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Meet the Team




Brien Roberts has been a middle school teacher for 20 years.  He has experience in all subjects but has a specialty in math and science.  He went to school at the University of Mary Washington and the University of Houston.  He has been a tutor for "Burst Into Books" since the summer of 2020.



Hello! My name is Katrina Helmuth and I have been with Burst into Books for almost a year. I love this company and I have been rewarded by seeing growth and results from the students I work with. I graduated with a bachelors in education. Also, I am certified to teach English as a second language and completed a program to conduct reading intervention. These certifications required case studies where I learned to fill gaps of foundational readers. I practiced these skills in Florida in a 1st grade classroom. I moved to Chicago where I taught 5th-6th grade in North Lawndale for two years. This year, I am teaching 4th grade in Lincoln Park. I will be the first to tell you I LOVE MY JOB. Burst into Books has given me the opportunity to work outside the classroom and build relationships with different families and children.



Courtney Tarver, a Chicago native and mother, has spent the last 7 years serving families across Chicago. During her 6 years at Noble she has served all of her time at Butler College Prep, most recently as 11th Grade Dean. Prior to being a dean, she was an Algebra instructor for 4 years and taught in an elementary school prior to Butler.  The past two years she has been a part of the Noble instructional hedgehog team providing professional development sessions regarding student investment. For the 2020-21 SY she has been inducted into the 3rd cohort of The Diverse Leaders Fellowship where she will be expanding her skill set as a leader. She also serves as a basketball coach at Butler earning 4 conference championships. 


Courtney has a BBA from Howard University in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. She is also currently completing her doctoral degree from DePaul University. Her research lies in examining the resources sports receive in low-income high school districts and its impact on students’ behavior. The focus is to show that resources and funding for sports programs are hugely disproportionate and that these factors may be associated with high detention, suspension, dropout rates, and low attendance. 

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