New Haven Reads has talented year-round employees with extensive experience in education, management, and community development. In addition, we are fortunate to have an AmeriCorps VISTA member as well as numerous work study students from Yale, Quinnipiac, and University of New Haven.
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.
Tanya Smith, Education Director and Parent Liaison
Tanya Smith has been with New Haven Reads since 2008. Tanya is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she received a Master’s degree in Education and her Reading Specialist credential. She has had extensive classroom teaching experience and has developed curriculum for grades K through 9. Her career in education has included teacher training as a Master Teacher with SDSU and more than a decade as a senior administrator at a private school in California.
Fiona earned a Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Georgia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Economics from the University of London. In addition to her experience in development, Fiona has experience in project management, planning, and a passion for helping nonprofit organizations. She formerly worked in Yale’s Office of Development and for various multinationals including Diageo and Tate & Lyle. She joined New Haven Reads in May 2011.
Libba graduated from Columbus State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Before joining New Haven Reads in October of 2016, Libba worked in children’s theatre, museum theatre and programming, and at a technology startup. Libba is an active writer, musical theatre lover, and thrift store enthusiast. Her favorite book is George Orwell’s 1984.
Briana Belton-Robinson received a Bachelor of Science from Central Connecticut State University in Biomolecular Science. She intends to attend Medical School with the ultimate goal of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon. Briana initially joined New Haven Reads in 2014, as a book bank volunteer through her internship at the Yale Police Department. She enjoyed her experience at New Haven Reads so much that she decided to come back as the Assistant Site Director of the New Haven Reads Dixwell Site. Her all-time favorite book is The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.
Veronica earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Albertus Magnus College and a Master’s degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She has been an administrative assistant at Yale University for 25 years. She tutored at John Daniels Elementary School for two years and assisted in the Sunday School at Christian Tabernacle Church in New Haven. Veronica enjoys reading and yoga. She currently tutors and teaches at New Haven Reads.
Janel Crite, Finance Director
Janel is a certified public accountant with a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Lynchburg College. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling and running.
Coralys is from Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of New Haven with a degree in Forensic Psychology. She first came to New Haven Reads in the summer of 2015 as a fellow in the UNH President’s Public Service Fellowship program. After graduating, Coralys would like to potentially pursue degrees in Student Affairs or Public Administration. Her all-time favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham.
Giana Fazzino, Bristol Street Assistant Site Director & Saturday Assistant Site Director
Giana first joined the New Haven Reads team as a First Niagara Intern in the summer of 2015 and is excited to return as an Assistant Site Director! She is from East Haven, CT and is currently a junior at Albertus Magnus College, studying Sociology with a concentration in Social Work. Giana will also receive a minor in Religion and Philosophy. She enjoys reading, hiking, and running. Her favorite book is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Candi Fulcher, Science Park Site Director
A New Haven native, Candi Fulcher has a B.A. in African American Studies from Temple University and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Fairfield University. She has dedicated herself to the field of education, and especially to the social and academic development of urban students. She firmly believes the education of well-rounded students is contingent upon providing new opportunities that can open students up to what can be possible for their lives.
Asia Gillespie, Saturday Site Director at Bristol Street
Asia joined the New Haven Reads family this summer as a Fellow from University of New Haven- and we just couldn’t let her go! Asia is a Senior at University of New Haven majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Elementary Ed with a minor in Sociology. Originally from Yonkers, NY, she wishes to become a teacher in the New Haven Area.
Tarey Hampton earned a B.S in Early Childhood Education from Charter Oak College. She has been employed with the New Haven Board of Education for the past fourteen years. She is currently the head teacher of the school readiness program at Nathan Hale Elementary School. Tarey enjoys working with young children and molding the minds of future leaders.
Hayley Herrington earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Education from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She taught Spanish at a regional high school in northern Massachusetts before returning to her home state and the New Haven area. Hayley became involved in literacy tutoring while serving as the Vice-President of Personnel for SmartStart Education and Smarties Tutoring Services. She has worked with students and teachers from several New Haven schools and joins New Haven Reads after serving as a School Coordinator for Read to a Child’s lunchtime reading program.
Keri Humphries received a B.S. in Psychology from Southern Arkansas University and a Master of Arts in Community Psychology from the University of New Haven. Keri has experience in project coordination, program evaluation and advocacy. She is dedicated to coalition building and community development through Participatory Action Research.
Jessica Markelon, Willow Street Assistant Site Director
Jessica is currently a Junior at Southern New Hampshire University pursuing a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a concentration in Forensics, as well as minoring in Criminal Justice. She spent her first year after high school graduation travelling the country in an RV with her sister, Marissa. She grew up racing motocross, but has always preferred curling up with a good book and coffee. She will read any book that captures her attention, but her favorite book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
Geoff earned his Bachelor of Arts in Art History at Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio. He is a transplant to New Haven from Saint Louis, Missouri where he previously worked for an education based non-profit called Aim High Saint Louis. He thoroughly enjoys reading and searching through piles of donated books. His favorite author is Cormac McCarthy.
Allison received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of New Haven. She also holds a K-6 teaching certificate. Allison began working at New Haven Reads in 2011. She loves working with children and helping them build a solid foundation in literacy.
Kathy currently works at the University of New Haven in Accounts Payable. Although she enjoys reading a little bit of everything, her favorite author is Nora Roberts. Kathy obtained her Associate’s degree in General Studies from UNH and is from West Haven, CT.
Jocelyn Rayas, AmeriCorps VISTA
Verita Rudd, Pre-K & Kindergarten Teacher
Verita is a native of New Haven. She has been working for the Board of Ed for 18 years and as a Kindergarten teacher for the past 10 years. Before working in education, she worked for a phone company. We are so thrilled to have Verita as part of our New Haven Reads staff. Welcome Verita!
Victoria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Yale University. Prior to joining New Haven Reads in January 2016, she worked for a tech start-up in D.C. and a political campaign in Texas, her home state.
Carol has an extensive administrative background, working as an office manager and as a marketing specialist. She brings to New Haven Reads her creative talents as well as her love of books and passion for our literacy program. Carol loves her role here at New Haven Reads as she gets to spend time with our students and see the benefits of our tutoring program.
Mary-Ann originally joined the New Haven Reads team as a First Niagara summer intern and now works as the Assistant Site Director at Science Park. She is currently a sophomore at Albertus Magnus College majoring in Sociology. She hopes to work for DCF one day. In her free time, she loves painting and others arts-and-crafts projects.
Jo-Ann was born and raised in New Haven, CT. She has worked as a nurse’s aide for over 20 years and has two sons who are her world. Jo-Ann’s favorite book is Rhythms by Donna Hill.