Get to know our team behind the cause. Our team members share John and Nancy’s passion around the fight against illiteracy and are focused on breaking through barriers for students to create brighter futures.


Director of Curriculum and Community Initiatives

Melanie works with both the Community and Curriculum/Staff
Development departments for The Center for Sound Literacy. She
earned her Bachelor’s in Education from Grand Valley State
University and her Master’s of Organizational Leadership and K-12
Principalship from Western Michigan University with a focus on
Nonprofit Organization Leadership. She joined the Center for Sound
Literacy in 2015 as an Educational School Consultant. Melanie
started her career in urban education in 2005 as an elementary
classroom teacher. She has held roles in both upper and lower
elementary classrooms, Curriculum Design, District Professional
Development, Title I Intervention Support Coordinator, and as a K-6
Math & Literacy Coach. Melanie brings various levels of experience
with her both within and outside the classroom supporting students,
teachers, school administration teams and community partners that
she draws on to leverage student success. In her free time, she
enjoys traveling to new places, reading, skiing, and spending time
with her husband and two children on the lakeshore.

Favorite Children’s Book: Stellaluna


Director of Instruction and School Innovation

Katie works closely with building administrators and teachers to
maximize their literacy practices and unlock staff and student
potential. She earned her Bachelor’s in Education from Western
Michigan University and her Master’s in Educational Leadership and
K-12 Principalship from Grand Valley State University. Katie started
her career as a middle school Language Arts teacher. After she left
the classroom, Katie spent several years as a reading specialist
before transitioning into administration. Before joining the CSL in
2015 as an Education School Consultant, Katie gained a great deal of
experience leading professional development, managing grants
compliance and serving in different roles such as a Title 1
Coordinator and District Literacy Coach. When she’s not working,
Katie enjoys reading, traveling and exploring new places with her
husband and 2 children.

Favorite Children’s Book: The Wrestling Game


Intensive Literacy Instructor

Caroline received her BA from the University of Toronto as well as a
Master’s in Education from Aquinas College. She has over fourteen years
of invaluable teaching experiences including classroom and specialized
small group instruction as well as positions that supported English
immersion students and their families. Caroline was also instrumental in
helping to open new charter school buildings on the Southeast side of the
Chicago. She joined the CSL in the Fall of 2021 as an Intensive Literacy
Instructor. Caroline enjoys cooking and baking, yoga, hiking and traveling
with her family.

Favorite Children’s Book: Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel


Intensive Literacy Instructor

Ellen graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s in Spanish
and English and received her Master’s in Literacy Education from
University of Texas San Antonio. She has held many educational roles that
support her work at the CSL including both middle and elementary
classroom teaching positions as well as being the Director of a Youth
Literacy program in Texas. Ellen also brings experiences that go beyond
our site walls and is a skilled virtual literacy instructor. Outside of work,
Ellen enjoys dancing, learning new languages, reading and singing.

Favorite Children’s Book: Nino Wrestles the World


Intensive Literacy Instructor

Loni joined the CSL in the Fall of 2019 as an Intensive Literacy Instructor.
She has been an educator for over sixteen years in both North Carolina and
Michigan. She earned her BA in Elementary Education from Western
Michigan University and has successfully taught at various elementary
classroom grade-levels. Her many years of urban teaching experiences
have given her a rich wealth of knowledge that she uses daily to connect
with her students and inspire their reading potential. Outside of work Loni
enjoys playing tennis, reading a good book and spending time with family.

Favorite Children’s Book: Skippyjon Jones and Bunnicula


Intensive Literacy Instructor

Kristi graduated from Cornerstone University with a bachelor’s degree in education with a triple minor in Reading, Language Arts, and General Education. Kristi joined our team in 2022 as an Intensive Literacy Instructor bringing with her over 10 years of experience. She has knowledge and experience in being an associate reading teacher, a classroom small group reading interventionist and also brings with her experiences with Reading Core/AmeriCorps program. She has a passion for helping students grow in their reading and watching them succeed to feel proud of themselves for their accomplishments. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Favorite Children’s Book: The Very Impatient Caterpillar


Literacy Paraprofessional

Emily graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s in arts and Humanities and Spanish with minors in TESOL and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. She joined the CSL team in 2022 as a Literacy Paraprofessional, bringing with her extensive experiences teaching students how to learn and understand the English language both in the states and abroad. She has held various positions in education, including a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Spain, where she taught English to 1st through 10th grade. Outside of work, Emily loves to travel, hike, and embroider.

Favorite Children’s Book: The Very Impatient Caterpillar


Lead Volunteer

Nancy heads up our volunteer program at GRPS’ Campus Elementary School. She is passionate about helping students achieve reading success, and she has been working with GRPS for over 6 years.

In her free time she likes to recruit volunteers to tutor as many students as possible, bike, and spend time with her family.


Marketing Specialist

Janet received her Associate‘s Degree from Baker College and her Bachelor’s Degree from Davenport University. She has been in her field for over 7 years. In her free time she enjoys volunteering in the community, baking, spending
time with family and friends or going on adventures.

Favorite Children’s Book: The Rainbow Fish

Interested in joining our cause? Visit our careers page or email



This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.