Board of Directors




Jed Gaines, Training Director/Presenter:  Founded Read Aloud America in 1995, a non-profit educational organization devoted to promoting literacy and bonding families through the love of reading.  Since 1987, Jed has taught in classrooms throughout the state of Hawaii and has made numerous presentations to parents, students, teachers, and librarians worldwide.

The organization's Read Aloud Program, known as RAP, was created by Jed, Marion Coste, an award-winning book author, and Jim Harstad, former Chair of the English Department at the University High School.  Each program averages 300 adults and children. 

Since 1999, Jed and the hundreds of volunteers of Read Aloud America have read to audiences totaling over 338,000 at 90 of Hawaii's elementary and middle public schools.  Read Aloud America's RAP program is the largest and most effective family literacy program in America!

Joanne Laird,  Director of Programs/Assistant Training Director/Maui Presenter:

Joanne is a retired teacher and school administrator from school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was President of the Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise and now serves as Assistant District Governor for nine Rotary clubs on Maui. In her "spare time" she dances hula with and Halau Hula Kauluokala.

Joanne got involved with RAP while assisting Larry in his role as Maui Site Coordinator at Kihei School and first became a Parent Trainer/Presenter at Paia School in the Fall of 2009. Currently she serves as the Program Director and the Assistant Training Director for Read Aloud America.


Tracey Saiki, Oahu Presenter:  Tracey Saiki, Oahu Presenter: Tracey is the Director of Military Affairs Programs at the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and is completing her Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Change at Hawaii Pacific University. In January 2013, she retired from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years active duty, guard and reserve as a command public affairs officer and strategic planner. Her civilian jobs have been at Outrigger Enterprises and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. She has family roots here in Hawaii. Being a part of RAP, Tracey knows she has found a way to be a positive influence on Hawaii's children and their families.

Tracey began with Read Aloud America as a volunteer reader in 1999, and years later became a RAP coordinator for several schools. For the past eight years, Tracey has been a parent trainer/presenter at over 10 schools. She has found her “happy place” and is proud to be a part of the RAA ohana.

Gino Pascual, Oahu Presenter:  Born and raised on Oahu, Gino grew up in Waipahu. After graduating high school, Gino ventured off and joined the Army Reserves. He returned to Oahu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Leeward Community College. While attending college, he performed in a few local theater productions around town then abruptly left Hawaii for the 9th Island of Las Vegas.

Life was a blur for Gino as he was traveling back and forth between the Mainland and Hawaii. Gino became a flight attendant for United Airlines in the late 90’s. An occasional traveler, he nearly completed visiting 49 of 50 states with the help of his job at the time. It wasn’t until the epic turn of events of 9/11, which changed his career and refocused himself back in Hawai’i.

Gino returned back to school and graduated from the University of Hawaii – West Oahu Campus in 2005 with a B.A. in Public Administration and continued on to Chaminade University of Honolulu to complete his Masters in Education in 2007. Recently reunited with his former theater friends, Gino was last seen as “Miguel” as the Filipino shoemaker’s son in Lisa Matsumoto’s Happily Eva Afta at UH Manoa. He is currently a special education teacher at Makaha Elementary School. It was through RAP that Gino became a volunteer reader for students in the 4th, 5th and 6th grade. Gino is excited to be joining the Read Aloud America family as its newest member


Timothy Shim, Maui Presenter:  Timothy is a born and raised Maui boy.  He completed his primary education at Kihei Elementary and Lokelani Intermediate, then left Maui to attend Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama in Honolulu.  He then graduated from Santa Clara University where he received his B.A. in Spanish Studies and later acquired a M.A. in Educational Administration from San Jose State University. 

He lived and worked in San Jose, California as a middle school teacher and vice principal for the past seven years and recently relocated back to his home island of Maui where he is currently teaching math at Iao Intermediate School.

A proud father of two with another on the way, you'll most likely find Mr. Shim at the beach surfing or body boarding.  He was introduced to RAP through is wife, Amanda, who is the toddler reader for the RAP program on Maui.  After one session, he was hooked and wanted to join the team.  He looks forward to reading aloud as it carries on his family tradition.  His mother, Nancy Shim, has been a Hawaii Public and School Librarian for over 30 years.


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