Team Read Alumna: Renee Phelps

Job Title/Company: Social Studies Teacher, West Seattle High School

Reading Coach: Fall 2001-Spring 2005

Team Read Ambassador: Fall 2002-Spring 2005

I came to Team Read initially because I was a voracious reader and liked working with kids, but I stayed for the pride I felt in my students’ success, my growing leadership skills and the connections I made with other coaches and staff. Initially, I was so amazed by the level of responsibility that I was given as a coach: I had to help my student learn to read! Team Read was also a fantastic first job experience, and I was so proud of having a job at age 14 that I didn’t mind turning down other opportunities! I really felt like what I was doing was important and valued, which I learned again every year when I received my student’s updated reading levels. Other than working with my students, Ambassador meetings and speaking at fundraisers are some of my favorite memories. Those fundraisers were how I discovered that I liked writing and giving speeches.

It’s hard to put what being a Team Read tutor meant into words. I felt like I was a high school student with a secret identity: typical high school student by day and superhero reading tutor by afternoon! When I looked back after I graduated from college it was much easier to see that working with kids is where I was meant to be. Thanks to Team Read for helping me discover that!