SHAWN KAIRSCHNER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Shawn is an experienced educator with a sustained history of passionate teaching, engaged leadership, and forward-thinking curriculum development. Before coming to Achieve Now, Shawn held teaching positions at Temple University, Villanova University, and Williams College, where he was recognized for his innovative teaching. As a liaison for Stanford University's renowned Center for Teaching and Learning, he provided customized teaching services and rigorous classroom observations and analyses, and conducted pedagogy workshops focused on specific teaching strategies, recommending unique situational learning approaches. He is thrilled to be leading an organization dedicated to making a lasting contribution to children's lives.


LIZZY PECORA
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS

Lizzy has spent the past eight years working as an educator for learners of all ages. She hails from Pittsburgh, where she worked for over three years as a teaching artist in a number of Pittsburgh public middle school classrooms. She came to Philadelphia to pursue a Master's degree at Villanova and has since planted herself here as a non-profit educator. Lizzy most recently served as the Education Associate at the Wilma Theater, where she worked with Philadelphia public high school students. She is passionate about shaping young minds and making a difference in the lives of Philadelphia's youth. Lizzy is honored and proud to be helping to fulfill Achieve Now's mission of bringing Philadelphia schoolchildren to grade level reading.


ASHLEY PETTWAY
PROGRAM SPECIALIST

Ashley is our most experienced reading specialist; the 2016-2017 school year is her third with Achieve Now. She comes from a literacy eenriched background. Her mother worked and volunteered in the Philadelphia Public Schools; in fact, Ashley's fist introduction to the alphabet was the worksheets her mother brought home from the school. Her father not only frequently brought her books but always asked, every few pages, what she had just read; she strives to bring this love of reading to her son and to the Philadelphia schoolchildren we serve. 


CASEY STYONS
Education Specialist

Casey Styons is an experienced middle school English teacher and certified reading specialist. After studying English education at the University of Delaware and earning an MA in Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she provided literacy interventions for children of varying ages and skill levels, Casey returned to the classroom as a middle school English teacher in Boston, MA and, most recently, Morton Grove, IL. She’s excited to join the Achieve Now team in their efforts to nurture better readers and change educational outcomes for children in Philadelphia. 


KALYN HIGGINS
READING SPECIALIST

Kalyn is dedicated to delivering effective literacy programming, providing the tools for students to become fluent readers at grade level or beyond. For almost five years, Kalyn has worked with diverse learners in Philadelphia public and charter schools. During that time, she created professional development course material and researched online resources for teachers. In 2014, she earned her M.A. and two instructional teacher certifications from the Penn Graduate School of Education's Reading/ Writing/ Literacy program. While at Penn, she began working for the Penn Literacy Network (PLN), a PreK-12 professional development organization. Kalyn joined Achieve Now as a Reading Specialist in Fall 2016. 


CHAUNTIA JOLLY
READING SPECIALIST

Chauntia is a certified teacher with a BA in Early Childhood Education from Chestnut Hill College. In addition to being a Kindergarten teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, Chauntia has worked for the American Institutes for Research, the Sylvan Learning Center, and conducted educational seminars throughout the tri-state area and Maryland. She joined Achieve Now as a Reading Specialist in Fall 2016, and is thrilled to help shape and cultivate lifelong learners. Chauntia is the author of a children’s book, I’m Beautiful! 


LAURA KENNEDY
READING SPECIALIST

Laura has been an Achieve Now reading specialist since Spring 2016. She is a graduate of Temple University’s Honors Program and the North Bennet Street School’s Furniture Design Program. Prior to working at Achieve Now, she wrote the curriculum for and taught Kids’ Woodworking Camp and classes at Philadelphia Woodworks. While working on a volunteer project to re-build a library in one of the public schools Achieve Now serves, Laura was so impressed that she looked to join our team at the first opportunity, She believes passionately that literacy is the key to sparking children's imagination and taking them beyond their circumstances.


KATHLEEN MONTESANO
READING SPECIALIST

Kathleen is an experienced teacher who has worked in education for the last seven years. Originally from Oregon, Kathleen studied social work and Spanish at Evergreen State College. After graduation, she taught at a Native American elementary school in Washington State before teaching English in South Korea and Guatemala, where she also ran an after-school English academy. Kathleen now enjoys living in South Philadelphia; she has been a Reading Specialist for Achieve Now since Fall 2015. 


 

Board Members

Renee Archawski, Chair
Managing Director,
Development Coaching, 

Teach For America

Michelle Conn
Director of Administration,
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Carol Domb, Ed.D
Principal, 
Girard Academic Music Program

Jameyshia Franklin
Associate Administrator,
Bryn Mawr Hospital

John Guerrieri
Investment Industry Group
Kreischer Miller

Shawn Kairschner
Executive Director,
Achieve Now

Stephen D. Spencer
Partner,
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Kathleen O'Donovan
Sales Manager,
Vanguard


Partners & Supporters

Corporations:

  • Anthropologie
  • BBT
  • Boeing
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CHUBB
  • Dollar General
  • Fox and Roach Charities
  • The Graham Companies
  • Jannsen
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Jones Lang Lasalle
  • Lincoln Financial Distributors
  • Morgan Lewis
  • PECO
  • Rotary Foundation
  • State Farm
  • Susquehanna Bank

Foundations:

  • Barra Foundation
  • Claneil Foundation
  • Dolfinger McMahon Foundation
  • Samuel S. Fels Fund
  • Levitties Foundation
  • Lincoln Financial Foundation
  • McClean Contributionship
  • MKM Foundation
  • Grace S. and W. Linton Nelson Foundation
  • Ruth and Earl Scott Charitable Trust

Organizations:

  • Narberth Women's Group