Ms. Abesamis-Bell joined Super Stars Literacy in 2006 and has held several positions within the organization: Co-Program Director, Staff Training Director, and now Data Manager/AmeriCorps Manager. She has over 11 years of experience teaching socio-economically and ethnically diverse students. Ms. Abesamis-Bell holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Claremont University, a B.A. in Sociology from Pepperdine University, and a Reading Specialist Credential from California State University of the East Bay, Hayward.
Katie Baer joins Super Stars Literacy with 17+ years experience as professional educator, trainer, coach, and program coordinator. She holds BA in Psychology from University Of Illinois at Chicago and earned her Teacher Credential from Chapman University in Concord. Katie is pursuing certification as a Compassionate Communication Trainer with the Center for Non Violent Communication. Katie began her teaching career serving low income, struggling students in the Alameda Unified School District. She developed her skills as a coach and trainer of teachers which resulted in leadership positions in Oakland and and San Lorenzo Unified School Districts. Most recently Katie held the position of After School Programs Evaluator which provided insight to the realm of after school programming. Katie is passionate about supporting the literacy development of young children and looks forward to sharing her professional knowledge and experiences with the AmeriCorps members as they build relationships with the young students enrolled in the Super Stars Literacy Program.
Erin Drake oversees the successful execution of Super Stars Literacy curriculum at its ten school sites. She brings extensive knowledge of the needs of students and schools in underserved areas to this role. A Teach for America alumna, Drake continued working at Budlong Elementary School in South Los Angeles after completing her service years there. She spent a total of three years in this school teaching kindergarten and first grade. While earning her Master's Degree in Education from UCLA, she also served on the school's leadership council, earning valuable planning skills she exercises in leading the growing Super Stars staff and implementing and further formalizing the Super Stars Literacy program. Additionally, her experience in working as a Corps Member Advisor with Teach For America has contributed to the implementation of Super Stars new lesson planning templates, school day curriculum alignment and updated coaching model support for its Group Leaders. She has an Administrative Credential from California State University, East Bay.
“After spending three years teaching five- and six-year olds in an underserved community, I understand how vital early literacy is to continued academic success,” commented Drake. “I am thrilled to work with an organization like Super Stars that makes such a positive, lasting effect on the lives of students and their families and enjoy working with program staff and school-site classroom teachers to deliver curriculum that engages and educates our students.”
Jennifer has been involved with the SSL program since 2004. From 2004-2008, she was a volunteer member of the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay’s Super Stars Literacy Program Committee, assisting with field trips, program event coordination, and fundraising. In 2008, when SSL separated from the JLOEB, she joined the SSL staff as the Development Specialist/Grants Manager, and continues to provide volunteer support on the Board’s Strategic Planning and Marketing/Communications committees. Jennifer has a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Prior to joining SSL, she worked in the mental health field both in a treatment setting and providing organizational consultation on employee mental health issues. She later transitioned to grantwriting and copywriting work. Jennifer has been an active community volunteer as a JLOEB member and as an elementary school Board member.
After a long career in senior legal roles for Bay Area telecommunications and technology companies, Mike transitioned to the nonprofit sector as Executive Director of Super Stars Literacy in October 2007. Mike’s background with both large corporations and small startups going through a rapid growth process is serving Super Stars Literacy well as it moves into its expansion phase. Mike brings over ten years of community non-profit experience to this role. He currently serves on the Youth & Education Committee of the Oakland Rotary and, until recently, was a member of the Board of Directors of Destiny Arts Center, an Oakland nonprofit, teaching violence prevention to Oakland’s at-risk youth through dance and martial arts training. Mike and his wife, Patty, direct a donor-advised fund at the East Bay Community Foundation in memory of their daughter, Danielle, supporting youth and education programs. Mike has also been a member and project lead for two engaged philanthropy organizations: Full Circle Fund and Social Venture Partners. Mike received his law degree from University of Toledo and earned his B.A. in Political Science from The Ohio State University.
Blythe Tai has been working with Super Stars Literacy since the fall of 2011. During the 2011-2012 school year, Blythe taught kindergarten as an SSL Group Leader through the AmeriCorps BAYAC program. In the fall of 2012, she continued her work with Super Stars as the AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator. Prior to working with SSL, Blythe interned at 826 Valencia, where she specialized in development, led creative writing field trips, and participated in a spelling bee fundraiser. She has previously taught with Girls Inc., Growth & Learning Opportunities, and the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir. Blythe has her BA in English and Music from UC Santa Barbara.
|Think College Now/||East Oakland Pride|
|International Community School||Erica Breuer*|
|Laura Kaneko*||Liz Kleinrock|
|Karen Schreiner||Michelle Seidman|
|Julie Goshe*||Rosie Krieger|
|Pearl Woo||Madora Soutter*|
|Program Staff||Mickey Vuksinich|
|Erin Drake||L’aurelei Durr|
|Rose Lynn Abesamis-Bell|
|* Program Coordinators|