Kara Kalnitz has been working for Cluster since September 2009. Prior to serving as the Thursday Program Manager and now Executive Director, Kara was a volunteer tutor with Cluster for four years. She has a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Licensed Social Worker.
Reading Specialist (TU)
Reading Specialist (TH)
Tabitha is a Certified Reading Specialist and a 2nd grade teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system. She was a teacher in Cluster’s first-ever summer reading program.
Bernadette is a longtime teacher now specializing in helping students with reading issues in the Chicago Public Schools through the nonprofit Reading in Motion.
Sarah is a long-time volunteer in many fields who decided to make a switch from volunteer tutor to tutoring staff. While her own children were in elementary school, she aided teachers in the classroom, often helping struggling readers.
Cathy Lazuka joined Cluster in May of 2016. She is passionate about helping organizations grow and thrive to best fulfill their mission. In her professional and volunteer roles, Cathy has raised millions of dollars from all forms of philanthropy, designed and managed programs, recruited and trained board members and staff, led multi-year strategic planning efforts, and worked with diverse populations on a variety of community issues. Cathy holds her M.A. and B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sher Watts Spooner
Sher Watts Spooner has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years on one national weekly and three daily newspapers. Now a freelance writer and editor, Sher handles social media and marketing for Cluster. She also writes mysteries and a weekly political column for a national website, Daily Kos. Sher has a degree in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Joseph is a member of Pine Avenue United Church and has been working for Cluster for the past four years. He greets everyone at the door as they arrive for Tuesday tutoring. Joseph is responsible for ensuring that students and tutors safely arrive and leave after a night of tutoring.