Leadership

Our projects will be staffed by our network of experts.  We welcome researchers and practitioners to join our Expert Advisory Committee.  If you are interested, contact us today!

Trish Brennan-Gac

Trish Brennan-Gac, JD

Executive Director
Maryland READS is led by Trish Brennan-Gac, JD, who has over 30 years of experience in government and non-profit management where she managed complex, multi-million-dollar technical assistance projects, fostered partnerships to translate research into practice, and managed outreach and engagement campaigns.
Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger

Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, MEd

Acting Board President
Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, MEd, is the President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit advocacy and policy organization centered around using educational data to drive policy decisions. Previously, she worked at the US Department of Education, where she led a team of researchers and policy analysts to provide expertise and support to staff in using best practices to drive policy decisions. She supported similar efforts at the district level both in the NYC Department of Education and in Baltimore City Public Schools. She resides in Baltimore City, MD.
Darin R. Bartram

Darin Bartram

Baker Hostetler
Darin Bartram of Baker Hostetler serves as legal counsel and successfully shepherded our application to the IRS to secure our nonprofit status. We are grateful to Baker Hostetler for their pro-bono support.
Laura Gac

Laura Gac

Abod and Associates.
Our finances are managed by Laura Gac of Abod and Associates. Laura brings 35 years of experience in accounting and tax preparation, specializing in complex tax preparation. She has worked with a variety of firms across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors including Maryland-based organizations. We are grateful to Laura for her pro bono support.

Board of Directors

Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger

Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, MEd

President and CEO, Data Quality Campaign
Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger, MEd, is the President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit advocacy and policy organization centered around using educational data to drive policy decisions. Previously, she worked at the US Department of Education, where she led a team of researchers and policy analysts to provide expertise and support to staff in using best practices to drive policy decisions. She supported similar efforts at the district level both in the NYC Department of Education and in Baltimore City Public Schools. She resides in Baltimore City, MD.
Winsome Waite

Winsome Waite, PhD

Senior Program Director, Opportunity Institute
Winsome Waite, PhD, has 35 years of experience in K–12 education practice, research, and policy. She is a former Maryland teacher in early childhood, elementary, and secondary schools; an instructor at the graduate level; and a program leader in school district and education nonprofits. She is currently a Senior Program Director at the Opportunity Institute. She resided in Charles County, MD, where she has strong ties and remains active in the community.
Susan Fothergill

Sue Fothergill

National Deputy Mobilization Director, RepresentUs
Senior Fellow, AttendanceWorks
Sue Fothergill, is the National Deputy Mobilization Director for RepresentUs and a Senior Fellow at AttendanceWorks where she previously served as the Director of Strategic Programming. She has partnered with community members, government actors, business leaders, educators, families, and young people around the country to create and implement innovative solutions to entrenched problems. She resides in Baltimore City, MD.
Ellen O’Neill

Ellen O'Neill, MM

Executive Director, Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center
Ellen O'Neill, MM, is the executive director of the Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center, offering IMSLEC-accredited, IDA-endorsed, evidence-based, multisensory techniques in language skills. As the parent of a dyslexic child, Ms. O'Neill is passionate about delivering high-quality education services to children with learning disabilities. She resides in Prince George’s County, MD.
Lisa Blottenberger

Lisa Blottenberger, MEd

Founder, Boundless Expectations
Lisa Blottenberger, MEd is the founder of Boundless Expectations, providing educational services to children and their families in Southern Maryland. These services include informal diagnostic assessments, consultation, advocacy, and therapy-level tutoring to students with learning challenges. She resides in St. Mary’s County, MD.

Staff

Trish Brennan-Gac

Trish Brennan-Gac, JD

Executive Director
Trish Brennan-Gac, JD, Executive Director. Trish has over 30 years of experience in helping organizations execute on their mission. She is passionate about harnessing the power of data and research to drive decision making that informs both policy development and implementation at the local level. As a junior in high school, her daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia and she is committed to improving reading instruction and support in Maryland so that every child is taught to become a fluent reader in school. She resides in Montgomery County, MD.
Cary Cuiccio

Cary Cuiccio, MSOD

Deputy Director
Cary has 25 years of experience implementing improvement reforms in urban school districts and state education systems, coaching, coordinating technical assistance, and facilitating systems change. She has convened Communities of Practice for state education departments and public university administrators. She resides in Frederick County, MD.
Kate Gerry

Kate Stewart-Gerry

Project Manager
Kate worked at a large education research organization where she supported complex projects working with school districts across the country. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who supported English language and literacy projects during service in Morocco. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in other languages including Moroccan Arabic. She resides in Prince George’s County, MD.

Join Us!

Maryland READS is actively recruiting members for our board of directors, strategic advisor committee, and expert advisor committee as well as partner organizations to join our coalition. Please contact us if you have questions or would like to learn about opportunities to be engaged.

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