MEET OUR TEAM
DONNA LOWRY, MD.
President & CEO
Three things top my list of why I work for Ready For School…children, families, and the community. I love kids, I admire families who are doing everything they can to support their children, and I’m committed to being a part of a community that is working to help all our community’s children thrive. In my role, I work to remove barriers for families to support their children’s readiness for kindergarten and life.
The most exciting part of my work so far has been learning about the amazing efforts that have taken place. As well as analyzing the need, and defining the reality of opportunities/resources before us as we dream big! It has been exhilarating and humbling to listen to all the community: parents, healthcare providers, educators, faith community leaders, employers, community leaders and to strategize about how we can come together and create a community of readiness where all children thrive and meet their full unique potential.
When I am not working I can be found outside. I love all things outdoors - paddle boarding, hiking, biking, yoga on the beach. I love being outdoors most when I’m hanging out with my family and friends. If friends are kindergarten age and younger, even better!
Claim to Fame
I once did a cartwheel on the Badger ferry while crossing Lake Michigan!
Senior Development Officer
Bill Badran is an unstoppable spark who believes the key to building a bright future is our children. He spent two decades developing ways to be a positive motivator for others' growth. The Senior Development Officer believes in creating a better community through valued relationships and meaningful connections.
Bill is best known for his innovations and leadership under BandA Tech Solutions, an IT and Digital Marketing Management firm modeled to serve for "Impact Organizations," such as Ready for School. In this role, he possessed a reputation as a solutions innovator and cyber security instructor. This allows him to be a catalyst of connections for both local businesses and West Michigan communities.
Claim to Fame:
I'm a Joey Fatone doppelganger!
Director of Ops & Partnerships
I work for Ready for School to help my community continue to thrive and continue to thrive by helping children and families be ready for their educational careers. I am inspired by my community and how the people in this community are inspired to continue to make the area a fantastic place to live. In my role, I work to build up unique connections through the community to help families make a successful transition into kindergarten.The most exciting part of my job so far has been being able to be part of some very cutting-edge work and being able to be very creative.
When I am not working I can be found kicking it with friends and family on grand adventures.
Claim to Fame
Defying death on many different adventures with my husband.
Director of Early Learning
My passion is cultivating a holistic approach to early learning. In my role, I’m blessed to help organize the collaborative effort that brings parents, schools, and our community together around the same mission to create pathways for children to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. First impressions can have a lasting impact, so seeing children enter school enthusiastic and ready makes our endeavor to maintain and grow our high-quality organization worth the effort.
When I am not working I can be found in the yard, playing with our four children and our bounding golden retrievers, Dune and Tulip. My husband and I love taking our family on bike rides, out for ice cream, and making sand creations at the lakefront.
Claim to Fame
An Indiana girl, I am a fourth-generation Purdue University legacy. My great grandfather, also named Jesse, graduated exactly 100 years before me!
Director of RORWM
It brings me great joy and fulfillment to be part of an organization whose mission and vision focus on walking alongside families and children in this community. Ready for School's approach to early childhood development and commitment to children reaching their fullest potential is unique and inspiring. I love that each of us is empowered to advocate for the families we partner with; I am dedicated to ensuring our community and its youngest generation flourish. In my role, I work with the medical community to help integrate reading into pediatric practices, advise families about the importance of reading with their children, and share books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development. When I am not working, I can be found spending time with my husband, daughters, family, and friends...playing games, boating, hiking, and working out are all more fun when shared with others!
Claim to Fame
I spent a few summers at the base of Mission Mountains, changing irrigation pipes in exchange for room and board.
Program Specialist of Reach Out and Read West Michigan
Working with children has always been the driving force to fulfillment for me. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good conversation with a toddler? My career began as a pediatric nurse and continued as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Working with ill or injured children and their families in their most vulnerable moments provided life-changing experiences that will be with me forever. In 2019, my own life circumstances shifted my long-time goal of working with children and families to working for children and families. Each child is born with great potential, BIG potential. It is up to us to foster the path for each child to reach their unique potential in every aspect. I am incredibly privileged to continue my journey beside individuals who have a wide array of backgrounds and stories, yet the same drive to improve the future of our communities through our children.
When I am not working I can be found enjoying the chaos of life with my husband, our 4 children, and our 3 dogs. We love to embrace the seasons of our beautiful state by boating, beaching, downhill skiing, and enjoying time with friends and family. We love to travel with Costa Rica being our favorite destination to date.
Claim to Fame
Everyone has made a decision during the pandemic that they may not have otherwise made. Mine was single-handedly allowing our son to adopt a bearded dragon. I have never been a reptile person, but Milo has grown on me!
Community Impact Manager
Amanda is the glue that holds the RFS team together! Amanda's passion is the driving force of a "well-oiled machine". Nancy Rogers once told her son, Fred, 'Always look for the helpers. You will always find someone helping.' Amanda is exactly that. A helper to the team and the Kids Ready for School serves. With her extensive background in family advocacy with Head Start, Amanda brings talent and innovation to another level.
Amanda's drive for what she loves to do is fueled by her two kids and husband. Their time is spent enjoying nature walks and being outdoors.
Claim to Fame
I can trouble shoot with furry!