The teachers and staff at Reading Friends of Aledo are what makes our school different. Our teachers are loving, nurturing professionals who embrace each child and their individual learning style. We are pleased to present our team for the upcoming school year:
Diane is the owner of Reading Friends of Aledo. She holds a Business Degree in Management from Texas Wesleyan University, where she graduated with honors. Although her college years and beyond took her down the business path, Diane’s goal was to eventually come back to her first love of teaching children.
After 25 years in business, most recently as a Vice President at JPMorgan Chase, she and her husband Paul welcomed a new addition to the family. Rainey Taylor was born in 2006, and joined her sister Rachel, who is now 16 years old. It was this special event in Diane’s life that motivated her to make a life change. When Rachel graduated from Pre-K at the Reading Friends School in Fort Worth at age five, Diane knew that she wanted to be a part of the program.
With the emphasis on education in the Aledo area, Diane felt that the time was right to bring Reading Friends to Parker County. The school opened its doors in January 2008 and was expanded to offer a K-Bridge and Kindergarten program in 2009.
Diane is a supporting member of the Aledo AdvoCats, serves as the Co-Chair of the Aledo ISD School Health Advisory Committee, sits on the Board of Directors of the Aledo Education Foundation, serves on the Aledo ISD Project 2025 Team, and volunteers her time throughout the community. As the owner of Reading Friends, she is proud to be an Aledo ISD Community Partner and a member of the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce.
Diane is pleased to introduce her team of dynamic professionals for the upcoming school year:
Janet joined Reading Friends of Aledo during the 2011 school year as the Assistant Director. She graduated in 1990 from Texas Christian University with a BA in Education. Janet spent eight years with the Fort Worth ISD, teaching young children, before deciding to start a family of her own. Janet enjoyed raising her four children and volunteering at their schools for the next 12 years. When her youngest child went off to school, Janet decided that she needed to find something that would allow her to be with young children, yet be available for her own children at the end of her day. Reading Friends of Aledo was the perfect fit! Janet was promoted to Director of the Preschool in 2013 and welcomeed Sharon Gribble that same year as Assistant Director. Janet and her husband, Tom, have been married for 20 years and have four children.
Sharon graduated from Texas A&M with a Civil Engineering degree. She worked for Mobil Pipeline Company for two years before following her husband David around the country with the Marine Corps. Sharon first learned of Reading Friends of Aledo in 2007 when she was looking for an academic preschool for her daughter, Alyssa. Alyssa was in the fist Pre-K class that the school offered! After Alyssa graduated, Sharon’s younger son, Sean, was old enough to enroll and completed the program through K-Bridge!
Sharon and David have been married for 21 years and have four children; Morgan, Kyle, Alyssa, and Sean. She has been a stay at home mom for the past 18 years and is so excited to now be a part of something that meant so much to her as a parent.
Mimi is in charge of making things better! “Mimi” is the Mother of Diane Taylor, and is the school’s resident Grandma! When a child needs an extra hug or reassurance, Mimi is there to provide comfort. You will often see Mimi at the front door handing out “bubbles” (hand sanitizer), assisting in the restroom, and tending to boo-boos.
Mimi has been married for 60 years to “Papa” and has four children and nine grandchildren. She is an avid Texas Rangers fan and enjoys Bearcat Football and TCU football. There is a sign by the front door of the school that reads: “When all else fails, ask Mimi!”
Everyone loves Mimi and we are proud that she is a part of our school.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Laura graduated from TCU in 1991 with a B.S. in education. She received her certification in elementary education and special education. Laura taught Pre-K and Kindergarten for three-years at a private school in Joplin, Missouri, and has also taught the four-year old class at The Kinderplatz of Fine Arts in Fort Worth.
Upon moving to Aledo, Laura served as a substitute teacher at Stuard elementary in all grades and as a substitute at Reading Friends during the spring semester of 2008. Laura became the Lead Pre-K Language Teacher at Reading Friends in 2008. It was a natural choice to have Laura move into the Lead Kindergarten Teacher position for the 2009-2010 school year after seeing her natural ability to connect with the children.
Laura is married to Todd West and they reside in Aledo with their two girls. Their oldest daughter will be in 11th grade this year and their youngest daughter will be a 8th grader at Aledo Middle School. They spend the majority of their free time with their two horses as her daughters ride in the English discipline. Laura is excited to welcome the children this year as we launch our fourth year of this dynamic program!
We are excited to welcome back Christy for her fourth year as our Kindergarten Bridge Teacher! Christy has a degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina with a concentration on Psychology. Prior to moving to Aledo, Christy taught Kindergarten in Kernersville, North Carolina, where she implemented varied teaching strategies and techniques with much success. Since moving to Aledo, Christy served as a Kindergarten Tutor at Coder and McCall Elementary for two-years.
Christy was the perfect addition to our team when we launched this program in 2009 as she has proficiency in Guided Reading, Saxon Math; Write from the Beginning, and Technology Integration – all of which will be used in our new Kindergarten and K-Bridge program. Her classroom management style, and her ability to create unique lesson plans proved to be a valuable part of the center-based K-Bridge program.
Christy and her husband live in Aledo with their two boys and seven-year old daughter who is also a graduate of Reading Friends of Aledo!
Brandy graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Early Childhood Development. Upon graduating, Brandy worked as a Pre-K teacher and Kindergarten teacher for several years before starting her own family. Once her youngest child started school, she was ready to go back into the workforce as a preschool teacher in a class of four-year olds.
Brandy and her family moved to Aledo in 2009 and stay active in the community. Brandy married Scott Wert and has been happily married for 21 years. They have two children, Lacey and Carson, who attend Aledo schools.
After several years of being a stay-at-home mom, Brandy is very excited to begin the 2015 school year as the Lead Pre-K Language teacher with the children at Reading Friends of Aledo!
Pre-K Math and Art Teacher
Connie is in her seventh year at Reading Friends of Aledo. Like so many of our teachers, we got to know Connie when she would substitute teach for us during the 2008-2009 school year and then asked her to join our team permanently in 2009. Connie has extensive knowledge working with young children as she has been teaching preschool-age children for more than 20 years and is one of the most respected teachers in the community.
Connie has been married for 27 years and has four children: Brittanie, 26 and Briley, 24, both of whom are graduates of Dallas Baptist University; Bryce, 22, who is serving on a long-term Mission trip abroad, and Brant, 11, who is in 5th grade and is also a graduate of Reading Friends K-Bridge program! In addition to her numerous specialized training hours in Early Childhood Development, Connie also majored in Child Development at the University of North Texas.
Pre-K Math and Gross Motor
Pre-K Outside Teacher
Kelli grew up in Oklahoma City, OK, and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Oklahoma State University in 1990. She worked in Risk Management at American Airlines in Fort Worth, and then as Customer Service Manager for Pratt & Whitney, an airline engine parts repair facility in Grand Prairie. Once her first daughter arrived, she instantly knew that she wanted to be with her as much as possible. Kelli has been fortunate to be able to stay at home with her since she turned one, while she worked from home as a Property Manager and Payroll Administrator for her family’s businesses.
Kelli has three daughters who are the center of her world, Aubrey (12), Sydney (11), and Brooke (8). Her oldest two children are transitioning to McAnally Intermediate School this year, and
Brooke will attend third grade at Coder Elementary. Brooke attended Reading Friends of Aledo for three years, and when she was tested for kindergarten, Kelli was told, “She was more than ready!”
Kelli and her family have resided in Aledo for the past 9 years, and specifically moved here from Fort Worth because of the emphasis on education and the strong community. Prior to joining Reading Friends of Aledo, Kelli taught summer camps at First Baptist Church Willow Park for two summers, and was a teacher in the toddler class.
After spending a year as the Primary substitute teacher at Reading Friends of Aledo, Kelli joined Reading Friends of Aledo as a Primary Gross Motor teacher in 2014 and will return in 2015 as a Pre-K Outside teacher. Kelli loves children of all ages and is thrilled to be able to work with the same wonderful teachers who taught her own daughter!
Lead K-Prep Teacher
Primary Math and Art Teacher
As a longtime resident of Ft. Worth and having served as a preschool teacher for more then 14 years, Michelle was very familiar with the Reading Friends’ program and it’s fantastic curriculum. When Reading Friends of Aledo announced it was opening in 2008 she knew that was the perfect preschool for her daughter. Hudson, who is now 10, was the very first student enrolled at Reading Friends of Aledo for that inaugural year! Ms. Michelle’s youngest daughter, Henley, is a Kindergarten student at Reading Friends!
In addition to teaching preschool for 14 years, Ms. Michelle also served as Assistant Director at St Francis Episcopal School and has volunteered many hours at Vandagriff Elementary in Aledo. Friends of Michelle call her the “kid whisperer” for her calm demeanor, soothing voice, and special ability with children! Ms. Michelle has numerous specialized training hours in Early Childhood Development and is passionate about teaching young children. She and her husband Dolan have been married for twelve years.
Kelley graduated from Texas Tech University with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology in 1997. After college, Kelley worked for ten years as a Sales Manager for a company in Dallas. Kelley always had a love for children and knew that they would always be a part of her life one way or another and hoped one day that she would find a way to work with children. Kelley volunteered with multiple children’s organizations and was thrilled to find out in 2006 she would be having twins.
Kelley has been married to Shelton for 12 years and has twin 8-year-old boys, Matthew and Jackson. They moved to Aledo in 2006 and after staying home and raising her boys for 7 years she knew working with children was no doubt what she wanted to do.
After substituting with the Developmental and Primary classes throughout the 2011-2012 school year and serving as one of the Reading Friends summer camp teachers, Kelley knew that the Reading Friends staff and the children and their families were the perfect fit for her. “Being a part of such a special time in these children’s life is an honor and I can’t wait to watch as the children learn, grow and explore”.
Becky received her Elementary Education degree with an Early Childhood Endorsement from Chadron State College in Nebraska. She was lucky enough to stay-at-home with her children and enjoyed her time substitute teaching at the elementary level. Becky has served two long-term substitute jobs in kindergarten classes where she implemented lesson plans while other teachers were out on leave. During the 2013-2014 school year, Becky worked as a full -time Para-educator in a 4th grade classroom.
Becky and her husband, Bruno, son Sage (11) and daughter, Gabby (10) moved to Aledo in May 2014, from Nebraska and quickly become a part of the Aledo community!
Becky enjoys watching Nebraska Corn Husker football, riding 4 wheelers with her family, and cooking and baking. She is excited to return to Reading Friends of Aledo for her second year serving our youngest students in the Developmental Classes!