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Meet Our Staff

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Owner, Director

Marsha Wesley

Marsha is the owner of Reading Friends Keller and knows firsthand how important it is for children to develop a strong foundation and love for learning at a young age. After her two youngest children attended preschool at Reading Friends in Fort Worth, she and her husband, Lyn, were amazed at how well prepared their children were academically and developmentally. Marsha was so impressed with the program that she jumped at the opportunity to open her own Reading Friends location when the owner, Nancy Spencer, decided to franchise her business. She opened the doors to her first Reading Friends in 2002 in Colleyville, and opened the Keller location in 2008. Marsha graduated from Texas Tech University with a BBA in Marketing and spent most of her career in yellow page sales and publishing. She and Lyn have been married over 25 years and have four children, three children-in-law, and eight grandchildren. 

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K1 Kindergarten Teacher

Mallory Pruneau

Mallory’s childhood dream was to become a teacher.  She graduated from Wittenberg University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and licenses in Early Childhood and Special Education K-12. Mallory completed her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. She also has graduate certificates in Autism and Educational Diagnostician. Mallory has experience teaching special education to students in K-7th grade with learning disabilities, Autism, and behavior disorders. She is trained to use the Multi-sensory Teaching Approach (MTA) for students with dyslexia.  Mallory and her husband, Michael, live in Keller ISD with their three sons, Patrick, Tyler, and Luke, all of whom have attended Reading Friends! They also have a goldendoodle named Copper. 

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Pre-K Language Teacher

Maci James

Maci James is our Pre-K Language teacher. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Oklahoma State and then obtained her teaching license in Oklahoma. She worked as a preschool teacher before she had children and her family moved back to Texas. Her children, Graham and Maggie, have both attended Reading Friends since they were 2, and Maci was a longterm substitute for the school before she joined the staff.  Maci and her family live in Keller with their dog, Cooper.

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Carrie Wood

Developmental Teacher

Carrie teaches our older Developmental class. Carrie joined the Reading Friends family in 2003. She has an Associate’s degree and a long background in Child Development for preschool-aged children. She has been teaching at Reading Friends for many years and shows great love for all the children she teaches. Carrie enjoys gardening, traveling with her husband, Tim, and spending time with their 3 children.

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Jacqueline Malatesta

Primary Teacher

Jacqueline has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Speech and Hearing from The University of Arizona and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Pace University. Jacqueline began her teaching career in a Kindergarten and First grade co-taught classroom in Chappaqua, NY. She and her husband Giovanni moved to Connecticut where she continued working as an educator with Pre-school and Kindergarten children. Jacqueline also began tutorial services specializing in reading and writing development with early elementary children. She and her family moved to Southlake in 2011. Her first son Mitchell began attending Reading Friends in the Primary class with Ms. Yayi and then Pre-K with Ms.Laurie. Her son, Christian, is following his big brother’s footsteps attending Reading Friends as well. Jacqueline and her family are now living in Argyle with their beloved ragdoll cat Leia. 

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Megan Svajda

MWF Developmental Teacher

Megan has a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Hardin-Simmons and still occasionally works in this capacity. She spent years as a nanny and several of the children that she nannied are Reading Friends alumni. She jumped at the opportunity to join this team and also be able to send her daughter, Phoebe to school. She loves to play, is always singing, and usually can be found with her nose in a book. She lives in Grapevine with her husband, Ian, daughter, Phoebe, and their beloved dog, Chewy.

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Christy Favier

Developmental Teacher Aide

BIO COMING SOON!

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Mackensie Chaffin, CALT

Director

As Marsha’s middle daughter, Mackensie has been part of the Reading Friends family since its beginning, but returned to work in 2017 after her family moved back to Texas. Mackensie serves as the Director and helps Marsha run the office. Mackensie is a Certified Academic Language Therapist with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Child Development from TCU. She worked at Reading Friends during her time at TCU and then at the Read Write Center in Oklahoma City, where she taught dyslexic students to read. She tutors a limited number of students after school hours. Mackensie and her husband, Spencer, live in Grapevine with their 3 children: Lawrence, Annabelle, and Susanna.

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Melissa Butler

Pre-K Art and Discovery Teacher

Melissa teaches Pre-K Art and Discovery. Melissa joined the Reading Friends family in 2012, after working at Fidelity for 10 years. She has a BBA in Finance from UTA. Melissa has a love for art, finding random animals, and instilling a love for the natural world with the students. Melissa and Blake have two children, three dogs, and a fish. 

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Kim Owens

Pre-K Math and Gross Motor Teacher

Kim teaches our Pre-K Math and Gross Motor. She first joined Reading Friends several years back as a substitute teacher. When a position opened on our Pre-K team in 2020, she was ready for the opportunity to join our staff full-time. Kim is known to tend to any scrapes, bumps, bruises, or wiggly teeth here at school. Kim and her husband have two daughters (both of whom frequently volunteer at our summer camps) and a son. Kim is a proud military wife, but is happy to have set down roots here in Keller after her husband's career with the U.S. Navy.

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Yayi Polanco

Primary Math/Art Teacher 

Primary 5-Day

Yayi teaches in our Primary program. Yayi joined the Reading Friends family in 2008 after teaching in KISD and BET home groups. She also co-directed at Spanish School House for a year. Yayi has a BA in Elementary Education with certificates in Spanish and early childhood education. She is one of eight children in her family. Yayi and her husband have been married for over 25 years and have five children and one grandchild. She loves spending time with her family and friends enjoys the outdoors, going to the gym, listening to music, and sewing for fun.

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Adriana Cesta-Tapia

Developmental Teacher

Office/Aide

After visiting several preschools and day cares in the Keller and Southlake area for their kids, Adriana and her husband decided that the best option was Reading Friends of Keller. Adriana joined the Reading Friends Family in 2014 when a position opened up, and she jumped at the opportunity to work here. Adriana has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from a prestigious university in Mexico. In 2002, she and her husband, Pablo, moved to the United States to pursue new opportunities. She obtained a Master's degree in Administration from the University of Philadelphia in 2006. Adriana and her husband have a son and a daughter. She loves spending time with her family and participating in her children’s activities.

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Natalie Sartell

Developmental Aide

Natalie is a Developmental teacher in the older 2's class with Ms. Carrie. As Marsha's oldest daughter, she has been a part of the Reading Friends family in different capacities over the years. She is happy to be here to teach and love on the students again. Natalie, and her husband Ryan, live in Keller with their two children, Ben and Emma.

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Hasnaa Zemmouj

Developmental Aide

Hasnaa moved to Keller, Texas from Morocco in 2005 to join her husband. In 2009, they started looking for a preschool for their oldest daughter. They learned of Reading Friends through a friend who was one of the Pre-K teachers at the time. They visited the school, loved it, and enrolled their daughter that year, and their youngest followed her sister's steps the following year. Reading Friends was more than a preschool, it felt like a family. So, when Hasnaa learned that Reading Friends had an opening for a substitute teacher position in December 2022, she was happy to join their team. She loves working with kids, spending time with them, playing a part in their learning, and watching as their growth and confidence develop.  When Hasnaa is not working, you will find her driving her two daughters to and from Keller High School band events and volunteering with the band. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks at the park, reading, and traveling with her family.

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