Joan Wabschall is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Science Degree and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from The Ohio State University. She has over 30 years senior management experience in pediatric healthcare settings and with early literacy programs. She has a comprehensive background in hospital and clinic administration, research, education, project management, and community outreach. Joan is a recognized leader in early literacy programs on national, state, and local levels. Joan has been a certified physician trainer with Reach Out and Read since 1995. She has research experience in both the U.S. and overseas and is the author of two dozen publications in professional journals and books. Joan joined BookSpring’s Board of Directors in 2011, becoming its President-Elect until recently resigning to serve as Interim Executive Director. She is under consideration for the permanent position.
Brenda brings several years of experience in non-profit development and membership departments. Brenda’s role as Communications and Engagement Coordinator includes communications and donor cultivation. Brenda has an A.A. in English and is pursuing a degree in Mass Communication at Texas State University. Brenda is an avid reader and is excited to be a part of an organization that encourages reading, a love of books, and lifelong learning. Brenda joined BookSpring in October 2011.
Lili has a BA in Latin American Studies from Brown University, and primary teaching certification from the Association Montessori Internationale. After gaining some classroom experience, she joined Reading Is Fundamental of Austin in 1997 as Infant and Preschool Program Director. She became the Program Director in 2000. In both of those roles, she wrote much of the curriculum currently used by BookSpring’s RIF component. After the birth of her daughter in 2002, Lili continued working for RIF, now BookSpring, on a part-time basis,organizing Parent BookClubs and updating the curriculum. Lili has been with BookSpring since the merger in 2008.
Jill has her BS in Elementary Education from St. Norbert College and her MA in Language and Literacy from U.T. Austin. During her 20 years as an educator, she has taught children from first through eighth grade. Since 1996 she has been a master reading teacher, working exclusively with students struggling to learn to read. Jill served as a board member for RIF of Austin from 1998-2003, actively leading the Program and Leadership teams. Jill’s role as Director of Programs includes the coordination and management of the Reading is Fundamental/Books for Ownership programs as well as supervising the other BookSpring programs. She works closely with librarians, preschool directors, teen parent educators, and home based literacy providers to ensure the quality implementation of all programs.
Jill joined BookSpring in July 2010.
Tara’s diverse career in administration spans the education, venture capital, healthcare, management consulting, food service, and retail industries. Her career highlights include serving as project manager for an 8 year, $1.8 million scientific research project and being managing editor of three reference books. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Saint Louis University. From 1980-1982 Tara was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya working with wood carving cooperatives.
Tara joined BookSpring in March 2010.
Michelle brings 12 years of experience and accomplishments as a nonprofit professional, including five years coordinating the Reach Out and Read Program at the Children’s Assessment Center (CAC) in Houston, Texas. While in Houston, she was a board member of The Women’s Health Fund promoting healthy lifestyles for women and children. Michelle earned a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Houston and obtained and holds licensure as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She has practiced clinical social work for seven years providing therapy and social services to children and their families involved with child sexual abuse, the juvenile justice system, and foster care. Her skills also include managing relationships with 25 partner agencies involved with the Children’s Assessment Center, conducting psychosocial assessments and developing treatment plans. Most recently, Michelle worked at The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin as a Test Administrator.
Michelle joined BookSpring in May 2012.
Amanda obtained a bachelor’s degree in social work from Texas A&M-Central Texas. Due to her passion for education, she also went on to earn her teaching certification. Amanda worked as a high school English teacher in Killeen, Texas before she married and moved to Austin. Once in Austin, Amanda worked for Communities in Schools (CIS) where she first heard about BookSpring and its mission.
Amanda joined BookSpring in July 2012.
Jane received a BA in Speech Communications from the University of Central Arkansas. She has worked in the marketing arena with both the newspaper and textbook industries in Austin. She assists with the Reading is Fundamental, Reach Out and Read and Book Club programs. Jane first learned of BookSpring through her daughter’s participation in the Read-a-thon. She believes that there is nothing more important to a child’s development throughout their lives than reading to them when they are young. A favorite part of her day is when she gets to read to her two children at bedtime. Jane joined BookSpring in August 2013.
Shelley has a BA in English, an MFA in writing and more than ten years experience in fund development and not-for-profit program management. Her introduction to not-for-profit work was as a VISTA volunteer in New Mexico. Since then she has raised funds for organizations focusing on children, education and health. Her efforts to help spread the love of reading and storytelling include performing stories in sign language for children in rural communities, editing a literary journal and volunteering as a literacy tutor for incarcerated women. Shelley Joined BookSpring in July 2013. Her favorite children’s book is Winnie-the-Pooh.