Trent Haaker, our recently hired Seattle Project Coordinator, is the newest member of our team, taking the role Jeanette Eisenberg vacated when she stepped into the Program Director position. Trent is busy getting to know our program sites throughout Seattle but took a few minutes to share some thoughts about his journey to Team Read. We’re so glad to have you on board, Trent!
Team Read: Can you tell us a little bit about your educational and professional background and what brought you to Team Read?
Trent: I’m beyond excited to join Team Read and begin making an impact here in the Puget Sound area. I have spent most of my career in the educational sphere. After finishing my undergraduate degree at the University of Washington I spent several years working in early childhood education. Getting experience working with this age group and seeing their enthusiasm for learning take place on a daily basis inspired me to return to school and get a Master’s in Teaching, again at the UW. Through my coursework I taught in a 4th grade classroom in Seattle Public Schools and saw firsthand how students experiencing literacy challenges struggled accessing content across all subject areas. It showcased the importance of Team Read’s goal, addressing this issue in early grades through a direct positive intervention on student’s reading progress. I continued to substitute teach across all grade levels in SPS before getting this opportunity to contribute to my new position at Team Read!
Team Read: What parts of the job are you looking forward to the most?
Trent: As Seattle Project Coordinator, I am most looking forward to getting to operate in a plethora of sites across the district. Being able to be on the ground and see the organization in action and contribute on both a micro and macro level is a definite plus. Being able to utilize my classroom experience and continue to work in the communities I have been teaching in was what drew me to this position. I’m also looking forward to assisting with the teen coaches and helping them grow professionally and personally in what for many is their first work experience.
Team Read: Is there a book you would recommend to Team Read supporters?
Trent: So many books to choose from! For a fiction book I would highly recommend The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles, a novel on cultural clashes as a couple takes a trip through North Africa. For non-fiction, I’d select The Early Arrival of Dreams by Rosemary Mahoney, a memoir about a teacher exchange between Harvard and Hangzhou University in China.
Team Read: What are some things you like to do or are interested in outside of Team Read?
Outside of working hours I love to spend time with my two cats and I try to get outdoors as much as possible. During most of the year this means hiking across various trails in Washington; personal favorites of mine include Granite Lakes Trail and Old Commonwealth Trail. During the winter I try to get up skiing as much as possible, usually at Snoqualmie and occasionally Stevens Pass. At home I (attempt) to care for several plants and enjoy listening to 60s and 70s era records. I’m also a huge fan of movies, I try and get to the theater at least once or twice a week!
Team Read: Is there anything else you want our newsletter readers to know?
Just that I’m extremely excited and passionate about the goals and mission of Team Read and look forward to providing the best support I can for our Seattle sites and the communities we serve moving forward.