Beckie Basehore has been the Accounting Coordinator at CISPA since February 2016. She is originally from Fairfield, CT, but has lived in Central PA since 1998, and currently resides in Susquehanna Township with her husband, two orange tabbies, and a harrier. Becky states that even though she doesn’t directly interact with the students, she hopes her contribution to CISPA helps those who are out in the field doing the work. Interestingly, Beckie was a high school dropout herself and needed to be convinced to return to school and graduate; which she did a year later. Beckie feels it is important to the future of the students, and this country. Beckie is a gaming geek and enjoys playing all varieties of games, including online RPGs and wildly addictive games like Angry Birds or Candy Crush.
Acting Chief Operating Officer
After graduating from the University of Virginia, Mike began his work career with Procter and Gamble before entering the military where he served for 28 years in a variety of US Army command, logistics and training assignments in the states, Vietnam, Europe and the Middle East including obtaining a Masters’ Degree in Operations Research from Virginia Tech. After retiring from the Army, Mike began a nonprofit career initially as a consultant with the Communities In Schools National Office where he focused on strategic partnerships and career academy oversight and analysis. In 2000 Mike left CIS and moved to Massachusetts where he became the Director of Operations for TECH CORPS, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing technology volunteers into schools. He returned to the CIS National Office in 2005 working in field operations where he focused on supporting the mid-Atlantic and northeast states and affiliates. Mike later assumed the duties of Director of Education Initiatives where he managed the Diplomas Now initiative for CIS including direct oversight of the programs in Boston, New York, and Baton Rouge. Upon leaving CIS National in 2015, Mike began CIS consulting efforts with the Delaware and Pennsylvania state offices and now serves with CIS of Pennsylvania as Acting Chief Operating Officer. Mike lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Susie, their three dogs, and multiple visiting grandchildren.
Jessica Knapp has more than 8 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, including time in a variety of program management and fund development roles. Jessica has both her B.A. and M.A. in International Studies and is currently working on her Doctor of Public Administration degree from West Chester University. She lives in Mechanicsburg with her husband, son, and two rescue dogs.
External Relations Manager
Meg Connolly is the External Relations Manager at Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania. Meg graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Humanities in Communications from Penn State. With a strong passion for helping others, an enthusiastic work ethic, and a keen awareness of the importance of relationships, Meg was an active leader in her college community. She held multiple leadership positions such as the President and Co-founder of the Penn State Harrisburg Public Relations Club, the Public Relations Executive Member for the National Society of Leadership and Success, an on-campus lifeguard, and a swim instructor for local youth. Meg has won two awards including the Invisible Leader Award and the Dekle Family Award for Excellence in the Humanities. In her free time, Meg enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.
Chris joined the CISPA team in August 2018 as the Social Media and Communications intern. He graduated in 2016 with his Bachelor’s in Communications at Penn State and is currently pursuing his Master’s in the same field and at the same campus. He has always had a passion for using his skills as a graphic designer, photographer, and strategist to make the world a better place. Over the past few years, he has worked in political communications and doing public relations and graphic design work for the indepdent publishing house The Paragon Press. Chris is pleased to be joining Communities in Schools Pennsylvania to help further the organization’s goals and be a part of improving outcomes for Pennsylvania students. He also works part-time for a major technology retailer. As a father of three zany kids, he has a very personal stake in the success of CISPA and the quality of Pennsylvania schools. In his free time, he enjoys going with his fianceé to see every movie Marvel Studios pushes out, exploring remote places via drone photography and videography, and rewatching excellent television like Parks and Recreation and How I Met Your Mother.
Senior Director of Programs and Embedded Affiliates
Shelly Grim, LSW
Shelly Grim, LSW is Director of Programs and Field Operations for Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania since March of 2016. Shelly is from Allentown, PA and attended Cedar Crest College; earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She began her career with KidsPeace National Centers and worked throughout many of their programs including the Psychiatric Hospital and Residential Admissions. Shelly went back to school through Marywood University and acquired a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Administration and later her Social Work License. Shelly took the opportunity to join Communities In Schools of the Lehigh Valley in September of 2005. Shelly states that one of the reasons she loves working for Communities In Schools is due to the 1:1 relationships staff are able to form with students. It’s that 1:1 relationship that is the cornerstone to a student succeeding. Shelly’s hobbies include her interest in classic cars and taking part in classic car shows.
Social Media and Communications Intern
Steven joined the CISPA team in May of 2019 as the Social Media and Communications intern following his junior year at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Currently, he is a rising senior at Bloomsburg University finishing a degree in Organizational Communication Studies and Political Science. He believes that interning with CISPA is an excellent opportunity to use his communication skills and passion for mentorship to help spread a positive message to communities both surrounding and including his hometown of Harrisburg. He thoroughly enjoys bridging his knowledge between interpersonal and public communication to create messages that will connect with wide audiences and, in turn, benefit the children of local schools. In his free time, Steven enjoys pursuing freelance music production and researching current events as well as marketing strategies. He is also a frequent concert goer and enjoys connecting with people at big events.
Jenna joined CISPA during the summer of 2017 where she serves as the Vice President. Previously, Jenna was a former Dauphin County Deputy District Attorney. She is the proud mom of a beautiful 3-year-old girl and in her free time enjoys interior decorating.
President and State Director
Ryan T. Riley
Ryan serves as the President and State Director of Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania. Ryan leads and supports an affiliate network, which employees more than 200 staff and serves more than 40,000 students with the goal of improving student outcomes and reducing high school dropout rates. Ryan works in partnership with state and local elected officials, as well as community and business leaders to support and sustain services aimed at improving education across Pennsylvania.
Prior to his current role, he was the Vice President for Development and Marketing at Easter Seals Serving Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. He led the external relations team in the areas of fundraising, community relations, communications, and marketing. In addition, Ryan served as the Associate Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. He directed all aspects of the University’s fundraising programs and external relations.
Ryan has presented in a variety of forums on higher education, student leadership, fundraising, and government advocacy including The Pennsylvania Congressional Economic Summit, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, the Annual Philadelphia Higher Education Network of Neighborhood Development (PHENND) Conference, Pennsylvania Campus Compact, The Pennsylvania Association of Hospital Auxiliaries.
He is a past-President and Board Member of the Harrisburg Young Professionals (HYP), Trustee/Founder of The Hill Society. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree from Widener University and completed a cohort policy fellowship with the Education Policy Fellowship Center in Harrisburg, PA.