Full Time Staff

Joyce Anderson, Executive Director

Joyce is both a visionary and hands-on leader. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees all aspects of Wise Readers to Leaders, including operational, fiscal and governance management; fund development, strategic planning; staff supervision; partnership development; evaluation; and communications.

She has been instrumental in spearheading Wise Readers to Leaders’ growth. Throughout her professional career, Joyce has been involved with many nonprofit boards, fulfilling integral leadership roles on numerous committees ranging from financial oversight, strategic planning to board governance. She is honored to work alongside qualified, passionate staff and a mission driven, highly supportive board of directors at Wise Readers to Leaders.

Rabbi Ron Stern, Teen Advisor and Co-Founder

Rabbi Ron Stern has been serving Stephen Wise Temple for 17 years. He was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1990. In addition to serving as a pastoral, pulpit and educational rabbi of Stephen Wise he also directs the Center for Social Justice. Rabbi Stern is charged with the task of broadening and deepening the Social Justice mission of the congregation. He has expanded the reach of the congregation into several partnership organizations including: The Fulfillment Fund, Imagine LA and LA Voice. As a member of the LA Voice/PICO organizing network, Stephen Wise has become a major voice in the interfaith community working to achieve justice for all of Los Angeles’ citizens. Wise seeks to leverage our network of relationships with the Mayor, the City Council, the School Board and LAUSD board members to advance these vital causes.

Our commitment to strong public education leads us to establish of coalitions with Latino and Black communities in our city. By far, the most meaningful work that Wise has done in recent memory is to establish Wise Readers to Leaders. This represents one more step towards realizing the vision of establishing this congregation as a force for meaningful, progressive change in the city of Los Angeles.

Ally Coatney, Program Director

After completing her masters degree in educational administration from CSUN this past spring, Ally Coatney was thrilled to put her skills and knowledge to good use, joining Wise Readers to Leaders full-time as Program Director. For the past fifteen years, she taught science all over Los Angeles and most recently she was the upper-grade science teacher and STEAM committee leader at Wise School.

Ally has worked with Wise Readers to Leaders since 2018 in the summer program, both as an educational consultant and site coordinator. An avid reader, she shares an incredible passion for books and the power of literacy.

Amber Luallen, Teen Program Coordinator

Amber Luallen is very excited to be a part of the Wise Readers to Leaders team! She has a performance arts background and has been working with the youth since 2011. Her favorite past jobs include working at The Disneyland Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, and with The Imagination Machine where they encourage young writers by performing stories written by elementary school authors! Amber is excited to help scholars and their families have a positive and enriching experience with our programs.