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  • Jacque Daughtry

    Executive Director

    Jacque received a 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 a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 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

    Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

    Ashley earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minor in Writing from the University of Arkansas in 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 a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with 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 a 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 Literacy Tutor, 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.

  • Anju Varadhachary

    Program Director

    Anju received an MBA from the University of Illinois.  Anju grew up in Mumbai, India and moved to the US in 1987, living in New York, Chicago and moving to Houston in 2000.  Anju worked for 13 years at Merrill Lynch, underwriting commercial loans to small and mid-size companies.  After 13 years in the corporate world, she changed career paths with the goal of working with under privileged children. She began her work with Making It Better as a volunteer for the Lunch Bunch Mentoring Program in 2011, and became a part of the staff in August 2012.  Being a part of Making It Better has given Anju the opportunity to positively impact and enrich the lives of underprivileged students in Houston. 

  • Catie Licalzi

    Program Manager

    Catie received a 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 a 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 working with children. Madeline has always had enthusiasm for reading and is excited about being the opportunity that Making It Better offers to children.

  • 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!

  • Autumn Allman

    Reading Interventionist

    Autumn is a native Marylander and received her bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Towson University in Baltimore. She taught elementary and middle school for 6 years in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada.  During this time Autumn also worked in graduation advocacy, ESL, and in leadership roles facilitating classes and writing curriculum for teachers across the district. She then moved to the United Arab Emirates in Dubai and joined the opening staff at Collegiate American School. After moving to Batam Island, Indonesia she volunteered with children teaching ESL. Her family now calls Houston home and Autumn has been staying at home raising her young son. She is happy to be back in the schools with Making It Better and sharing her love of literature with children.

  • 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 of 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.

  • Nicole Brick

    Reading Interventionist

    Nicole, received her Bachelors’ degrees in Psychology and American Sign Language at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She also has her teaching certificates in EC-6th, Special Education and ESL. For the past five years, Nicole taught both Kindergarten and elementary Special Education at a Title 1 school in Houston. Prior to working as a teacher, she worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism. Originally from near Green Bay, Wisconsin, Nicole moved to Texas in 2010. She loves living in Houston with husband, one-year old son and dog. She is passionate about teaching children with academic challenges and is excited to be part of the Making It Better team.
  • Sandra Brown

    Reading Interventionist

    Sandra earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston, and a Master Reading Teacher Certification through Region IV Education Service Center.  Sandra retired after 33 years with Houston Independent School District, 27 years as a classroom teacher and 6 years as a Campus Literacy Coach.

  • Angelique Coleman

    Reading Interventionist

    Angelique received a 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.

  • Bianca Delgado

    Reading Interventionist

    Bianca graduated from the University of Houston with her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Arab Studies. She has taught at an international elementary school in Egypt, as well as teaching refugees English through NGOs based in Lebanon and Egypt. She has worked as an hourly lecturer and enrichment instructor at HISD for two years. She is passionate about empowering children through education and hopes to create similar programs for children who suffer from trauma. Bianca will be working as a reading interventionist and an assistant for Steps to Success.
  • Christine Garner

    Reading Interventionist

    Christine, originally from Louisiana,  received her Bachelors of 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 a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and a Master 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 a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Elms College in Massachusetts and her Master of Education 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 a 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 a 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 a 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  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 a Bachelors 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 a Bachelor’s degrees 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!

  • Sharon Thomas

    Reading Interventionist

    Sharon received a 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.

  • Vicki Townsend

    Reading Interventionist and Site Director

    Vicki received a 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.

  • 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.  She enjoys traveling, playing chess and spending time with family.   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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