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Our Team 

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Mary Denison, PhD - Executive Director 

Mary Denison is a retired school psychologist. She has worked in that capacity with school-age children with learning and developmental problems for over 30 years. Mary initially taught Special Education for children with learning and behavioral challenges. After graduating with her doctorate in School Psychology she worked at Shaler Area School District and at PACE School. In 1995 she began working at The Day School at The Children's Institute. Mary worked for 22 years developing an expertise in working with children with autism and genetic and neurological disorders. After retiring from The Day School, Mary founded Reading Ready Pittsburgh to help build a love of reading in families of small children throughout the Pittsburgh area.  Mary has 3 children who are all grown. She is an avid reader and enjoys sharing her love of books with others. 


Megan Chips - Program Director

Megan is excited to be a part of the Reading Ready Pittsburgh team as Program Director. After graduating from Duquesne University as a psychology major, Megan quickly realized working with young children was her true calling. She received her Master’s degree from Carlow University in Elementary Education and for over twelve years worked in various early childhood programs. Megan holds Pennsylvania teaching certificates in both early childhood and elementary education. Prior to joining the RRP team, Megan worked for AIU Head Start for seven years as a teacher, supervisor and administrator.  Megan believes inspiring children with a desire for reading is key for them to succeed in early grades as it shapes and forms their attitudes through graduation and beyond.

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Kathy Koltas - Librarian

Kathy has been a Children’s Librarian in the Pittsburgh area for over 25 years.  Her passion for bringing books to children, especially those who may not have them in their homes, began as a volunteer with the former Beginning with Books early literacy organization. Through her work there, she saw how children need access to books in order to grow and develop into readers, leading to greater success in school. She returned to school to get her master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and has since worked in various public and school capacities while raising five children. Despite loving her work, Kathy had always wanted to get back to working with a nonprofit that focused on getting books into the hands of all children and served not only the children but the caregivers and teachers as well. She is committed to bringing high quality, inclusive literature into all homes so every child can experience the joy of reading she has always felt and to which she has devoted her life to sharing.

Beth Smeiles - Outreach Coordinator

Beth lives in the Mon Valley and believes that every child deserves to see themselves and their families represented in the pages of their books. Before coming to Reading Ready Pittsburgh, Beth completed her degree in Sociology, taught preschool, and holds certification to write and teach workshops for early childhood educators. Beth is passionate about building strong relationships with neighbors and listening well to the stories that we all carry inside of us. When she isn't lost in the adventures of another good book, Beth likes to make music with her violin and help flowers grow in her garden.

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