The Reading League Washington, DC

Our mission is to build a community of practice to advance the use of evidence-based reading practices to improve reading outcomes for all students in Washington, D.C.

Meet Our Team

Mary Clayman
Mary ClaymanPresident
Mary is a reading specialist in DCPS. She trained at the Dean Hope Center for Psychological and Educational Services at Columbia University in New York City and has been a reading teacher in DC for over 15 years. Mary founded the DC Reading Clinic in 2017. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Dori Klar
Dori KlarVice President
Dori is passionate about improving literacy outcomes for students and supporting teachers in their work. She supported teachers and leaders in DCPS with literacy assessment and data analysis for 7 years as an embedded literacy coach through Amplify Education, and supported the DC Reading Clinic in its inaugural semester. She began her career as a classroom teacher in the upper elementary grades, and earned an M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She loves to quilt, bike, read, and travel.
Brandan Persaud
Brandan PersaudSecretary
Brandan Persaud serves as the Assistant Director of Student Support Services at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School at the middle school campus. In this capacity he oversees the implementation and evaluation of the special education program at the middle school. Prior to this, Brandan was a high school special education teacher on the north-west side of Chicago. Brandan’s passion lies in bridging the research to practice gap in an effort to increase educational equity. Brandan is currently pursuing his doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership with a concentration on Early Literacy Intervention. His research areas include: culturally responsive teaching, intersectionality, antiracist practice, and teacher mindset.
Vaani Gupta
Vaani GuptaTreasurer & Co-chair, Research & Development Committee
Vaani is originally from Florida, but has lived in DC for over 15 years. She spent 15 years working for DCPS as both an elementary teacher and then a K-2 Literacy coach. Vaani currently works at DC’s Office of the State Superintendent (OSSE) as the literacy specialist. In this role Vaani develops and provides research aligned professional development to teachers across the public and charter schools of DC. Vaani has been passionate about early literacy for the past 5 years, when she joined a LETRS cohort and was shocked at how misaligned reading instruction was to the research. Since then, Vaani has been an advocate for evidence-based literacy practices, especially for our youngest learners. Vaani loves reading, drinking coffee, being in the sun and spending time with her family and friends.
Miah Daughtery
Miah DaughteryBoard Member
Miah Daughtery, Ed.D, is the Vice President of Academic Advocacy, Literacy for HMH/NWEA. A career educator, Miah was a middle and high school reading and ELA teacher, a district literacy specialist, the state coordinator of literacy for TN, the director of literacy for Achieve and the ED of professional learning for Odell Education. She is currently on the Board of 826National, a nonprofit dedicated to writing and K-12 student publishing. Born and raised in Detroit, she has called D.C. home since 2016, loves MahoganyBooks, Politics and Prose and ambling around Rock Creek Park.
Claire Gunner
Claire GunnerCo-chair, Member Engagement Committee
Dr. Claire Gunner is passionate about promoting equity in education through quality, research-based literacy instruction for all students. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a master’s in education from the University of Maryland College Park, and recently completed her Ed.D. in Education Policy and Leadership at American University as part of the early literacy intervention leaders cohort. Her research focus is the intersection between student-driven, culturally responsive instruction and structured literacy needs-based small groups.
Dr. Gunner has over a decade of experience teaching early literacy as an interventionist and classroom teacher in Washington, D.C. and abroad. She is a former Goyen Literacy Fellow, DC Reading Clinic mentor teacher, and author of decodable texts for DC Public Schools through the DCPS Readers Next Door Project. Currently, she is managing director of a private structured literacy tutoring practice she co-founded in Washington D.C., Reading Ready DMV. She also serves as a University Coach at American University, supporting teachers in the MAT program through their student teaching experiences.
Laura Kravis
Laura KravisBoard Member
Laura has taught in DC schools since 2004, most recently as the reading interventionist at Garrison Elementary School. She earned masters’ degrees from Bank Street College of Education and, most recently, from George Mason University in Literacy Leadership. Laura has also been lucky to serve as a mentor teacher at the DC Reading Clinic for the last several semesters, where she gets to work with teachers and students from around DCPS. In her free time, Laura loves reading (historical fiction, mysteries…really anything!), baking, coaching her kids’ sports teams, and traveling.
Francesca Smith
Francesca SmithBoard Member
Francesca Smith is an instructional coach and early literacy consultant based in Washington, D.C. Through nearly a decade of experience as a D.C. charter and public school teacher, she has developed expertise in foundational literacy, early childhood (PK-3), and multilingual learner instruction. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household in Texas, she is also passionate about dual language education and working towards equitable access to the gift of bilingual learning. Francesca recently earned her Ed.D. with a special focus in early literacy at American University.
Megan Tribble
Megan TribbleEvent Planning & Operations Committee
Megan Tribble is an Atlanta native who originally left the south to earn her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. As a primary grade teacher, she developed a passion for literacy and earned a both an M.S.Ed. in Reading Curriculum & Instruction and an English Learner certificate from UVA. She is currently an English Acquisition teacher In DCPS and previously taught in NYC and Fairfax County. Megan enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading. She is looking forward to the community of The Reading League!
Amy Vanden Boogart
Amy Vanden BoogartCo-chair, Research & Development Committee
Amy Vanden Boogart, Ed.D., is the Director of Curriculum and Product Development for Really Great Reading. She manages the development of print and online foundational reading skills curricula, tools, and assessments for beginning and struggling readers. Amy has taught graduate-level literacy courses at The George Washington University and enjoys working with the International Dyslexia Association.

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