Interview with Shari Howard-Powell, Teacher and Team Read Site Coordinator at Thurgood Marshall Elementary

What do you enjoy most about being a Site Coordinator for Team Read?

Team Read is great! Our kids need this program. I love the enthusiasm of the students and the determination of the high school students.  Everyone is excited to come. I like making sure the program runs smoothly based on my standards and the standards of Team Read.

What is most helpful for your students in Team Read?

The one-on-one attention from a reading coach is very important. Students have a whole hour, every session, to read and do word work. In a classroom, they have to share their teacher with other students. I like the consistency and the routine of Team Read. The students always know what to expect when they arrive.

When students are in Team Read, reading comprehension and fluency move forward faster. The students want to work with their tutors.

What is it like stepping into this role as a new site coordinator?

I was surprised at how well-trained the tutors are. I didn’t have to do any training with them. The materials are very well organized too. It’s a self-sustaining program, I just help to manage it.

Your entire family is committed to education in Seattle!

Yes (laughs), my brother Ted is the principal at Garfield High School. My sister is a teacher at South Shore. My father was a teacher at Ballard High School, Bailey Gatzert Elementary and Cleveland High School. My mother was a teacher at Orca K-8 before it was called Orca. She also taught at Emerson. My grandfather was a principal, and my grandmother was a teacher.

We were encouraged as kids to get into education. When other kids came to visit, I’d say, “Let’s play school!”  I loved playing school; I thought it was the best. My dad always said, “You were put on Earth to help others, to educate others.” It was instilled in us from a very young age.