Bridget Nolen, Owner

My career in education started sixteen years ago as a first grade teacher. I ultimately ended my time in the classroom in Tredyffrin-Easttown School District (Devon Elementary) to work as an adjunct professor and reading specialist at West Chester University. I also began to consult with a beloved non-profit called Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI), which I am fortunate to still be working with today.  In my time with CLI, I have worked as a Professional Developer and Manager of Content Development, designing and delivering professional development programs for teachers, coaches, and leaders. I always aspired to own my own business, committed to sharing what I know and believe about evidence-based practice in early literacy education. Thrive is a culmination of these beliefs and aspirations, and I am humbled to lead its journey. We've only just begun!

 

Born and raised in Havertown, I still live there with my children, Cole (7), Shea (5), and Liv (3.).   

Adrienne Henry Carroll, Director of Operations and Teacher

One of my favorite things to do is read!  I find that I can completely relax with a good book, go on an adventure or learn something about myself or others through literature.  I am grateful that I get to share my love of literacy with my students daily in a school setting.  I find that when my students find something they are interested in and have fun doing they realize how exciting reading and writing can be. I have spent the last eleven years teaching grades kindergarten to fifth and find that each age group brings its own unique positives to my life and I learn so much from my students.  I love what I do and I am so excited to continue spreading my love of literacy at Thrive! 

I earned my M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction and continued my post graduate work to obtain my reading specialist certification. Both have served my teaching and work with Thrive well!

I am originally from Northern New Jersey and now my husband and I live in Wayne.

 

Dawn Willette, Teacher and Parent Educator 

My professional background includes many years of working in Early Intervention prior to getting my M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology with a Certification in Elementary Guidance Counseling.  Since then I have had the privilege of working with children and families in different settings, and am currently employed as an Assistant Preschool Teacher and Parent Educator.

 

I live in Merion Station with my husband, twelve year old son and nine year old daughter. I am easily excited by children's books, literacy and the opportunity to read with young children. Thrive offers me the opportunity to put all of this into practice.

Stacy Collins, MS CCC-SLP

My career has spanned twenty years working as a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist with young children aged 0-12 through early intervention, center based therapeutic/educational settings and the Delaware County Library System where I coordinated an outreach program for 0-5 year olds. My love is early language and literacy development and helping families maximize their child's communicative power- through books, pictures, sign language and ultimately verbal speech!  I am certified in the Hanen Early Language Program out of Canada which provides resources and training for SLP’s to help parents facilitate speech even more communication through play, early literacy activities and singing/rhyming.  So, working at Thrive is allowing me to combine my passions and knowledge by leading the Get Set to Read class for young 3 year olds!

 

I am from Central Illinois but have lived and worked in Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1998.  Currently, I live in Havertown with my husband and two children ages 10 and 12 and love reading, biking, exploring hidden places and visiting the library as much as possible!

Jane Berna, Reading Specialist

Teaching and working with children has always been my passion.  I have worked with and taught children ages three to twelve for over 35 years.  I graduated with BS in Education from St. Joseph’s University and then received my MS in Reading and my PA Certification as a Reading Specialist in 2013. 


I enjoy working with children of all ages and strive to create a peaceful and comfortable environment so they are at ease.  I vary the lessons and include student interests in order to keep them engaged in instruction and provide some fun as well.  I truly believe all children can learn and hope they leave each session with a feeling of success and increased self-confidence. 


My husband and I moved from NE Philadelphia to Havertown almost 11 years ago.  Our son, who is 26, lives in S Philadelphia.   We also care for my 90 year old mother who resides in our home.  In my leisure time I enjoy biking and I am a member of Team Raudies Riders.  Our annual ride is the Bike MS - City to Shore event (Cherry Hill to Ocean City).  I also love to read and collect children’s books.  My favorite genre is historical fiction.
                                                               
                                                    

Eve Galvin, Teacher

My teaching career began in New York City where I completed a Masters Degree in early childhood education from Bank Street College of Education. I taught in private preschool, ages 2-5, before moving on to teach in the New York City public school system as a Kindergarten and first grade teacher. While in New York, I was trained as a reading specialist using the New Zealand based Reading Recovery program. Locally, I taught preschool for children diagnosed with developmental speech and language delays, and provided reading support for first graders at Friends' Central School. Currently, I am teaching at The Grayson School for gifted learners. I am particularly passionate about reading and  literacy, and am eager to share this excitement with my students. 

I live in Wynnewood with my husband and two teenage daughters, all of whom share my passion for reading and for great books.

                                                                              

Donna Hayden, Teacher

Donna Hayden’s first professional career (for twenty-five years) was a clinical psychologist who counseled children and their families.  During this time she also conducted psycho-educational testing.   In the 1990s she developed a music program and delivered it in her children’s elementary school.   Inspired by the classroom environment, she obtained her Masters degree in elementary education in 1999 and a second career commenced.  She was hired as a second grade teacher by the Unionville Chadds Ford school district where she taught second grade for nine years and gifted kindergarteners through fifth graders for five years.  She retired in 2013 but continues to substitute teach.

Kathleen O'Neill, Reading Specialist 

My journey to becoming a reading specialist started when I supported the reading development of my students who entered my classroom doors.  I was a classroom teacher for six years.  I earned my M. Ed in Reading and Reading specialist Certification in 2012 from West Chester University.  As a reading specialist, I provided reading support to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Helping children grow as readers and writers has always been my passion and I am excited to share this love at Thrive through authentic literature and fun! 

I live in West Chester with my husband and 3 year old twin daughters, who have quickly learned that books are wonderful ways to take us to magical places! 

My journey to becoming a reading specialist started when I supported the reading development of my students who entered my classroom doors.  I was a classroom teacher for six years.  I earned my M. Ed in Reading and Reading specialist Certification in 2012 from West Chester University.  As a reading specialist, I provided reading support to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Helping children grow as readers and writers has always been my passion and I am excited to share this love at Thrive through authentic literature and fun! 

I live in West Chester with my husband and 3 year old twin daughters, who have quickly learned that books are wonderful ways to take us to magical places! 

Alison Kotras, Teacher

I began my professional teaching career 14 years ago as reading intervention teacher in Wilmington DE, and my educator journey has taken me many wonderful places since then. I have worked as a classroom teacher, literacy coach and interventionist to name a few. I love any and all opportunities to work with students, teachers and of course books. I received my BS in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland and my M. Ed in Reading degree from Bowie State University in MD. I recently passed my Reading Specialist PRAXIS exam and am in the process of getting my reading specialist certification in PA.

I grew up in Delaware County and returned to Media 5 years ago to raise my family. I currently live in Media borough with my husband and 4 small book loving children Sam (7), Lucy(4), Grace & Rosie(1). We can often be found reading authors like Mo Willems and Todd Parr, and poems by Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky.

Elizabeth Carr, Reading Specialist 

As a classroom teacher with more than eight years of experience, I have had the opportunity to support many children on their path to literacy.  I earned a Master’s Degree in Reading with a Reading Specialist Certificate in 2017.  With this knowledge and my years of experience as a supportive, lighthearted, classroom teacher, I am able to meet students on their specific level and nurture them as they develop necessary skills and concepts to become successful students. 

I live in Phoenixville with my husband and our very active puppy, Betty, who enjoys listening to me read to her every now and then!

Colleen Carmody, Teacher

I am currently teaching third grade in North East Philadelphia.  It is great to see children love reading and being independent problem solvers! I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Saint Joseph’s University and am certified in both special ed and regular ed.  My experiences both in and out of the classroom have allowed me to meet students where they are and engage in a literacy focused classroom.

I am originally from Scranton, PA and currently live in Fairmount, Philadelphia. In my free time, I love reading books that challenge me both personally and professionally (and a good love story every once in a while!)

Dana Dubin, Teacher

My teaching career began last fall while completing my master’s program in education from
Cabrini University. I student taught with a fourth grade class at Merion Elementary School in
Lower Merion School District. Most recently, I have worked with emotional learning support
and autistic students in Tredyffrin/Easttown School District. This summer, I worked for the
district’s extended school year program as one of their fourth grade teachers.


I moved back to the Philadelphia area from New York City. In New York, I worked
for a mentoring program which focused on pairing students ages 7-18 with mentors around the
five boroughs of the city.


This upcoming school year, I will be working as a third grade teacher at Cook-Wissahickon
School in Philadelphia. A goal this year with my upcoming students is to pass on
my love for reading to them. Some of my favorite books are Amelia Bedelia, Lillian Hoban’s
“Frances Series,” and Mercer Mayer’s, “The Little Critter.”


I look forward to working with you and your child at Thrive!

 

We serve growing readers and writers out of various locations in and around the main line  and surrounding suburbs.

Get in touch at thriveliteracy@gmail.com to learn how you can Thrive with us! 484-402-READ (7323)