I am originally from Morton, Illinois, near Peoria. My degrees are all from Indiana University at Bloomington. I have been a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver for over twenty years working in the areas of literacy, assessment, and pre-service and in-service teacher education. I am very proud of the programs that we have built in Reading and Writing, English Education, and Teacher Education and hope to continue to build their excellence for many more years. I have also used my talents to influence literacy instruction throughout the State of Colorado. I have a sound understanding of many types of schools-- urban, suburban, and rural - and their needs. Recently, I became director of the Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse (LCC), a project of the National Council Teachers of English with the International Reading Association. The Clearinghouse provides resources to literacy coaches, teachers, principals, and district administrators in hopes that literacy coaching can help teachers to reflect upon and improve their instruction and, in turn, improve students' learning. I deeply want to see teachers improve students' literacy learning at all levels and am excited to have received this national opportunity to lead the LCC as half of my current workload.
I come from a large family, am married, and have 3 step-daughters living in Colorado and Minnesota; I also have seven grandchildren. I have also been a Big Sister for many years to an African-American young woman and her three children. Can you guess that I enjoy most being part of team efforts?
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
In my 23 years as a faculty member in the School of Education & Human Development, I have taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. My students are working on degrees in general teacher education as part of their initial licensure program, on their M.A. degrees as part of the Reading and Writing or English Education programs, or as part of their doctoral degrees pursuing interest in students' literacy. My students have gone on to successful careers as elementary and secondary teachers, reading specialists, and literacy/reading/instructional coaches. Some have central office positions or are instructors/professors in community colleges and higher education institutions. My deepest wish is that my students learn to develop their abilities to teach literacy and content and take their new learning into applied context where they can really make a difference for both teachers and students.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development are:
- Secondary Literacy Instruction and Assessment - IPTE 5025
- Workshop in Literacy and Language Teaching - LLC 5020
- Linking Assessment and Instruction - LLC 5055
- Writing: Process, Development, and Teaching - LLC 5720
- Adolescent Literature - LLC 5760
- Seminar and Practicum in Language & Literacy - LLC 6910/11
I am also the major advisor for the Online Adolescent Literacy Certificate Program which includes LLC 5028, LLC 5055, and LLC 5029.
I direct the Secondary Literacy Network, a statewide network of teachers, coaches, and central office leaders who are interested in adolescent literacy. We offer courses through the Division of Continuing Education and the Front Range BOCES.
My research interests include:
- Literacy/reading/instructional coaching
- Literacy assessment
- Adolescent literacy
- Content/disciplined-based literacy
- School reform
My hobbies include:
I love to ski. In fact, I bought a helmet a few years ago because I can still do blue/black runs where if a powerful, really fast skier or skateboarder plowed into me, I'd be the loser! I thought that I had better be more safe than sorry. I also love to bike, to swim, and to hike in the mountains. I love music and will go to almost any live musical events--especially outdoor concerts that you can hear in Colorado during the summer. I also love to plan trips and would like to travel more. Of course, you can guess that I love to read and to write; I am avid enough about this that I read in all sorts of fields. I am deeply interested in how people learn and how they use their literacy to lead meaningful lives.
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