Our Team

Jessica Garrison

Dr. Jessica Garrison’s passion is supporting the literacy development of young learners by providing high-quality learning experiences for teachers. Her background as both a teacher and administrator in early childhood and elementary settings, along with her doctoral study in reading interventions for primary and elementary grades, helped Dr. Garrison develop a systematic, research-based approach to Balanced Literacy that is practical and gets results.

Dr. Garrison has worked with teachers from across the nation helping them become effective classroom leaders. Along with developing a comprehensive knowledge base of effective reading instruction and intervention strategies, she has been part of the Character Education Leadership Academy and Technology Leadership Academy.

Ashley Clarke

Ashley attended Truman State University and earned a master’s degree in elementary education and a second master’s degree in TESOL. She enjoyed spending several years teaching and living in London, England. Ashley has extensive experience with teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Brooke LinnemanIMG_1327

Brooke is an experienced educator with over 12 years experience in elementary classrooms. She has a degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education, and is certified in special reading. Brooke has extensive knowledge of implementing balanced literacy to enhance learning and differentiate instruction. She enjoys working with other educators to brainstorm and develop ways to meet the needs of every child.

Chrissie Messina

Chrissie brings twelve years of classroom and counseling experience to The Literacy Link team.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education and a master’s degree in school counseling (K-12).  Building relationships has always been the center of her work both in the elementary classroom and at the high school counseling level.  Chrissie is excited to work with teachers to build a positive, productive classroom environment.

Christi Branson

In addition to consulting with The Literacy Link, Christi teaches writing courses at Lindenwood University and Maryville University. She holds a master’s degree in TESOL. Christi has targeted training and practice in culturally responsive teaching and learning, assessment techniques, cooperative learning strategies, and differentiated instruction. Christi’s focus is studying and implementing best practices for balanced literacy and writer’s workshop.

Christy St. Pierre

Christy has extensive experience teaching in the elementary education with over 20 years in the classroom. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Christy’s professional focus has been on building relationships and leadership skills, as well as teaching kids to be independent and take ownership in their own learning by goal setting and data tracking.

Kate Lindvall

Kate has earned a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Special Reading K-12. Her professional training includes Kagan strategies, adaptive school strategies, guided math, reading and writing workshop, 3 Act Math Tasks with Graham Fletcher, The Leader in Me, youth mental health (trained/certified), and Evaluate. She has held various leadership roles including department head, district reading and writing model classroom, and curriculum writing (ELA and math).

Heather Haan

Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education. Her certifications include early childhood education and reading K-12. She has experience teaching kindergarten and first grade, as well as working as a literacy coach. As a literacy consultant, Heather strives to support and collaborate with teachers as they implement best practices in balanced literacy


Melinda McDonald

Melinda has a bachelor’s degree in  elementary education as well as a master’s degree in educational counseling. She has also studied beyond her master’s in the areas of educational leadership and school administration. Melinda’s focus with The Literacy Link is studying and implementing best practices for balanced literacy. She collaborates with teachers so that each educator feels confident in their abilities to teach effectively, giving students the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Sara Pattersonbio pic

Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education. Her certifications include special reading K-12. She has 11 years experience teaching second and third grade. Sara has a passion for urban education and teaching and learning in diverse environments. As a consultant, Sara seeks to support and partner with teachers as they work to reach the needs of diverse learners.

Sarah Fetter

Sarah has earned degrees or certifications in early childhood education, elementary education, English education, and school counseling. She has experience in the classroom at many levels including early childhood and elementary as well as English instruction at the middle and secondary levels. Sarah’s areas of expertise include Fundations and writer’s workshop.