Board of Directors

The all-volunteer Board of Directors is responsible for New Haven Reads’ overall health and well-being, ensuring that it is following its mission and is financially sound. 100% of the Board contribute financially to the organization and many of them volunteer their time in an administrative capacity or as tutors.


Heather Samson Calabrese – President 

Heather Samson Calabrese joined the Yale University Office of the Secretary in October 2013. As Director of University Events she oversees Baccalaureate, Commencement, Veterans Day and other major events; University lectures including the Grand and Terry lectures; and communications initiatives within the Office of the Secretary.  Prior to joining Yale, Heather was an independent nonprofit consultant and the chief operating officer of United Way of Greater New Haven. She is active in Greater New Haven civic efforts and serves on several other community boards, including Elm Shakespeare and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven’s Fund for Women and Girls.




Susan Netter – Vice President

Starting out as an English teacher in Manhattan and Vermont, Susan eventually became a business manager/owner. Throughout, her interest in children’s welfare and education has strongly persisted. Membership on the Children’s Center Board for over twenty years reflects her continuing interest, and tutoring students at New Haven Reads is a most gratifying way to have a direct impact on young minds.




Sigga - Board Member Head shot for websiteSigga Benediktsdottir – Treasurer

Sigga has volunteered in the past as a tutor for New Haven Reads. She is currently the director of the Financial Stability Department at the Central Bank of Iceland. She is also a member of the Danish Systemic Risk Council. Sigga received a B.S. in economics from the University of Iceland in 1995 and a B.S. in computer science from the same school in 1998. She completed her doctoral degree in economics at Yale in May 2005.




ruth bGeraldine Sullivan – Secretary

Geraldine Sullivan serves as Director of Employee Relations at the Yale School of Medicine.  She served as the Co-Chair of the Yale Latino Networking Group from 2010-2013 and continues to serve in their Steering Committee.  Yale Latino Networking Group is an Affinity Group through the Yale University Office of Diversity & Inclusion.  Geraldine earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.



A Babiak headshotAndy Babiak

Andy is the Director of the UBS Wealth Management business in New Haven. He has been a tutor at NHR since 2016, and is passionate about supporting causes and initiatives focused on children and education. Andy values his relationship with a number of area organizations, including New Haven Promise, The World Affairs Council of CT, and The Hundred Club of CT. He also mentors veterans as they transition from the military to the private sector workplace. Originally from New York City, Andy earned a degree in Business from The State University of New York. He and his wife Helen raised their 3 children in CT.



ruth bRuth Beardsley

Ruth has volunteered at New Haven Reads as a tutor since 2009. She also has volunteered as a Reading Buddy at the Jewish Coalition for Literacy since 2013. From 2010-2013, Ruth volunteered at the New Haven Public Schools Foundation as a tutor. Currently, she is the WIKS-USA, Inc. Grants Coordinator, the Vice Chair, Member, and Alternate at various times at Bethany Zoning Board of Appeals, the Small Claims and Motor Vehicle Infractions Magistrate, and the Arbitrator for the State of Connecticut Judicial Department. Ruth has been active for many years in civic organizations for the town of Bethany, horse organizations throughout Connecticut, and the Episcopal Church.  She has been a practicing attorney in Connecticut since 1984.



Laurie DesmettLaurie Desmet

Laurie retired as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of PartnerRe, an international reinsurance company headquartered in Bermuda. She graduated with a B.A. in Accounting from Michigan State University and was a Certified Public Accountant. Laurie lives in Guilford, CT and also serves on the Boards of the Women & Family Life Center in Guilford, and the Guilford Housing Authority. She enjoys traveling, sports, and reading legal thrillers. She has been tutoring and New Haven Reads since 2014.




Photo_NRNaureen Rashid

Naureen graduated from Yale in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. After working in D.C. as a financial analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she went on to get a Master’s degree in Economics from Columbia University. She currently works for Yale’s Office of Strategic Analysis and is passionate about the economics of education. Outside of work, Naureen enjoys traveling, baking, and playing board games. She also loves tutoring at New Haven Reads on Saturdays.



Jodi Benjamin Schneider

Jodi Benjamin-Schneider graduated from The George Washington University.  She worked in marketing for MCI in New York City.  After spending time raising her two children, and helping to launch a pre-school, The Children’s New School in Madison, Ct. and then subsequently coordinating special programs there, she became a literacy tutor at the Mauro-Sheridan School in New Haven, where she has worked for the past 10 years.



Gary Winfield HeadshotSenator Gary Winfield
Gary Winfield was elected to represent the 1oth State Senate District (New Haven & West Haven) in a special election held February 25, 2014, replacing former senator and now New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. Prior to that special election, Gary had served as a state representative for the 94th Assembly District of New Haven and Hamden since his election in 2008. Originally from Bronx, New York, Gary lives in New Haven.




Peter Goldsmith – Honorary Member
Peter Goldsmith is a 1955 Yale graduate who then spent two years in the army. Peter followed his service obligation working twenty years in manufacturing and another twenty years in sales. Upon retirement ten years ago, he became involved with Yale Project 55 and Dwight Hall (Yale University’s Community Service organization) and New Haven Reads, as well as a number of other New Haven charities.




Kirsten Levinsohn – Ex Officio
Kirsten has a Masters in Elementary/Early Childhood Education, a K-8 teaching certificate, and taught in the classroom for six years.  Prior to coming to New Haven in 2010, she was the executive director of the Leslie Science and Nature Center for 20 years in Ann Arbor, MI.  Kirsten is proud to be part of the dedicated group of staff, parents, and tutors at New Haven Reads who help the children in our community to become skilled readers. She has been tutoring two NHR students since 2010 and working with these students is one of the highlights of her week.

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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