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  • Jacque Daughtry

    Executive Director

    Jacque received her bachelor’s degree in Business, with an emphasis in Personnel Management, from the University of Houston and has 25 years’ experience in accounting and business management in the for-profit sector.  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 in 2006. Jacque considers it an honor and privilege to serve the organization’s students, their dedicated staff and board of directors, and their Houston ISD partner schools.

  • Becky Herren

    Controller

    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 Making It Better since its inception. As a charter Board member, accountant, volunteer, and charter Guild member of Making It Better, Becky has a broad understanding of the organization and a passion for its mission.

     

  • Ashley Danna

    Community Relations Manager

    Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Bush School in Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Ashley has two years of experience serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, helping to build sustainability for organizations through volunteer and grant management. In her most recent VISTA role, she worked closely with Making It Better, and her passion for closing the achievement gap with youth led her to join Making It Better in July 2016.

  • Gigi Wheeler

    Operations Coordinator

    Gigi received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in management from Texas State University. She is also a certified EC-4 teacher and taught school for 10 years. Since then, she has been volunteering in her children’s school, Chapelwood UMC Church, and in her local community, while working part-time as an Administrative Assistant. She also leads her own children’s ministry at her church and she is excited to be joining Making It Better.

  • 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.

  • Kimberly Suckow

    Marketing Director

    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 Making It Better 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 Making It Better 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.

  • Kim Lanman

    Development Coordinator

    Kim attended Texas Christian University and spent several years in the insurance industry before joining Making It Better in 2011. She has been active in her children’s lives through volunteering at school and as a Girl Scout Leader. Her Girl Scout troop completed their Silver Award in the summer of 2013 with the Making It Better Summer Camp program. Kim loves to cook and feed family, friends, and the Making It Better staff.

  • Jacklyn Wilson

    Program Director

    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.

  • Catie Licalzi

    Program Manager

    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 Making It Better since August 2012 and has served in multiple roles . . . Reading Interventionist, Site Director and in her current role since 2014.

  • Madeline Sandhop

    Program Coordinator

    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 Making It Better team in January 2016, Madeline enjoyed serving as a site director for the Steps 2 Success program before taking on her current role in 2017.

  • Laura Allen

    Reading Interventionist

    Laura received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Houston. After working in engineering/programming, Laura listened to the call of education in her bloodline and became a part of HISD’s Alternative Education Program in its inaugural year, completing certification for grades Pre-K – 6th grade. Laura believes a teacher’s passion and a warm and loving connection with students are the tools to inspire unlimited learning, motivation and excellence. She retired from HISD after 27 years of teaching but continued to work with students as a tutor in STEM Camps and as a home school teacher. Laura enjoys traveling, family time and eating delicious food. She is thrilled and honored to be working with Making It Better!

  • Mirella Arem

    Early Childhood Outreach Specialist

    Mirella was born and raised in El Salvador Central America and moved to the United States when she was 21 years old. She has a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Business Management and a master’s degree in both Business Administration and Human Resources. She worked in retail management for many years, and although she enjoyed the interaction with people, it didn’t make her happy. She went on to teach preschool for 2 years and loved every minute of it. Mirella is excited to continue fulfilling her passion for working with children as part of the Making It Better team!

  • Katherine Bell

    Reading Interventionist

    Katherine received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UT Austin and a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Houston. She recently retired from HISD after 29 years as an Evaluation Specialist, tasked with identifying children with disabilities. She also evaluated adults and children in private practice for 18 years. She is thrilled to be continuing her passion with Making It Better.

  • 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 Making It Better since January 2010.

  • Anna Call

    Reading Interventionist

    Anna 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 Making It Better has for helping children improve their reading skills.

  • Angelique Coleman

    Reading Interventionist

    Angelique received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Howard University. She has worked in both the corporate and nonprofit field. 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 is looking forward to enriching the core foundation of students through the spirit and team at Making It Better.

  • Kadijah Dancy

    Steps 2 Success Site Assistant

    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 Making It Better team in  2018 was a wonderful way to merge her love for education and helping others.

  • Christine Garner

    Reading Interventionist

    Christine received her bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of South Louisiana. She was a stay at home mother for six years, then returned to university to get certified as an Early Interventionist. She worked for St. Martin Parish for 10 years as a Special Education teacher and was their parish Autism coordinator.  She and her family have fallen in love with Texas and consider it to be now their home. Christine joined the Making It Better team in January of 2017 and is excited and looking forward to helping students with their reading skills and fostering a love for reading.

  • Lisa Fikes

    Reading Interventionist

    Lisa is a native Houstonian and grew up in the HISD school system. She received her bachelor’s degree in Humanities and her master’s degree in the Art of Teaching (MAT) from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. She taught third grade in Comal ISD before moving back to Houston to teach first grade at Barbara Bush Elementary. Lisa then worked as an Academic Advisor to the athletes at Rice University before choosing to stay home to raise her two daughters, volunteer in their schools, run a stationery business out of her home, and serve on many PTO boards. She joined Making It Better in January 2017, and is thrilled to have this opportunity to put her teacher hat back on and make an impact in the lives of children.
  • Peg Fitzgerald

    Reading Interventionist

    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 Making It Better in 2014 and is thrilled to continue serving the children, of  Houston, as part of our team.

  • Ann Green

    Reading Interventionist

    Ann received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University. After many years in the corporate world, she decided to raise her family while volunteering in children’s ministry, PTA, bible study, coaching volleyball and soccer, and substitute teaching at both SBISD and MDPC. She is excited and passionate about serving children through literacy and love.

  • Michel Hinton

    Reading Interventionist and Site Director

    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 Making It Better since December 2013.   

  • Audrey Hollis

    Reading Interventionist

    Audrey received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in Human Development. She has over 10 years 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 Making It Better since January 2013.

  • Sheila Hutchings

    Reading Interventionist

    Sheila received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. She taught 2nd and 3rd grade and then went back to school and got her advanced degree from Texas Tech in special education with an emphasis on blind/visually impaired students. She worked for both Fort Bend and Alief ISD, but quit to stay home and raise her now-teenage daughters. She stayed involved with PTO activities, volunteering and staying current with continuing education when her oldest daughter who was diagnosed with dyslexia. Sheila joined the Making It Better team in January of 2017 and looks forward to using the skills she has acquired over the years to help the students enrolled in the Reading Intervention program.

  • 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 is excited to be a part of the Making It Better team.

  • Beth McGee

    Reading Interventionist

    Beth received her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Houston. She has seven years’ experience as a classroom teacher in the primary grades, in both private and public schools. Though she has taught all subject areas, her greatest joy has always been sharing literature with her students and watching them grow as young readers and writers. Beth was thrilled to join the Making It Better team in August 2014. She shares the organization’s desire to help students achieve their literacy goals and to build relationships in the process.

  • 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 is excited about working with the talented team at Making It Better and making a difference in the lives of struggling readers!

  • Florence Taylor

    Reading Interventionist

    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 Making It Better where she looks forward to impacting young learners on their journeys to success.

  • Sharon Thomas

    Reading Interventionist

    Sharon received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from North Texas State University. She retired from H.I.S.D. in 2015 after 40 years of teaching elementary aged students. She mentored many teachers and also received the Excellence In Education Award as well as Teacher of the Year. Sharon enjoys seeing the students progress through stimulating, creative and nurturing teaching techniques. She is excited about working with the Making It Better team and enhancing the lives of young children.

  • Farrah Topete

    Reading Interventionist

    Farrah received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University. She worked with the non-profit organization, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), providing developmental services and case management to infant to three-year-olds and their families in Brazos County and surrounding areas. Through her involvement with ECI, Farrah discovered her passion for working with children. She received her teaching certification through the Blinn TEACH program and moved to Houston in 2010 to begin her teaching career. Farrah was a classroom teacher at Harmony School of Excellence-Endeavor campus and YES Prep-White Oak campus, teaching English and Social Studies for grades 5-7. She spent two years as a Reading Interventionist, working with students in grades K-8. Farrah is excited to continue small group reading instruction with hopes of inspiring the next generation of readers, thinkers and leaders.

  • Vicki Townsend

    Reading Interventionist and Site Director

    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 Making It Better in August 2009 and serves as a tutor and Site Director in the Literacy Program, as well as a Site Director in the Steps 2 Success after-school program. She loves working with children and helping them gain positive skills for a positive future.

  • Jennifer Williams

    Reading Interventionist

    Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Texas Southern University and her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston. She taught for twenty years in the Houston Independent School District and ten years in Ft. Bend ISD. While at Fort Bend ISD she became certified as a trained literacy teacher for the Reading Recovery Intervention Program which specializes in improving the reading development of struggling readers in the primary grades. Jennifer retired after thirty years of teaching. She firmly believes in the mission of Making It Better and is very proud to be a part of their team!

  • Phyllis Wilson

    Reading Interventionist

    Phyllis received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri and her master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Texas Southern University. She retired from HISD in 2012 after more than 34 years of teaching experience.  She holds teaching certificates in English as a Second Language and Special Education. Phyllis currently volunteers with the Homeless Ministry at Calvary Chapel  Katy and Amazing Grace Hospice. Phyllis is very passionate about working with children with academic challenges and delays and providing them with opportunities to grow and become successful. She is elated and honored to become part of the Making It Better team.

  • “Making It Better is transforming lives and empowering our community.”

    Juliet Stipeche | Director of Education for the City of Houston

  • “Our education problem is going to be solved one kid at a time, and Making It Better does that better than anybody else.”

    Zach Hodges | President, Houston Community College NW

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