Who We Are


The HOME WORKS! staff of professional educators, administrators, and advocates includes:


Kathryn Brayton
Marketing & Operations Manager

10+ years of experience in the legal and nonprofit sector. BA, University of Illinois-Chicago.



Katrina Brown
Director of Program Operations

Social Services Professional with over 13 years of experience, including advocacy, program development and management, evaluation and facilitation. Special interest in the Social Determinants of Health and educational and health disparities. BS, Fontbonne University, M.Ed., University of Missouri St. Louis, and MHA Saint Louis University.



Kathy Coyle
Data Manager

Senior Finance/Accounting Professional with 18+ years of broad and deep experience in manufacturing and corporate environments; MIS Master’s Degree.



Colin Dale
Program Leader

Education consultant with 5 years of experience including as a program director, recruiter, and classroom teacher; BS, Creighton University and MEd, University of Missouri - St. Louis.



Jo Flannery
Development Associate

Education consultant for non-profits and grant writer. BA Manchester University (U.K), MA Washington University in St. Louis



Tracy Frish
Director of Development

Former journalist who has been a nonprofit professional for more than two decades. A believer in the power of partnerships, education, and community to empower every one of us to realize our fullest potential. Bachelor of Journalism, University of Missouri—Columbia.



Anna Gardner-Andrews
Program Leader

15 years of experience in education; served as a high school instructor of English, manager of an educational non-profit, creator/director of a writing mentoring program at University of Missouri–St. Louis, and guest speaker on urban education at Washington University; BA from Oberlin College and MAED from Washington University.



Karen Kalish

Serial social entrepreneur who has started three nonprofits and one program; former teacher, TV reporter, business owner, and nonprofit leadership with 35+ years of community service focused on literacy, closing the achievement gap, and ending racial discrimination; BA, St. Louis University, MA Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.



Susan Loftin
Support Specialist

30+ years of experience in medical research; worked as a Research Specialist at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis for 15 years. Also worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for 13 years in medical research. Special interest in community involvement, children’s literacy, and social equality. BA from University of Florida.




Colleen Polak

Child Advocate with over 10 years' professional experience, including nonprofit leadership, program management, evaluation, and facilitation. B.A. from Saint Louis University and J.D. from California Western School of Law. 



Betty Tobler
Program Leader

Teacher, curriculum developer, accreditation compliance specialist, and administrator with 40+ years of classroom and administrative experience.



Leslie Reardon
Program Leader

Retired Principal with 28 years' experience in counseling and administration. Passionate about family engagement, education, relationships, and giving back to the community.



Sue Zerbe
Program Leader

Educator with 30 years of teaching, administrative, and consulting experience. MS in Educational Administration from University of Missouri St. Louis and EdS in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University.



Board of Directors

The HOME WORKS! Board of Directors provides guidance and oversight for the leadership team. Among our 19 members, the Board holds a wealth of knowledge and experience that they bring to the organization. They meet an average of six times a year.


Dr. Kelvin Adams
Program Committee

Superintendent, St. Louis Public Schools

Jeff Bates
Finance Committee

Kings Point Capital Management


Christopher Bedell

Associate Attorney, Polsinelli

Harriet Blickenstaff
Board Chair

Retired PR Professional

Latashuia Browning
Board Treasurer,
Governance Committee

Sr. Director & Head of Sales, Americas, Millipore Sigma

Karen F. Evans
Board Secretary,
Program Committee

Former AT&T Executive, Reading Interventionist at Patrick Henry Elementary School, SLPS


Melissa Garcia

PhD. Candidate,
University of Missouri-St. Louis; Professor, Harris-Stowe State University

Lisa Huck
Fundraising Committee

Director of Business Development, Dot Foods

Amy Murphy
Board Chair Emeritus
Program Committee

Director of Scholarships and Donor Services, St. Louis Community Foundation

Dr. Chris Nicastro
Program Committee

Retired Superintendent and Missouri DESE Commissioner

Susan Stith

VP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Civic Affairs, Corporate Responsibility, and ED of the Cigna Foundation


Constance "Connie" Taylor

Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Ameren Missouri




Thomas Walker

Sr. Tech Customer Relations Manager, Wash U Med School 




Community Advisory Board


La Salle Middle

LaShanda Boone
Head of School

Azalia Carter
Dean of Instruction

Hazelwood School District

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart

Tonya Malone
Library Media Specialist –
Hazelwood Southeast Middle

Anna Nungesser
Building Instructional Coach –
Hazelwood Southeast Middle

Marshall Public Schools

Carol Maher

Jonathan Festus White
Counselor – Spainhower

Mehlville School District

Jeff Bresler
Assistant Superintendent

Andrea Deane
Principal – Beasely Elementary

Normandy Schools Collaborative

Dr. Charles Pearson

Vickie Fontaine
Teacher – Lucas Crossing Elementary

Tiffany McConnell
Principal – Lucas Crossing Elementary

Parkway School District

Dr. Keith Marty

Michael Maclin
Principal – Fern Ridge High

St. Louis Public Schools

Dr. Kelvin Adams

Michael Brown
Assistant Superintendent

Diane Dymond
Principal – Stix Early Childhood Center

Colby Heckendorn
Principal – Patrick Henry Elementary

Peggy Meyer
Principal – Woerner Elementary

School District
of University City

Dr. Sharonica Hardin

Michael Peoples
Principal – University City High

Elliott Shostak
Principal – Brittany Woods Middle

Wentzville School District

Dr. Curtis Cain

David Bates
Principal – Prairie View Elementary

Melvin Bishop
Principal – Stone Creek Elementary

Colin Hanna
Principal – Heritage Primary Elementary

Jeri LaBrot
Principal – Frontier Middle


Karen S. Kalish
Founder & CEO

Amy B. Murphy
Board Chair


Heidi Currier

Gretta Forrester
Trustee – The DeWitt and Caroline Van Evera Foundation

Suzanne Hough

Berta James
Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund (SOS)

Cimmy Medart
Trustee – Bland Family Foundation

Jane Tracy


Dr. Maureen Clancy-May
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Carrie Dietz
Youth Services Advocate – St. Louis Public Library

Michael Jones
Missouri School Board

Craig Larsen
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Vic Lenz
Vice President – Missouri School Board

Joe Miller
Senior Vice President, Partnerships – WYMAN Center

Paula Pettibone
Senior Director – WYMAN Center

Tim Ricker
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Ann Young
Parents as Teachers