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.
Max Tabb, a 2015 graduate of Lincoln Park High School, started working for Cluster in 2019. He attended Jackson State University in Mississippi as a vocal performance student. Max is taking online classes with the Berklee School of Music and aims for a career in music technology as well as music performance.
Reading Specialist (Tuesday)
Joan is a former Cluster volunteer. She has taught in the Chicago Diocese for 15 years as a Montessori, preschool, and 1st-grade teacher. She also worked as a K-8 reading and math interventionist through Catapult Learning. Joan has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Purdue University, a master's degree as a reading specialist from Concordia University, Montessori certification from North American Montessori Center, and an LBS1 Special Education certification from Lewis University.
Reading Specialist (Thursday)
Bernadette is a veteran teacher now specializing in helping students with reading issues in the Chicago Public Schools through the nonprofit organization Reading in Motion. Bernadette has a bachelor's degree in history from Boston College and a master of education degree in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University.
Program Coordinator, Project Next Step
Erin was a volunteer at Cluster for more than two years before she joined the staff as the program coordinator for Cluster's Project Next Step program. Project Next Step is aimed at those in high school as they look to the future. Students will get help as they think about both colleges and careers. Erin has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
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.