“From Kindergarten through 3rd grade, a child learns to read, and thereafter, they read to learn.” -Ray Oglethorpe

Chairman of The Learning Alliance Board


Our Mission

To transform our community’s future and become a model for the nation by creating a culture in which 90% of our children read on grade level by the end of third grade.

Our Vision

For our children to become literate, compassionate, creative citizens who will improve our world.

Our Core Values


We believe that every child is one caring adult away from achieving their potential and that every adult understands they can make an impact.


We believe every child deserves a world-class education regardless of their circumstances.

Data Driven

We believe “one size fits no one” and that authentic and meaningful instruction, based on data, is the pathway to academic success.


We believe that schools can’t do it alone and that a community’s health and economic success requires investment in early education.


We believe that transformation is a process that develops a learning culture characterized by positive mindset, civility, and kindness. It requires leadership that believes and strives for continuous improvement and the ability to move from
breakdowns to breakthroughs.

Meet The TLA Team



CEO and Co-Founder
Barbara Hammond is one of the three original founders of The Learning Alliance. She has a B.A. in Economics from Williams College and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University. Barbara was a former consultant with Bain and Company in Boston and The Director of Strategic Planning for Shawmut Corporation in Boston. She now resides in Vero Beach, and is the mother of two boys. Prior to co-founding The Learning Alliance, she served as Chairman of the Board of the Mental Health Association in Vero Beach where she spent 10 years developing their strategic planning and fundraising activities.


Chief Academic Officer and Co-Founder
Elizabeth Woody-Remington is one of the three original founders of The Learning Alliance. She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Delaware and a Masters in Special Ed-Learning Disabilities from American University and is a former member of the Board of Directors for the International Dyslexia Association. She lives in Vero Beach, Florida, and is the mother of two boys who have struggled with LD issues.


COO and Director of Program Implementation
Liz Bahl has over 25 years of experience in a broad array of industries including bank marketing, public relations, financial software, and retail management. She joined The Learning Alliance in 2014 and has established leadership in all aspects of the organization, including fundraising, volunteer management, program design and implementation, data and documentation, and is currently the Chief Operating Officer. She holds a BA in Communications from Loyola University, New Orleans.



Arts Integration Specialist and Program Manager
Debbi Arseneaux is an Educational Consultant and Teaching Artist with The Learning Alliance. She has been a teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools and worked as a professional Theatre Director, Stage Manager, Producer and freelance Teaching Artist in the DC area for over 15 years. Specializing in arts integration, she believes in the power of the arts to reach and teach students of all ages.


Finance Administrator
Tricia Boyle joined The Learning Alliance as the Finance Administrator in November of 2015. Tricia has a B.S. in Finance from The University of Central Florida and is a Miami, Florida native who now resides in Vero Beach with her husband and three children.


Educational Consultant & SDIRC Liaison
Leslie Connelly is a certified educator in Elementary Education K-6 with a Master's in Educational Leadership. A team member of The Learning Alliance, she serves as an Educational Consultant and Liaison with the Indian River County School District. She is trained in Conscious Discipline, Wilson, Fundations, Backward Design, and many other research-based strategies. She is excited to be a part of the journey to reach our Moonshot Moment Goal of 90% of third graders reading on grade level.


Educational Consultant
Sue Curtis began working with The Learning Alliance during her career with the School District of Indian River County. Sue has a BS in Education from Edinboro University, and a BS in Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Her career includes 15 years as a classroom teacher, 10 in district support positions and 10 years as Director of Elementary Education. Sue has served TLA as an educational consultant since 2010. She is the mother of two and grandmother of five. Sue has served on the board of directors for United Way, Environmental Learning Center and American Cancer Society.


Director of Development
Texa joined The Learning Alliance as the Director of Development in June of 2024. Texa has a B.S. in International Relations from Florida International University. Originally from Mexico City, she began her career in hospitality in 2001 where she thrived in the luxury hospitality market. Thanks to her passion for connecting with people, she found her career in philanthropy and is now dedicated to the mission of The Learning Alliance. Texa and her husband live in Vero Beach with their two children and can usually be found at the beach enjoying the fishing and surfing.


Operations Support Coordinator
Megan has a BFA in Art History from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an MA in Art Education from the University of Florida. After living in New York and Los Angles, she moved to Vero Beach with her husband in 2012 to be closer to her grandmother. Formerly a 9-12th grade Art Educator in St Lucie County, Megan left public education to join The Learning Alliance in June of 2023 after recognizing a need for upstream early intervention in our students.


Extended Learning Manager
Jessica Huber joined the Learning Alliance as an Extended Learning Manager in July 2023. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education K-6. She has taught in the School District of Indian River County since 2014 and immediately began working with the Learning Alliance as an educator, coach, and coordinator in the afterschool Moonshot Academy Program. Jessica is thrilled to bring her expertise to the TLA Team in support of after school extended learning programs to reach the Moonshot Moment goal of 90% of 3rd graders reading on grade level.


Donor Relations Coordinator
Kristen Matteucci joined The Learning Alliance in August of 2019. She graduated from The University of Kansas with a B.A. in Psychology, and received her Master of Science degree in Learning and Cognition from Florida State University in 2021. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kristen joined her parents in Vero Beach after graduating college. She now resides with her husband, Andy, and cat, Tuukka (Go Bruins!). On her days off, Kristen can be found writing, attending Panthers (Go Panthers, too!) hockey games, or spending the day at Universal or Disney World.


Family Connection Specialist
Theresa Pickett is a native of Indian River County and Vero Beach High School graduate. She returned to Indian River County from Virginia to be closer to family and to raise her two children. Theresa started working in early childhood education in both childcare and elementary schools, as well as becoming a track and field coach at VBHS. She loves sports and spending time with her family, especially her six grandchildren. Theresa, still known in the community as “Coach Pickett,” loves to be out and about getting to know families throughout Indian River County, and can be found at The Moonshot School Connection Center at Vero Beach Elementary.


Family Connection Specialist
Yomaira Lagos comes to The Learning Alliance from the Health Department where she spent five years as a counselor for families in Indian River County. During this time, she helped to launch and facilitate many programs including a support initiative in the community. She enjoys counseling, educating, and empowering local families. She has four children and enjoys spending time in nature with her family as well as getting to know the local community and read, talk, play, sing, and create in both English and Spanish with Moonshot, who calls her “Tia Yomi.” Yomaira is based at the Fellsmere Connection Center.


Educational Consultant & SDIRC Liaison
Fran McDonough received her BS in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University and is a certified K-6 educator, with Clinical Educator training. She has a strong background in foundational literacy skills, and has received certification in many research-based programs. Having taught at the elementary level, her passion lies in providing rich integrated learning experiences for children and quality professional development for teachers. Fran resides in Vero Beach with her husband of 21 years, and two children ages 19, and 16.


Digital Media Specialist
Ericka Reardin is a creative storyteller with a focus in documentary-style filmmaking. She received her B.S. in Communications & Media Ministry from Southeastern University. In her free time, you can find Ericka with her husband Brandon, their dog Leia, and a good cup of coffee in hand!


Arts/Literacy Educator and Manager of the Moonshot Reading Rocket
Bridget Lyons has over 30 years of education experience, internationally and in the United States. She continues her teaching as an Arts/Literacy Educator and the Manager of the Moonshot Reading Rocket.


Director of Marketing and Community Outreach
Marie O'Brien joined The Learning Alliance in 2011, having spent the previous 20 years in internet marketing, advertising, and project management. She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University. She moved to Florida in 1991 and joined Redgate/America Online, where she managed large marketing projects such as the creation of the first online presences for Reebok's Olympic store and AAA. A veteran in the internet industry, Marie leads our new digital media projects and manages the Moonshot Moment Community Outreach Team.


Volunteer Coordinator
Pat Shaw joined The Learning Alliance in 2015. A third-generation native Floridian, born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in Elementary Education. Pat spent her first nine years teaching in Broward County, and relocated to Indian River County to continue her career in education. Pat's accolades include Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year, and was one of five finalists for Florida Teacher of the Year in 2003. In her current role, she trains, coaches, and supports our wonderful volunteers in any way possible. Pat lives in Vero with her fiance and her cats!


Lullaby Project Manager
Shanti Sanchez began her education career as an early childhood educator. She then taught music and led community arts programs in Indian River County before serving as school and community programs manager for the Vero Beach Museum of Art. She has returned to her early childhood and music roots to develop and grow the Lullaby Project, a project of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, in which new and expecting parents work with local teaching artists to write and sing personal lullabies for their babies. Shanti holds a Master’s degree in education and likes to read, talk, play, sing, and create every day.