2020 Presenters Coming Soon
2019 Keynote Speakers
Doug Fisher, Ph.D., is professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He has also been an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. Doug is the recipient of an International Reading Association’s William S. Grey citation of merit, an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE, and a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design; and has authored and co-authored multiple education books, including Visible Learning for Literacy, Building Equity, and Assessment-capable Learners.
Michael Fullan, Order of Canada, Ph.D., is the former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Recognized as a worldwide authority on educational reform, Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world. He has written several prize-winning books including Professional capital (with Andy Hargreaves) that won the Grawemeyer Award in 2015. His latest books are Coherence (with Joanne Quinn) and Deep Learning: Engage the World Change the World (with Joanne Quinn and Joanne McEachen), Nuance; and his professional autobiography Surreal Change. For the past 15 years he has served as Advisor to the Premier and Minister of Education in Ontario.
James Nottingham is the founder of Challenging Learning. His passion is in transforming the most up-to-date research into strategies that really work in the classroom. He is well known throughout Scandinavia for his work with John Hattie’s Visible Learning. Internationally, he is known for his work on challenge, progress, and the Learning Pit. His first book, Challenging Learning, has been published in five languages and received widespread critical acclaim. He authored The Learning Challenge in 2017. Currently he is writing a series of challenging learning books to share best strategies for dialogue, feedback, mindset, and questioning. Before becoming a teacher, James worked on a pig farm, in the chemical industry, for the American Red Cross, and as a teaching assistant in a school for deaf children. At university, he gained a first class honors degree in education (a major turnaround after having failed miserably at school). He then worked as a teacher and leader in primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom before co-founding an award-winning, multi-million pound regeneration project supporting education, public, and voluntary organizations across north east England. James has been listed among the United Kingdom’s Future 500 – a definitive list of “the most forward-thinking and brightest innovators.” He has been described by Skolvärlden (the Swedish Teaching Union) as “one of the most talked about names in the world of school development.”
Joanne Quinn, MBA, is an international consultant, author, and speaker. She leads her own consulting firm focused on whole system change, capacity building, learning, and leadership. She is a co-founder and Global Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, a global partnership focused on transforming learning. Joanne consults with governments, foundations, and education systems. She leads whole system change projects at the state/province, national, and global levels. Joanne has provided leadership at all levels of education as a superintendent of education, Implementation Advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Education, and Director of Continuing Education at the University of Toronto. She is past president of Learning Forward and founding president of the Ontario affiliate. Her recent books include Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems with Michael Fullan; The Taking Guide for Building Coherence in Schools, Districts and Systems with Michael Fullan and Eleanor Adam; and Deep Learning, Engage the World Change the World, with Michael Fullan and Joanne McEachen. Joanne’s diverse leadership roles and her passion to open windows of opportunity for all, give her a unique perspective on influencing positive change. Joanne is a member of the Center for Development and Learning’s Professional Advisory Board.
2019 Thought Leaders
Wiley Blevins, M.Ed., is an early reading specialist. He taught elementary school in both the United States and South America and was Director of Special Projects for Scholastic in New York City. Wiley has written and edited many phonics and reading materials and he is the author of Phonics from A-Z and Teaching Phonics and Word Study in the Intermediate Grades. He has also coauthored with Alice Boynton Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction, Nonfiction Passages with Graphic Organizers for Independent Practice, and the Navigating Nonfiction program. Wiley earned his master’s degree from Harvard and he lives in New York City.
Nell K. Duke, Ed.D., is a professor in literacy, language, and culture, and in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan. Nell’s work focuses on early literacy development, particularly among children living in poverty. Her specific areas of expertise include development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She has served as Co-Principal Investigator of projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, among others. In 2014, Nell was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received awards from the American Educational Research Association, the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Reading Conference. Nell is author and co-author of numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction. She is editor of The Research-Informed Classroom series and co-editor of the Not This, But That book series. Nell has served as author or consultant on several educational programs.
Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the innovative, evidence-based approach known as Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS), as described in his influential books Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child (2016), The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated (2014, 1998), Lost at School (2014), and Lost & Found (2016). Ross has worked with several thousand behaviorally challenging kids and their caregivers, and he and his colleagues have overseen implementation and evaluation of the CPS model in hundreds of schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities, with dramatic effect: significant reductions in discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, and use of restraint procedures and solitary confinement. He has infused the parenting and teaching of all kids with humanity, empathy, and compassion. Ross was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years and is now Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech and in the Faculty of Science at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. He is also Developer and Executive Producer of the recently released documentary film, The Kids We Lose.
George McCloskey, Ph.D., is a professor and Director of School Psychology Research in the School of Professional and Applied Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds Diplomate status with the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology. He has amassed 35 years of experience in test development, teaching, research, and assessment and intervention work with a wide range of clients. George has developed a comprehensive model of executive capacities that can be used to assess strengths and deficits and guide efforts to foster growth and intervene with difficulties. He frequently presents at international, national, and state conferences and consults with a number of school districts and private schools nationwide on issues related to improving students’ executive capacities. George is the lead author of the books Assessment and Intervention for Executive Function Difficulties and Essentials of Executive Functions Assessment, and his most recent writing on interventions for executive function and executive skills difficulties appears in Chapter 10 of Essentials of Planning, Selecting, and Tailoring Interventions for Unique Learners. He is the author of the McCloskey Executive Functions Scales (MEFS) that have been standardized and published with Schoolhouse Educational Services. George also directed the development of the WISC-IV Integrated and was a senior research advisor and clinical advisor to the Wechsler Test Development Group for the Psychological Corporation (now part of Pearson) and associate director of test development for AGS Publishing (now Pearson).
Kate Roberts is a national literacy consultant and author. She taught reading and writing in Brooklyn, NY, and worked as a literacy coach before joining the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in 2005, where she worked as a Lead Staff Developer for 11 years. Kate’s latest book, A Novel Approach, asks how we can teach whole class novels while still holding onto student centered practices like readers workshop. She is also the co-author of Falling in Love with Close Reading (with Christopher Lehman), DIY Literacy (with Maggie Beattie Roberts), and she co-wrote two Units of Study books on Literary Essay. Her work with students across the country has led to her belief that all kids can be insightful, academic thinkers when the work is demystified, broken down, and made engaging. To this end, Kate has worked nationally and internationally to help teachers, schools, and districts develop and implement strong teaching practices and curriculum.
Timothy Shanahan, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was Founding Director of the UIC Center for Literacy. Previously, Tim was director of reading for the Chicago Public Schools. He is author or editor of more than 200 publications including the books, Teaching with the Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts, and Early Childhood Literacy. Tim is past president of the International Literacy Association. He received a presidential appointment to serve on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. He took a leadership role on the National Reading Panel (the third most influential education policy document according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center). He chaired two other federal research review panels: the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth, and the National Early Literacy Panel, and helped author the Common Core State Standards. He is co-principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Title I Study of Implementation and Outcomes: Early Childhood Language Development funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. Tim received the William S. Gray Citation for Lifetime Achievement and the Albert J. Harris Award for outstanding research on reading disability from the International Reading Association (IRA). He was inducted to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2007, and is a former first-grade teacher. For more information, visit his blog: www.shanahanonliteracy.com. He is a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the Center for Development and Learning.
Eileen Truax, M.A., is a Los Angeles-based journalist who covers migration, politics and US-Mexico relations. She was born in Mexico City, where she was a political reporter and a Congress correspondent. She moved to the United States in 2004, and worked for La Opinión, the largest U.S. Spanish-Language newspaper, for seven years. Eileen’s work has been published in several media outlets in the U.S., Latin America and Spain, such as the Spanish editions of The New York Times, Newsweek and Vice; Americas Quarterly; Al Día News; and Gatopardo magazine. She is the author of three books – Dreamers: an Immigrant Generation’s Fight for their American Dream (2015), We Built the Wall: How the US keeps out asylum seekers from Mexico, Central America and Beyond ( 2018), and How does it feel to be unwanted: Stories of resistance and resilience from Mexican living in the United States (2018). She often speaks at colleges and universities about immigration and the Dreamers movement. Eileen holds a B.A. in Social Communication and an M.A. in Communication and Politics. She has been a fellow with the International Center for Journalists, the International Women Media Foundation, the Knight Digital Media Center, and the Iberoamerican Foundation for New Journalism. She has been a board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). Eileen received the 2010 and 2015 José Martí Publishing Award from the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the Media Woman of the Year Award from the California State Legislature (2010), and an Honorary Mention from the Inter-American Press Society (2016).
Timothy D. Walker, MA, is an American teacher living in Espoo, Finland, and the author of Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms (2017) and the co-author of a forthcoming book, with Finnish scholar Pasi Sahlberg, about trust in education. He has written extensively about his experiences for The Atlantic, Educational Leadership, Education Week Teacher, and on his blog, Taught by Finland. Since starting his teaching career in public schools in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 2009, Tim has been a classroom teacher in grades 1-2 and 5-6 in the United States and in Helsinki and Espoo in Finland. During the 2013-2014 school year, all while teaching fifth graders, he completed his master’s degree. Today he teaches English language arts at a school in the city of Espoo. Tim is a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki where he studies the pedagogy of play. Inspired by his work in Finnish schools, he speaks internationally about the importance of play, trust, and joy in education.
Julie Washington, Ph.D., is a professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences Disorders in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Julie’s research program is focused on language assessment and improving academic outcomes of young African American children who speak African American English. She is the director of the Georgia Learning Disabilities Research Innovation Hub that is focused on understanding the role of cultural dialect in the identification of reading disabilities in school-aged African American children, and particularly those growing up in poverty. She is also a director of the Center for Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy at GSU. Julie’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development.
Daniel Willingham, Ph.D., is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and Raising Kids Who Read. His writing on education has appeared in thirteen languages. Dan earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990.
Kelvin Adams, Ph.D., is the superintendent of the St. Louis Public School District since 2008. In 2014, he was recognized a one of Education Week’s 16 Leaders to Learn From. When he began his tenure as superintendent, the St. Louis district was unaccredited, over budget, and unstable. Under his leadership, the district regained accreditation, balanced its budget, gained a 50% increase in children attending early childhood classes, and increased graduation rates. Previously, Kelvin was chief of staff for the Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans, LA, where he successfully opened 33 RSD-direct-operated schools and 26 charter schools as part of a long-term strategic plan for building a superior school system for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Prior to that, he was executive director of Human Resources for St. Louis Public Schools, Associate Dean/Interim Dean and Charter School Liaison for the College of Education for Southern University of New Orleans, a high and middle school principal, and a middle school area superintendent.
Kristin Anderson is the founder and CEO of The Brilliance Project, an organization dedicated to unleashing the expertise and capabilities that lie within every educator. Previously, she served as the director of professional learning at Corwin Press. She is a longtime student of the field, a passionate educator, and an inspirational leader. Kristin began her career as a high school English teacher for students who were kicked out of Denver Public Schools. Since then, she has worked in multiple K–12 settings in multiple instructional and administrative roles, and she has obtained advanced degrees from Sterling College, the University of Denver, and the University of Colorado. Kristin has developed professional learning programs for Edison Schools, The Leadership and Learning Center, and Corwin. She has delivered professional learning on various topics in teaching, learning, and leadership in school districts across the United States, and in Canada, London, Australia, Japan, and Zambia. She is a Visible Learning trainer for John Hattie. Over the past seven years, she has studied Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn under John Hattie and was recognized as the U.S. delegate and speaker at the first annual International Conference on Visible Learning in Brisbane, Australia. Since then, she has spoken at each annual International Conference on Visible Learning in San Diego, London, and Washington D.C.; and at multiple National VL institutes and symposiums in North America and Australia. Kristin is the author of Data Teams Success Stories Volume 1, Real Time Decisions, and Getting Started with Rigorous Curriculum Design.
Anita Archer serves as an educational consultant to state departments, county agencies, and school districts on explicit instruction and literacy instruction. She has taught elementary and middle school students and is the recipient of ten Outstanding Educator awards. She has served on the faculties of San Diego State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon. Anita is nationally known for her presentations and publications on instructional procedures and literacy instruction, and she has co-authored numerous curriculum materials including the REWARDS reading and writing intervention programs (Voyager/Sopris Learning). She also co-authored a best-selling textbook on explicit instruction entitled Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching (Guilford, 2011). Currently, Anita is providing training on explicit instruction in the United States, Australia, and Canada, having presented in all 50 states over the course of her 52-year career in Education.
Pam Austin is an implementation coordinator for Cambium Learning, Voyager Sopris. She has over 10 years of experience in training and supporting districts in various literacy and numeracy interventions in addition to delivering LETRS professional development sessions. Her goal is to aid teachers in changing the lives of students so that they not only become proficient and successful in literacy, but also as life-long readers. Pam has over 28 years of experience as an educator, previously working as a literacy specialist at the Center for Development and Learning (CDL) by supporting SRCL school districts with diagnostic evaluations, observations, and targeted support based on school-specific literacy needs. Previously, she was an educator in the New Orleans Public Schools, where she served as an elementary teacher, a reading interventionist for at-risk students, a school-based reading coach; and a central office field literacy facilitator. As a field literacy facilitator, Pam provided literacy support to principals, school-site facilitators, and teachers for 10 to 12 schools in the district. In collaboration, she developed, planned, presented, and facilitated a variety of literacy-related professional development sessions for elementary and middle school school-site facilitators and teachers. In her spare time, Pam is also a published writer of fiction.
Nancy Boyles, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at Southern Connecticut State University where she was professor of reading and Graduate Reading Program coordinator. Prior to that, she was a classroom teacher for many years. Nancy currently consults with districts and other organizations and agencies, providing workshops, modeling best practices in classrooms, and assisting with curriculum development. She is the author of two books on close reading: Closer Reading, Grades 3-6: Better Prep, Smarter Lessons, Deeper Comprehension (Corwin 2014), and Lessons and Units for Closer Reading (Corwin 2015). Her book with close reading lessons and units for the primary grades will be released soon. Nancy has also written six other books: Teaching Written Response to Text, Constructing Meaning through Kid-Friendly Comprehension Strategy Instruction, Hands-On Literacy Coaching, That’s a GREAT Answer, Launching RTI Comprehension Instruction with Shared Reading, and Rethinking Small Group Instruction in the Intermediate Grades. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys spending time at her little beach house on Cape Cod.
Kelly Butler, M.Ed., is The Barksdale Reading Institute’s (BRI) managing director for policy and partnerships. She brings BRI’s research knowledge and teaching expertise to improve reading instruction in Mississippi public schools at all levels – teacher preparation, K-3 classrooms, instructional coaching, and school leadership. Kelly also develops partnerships with state and national organizations that promote evidence-based practices in early literacy instruction. Kelly spearheaded BRI’s development of The Reading Universe©, a detailed scope and sequence for training teachers on how to deliver sequential, systemic, explicit reading instruction; and the development of a Social/Emotional Literacy project for pre-K through 8th grade. She is the project coordinator for a BRI-sponsored statewide initiative to improve teacher preparation programs focused on early literacy instruction in Mississippi’s 15 public and private universities, and is lead author of Mississippi’s Statewide Study on Teacher Preparation for Early Literacy Instruction. She has active partnerships with the Governor’s Task Force on Teacher Preparation for Early Literacy Instruction, the Higher Education Literacy, and the Advisory Board of the Southeast Regional Educational Lab. Previously, Kelly was a teacher in the Greenwich, Connecticut public schools; served as special assistant to the Region IV Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare; and worked extensively with a variety of nonprofit organizations in social service, health care, and education in the areas of program development, support, and evaluation. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in special education, and a master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University.
Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan, Ph.D., is a bilingual speech language pathologist and a certified academic language therapist. She holds a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She is the President of Valley Speech Language and Learning Center in Brownsville, Texas and is an Associate Research Professor for the Texas Institute for Measurement Evaluation and Statistics at the University of Houston. Elsa’s research interests include the development of early reading assessments for Spanish-speaking students in addition to the development of reading interventions for bilingual students. She was the co-principal investigator of a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute for Education Science, examining the oracy and literacy development in English and Spanish of Spanish-speaking children. Elsa currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the International Dyslexia Association, Chairperson of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities and was a past board member of the National Academic Language Therapy Association. She has authored curricular programs, book chapters, and journal articles related to oracy and literacy development for English language learners.
Judie Caroleo is Director of Training and Development at 95 Percent Group Inc., a company that provides professional development and materials to support teachers in providing small-group intervention instruction in literacy. She has more than 20 years of experience in classroom instruction, program development, implementation, assessment, and professional development. Prior to her current position, she served as Director of Instruction at Reading ASSIST Institute for more than 10 years. Before joining Reading ASSIST, Judie played a key role in implementing research-based instruction in elementary classrooms in New Jersey, where she served as an interventionist for 10 years.
Hugh Catts, Ph.D., is director of the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University. His research interests include the early identification and prevention of language-based reading disabilities. He is currently a investigator on two projects funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. One project involves a five-year longitudinal study designed to increase our understanding of the role of language skills in reading comprehension, and knowledge on ways to effectively increase reading comprehension through systematic classroom-based instruction. The project involves a consortium of researchers from the Florida State University, University of Kansas, Ohio State University, University of Nebraska, Lancaster University (England), and Arizona State University. In the other project, Hugh and his research team are examining the effectiveness of Response to Intervention as a framework for the identification of kindergarten children at risk for reading disabilities.
Christie L. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., has been an educator for well over three decades, teaching in early childhood settings (including early intervention, early childhood special education, and child care), special education in elementary grades, and higher education at the University of Florida and now at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has spent much of her career preparing future teachers and providing ongoing professional development to educators in the areas of language and literacy, with a particular focus on at-risk children and their families as well as high-need schools in various contexts. She has been an educational consultant for schools, districts, and state departments to improve reading instruction that raises expectations and outcomes, and support schools in their efforts to implement effective, research-based practices. She has also been engaged in helping teachers implement the principles of Universal Design for Learning. As a faculty member in the department of Specialized Education Services at UNCG, she teaches undergraduate and graduate students and coordinates efforts to implement a performance-based portfolio assessment for initial teaching licensure. Christie has maintained involvement with reading research centers in Texas and Florida and has written and presented nationally and internationally. She has also worked with colleagues to develop and revise statewide professional development programs and materials for elementary and special education teachers and administrators.
Linda Diamond is president and founder of the Consortium for Reaching Excellence in Education (CORE, Inc.), a PReK-12 professional learning organization focusing on literacy with an emphasis on reading, and mathematics. Linda previously served as a public school teacher, a principal, and director of instruction, staff development, and assessment for a K–12 school district. After leaving public schools, she was a senior policy analyst in an educational think tank, with an emphasis on school to career, charter schools, and school reform. Linda is co-author of CORE’s Teaching Reading Sourcebook, Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures and CORE’s Vocabulary Handbook. She is known for her work in challenging school districts with vulnerable populations.
Judi Dodson, M.A., has over 30 years of combined experience as an educator of children and teaching teachers. Judi has been a classroom teacher, special education teacher, diagnostic educational specialist, literacy consultant, and teacher trainer. She is a national LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) trainer, presents nationally at conferences on literacy-related issues, consults and works directly with schools and districts on issues related to achievement, and is the president of Bridges to Literacy. Judi’s work is driven by a sense of understanding the whole child, and teaching to and from the heart. She believes that finding a balance between social–emotional learning and excellence in academic instruction will support academic achievement while building motivation and a lifelong love of learning. Passionate about global education for girls, she is the president of Peruvian Hearts, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls and young women in Peru to become leaders through education, mentorship and service, in order to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty. Judi is the author of three books: 50 Nifty Activities for Reading Instruction in the Five Components of Reading; 50 Nifty Speaking and Listening Activities for Oral and Reading Comprehension and The Literacy Intervention Toolkit.
Steve Dykstra, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he has worked in public sector community mental health for more than 25 years. He is a founding member of the Wisconsin Reading Coalition, and vice president of the Coalition for Reading Excellence, but he has never tutored or taught a child to read. Except for parts of one or two courses in graduate school, he has no formal training on the topic. Instead, through the course of his work and life, he has come to see the role of reading, reading struggles, and reading failure in the lives of the thousands of children he has served, as well as in their families, schools, and communities. Building on knowledge and training he sought for himself, he brings together the science of reading he has discovered, with the lessons he has learned from the children he serves, and what he knows about people to understand how we got to where we are, and how we might change that. Steve is a member of the advisory board of the International Foundation of Effective Reading Instruction.
Kimberly Eckert, M.Ed., Louisiana’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, teaches high school English. Kimberly also serves as a reading specialist. Previously, she served as a special education teacher, a reading interventionist, a TAP mentor and master teacher, and an instructional coach. Kimberly works to create meaningful learning experiences that help students of all abilities progress while developing their own voice and agency. In addition to teaching, she serves as an NEA Global Learning Fellow and a Stand for Children’s LEAD Fellow. She recently received Louisiana’s inaugural Public Interest Fellowship for work with Educators Rising.
Linda Farrell, MBA, M.Ed., is a founding partner at Readsters, where she is immersed in the world of beginning and struggling readers. Linda designs and presents workshops, writes books, and develops instructional materials for effective reading instruction. She has coauthored several publications with her business partner, Michael Hunter, including Phonics Plug-In, Phonics Blitz, Phonics Boost, and the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys. She is also a coauthor of the Teaching Reading Essentials Program Guide and Coach’s Guide (coauthored with Louisa Moats), and DIBELS: the Practical Manual. Linda was a National LETRS Trainer for seven years. Linda has been presenting workshops and giving speeches on reading instruction throughout the country since 2000. She taught junior high English and was a high school and elementary school counselor. However, it was only when Linda volunteered to teach adults to read that she understood older struggling readers’ needs for explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction at the most basic levels. Linda keeps her skills fresh and innovative by working with struggling readers of all ages whenever she has time.
Jack M. Fletcher, Ph.D., is a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston. For the past 30 years, Jack, a board-certified child neuropsychologist, has worked on issues related to child neuropsychology, including studies of children with spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and other acquired disorders. In the area of developmental learning and attention disorders, Jack has addressed issues related to definition and classification, neurobiological correlates, and most recently, intervention. Jack directs a Learning Disability Research Center grant and a long-term study involving genetic, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological factors in spina bifida, both funded by the National Institute of Child health and Human Development. He served on the NICHD National Advisory Council, the Rand Reading Study Group, the National Research Council Committee on Scientific Principles in Education Research, and the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education. The author of 3 books and over 350 papers, Jack was the recipient of the Samuel T. Orton award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2003 and a co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris award from the International Reading Association in 2006. He is the Past President of the International Neuropsychological Society.
Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. She is a recipient of the Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She has co-authored several books on teaching and learning with Doug Fisher, and was a co-recipient (with Doug Fisher) of NCTE’s 2004 Kate and Paul Farmer award for outstanding writing for their article, “Using Graphic Novels, Anime, and The Internet In An Urban High School,” published in NCTE’s English Journal. In 2008, she received the Early Career Achievement Award from the Literacy Research Association. Nancy teaches a variety of courses in school improvement and literacy leadership. Her favorite place to be is Health Sciences High and Middle College, where she learns from teachers and students every day.
Margie B. Gillis, Ed.D., is a research affiliate at Fairfield University and Haskins Laboratories, and a Certified Academic Language Therapist. She is also the founder and president of Literacy How, Inc. in North Haven, CT that provides professional development opportunities for teachers on how best to implement evidence-based reading practices in the classroom. Margie became interested in reading while at the University of Connecticut where she studied with Isabelle Liberman. She received her doctorate from the University of Louisville in Special Education where she began her work training teachers of reading. As president of Literacy How and as a Research Affiliate at both Fairfield University and Haskins Laboratories, she creates new opportunities to empower teaching excellence. In 2010, she founded the Anne E. Fowler Foundation to continue the work of her mentor Anne Fowler. The Foundation supports scholarships for teachers to earn their Masters or Sixth Year degree in Reading and Language Development at Fairfield University. Margie has also worked at the policy level with the CT state legislature and the Connecticut State Department of Education to pass bills that support evidence-based reading instruction and policies that support the identification and treatment of dyslexia. She is the co-founder and former president of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, former president of the CT Branch of the International Dyslexia Society, a board member of the Dyslexia Society of CT and New Alliance Foundation, and an executive board member of the Academic Language Therapy Association.
Deborah R. Glaser, Ed.D., (Deb) is an educational consultant and professional development provider with expertise in reading assessment and instructional methods derived from trusted research. During Deb’s ’s many years in education, she has provided classroom, dyslexia, and learning disability instruction, and served as director of education of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, in Boise, Idaho, where she oversaw the development of remedial programs for individuals with dyslexia. She has assisted universities with the development of research-based reading curricula and established training and consultation programs to support the success of state and national reading initiatives. She was advisor to Idaho’s Legislative Reading Committee and a principal author of Idaho’s reading initiative. Deb is a national trainer of Louisa Moats’ Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS). She consults with national policy institutes regarding quality reading instruction and teacher preparation and assists schools and districts with the implementation of scientifically based reading programs and strengthening practitioners’ collaborative efforts toward improved instruction and student reading abilities.
Sam Goldstein, Ph.D. is an Assistant Clinical Instructor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and on staff at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute. He is Clinical Director of the Neurology Learning and Behavior Center. The Center conducts evaluations, consultation and provides treatment services to nearly 400 individuals and families each year. Sam has authored fifty trade and science texts as well as over fifty science based book chapters and peer reviewed research articles. He has also co-authored six psychological tests. He currently serves as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Attention Disorders and sits on the editorial boards of six peer-reviewed journals. Sam is Co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Child Development. Recent books include the Handbook of Resilience – 2nd Edition, Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Handbooks of Neurodevelopmental and Genetic Disorders in Children and Adults, Assessment of Intelligence and Achievement, Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Handbook of Executive Functioning, Assessment of Impairment and Managing Children’s Classroom Behavior: Creating Sustainable Resilient Classrooms. He is the co-author of the Autism Spectrum Rating Scales, Comprehensive Executive Functioning Inventory, Rating Scales of Impairment and the Cognitive Assessment System Second Edition. Currently Sam has three books and four psychological tests in development. He has lectured to thousands of professionals and the lay public in the U.S., South America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Susan Hall, EdD, is co-founder and president of 95 Percent Group Inc., a company that helps educators identify and address the needs of struggling readers. 95 Percent Group specializes in the use of literacy assessment data to place students in groups for tiers of intervention, as well as instructional strategies to address specific skill deficits in a MTSS framework. Susan is a nationally certified trainer of DIBELS® and LETRS®. She is author of Implementing Response to Intervention, and Jumpstart RTI, and I’ve DIBEL’d, Now What?. Susan is coauthor with Louisa Moats of three publications, Straight Talk About Reading, Parenting a Struggling Reader, and LETRS Module 7, 2nd edition.
Emily Hanford is a senior correspondent and producer for APM Reports, the documentary and investigative journalism group at American Public Media. She has been working in public radio as a reporter, editor and program host for more than two decades and has been reporting on education full time since 2008. Emily has has written for The New York Times, NPR, Washington Monthly, the Los Angeles Times and other publications. Her work has won numerous honors including a duPont-Columbia Award, a Casey Medal and awards from the Education Writers Association and the Associated Press. In 2017, she won the Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. Emily is a graduate of Amherst College. She is based in Washington, D.C. You can find her audio documentaries at apmreports.org and on the podcast, Educate.
Jan Hasbrouck, Ph.D., is an educational consultant, trainer and researcher. She served as the executive consultant to the Washington State Reading Initiative and as an advisor to the Texas Reading Initiative. Jan worked as a reading specialist and literacy coach for 15 years before becoming a professor at the University of Oregon and later Texas A&M University. She has provided educational consulting to individual schools across the United States as well as in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, and Germany, helping teachers and administrators design and implement effective assessment and instructional programs targeted to help low-performing readers. Her research in areas of reading fluency, reading assessment, coaching, and second language learners has been published in numerous professional books and journals. She is the author and coauthor of several books including The Reading Coach: A How-to Manual for Success, The Reading Coach 2: More Tools and Strategies for Student-Focused Coaches, and Educators as Physicians: Using RtI Data for Effective Decision-Making as well as several assessment tools. In 2008, she and her colleague, Vicki Gibson, partnered to form Gibson Hasbrouck & Associates, with the mission to provide high quality professional development to educators nationally and internationally.
Jennifer Hasser, M.Ed., is a nationally recognized advocate, author, and trainer in the field of reading. Her passion for education began in the high school behavior disorder classroom, where she was awarded Special Education Teacher of the Year by Georgia State University. Jennifer founded Syllables Learning Center and Kendore Learning, which is accredited by IMSLEC and IDA. She has trained more than a thousand teachers and has helped thousands of students acquire language skills. She is a regular presenter at reading and dyslexia conferences and serves as an educational consultant to schools across the nation. She has served as president of the International Dyslexia Association’s Georgia Branch and is a founding member of Decoding Dyslexia Georgia.
Karin Hess, Ph.D., is president of Educational Research in Action. Karin is a recognized international leader in developing practical approaches for using cognitive rigor and learning progressions as the foundation for curriculum and assessments at all levels of assessment systems. While at the Center for Assessment for almost 15 years, she distinguished herself as a content, assessment design, and alignment expert in multiple content areas, K-12 (e.g., Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium/SBAC), and alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Karin contributed to Maine’s early thinking on how to structure requirements for graduation exhibitions, and she currently provides guidance in several states on the development and use of performance assessments in competency-based educational systems. With Linda Darling Hammond, Karin co-led the development of the SBAC content specifications for assessment of the Common Core in ELA and math. Her experiences as New Jersey’s director of gifted education in New Jersey, a district curriculum director, principal, and classroom teacher enable her to understand the practical implications of her work while maintaining fidelity to research, technical quality, and established best practices. Her most recent publications include a chapter in the second edition of Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, Pre-K–6; co-developer of Benchmark Education’s Ready to Advance curriculum for Pre-K; and A Local Assessment Toolkit to Promote Deeper Learning: Transforming Research into Practice (Corwin, 2018) that provides practical, classroom-tested tools and strategies to enhance deeper understanding for all students.
Michael Hunter, M.Ed., is a founding partner of Readsters. Michael found his passion for teaching struggling readers by volunteering to teach adults to read in Washington DC. In 2001, Michael left his job as president of a concrete construction company to pursue a career helping students learn to read using the most effective methods available. Michael is co-author with his business partner, Linda Farrell, of Phonics Plug-In ONE, the Practice Packets to Fix Common Confusions, Phonics Blitz and Phonics Boost lessons, and the Diagnostic Decoding Surveys. Michael presents professional development workshops nationally and advises schools and districts on implementation of effective reading instruction. He also continues to create assessments, lessons and other materials to help beginning and struggling readers. He enjoys working with and learning from struggling readers of all ages whenever he finds time. Michael’s work has even taken him to the Republic of Gambia and Rwanda in Africa to train and advise on early reading instruction for the Global Partnership for Education.
Jill Jackson, M.A., is the managing director and senior educational consultant at Jackson Consulting. Previously, she has been the professional program and educational services manager at Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE). A former classroom teacher and administrator, whether she’s in the classroom demonstrating lessons, strategizing with the superintendent, or training veteran literacy coaches, Jill’s advice and assistance is deeply rooted in the reality of school life and focused on unambiguous next steps. Jill Jackson uses her humor and in-the-trenches experiences to support educators as they navigate the central issues in implementing the Common Core and reading programs and interventions. Jill has used her experience in 30+ states and with thousands of teachers, coaches, administrators, program directors and superintendents as inspiration for her down-to-earth and fun how-to books: Get a Backbone, Principal! and Get Some Guts, Coach!
Sam Johnson grew up in Washington, D.C. Although Sam graduated from high school, reading and writing were difficult for him. Both before and after graduating, he never told anyone about his reading difficulties. He found jobs that did not require reading. However, when he saw that his twin sister, Sandra, was improving her reading at the Washington Literacy Council, he called to sign up for their reading lessons. Sam’s life became much easier when his reading and writing skills improved. He still lives in the Washington, D.C. area where he works as a master barber and hair stylist. He is married and has two grown children whom he loved reading to when they were younger. Sam is excited to share his story to help teachers understand how much students want to learn to read, how well students hide their reading problems, and how much life improves when reading becomes easy.
Sandra Johnson grew up in Washington, D.C. She attended public schools until she dropped out of school at age 16. Sandra could memorize words quite successfully, but could not read any unfamiliar words. For example, she could easily read the word ‘job’, but had no idea how to read the word ‘jab’. She was in her early 30s when she learned that letters match sounds. This was the key to Sandra’s learning to read. Sandra hid her reading disability from everyone she knew, including her large family and many friends. But her secret was out after Laura Bush asked to meet Sandra because she had learned to read as an adult. Her story became public when an article and pictures of Sandra with the President and First Lady appeared on the front page of the Washington Times. Sandra works as a coach and tutor for children at her local recreation center in Washington, D.C. She speaks nationally about literacy to teachers, parents, and students.
David A. Kilpatrick, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology for the State University of New York, College at Cortland. He is a New York State certified school psychologist with 28 years experience in schools. He has been teaching courses in learning disabilities and educational psychology since 1994. An expert and experienced clinician who excels in reading assessment and intervention, David has conducted over 1,000 student evaluations for reading difficulties and disabilities. He the author of two books on reading: Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties, and Equipped for Reading Success.
Suzanne “Suzea” Millerhebert, M.Ed., is an early childhood coordinator at CDL. With over 30 years of experience in education across multiple states, primarily in early childhood, Suzea uses her passion to support early childhood educators from all walks of life. Suzea has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southeastern Louisiana University and a Master of Education from the University of New Orleans in curriculum and instruction with a focus in early childhood and a minor in special education. Additionally, she is a CLASS reliable observer in infant, toddler, and Pre-K.
Lucy Hart Paulson
Lucy Hart Paulson, ED.D., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and literacy specialist with years of experience working children and their families in elementary schools, Head Start, and clinical settings. She served as an associate professor in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department at the University of Montana, teaching language and literacy development and challenges. She has also provided professional development for a variety of audiences across the United States and internationally. Lucy presents an inclusive and research-to-practice perspective blending areas of language and literacy, resulting in effective and engaging learning opportunities for children. Lucy is the lead author of the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) for Early Childhood Educators, (2nd Edition); Building Early Literacy and Language Skills, a resource and activity guide for young children, and for Good Talking Words, a social communication skills program for preschool and kindergarten.
Stephen Phillippi, Ph.D., a licensed Clinical Social Worker and clinically certified Forensic Counselor, has a 25-year history of developing, managing, evaluating, and providing direct services. He is the Program chair of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center – a research, teaching and service oriented academic program within the School of Public Health. Steve is also the director of the Institute for Public Health & Justice, working to bring evidence-based practices and supportive policies to states and local communities. He is the principal investigator on several studies and grants. In addition, he teaches, advises, chairs and participates in dissertation committees, writes, consults, and serves on a number of professional and public service boards. Steve received his doctorate from LSU, MSW from Tulane University, and BA from Loyola New Orleans.
Amy Poirier is the supervisor of early childhood programs at CDL where she enjoys working side-by-side with early childhood professionals to provide support and thereby positively affect outcomes for young children. Amy’s extensive experiences in the field as an early childhood teacher, center director, and director of curriculum and training allow her to develop professional learning services for early childhood professionals, organize and implement early childhood mentoring and coaching efforts, and support CDL’s early childhood team in meaningful ways. Additionally, she has worked as a program monitor, coach, trainer, and curriculum specialist for several statewide programs. Amy is an endorsed Louisiana Pathways trainer, an approved Child Development Associate (CDA) Professional Development Specialist, a Zero-to-Three approved trainer, and provides training and technical support for the Infant, Toddler, and Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Amy is the creator and program administrator of CDL’s Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved Early Childhood Ancillary Certificate Program, CDA Cornerstones. Amy knows that children benefit most from high-quality interactions provided by teachers who understand child development and early childhood pedagogy, and that relevant, on-the-job coaching and mentoring support significantly increases these skills. Amy received a bachelor’s in education from Wichita State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education at Kansas State University where she is researching early childhood pedagogical leadership.
Timothy Rasinski, Ph.D., is professor of literacy education at Kent State University and director of its award-winning reading clinic. Prior to coming to Kent State Tim taught literacy education at the University of Georgia. He taught for several years as an elementary and middle school classroom and Title I teacher in Omaha, Nebraska. His scholarly interests include reading fluency and word study, reading in the elementary and middle grades, and readers who struggle. Tim has written over 200 articles and has authored, co-authored or edited over 50 books or curriculum programs on reading education, including The Fluent Reader and The Fluent Reader in Action. His research on reading has been cited by the National Reading Panel and has been published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Reading Psychology, and the Journal of Educational Research. In 2010 Tim was elected to the International Reading Hall of Fame.
Joan Sedita, M.Ed., has been an educator and nationally recognized teacher trainer for over 35 years. She is the founding partner of Keys to Literacy, a literacy professional development organization based in MA. Joan is the author of four content literacy professional development programs (Key Comprehension Routine, Key Vocabulary Routine, Keys to Writing, The ANSWER Key Routine to for Extended Response) and a K-12 district literacy planning model (Keys to Literacy Planning). Beginning in 1975, she worked for 23 years at the Landmark School, a pioneer in the development of literacy intervention programs. As a teacher, principal, and director of the Outreach Teacher Training Program at Landmark, Joan developed expertise, methods, and instructional programs that address the literacy needs of students in grades K-12. Joan was one of the three lead trainers in MA for the Reading First Program. She was a national LETRS trainer and co-authored LETRS Module 11, Writing, A Road to Reading Comprehension with Louisa Moats. She also wrote the adolescent literacy chapter in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills and the writing chapter in The Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, 6-12. Joan is an adjunct instructor at Endicott College and Fitchburg State University. She received her M.Ed. in Reading from Harvard University and her B.A. from Boston College.
Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Ph.D., is CDL’s vice president of programs where she leverages over 17 years of experience in the field of education to improve the life chances of children, particularly those most at risk due to income, education, environment, and health. Libbie’s passion for under-represented populations has provided her a broad range of experience leading teams of individuals in system-wide initiatives. She has led the development and implementation of statewide programs as a state director of two federal programs managing budgets in excess of $3 million as well as developing and implementing pilot programs in three states across multiple agencies and community partners to improve efficiency and efficacy of direct services to children, parents, and caregivers. Additionally, Libbie has drafted and assisted in passing state statute, legislation, regulation, and policy. Libbie holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education in early childhood intervention and family support services from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in human development from Virginia Tech. She is the co-author of multiple publications and technical reports, training curriculums, and, with Sharon Ramey and Craig Ramey, the Four Diamonds Checklist. Libbie is recognized as trail blazer in her advocacy efforts supporting marginalized populations and is the recipient of the Hulick Serving Spirit Fellowship Award for her commitment to individuals with disabilities across the life course.
Alice Thomas, M.Ed., is the founder, president and CEO of the Center for Development and Learning (CDL). Alice’s work is guided by a steadfast belief that all children, regardless of how they look, where they come from or how they learn, can and will achieve school success when provided with highly effective teachers and positive, supportive learning environments. In addition to executive duties, she facilitates professional learning for school leaders, teachers, and related specialists. Alice previously served as a teacher, counselor, and intervention specialist. She has taught university graduate courses on differentiating instruction for struggling students. She is a Learning Forward Academy graduate. She is the creator and director of the annual evidence-based Plain Talk About Literacy and Learning Institute. Alice is coauthor of the Plain Talk About Learning professional learning curriculum, the Right from Birth parent/caregiver training curriculum, and the Teens & Tots curriculum; and editor of CDL’s online blog. Alice completed a fellowship in neurodevelopmental variations at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and doctoral level studies in change leadership at the University of Toronto. She is the recipient of the New Orleans Children’s Defense Fund’s Champions for Children award and the International Dyslexia Association’s 2013 Presidential Award for Excellence.
Eric Tridas, M.D., FAAP, is the Medical Director of the Tridas Center for Child Development and President of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Consultants, Inc. He is a Developmental Pediatrician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of handicapping conditions including ADHD, learning differences, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities and other neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. He completed his fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics with emphasis on Developmental Disabilities at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. During that time he held an appointment as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Tridas completed his residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine in 1977. He is President of the International Dyslexia Association. Dr. Tridas is also the State Medical Director for Pediatric Health Choice-Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Facilities (PPEC). He is on the board of directors of Artista’s Cafe, a non-profit organization that employs adults with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Tridas is a founder and partner of Tridas, LLC, a software company that developed the Tridas eWriter, an application for web based structured interviews of caregivers and teacher’s that generates a customized evaluation report. He lectures nationally and internationally on topics such as dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, executive functions and other behavioral and developmental pediatrics related subjects. Dr. Tridas edited a book for parents titled From ABC to ADHD: What Every Parent Should Know About Dyslexia and Attention Problems.
William Van Cleave
William Van Cleave, MA, is an educational consultant whose specialties include morphology and written expression. An internationally recognized speaker with an interactive, hands-on presentation style, William has presented on effective teaching practices at conferences and schools both in the United States and abroad since 1995. Recent projects include consulting with three schools as part of a literacy grant in Montana; participating on the MTSS Writing Standards Committee for the State of Pennsylvania; implementing several Trainer of Trainers projects using his sentence structure approach; and writing a series of workbooks and a companion book on developing composition skills to complement his sentence approach. He is the author of three books, including Writing Matters and Everything You Want to Know & Exactly Where to Find It, as well as a number of educational tools and activities. Previously, William served as a classroom teacher, tutor, and administrator in the private school arena at various points in his career.