager

Rebecca received her bachelor’s degree in French with Qualified Teacher Status from Coventry University in England in 2005. She spent 7 years teaching middle and high school French in England and Ireland – both in school and offering private tuition – before relocating to Houston in 2014 with her husband’s job. Rebecca has spent the last 2 years working as a long-term substitute teacher in a west Houston area preschool. Rebecca is passionate about reading and worked part-time on weekends in an independent bookstore in Houston before joining Literacy Now in 2021.

Yvonne Mitchell
Reading Interventionist

Yvonnie received her B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Special Education from Stephen F. Austin University. She has worked in Special Education for 20 years in public schools and has virtually tutored/taught students in Reading/ ELL from other cities, states, and countries. When working with children her motto is you have to teach the whole child. Yvonnie has been tutoring others since high school and is passionate about helping others that are in need. She is also a proud member of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority.

Emma Murillo
Reading Interventionist

Emma received her bachelor’s in French and Spanish Secondary Teacher Education from the University of Houston. She began her career in education as a high school teacher of French and Spanish in Houston and Alief ISDs. Throughout her life, Emma has served as educator, administrator, and corporate contributions professional. Her passion has always been in serving our community through volunteering in ESL and citizenship education. Emma wants to guide each child to his or her full potential. She joined the Literacy Now team in August 2022.

Ann O'Dell
Reading Interventionist

Ann received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education/Special Education from Richmond College, CUNY. Her teaching career began in London England, where she taught and served as Lower School Coordinator for seven years. She has recently retired from HISD where she taught in general education before teaching severely autistic students for her last nineteen years. Ann loves making a difference in the lives of struggling readers and has been a part of the Literacy Now team since 2015.

Kristi Owens
Instructional Coach

Kristi received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, along with a Reading Specialist certification, from the University of Houston. She has 10 years of experience working in elementary education as a teacher, literacy interventionist, and instructional coach. Kristi is passionate about providing all students with the knowledge and skills to become proficient, life-long readers through research based instruction. She is excited to begin her journey at Literacy Now as an Instructional Coach in 2023. 

Sandra Porto-Ali
Reading Interventionist

Sandra received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Jarvis Christian College and her master’s degree from Prairie View A & M University of Texas. Sandra has completed 34 years of service in Needville, Aldine, and Houston ISD. She loves working with students and helping them gain the skills needed for a positive future. Sandra joined the Literacy Now team in 2020.

Maria Quijas
Reading Interventionist

Maria received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Language Arts and Reading from the University of Houston. Her background is in teaching scholars primarily in the lower elementary grades. To further her skills, she obtained certification in Occupational Therapy Assisting across the lifespan. She is glad to be part of the village that will strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of early at-risk readers and their families. Maria joined the Literacy Now team in 2022.

Stephanie Rhodes
Reading Interventionist

Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree from Huston-Tillotson University in Marketing and Accounting and her master’s degree from Texas Southern University. After realizing her passion for public school education, Stephanie became certified as an elementary educator as well as a Texas Principal. She was the principal of two magnet elementary school campuses, as well as a Dual Language campus. Stephanie has completed 30 years of service in the Aldine and Houston Independent School District. She enjoys serving her church and is a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Stephanie joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.

Bina Sheth
Reading Interventionist

Bina received her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2009. Bina worked at an outpatient rehabilitation facility in Pittsburgh and a public middle school in Boston, MA as a speech-language pathologist. She went on to further her studies at MGH Institute of Health Professions to become certified as a reading specialist. Bina took time off from her career to raise her two children and has joined the Literacy Now team in 2021. She is passionate about increasing literacy education and is committed to making a positive difference in the community.

Deborah Sohmer
Reading Interventionist

Debbie earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Stephen’s College in Columbia, MO and worked in television advertising sales for stations in Dallas, St. Louis, and Houston. She retired from her fulltime career to raise her two daughters. During that time, she volunteered at school and in the community including serving as a Spring Branch ISD mentor, a Reading Round-up and library volunteer. She believes that reading opens doors to the future and is excited to share her passion for reading and books with the children of Houston. Debbie joined Literacy No is 2023.

Robin Stewart
Reading Interventionist

Robin received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and he master’s degree in Educational Administration, from the University of Houston. For a total of 28 years, she’s taught elementary classes in 1st through 4th, 7th and 8th grades. She has also been a Math Coach and Assistant Principal, all in Aldine ISD. Her philosophy is, “All children can learn if given the right opportunity,” and believes that reading is like dreaming with your eyes open, where the possibilities are endless!

Valarie Swoin
Reading Interventionist

Valorie is U.S. Army veteran of 22 years as well as a retired teacher of 23 years. She earned her A.S with Early Childhood Education, B.S. in Vocational Educational Studies and a M.S. in Business and Human Resource Development. Valorie has worked in Aldine for 23 years as a PreK teacher, Special Education teacher and Kindergarten teacher. She loves watching students grow and become successful. Valorie prides herself as a “Lifelong Learner.” She loves quilting!

Florence Taylor
Reading Interventionist & Site Coordinator

Florence received her bachelor’s degree in Education/Special Education from Prairie View A&M University. She later studied at the Scottish Rite Learning Center and received a Certification in Language Therapy. She spent 10 years teaching in Lubbock ISD and another 22 years teaching Fortbend ISD before retiring. After spending time caring for her grandson, Florence’s passion for teaching young learners was renewed and led her to Literacy Now in 2018.

Sharon Thomas
Reading Interventionist Substitute

Sharon received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from North Texas State University. She retired from HISD in 2015, after 40 years of teaching elementary aged students. During her teaching career, she mentored many teachers and received the Excellence In Education Award as well as Teacher of the Year award. Sharon enjoys seeing the students’ progress through stimulating, creative and nurturing teaching techniques. She is excited to be a part of the Literacy Now team so that she can continue to enhance the lives of young children.

Vicki Townsend
Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator

Vicki received her bachelor’s degree in French and Geology from the University of Kansas, as well as a master’s degree in Geological Studies from the University of Washington. She worked as an exploration and production geologist for Exxon Co. USA (now Exxon/Mobil). She has served as a volunteer in the public schools, her church, and the community for over 25 years. Vicki joined Literacy Now in August 2009 and serves as a Reading Interventionist and Site Coordinator in the Reading Intervention program. She loves working with children and helping them gain positive skills for a positive future.

Sarah Tyler
Reading Interventionist

Sarah joined Literacy Now in 2023 via the Literacy Lab program. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Texas and her master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston. Sarah has volunteered extensively in the community, often with child-centered organizations that involve education. She will bring her enthusiasm for learning and skills learned in the Literacy Lab at her school community to build relationships and serve the needs of underperforming students.

Ursula Wanza
Reading Interventionist

Ursula Wanza received her BA in English from The UT Austin, and her Master’s degree in Human Sciences (Psychology/Sociology) from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she graduated summa cum laude. She has worked with students of all ages for 25+ years, from early childhood to post-secondary education. She currently works as an English professor at Lone Star College and Houston Community College. She is the owner and operator of her own tutoring business, Writeous Tutors. She enjoys reading, writing, acting, singing, dancing, and hiking. Ursula is dedicated to being a bright light in the lives of the underserved by making sure that every child knows his/her worth and limitless capabilities.

Patti Vachon
Reading Interventionist

Originally born in New York, and graduated from College in Massachusetts, Patti moved to Houston in 1982 with three of her friends. She is a retired elementary school teacher, with 5 years of experience from Massachusetts and thirty-four years of working for the Houston Independent School District at MacGregor Music and Science Magnet School. Missing the work and reward of teaching children, after 5 years of retirement, she joined LN. She’s now in her happy place, working and helping children again.

Megan Vondra
Reading Interventionist Substitute

Megan earned her Bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She returned to Houston, earning her teaching certification at UH then taught 2nd and 3rd grade in Spring Branch ISD from 2005-2009. Megan spent 11 years raising her two girls while also serving on the board of CanCare and assisting in fundraising for various non-profits in the Houston area. She and her partner Garry have 4 children ages 9-12. She is looking forward to returning to her passion and working with kids again as a Reading Interventionist.

Vivian Vy Nguyen
Reading Interventionist

Vivian is an experienced teacher in the ELA and ELL fields and has experience teaching diverse student populations at variety of grade levels. She used to be an English professor at Vietnam National University and Adjunct faculty at the TESOL department at Lone Star College system. In addition, she used to teach ESL to refugee students coming to Houston from around the world. Recently, she has been working as a STAAR test reading intervention teacher and ICS teacher to middle school and elementary school students at HISD, CFISD and Harmony school systems. Vivian has a B.A. degree in ELA earned with Vietthe nam University of Education, an M.A, in Applied linguistics earned with Curtin University (Australia), a TESOL diploma earned with SEAMEO-retract (Singapore) and she is currently in PD path at the University of Houston Downtown to be certified teacher in EC-6 with ESL and Special Education supplementals.

Denise Zamberk
Reading Interventionist

Denise received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Linguistics from Georgetown University. After graduating, she began teaching Spanish in Washington, D.C., while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. Denise has a strong background in second language acquisition. She joined Literacy Now in 2023 and is excited to help children become confident readers.

Bryanna Miranda
Intern

Bryanna just completed her first year at Texas State University after graduating Cum Laude from Cy-Fair High School in 2023. Growing up volunteering with various non-profit organizations and her love for reading is what inspired her to intern with Literacy Now this summer.