I’ve dedicated ten years to the formal study of education, six of which were focused on literacy. I completed my first stage of this journey at the State University of New York at Geneseo earning a bachelor’s degree in Special Education (1998) and a dual teaching certification in Elementary and Special Education.  Witnessing the devastating effects of literacy learning difficulties experienced by many of my students led me to acquiring a master’s degree in Reading (2004) from the University of Northern Colorado.  The more I learned, the more I was inspired to keep learning; therefore, I returned to the University of Northern Colorado, earning my doctorate in Educational Studies: Reading (2010).

While the formal study of education has contributed significantly to my success, I have also advanced professionally through my commitment to learning beyond the “ivory tower”. As an elementary teacher, I broadened and deepened my knowledge by frequently seeking out professional development (Wilson Reading, Balanced Literacy, Words Their Way), attending conferences (International Literacy Association, Council for Exceptional Children), and devouring professional texts (Strategies that Work, Mosaic of Thought, Bringing Words to Life, Phonics They Use, The Art of Teaching Writing).  Such experiences have and will continue to improve my knowledge and positively impact students. 

This is why I will always prioritize continuous learning from researchers, scholars, teachers, and leaders in my field.