Jacque Daughtry is the Executive Director 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 as a women’s Bible study leader at BridgePoint Bible Church.
Becky received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accountancy from the University of Mississippi, and her CPA certification in Mississippi and Texas. She has over 40 years of experience in both public and private accounting in multiple industries and has served in several capacities at Literacy Now since its inception. As a charter board member, accountant, volunteer, and charter Guild member of Literacy Now, Becky has a broad understanding of the organization and a passion for its mission.
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 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.
Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, from the University of Houston. She has served in multiple capacities at Literacy Now since January 2007 – as a Reading Interventionist, Site Director, Steps to Success Facilitator and Program Manager, as well as Program Director– all of which prepared her to take on her current role of communicating the Literacy Now message to the public. Kimberly has always had a heart for underprivileged children and feels blessed to serve them alongside an elite team of staff, board members, and volunteers.
Catie received her bachelor’s degree in Criminology with a minor in Art History from Stonehill College in Massachusetts. After graduation, she worked in the art world but decided to go a different route and obtained her teaching certificate in ELA 8-12. Catie has been with Literacy Now since August 2012 and has served in multiple roles – as a Reading Interventionist, Site Director, Parent Partnerships Manager, Enrichment Programs Manager, and in her current role since 2014.
Madeline received her bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in English from Texas A&M University. She was involved in various volunteer programs from an early age, which allowed her to discover her passion for helping others. Since joining the Literacy Now team in January 2016, Madeline enjoyed serving as a site director for the Steps 2 Success program as well as Program Coordinator before taking on her current role in 2019.
Julie received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Texas. She has worked in public relations for non-profit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. She has also served as a volunteer on various boards and committees in her children’s schools and within her community. She is passionate about helping children discover the joy, adventure and opportunities that reading can bring to their lives. Julie joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.
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.
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.
Emma received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University. Her most recent experience as a bilingual Head Start teacher inspired her to become a reading interventionist as she understands the great demand with under-served children in early literacy. Emma is passionate about meeting the needs of the whole child. She worked for HISD as a lecturer for five years in which she provided reading, math, writing, and science interventions to elementary-aged students. Emma joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.
Brenda Barnes is a Houston ISD retiree. After retiring in 2007, she returned as an interventionist in 2009 for 10 additional years. After serving as a volunteer with Literacy Now for one year, she joined the team as a Reading Interventionist in 2019.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston. She taught 2nd and 3rd grade for two years before becoming a Reading Interventionist for Literacy Now in 2020. She has also worked with ages 4 through 16 in various educational and noneducational settings. Jennifer believes when children learn to read, the whole world unlocks for them. When they learn to write, they get to create a world for themselves.
Pamela received her associate’s degree in Elementary Education from Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University. She also has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston. Pamela retired from Houston ISD after 34 years. She taught a variety of grades K-6 and taught technology for 22 years. Her last assignment was a 5th grade reading and ELL teacher. Pamela joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.
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. She has been with Literacy Now since December 2013.
Audrey received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Human Development. Prior to joining Literacy Now, she had over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit field providing leadership and supervision for staff and volunteers, as well as creating, implementing and evaluating programming for youth and families. Audrey is passionate about giving youth the opportunity to succeed and grow through the ability to read and through fun, innovative programming. She has been with Literacy Now since January 2013.
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.
Christy received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University. She taught 2nd, 4th and 5th grade in East Baton Rouge Parish and Katy ISD. After teaching, Christy stayed active in the community by serving as a mentor, Girl Scout leader, National Charity League member and volunteering in schools. Christy joined the Literacy Now team in 2020 and is excited to bring words to life for kids in a fun and caring atmosphere.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Emily received her bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Education & Interdisciplinary Studies from Houston Baptist University and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She has earned the privilege to work, study, and learn alongside students of all ages for 13 years, from early childhood to secondary education. Emily is devoted to creating lifelong learning experiences for all students to equip them with an excellent educational opportunity. She joined the Literacy Now team in 2020.
Kathy received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Phillips University in Oklahoma and her master’s degree in Education (Bilingual/ESL) from Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas. During her 38 years in education, she instructed bilingual elementary students and worked for several Educator Prep Programs. In 2005, Kathy co-founded Texas Teachers Alternative Certification Program, whose central hub is in Houston. She also served as a governor-appointed committee member on the Texas School District Mentoring Program Advisory Team in Austin. She is excited about the opportunity of working with Literacy Now and feels as if she has come full circle by returning to her first love of helping students develop a love for reading.
Connie received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Mississippi College and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Mississippi State University. She worked as a counselor with children and teenagers before becoming certified to teach elementary school. As a classroom teacher, she taught both kindergarten and third grade in Pasadena ISD. Connie’s mission has been to teach and support students as they develop the skills needed for success. She hopes all students, regardless of their circumstances, enjoy learning and develop confidence in the learning process. Connie joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.
Tiffany began her undergraduate studies in Child Development at Lamar University. She extended her studies and earned a second bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Houston. She also has a master’s degree in Advanced Literacy from Concordia University Texas. She has taught grades K-8 in Fort Bend, Alief, and Stafford Municipal School District. She also provides math and reading intervention workshops for Elementary and Middle School students. Tiffany joined the Literacy Now team in 2019.
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.
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 Director in the Reading Intervention program. She loves working with children and helping them gain positive skills for a positive future.
Jo received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, emphasizing Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston. She has over 20 years of experience as an educator between teaching 4th grade and working as a Writing Consultant for HISD. Jo is passionate about family time, working with children to their fullest potential, and volunteering in her community and church. She considers Literacy Now a blessing and a hidden dream come true to the many boys and girls that are so fortunate to be a part of this program.
Kara received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisiana and her master’s degree in K-12 Studies from Capella University. She also completed Doctoral level coursework from TSU. She is a former classroom teacher with a passion for educating our future leaders. Kara enjoys supporting students and their families as part of the Literacy Now team since 2019.