Meet the Dedicated Team
Behind Community Reading Buddies

Our Team

Kathleen Mautner

Executive Director, Aspire Education

Kathleen is an Oregon native who has dedicated her career to closing the opportunity gap in education. Since beginning her career as a high school teacher in New Orleans, Kathleen has held district leadership roles focused on improving academic outcomes for all students. She was previously the Director of Community Reading Buddies at Aspire, where she brought her passion for literacy development and systems change to CRB. Kathleen holds a BA in Politics and Spanish from Scripps College and an MPP in Education from Vanderbilt University.

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Aaron Rubio

Program Manager

Aaron is a Los Angeles native who has a passion for community development, education and social work. He is a Program Manager for Community Reading Buddies. In this role, Aaron helps in the planning and implementation of the program. Prior to joining CRB, Aaron worked as a primary and secondary school teacher in Chiang Rai, Thailand for a number of years. He was a lead teacher in the subjects of English, science and math. He joined Community Reading Buddies because he believes every child should have equal access to a formal education. Aaron holds a BS in Sociology from Arizona State University.

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Aaron Rubio

Program Manager

Aaron is a Los Angeles native who has a passion for community development, education and social work. He is a Program Manager for Community Reading Buddies. In this role, Aaron helps in the planning and implementation of the program. Prior to joining CRB, Aaron worked as a primary and secondary school teacher in Chiang Rai, Thailand for a number of years. He was a lead teacher in the subjects of English, science and math. He joined Community Reading Buddies because he believes every child should have equal access to a formal education. Aaron holds a BS in Sociology from Arizona State University.

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Kristian Adams

Program Coordinator

Kristian is a Texas native who is dedicated to reducing inequities within society. Kristian has led campaigns to uplift voices of underserved communities, specifically, the Black and Indigenous communities throughout his undergraduate years. He has a BA in History from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and he plans to attend dental school to pursue a career in orthodontics.

Joy Patterson

Program Coordinator

Joy is a current student at Vanderbilt Law School, and also serves as a Program Coordinator for Community Reading Buddies. Social justice and community engagement are passions that drive her to join many initiatives aimed at balancing the scales for underrepresented groups and giving back to the community. Joy holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity University.

Nandanaa Srikanth

Program Intern

Mikaela Santos

 Program & Outreach Intern

Mikaela is a Bay Area native who is currently pursuing a Nursing BSN degree with a minor in Health Equity at Gonzaga University. She is interested in Public Health and passionate about engaging with health disparities and understanding change for social barriers. While in high school, Mikaela served as a CRB Youth/Lead Mentor for three years and is now excited to be program/recruitment intern!

Namugga Nakayiza

Program Intern

 

Governing Board

Jack Woodruff

Board Chair

Jack is an Oakland native dedicated to improving education and childhood experience for all Bay Area kids. Once a Youth Mentor in Community Reading Buddies himself, he has also served as an educator and leader  in classroom, international development, nonprofit, and corporate contexts. Jack holds a BA in Historical Studies from Bard College, and was also formerly the Executive Director of Aspire Education from 2014 – 2018.

Nancy Glasenk

Board Treasurer

Nancy has an accounting and finance background. She worked at Price Waterhouse (briefly) and at Levi Strauss & Co. (20+years), including a stint as Finance Director in the UK. She joined the Board in 2019 because she believes strongly in the opportunities afforded by education and the need for more students to access higher education. An avid basketball fan (starting with the Knicks but graduated to the Warriors), she has some sports knowledge that might surprise you!!

Monica Chellam

Monica began her career as a diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service and has spent the last decade leading operations teams in growth-stage technology companies, including ed tech companies Coursera and Udemy. Monica holds a BA from Pomona College and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  An East Bay native, Monica grew up in Richmond and now lives in Alameda, where she spends much of her time reading with her two daughters. 

Dana Sherry

Dana is an educator and storyteller who helps create inspired multi-cultural spaces for learning and community through her work with the Silk Road House (a cultural center dedicated to the traditional arts of Central Asia and the Caucasus), Eth-Noh-Tec (an Asian-American kinetic storytelling theater), and St. Mary’s College of California. She is a Bay Area native but has lived in Russia, the Republic of Georgia, Poland, Hungary, and British Columbia. She has a BA and MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures (UC Berkeley and University of Washington), and a PhD in Russian History (UC Davis). Her two sons are her inspiration to help give all children access to a quality education.

Albert Liu

Albert is an education policy researcher with deep expertise on secondary education, postsecondary education, and workforce development. He has a PhD and MA in economics from Cornell University and has worked at Westat, Insight Policy Research, Mathematica Policy Research, and the Urban Institute. Albert and his wife Denise have lived happily in the Bay Area for almost 15 years and have two young children who are both avid readers. He serves on the Governance Committee and is very excited to support Aspire Education as it grows to better support the East Bay community!

Fatemeh Khatibloo

Fatemeh is a technology ethicist at Salesforce, leading Ethics by Design for some of the company’s largest products. Her work focuses on enabling innovation while mitigating harm and protecting human wellness and dignity. As a queer, first-gen immigrant, she’s especially interested in the role of identity in social and technical systems. Fatemeh studied journalism at GWU and SDSU. She’s also a potter and part-time amateur homesteader in the Sierra foothills.

Linda Pelton

Linda has lived and worked in the SF East Bay for 40 years– spending much of that time in the field of education. She believes that education is a key lever for social change and equity. Linda holds a BA from UC Berkeley, Multiple Subject teaching and Administrative Services credentials, a Masters and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College. Linda has taught, led schools from K through 12th, and served at the District level in Charter School oversight. She now shares time between travel by land and sea, service, consultancy work, friends and family.

Gwyneth Hutchinson

Gwyneth is deeply committed to literacy and education. She was first the recipient of literacy mentorship as a young child before beginning to mentor kids herself as she advanced. Gwyneth worked in literacy and educational mentorship throughout high school and during college at UC Berkeley, and she has a considerable background in non-profit work from her time as Board and Operations Manager. When she’s not working as biologist, she is living it up with her two dogs, reading and writing novels, and spending time outside on the coastline. She is thrilled to be a member of Aspire’s Board of Directors.

Advisory Board

Jamil Miles

Jamil is a classically trained marketing professional with product and brand management experience at global B2C and B2B companies including P&G, Unilever, Sony, and SAP. She joined the Advisory Board in 2020 because she believes that all children benefit when they have access to personalized learning opportunities. Jamil is an active member of the startup community and spends time mentoring founders in the technology and consumer products space. She currently resides with her family in Oakland, California. 

Nat Smith

Nat is a marketer with a clean tech and personal finance background. Most recently he has been focused on storytelling and branding. In every experience, he always is thinking about the story he’ll tell afterwards. He grew up in Berkeley CA, and knows the importance of a strong network in order to build a strong education. Nat has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, spends as much time as he reasonably can on a bike, reading books, and fly fishing, but is mostly just excited about being a (relatively) new dad.

Brian Sokolow

Brian has dedicated his career to reducing inequity in society, and is particularly passionate about equity in our educational systems. He currently works in corporate strategy at Kaiser Permanente, and has had previous roles in climate and climate justice investing, strategic operations at New York City government’s early education division, and risk consulting at KPMG. Brian holds a BA in history from Brown University and an MBA from UCLA. A relative newcomer to the East Bay, he enjoys taking advantage of the great local hiking options, reading in scenic places, and running with his local run club. 

Join the Team!

Any educational program is only as good as those who provide it, so we strive to attract, develop, and reward the most effective, committed change-makers who deeply believe that the early literacy problem is solvable. Interested?