We recently shared the news that our Executive Director, Melissa Pailthorp, has made the decision to step down from her role later this year. Melissa has been a transformational force for Team Read, and while we, as the Board of Directors, support her decision and have prepared for this transition, we will be sorry to see her go.

Melissa joined Team Read in 2018 and came into the role with passion, dedication, and heart for the readers and coaches in our program and has made a difference in countless lives.  She worked with our partners to address the challenges presented by the bell time changes, to ensure that readers could continue to get much-needed support and teens could continue to work as tutors.  When schools closed for the pandemic and the future of the program was so uncertain, Melissa and her team mobilized and pivoted to a virtual program, ensuring that students continued to receive high quality tutoring sessions during this crucial time.

Melissa has also been tirelessly committed to program growth. Under her leadership, our partnership with Seattle Public Schools flourished, our presence in the Highline School district grew, and we added programs in the Renton and Tukwila districts. Melissa is leaving the organization in a place of financial strength, with solid partnerships throughout the Puget Sound area. To accomplish all of this during a global pandemic is remarkable and Melissa’s work should be loudly applauded.

Over the past year and a half, Melissa has focused on building a team that is equipped to deliver quality programming and grow the organization. The team she has put in place is strong, works well together, and is made up of individuals who care deeply about Team Read’s mission and are skilled and experienced in their roles. We are confident that the Team Read staff will manage this transition with their trademark grace and grit.

Our search for our next leader is underway and we’ll be posting the job announcement early in April.  We see this as an exciting opportunity to bring new perspectives to our work. We’ll be working closely with an executive search firm as well as relying on the expertise of our board and staff to ensure that we find an Executive Director with the experience, skills, and passion that this organization deserves.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we welcome you to reach out any time with questions or concerns, and we hope you join us in wishing Melissa well and thanking her for her work over the last six years! You can read Melissa’s thoughts on her transition here.

With Gratitude,

Matt Hrdlicka, Team Read Board President

Ingrid Stegemoeller, Team Read Board Vice President