Contributors

We are a small community of educators who write about our experiences with regard to literacy and leadership. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Lead Contributor: Matt Renwick (@ReadByExample, mattrenwick.com)

IMG_8325This is Matt’s seventeenth year in public education. He started as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After seven years of teaching, he served as a dean of students at a junior high, which developed into an assistant principalship and eventually head principal at an elementary school. Matt is now an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District. He also writes for ASCD, Lead Literacy, and Discovery Education.

Contributor: Paige Bergin (@PaigeBergin)

BerginPaige Bergin is starting her 4th year as an Instructional Coach. She has been in education for 15 years. Her bachelor’s degree is in Early Childhood Education and Master’s degree is in Educational Administration and Curriculum Supervision. Paige is National Board Certified. In 2010, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Paige loves sharing her passion for learning with students and teachers alike.

Contributor: Jessica Johnson (@PrincipalJ)

me.jpgJessica Johnson is an elementary school principal in Wisconsin.  She is the 2014 Wisconsin Elementary School Principal of the Year. She has previously taught in Minnesota and worked as an instructional coach and assistant principal in Arizona, earning her master’s degree at Arizona State University. As a continuing learner, she is passionate about literacy, principal productivity, social media, technology integration, and leading with a “coaching hat” as an administrator. She is the co-author of The Coach Approach to School Leadership (ASCD, 2017).

Contributor: Carrie Kreider (@ctkreider)

HeadshotCarrie is a middle school reading specialist in Philadelphia. She taught music before making the leap to literacy. She is interested in using the power of literacy for social justice and the relationship between music and literacy. In the rare moments when she’s not reading, you can find Carrie running, tending to her urban garden, or on the trapeze.

Contributor: Jen McDonough (@JenJMcDonough, Literacy Chats)

Jen McDonough has been a First Grade teacher and part-time literacy coach for the past 17 years.   She is the co-author of A Place for Wonder:  Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades with Georgia Heard and co-author of Conferring with Young Writers:  What to do When you Don’t Know What to Do with Kristin Ackerman (Stenhouse).  Jen presents to teachers across the country on reading and writing topics and is excited about her new role as a K-4 Literacy Specialist at The Pine School in Hobe Sound, Florida.

Contributor: Heather McKay (@HeatherMMcKay)

IMG_0869Heather has taught in public and private schools in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) over the last 20 years. She is currently serving K-12 students and schools through her position as a literacy specialist with the Calgary Board of Education. Heather continues to be drawn to the wonder of literacy and learning in all of its evolving forms.

Contributor: Dana Murphy (@DanaMurphy68, Murphy’s Law)

MeDana Murphy is an instructional coach in Woodridge, IL. She is a contributing writer at Choice Literacy and Lead Literacy. She lives in the south suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Contributor: Annie Palmer (@palmeramBreaking Education Barriers)

Anine Palmer.jpgAnnie Palmer is a K-12 literacy coach and curriculum facilitator in the Smithville School District in Smithville, Missouri.  Spending ten years in the classroom and four years as a coach, she has walked side-by-side with other literacy leaders.  Her work includes facilitating the design and implementation of a district literacy plan with the help of teachers, coaches and administration,  and numerous student-centered coaching cycles with teachers in kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Contributor: Dana Piercy (@danapiercy)

14670693_10207707860190391_2482678056494574186_nDana is an Oklahoman native. She received a Bachelors of Science in Education from The University of Oklahoma and a Masters in Leadership and Administration from Oklahoma State University. Dana has been a teacher for seventeen years.  She is currently teaching/working in a Title 1 school. Her love for education and children brought me to a different field in education…within the past couple years, Dana has transitioned to a literacy coach.

Contributor: Lee Shupe (The Misinformed Life of Abe Table)

imageLee spent several years as a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, five years as an instructional coach, a few years teaching alternative education, and is currently teaching high school math. His wife of 26 years, who he adores, teaches kindergarten. In his spare time, Lee is engineering sound for his church and writing fiction.

 

 

Contributor: Virginia Soukup (@VLSoukup)

Me 3.jpgVirginia is an Elementary Instructional Coach for Union Public Schools in Tulsa OK. She has served as a Kindergarten teacher, an Elementary Interventionist in the Native American Program, an Elementary Reading Specialist, and an Academic Specialist for the Union Carrera Program. Virginia received a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Northeastern State University.  Virginia believes every child has the right to receive a high-quality education.

 

 

Have a passion for literacy and leadership? Interested in contributing to this collaborative space? Fill out the form below for more information.

 

35 thoughts on “Contributors”

  1. Nice blog about the apps for administrators. I have resources to share in case you are interested. I have been doing two day “iPad 4 Administrators” workshops around North Dakota for the past two years.

    Just wanted to point out more of the value of Flipboard. You probably know this, but you can set up panels to search hashtags such as #edchat, #commoncore, #ccss, #ipadapps, etc.

    Then I use IFTTT (http://ifttt.com) to set up a rule so that when I click on the Favorite icon in any app, including Flipboard and Tweetdeck, it gets copied directly into a Evernote note. Several weeks ago Twitter closed the direct API that IFTTT had been using, so now it is a two step process using Google Reader to pull the info from Twitter, and then triggers IFTTT to copy it to Evernote. But it all happens seamlessly once you have it set up.

    Like

  2. Just read your post on the Nerdy Book Club blog. Thank you. I work for a children’s literacy nonprofit in Nashville, TN. One of our programs is Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) through which we send about 140 volunteers into nine Metro Nashville public schools to read and give each child a new book. We would like to share your post with our RIF volunteers and we hope to purchase some of the books, with some grant money, you mention for use in our RIF lending library from which volunteers choose books to read to classes. Also, would it be okay for us to link to your site on our website?
    Thanks for all you do for our children and their teachers and parents/guardians.
    Martha Ann Pilcher, coordinator of volunteers, Book’em, Nashville, TN
    volunteers@bookem-kids.org

    Like

  3. Just found your excellent blog. I am a retired principal, but I still want to read about what is going on in education so I am going to follow your blog and check out the links you suggest. I just read your post on positive reinforcement in different settings. Great job.

    Like

  4. I’m glad that I found your blog through Powerful Learning Practice today. I am working on an MEd in Adult Learning and wish to work as an Instructional Consultant one day!

    Like

  5. Hi Matt, I have been searching for principal with your foresight for quite some time now. Your articles have kept me up most nights this week especially the article titled “Why Our School Is Going Beyond Printed Newsletters” My company Schoolzine is an Australian based company that provides a communication platform to school, with the corner stone of the product being an online school newsletter. Below is a link to an example newsletter. We now have the system ready to launch into the US so I would love to have your professional feedback. We could even look at the possibility of offering you a free trial

    http://www.schoolzine.com.au

    Like

  6. I stumbled across your blog accidently and need to respond yet to your thoughts on the Data Wall. As I scrolled through other topics, I liked the fact that you are so current. Thus, I listened yesterday to EduWeek’s webinar. I’m thrilled you have Reading Recovery and are a Title I School (as are we). Have you found a technology, app, anything, you could recommend to really boost students learning their sight words that would motivate them? Thanks, Jennifer

    Like

    1. The only technology that I believe boosts both sight word recognition and motivation are narrated eBooks – Nook books, Kindle books, Oceanhouse Media apps, iBooks. Narrated eBooks allow a nonreader to bypass the decoding, for now, and just focus on comprehension and engagement. The examples I mentioned have minimal/no animation and professional narration. In addition, the words are often highlighted as they are read. There are other apps that consider themselves eBooks, but the amount of animation and options that come with them can distract the reader from the purpose of reading in the first place (for learning and for enjoyment). My thinking is not based on any evidence or research that I am aware of, just observation and common sense.

      When reading aloud eBooks to older students without narration, consider using mirroring technology. A teacher can project the Kindle or Nook book onto the board from their tablet. Kids can see the words, as well as watch you annotate and highlight important text. These teaching points can then be shared out on social media, such as classroom Twitter account. Great way to model summarization, conventions, and digital citizenship.

      Of course, technology doesn’t beats a teacher or parent reading aloud to a child every day!

      Like

  7. Hi Matt,

    Your blog is fantastic. I enjoyed your post on “Teacher to Learner”. You are clearly a leader in your field and a voice to be heard.

    I’m the operations manager at EdTechReview.com. Our mission is to save educators time and money by helping them find the right technology solutions. I’d appreciate you letting me know if you find the site of value. If so, we would love the opportunity to work with you in any fashion. We would also be interested in a paid advertising scenario.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Jared

    Jared Cassier
    Operations Manager | EdTechReview

    Like

  8. Matt, I am enjoying your blog. It inspires me.

    I have been playing around with Evernote for several months, and can’t seem to get started. For instance, how do you make folders within the IPad app?

    Do you have knowledge of a site I can go to, that is simple, and to the point, on how to use Evernote for reading conferences?

    I am a reading coach, and I want to be able to show teachers how this might work for them
    ( and I want to use it in coaching).

    Thanks so much,
    g

    Like

    1. Hi Gayla. Go to my page on this site titled Digital Student Portfolios. There you will find screencasts for setting up an Evernote account to document student learning.

      Best of luck,
      Matt

      Like

  9. Hi,
    I have nominated you for The Very Inspirational Blogger Award as I enjoy reading what you have to say about education. You have a lot to inspire other teachers and their students.
    You can check out the post in which I made the nomination here: http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-iM
    If you wish to pay the compliment forward, go to this post for the rules of participation: http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-hI
    Best wishes,
    Norah

    Like

  10. Hi Matt,
    Oops I’ve done it again! I hope you don’t mind. Obviously I think highly of your blog and wish to let others know how much I enjoy reading it so I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
    You can check out the nomination in my post http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-k4 .
    Participation is your choice. If you wish to nominate bloggers who inspire you, the rules are provided there.
    Thanks for sharing so much wonderful content on your blog.
    Best wishes, Norah.

    Like

  11. Matt..it’s me again, with another question. I was rereading your article over on the Stenhoyse Blog, and I was wondering about how you used ereaders for your two afternoon intervention. Did each student get an ereader? How many books did you put on each device? How did you decide what to put on each device, and how did you pay for it? I’m enamored with your idea, and am trying to figure out the logistics. Thank you for your time. You are an incredible educator.
    g

    Like

    1. Hi Gayla. Sorry I did not respond more quickly.

      We had ten eReaders available to students. Not every student got an eReader, but not every student wanted one either. There are around 15-20 books on each device, selected by current or previous students. All books were of high interest to the students, mostly fiction. We used Title I dollars to make these purchases.

      I hope that answers your questions Gayla.
      -Matt

      Like

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