Who We Are


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


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.


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
Founder and CEO

Serial social entrepreneur who has started three nonprofits and one program; former teacher, television reporter and business owner with 25+ years of community service focused on literacy, closing the achievement gap, and ending racial discrimination; MA in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Todd Killgore
Director of Operations

A financial executive with 25+ years in the business/finance industry who has been instrumental in the professional improvement and success of small businesses in and around St. Louis; BS in Accounting from University of Missouri–St. Louis.


Lizzy Petersen
Grants Manager

Experienced non-profit administrator for five years; MFA in Writing from Purdue University.


Dr. Sonya Porter
Director of Program Operations

Educator with 34 years of administrative and teaching experience in the field of education including human resources, general education, adult education, and special education. EdD and MS degrees in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Jo Ann Bateman

Jo Ann Bateman
Program Leader

Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, and former Home Educator, with 10+ years of experience in Education; Jo Ann has an MBA from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and a BA in Mathematics/Computer Science from Stephens College – Columbia, Missouri.


Erica Stearns
Program Leader

St. Louis teacher for the past 10 years and a 2008 Teach For America corps member in St. Louis. She has a MAE in Elementary Education from UMSL and a BA in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University.


Betty Tobler
Program Leader

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


Jonathan White
Program Leader

40+ years of experience as a teacher and counselor in public schools in urban, suburban, and rural settings, and the 2018 NAACP Educator Award winner from the Marshall-Saline NAACP; BS, Missouri Valley College and MAED in Counseling from Washington University.


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.

Jeff Bates
Finance Committee

Kings Point Capital Management

Harriet Blickenstaff
Public Relations Committee

Retired PR Professional

Susan E. Block
Program Committee

Attorney, Paule Camazine & Blumenthal, PC

Latashuia Browning

Director, Program Management & Commercial Operations, Millipore Sigma

Jennifer Curtis
Governance, Pillar Committees

Vice President, Sr. Recovery Manager, Citi

Myers Dill
Program Chair, Governance Committee

Associate, Husch Blackwell LLP

Jeff Esserman
Secretary, Co-Chair Governance Committee

Director of Customer Satisfaction, Ameren

Karen F. Evans
Program Committee

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

Dr. Jana Haywood
Program Committee

Principal at Clyde C. Miller High School, SLPS

Lisa Huck
Director of Business Development, Dot Foods

Joe Kraichely
Finance Committee

AVP Fleet Management, Enterprise Fleet Management

Jamie Moog
Finance Committee

Strategy & Marketing Advisor

Amy Murphy
Board Chair

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

Dr. Chris Nicastro
Program Committee

Retired Superintendent and Missouri DESE Commissioner

Wade Rakes
Finance Committee 

Regional VP and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Centene Corporation

Tom Santel
Pillar Committee

Executive Director, Civic Progress

Earl Shreckengast
Co-chair, Governance Committee

Retired Non-Profit Executive

Susan Stith
Vice President, Corporate Giving Programs, Cigna


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