My Piece of the Puzzle

  • I combine a deep knowledge of educational research, particularly in the fields of literacy, ELA, and culturally responsive/sustaining practices, with years of practical experience designing, managing, and implementing educational initiatives in schools and districts.
    I seek to connect research and practice, and am always looking for ways to combine what is
    innovative and paradigm-shifting in research with what is useful to learners and educators
    in their daily lives.
  • I believe that reading, writing, and talk are deeply entwined, and seek to infuse any education experience I design with powerful, agency-building opportunities to connect reading, writing, and talk.
  • My past work, including my article “Bringing Together Fictional and Informational Texts To Improve Comprehension” recognizes that literacy is as connected to STEM and history, as it is to ELA, and I continue to pay careful attention to where literacy shows up in all content areas.
  • I have extensive training and experience with designing ELA curriculum, reading instruction, reading intervention programs, early literacy programs, and literacy-related instruction for multilingual learners.

My Background

I began my career studying Medieval and Renaissance literature, and then later, out of a craving to do work more directly rooted in the building of equity and social justice, switched over to working in education. Through my work as a public school teacher in San Francisco, I became interested in multilingual education, reading instruction, and environmental education. All of these interests came together in a grant-funded project I developed for the San Francisco Education Fund, in which young multilingual learners used outdoor photography and exploration of the natural world to develop language and literacy skills.

After moving to Massachusetts, I worked as an ELA Curriculum Director, literacy coach, and reading specialist, leading ELA, literacy, and curriculum initiatives in urban and suburban districts. While working in Lowell MA, I led the successful redesign of a preK-5 literacy program for a school, with a high proportion of multilingual learners, which subsequently moved from state classification as an underperforming school to state classification as a successfully-performing school. Building on this work with literacy-program redesign and my experience as an ELA curriculum director, I began working as a curriculum designer at national nonprofits, where I developed curriculum and professional learning materials.

My education writing has appeared in The Reading Teacher,  Greater Good Magazine, UC Berkeley, and ASCD Express, and Literacy Today.  Widely cited, my article for the Reading Teacher

, “Bringing Together Fictional and Informational Texts To Improve Comprehension”, has been referenced in a number of books and articles on comprehension, text sets, and curriculum design, as well as included in a number of course syllabi.

The thread that connects where I started professionally —with an interest in the literature of the past —to where I am now as a curriculum designer is an abiding interest in how we can learn to read the world, indoors and outdoors, in equitable, joyful, and sustaining ways.

What Brings Me Joy in the World

I spend way too much time reading books, digging holes for plants, and trying to identify birds. I also like to do anything outside with friends, family, and dogs, particularly running on trails.

For a few years, I have been trying to turn my yard into a garden for pollinators and other insects by ditching the grass, and replacing it with flowering perennials and native plants, which I grow from seed, cuttings, and division. Each year my yard looks a little less like a lawn, and a little more like a meadow with flowers of all sorts. I look forward to hearing and seeing the bees in the Sunchoke patch each summer .

What I’ve Been Inspired to Work On

I have been inspired to work on designing a competency continuum for a school.

I have also been inspired to work on research-informed practice guides, tailored to the curriculum and needs of a specific school.

Learning Communities & Credentials

  • Ph.D., English Language and Literature, University of Virginia, 2010
  • M.Ed., Language and Literacy, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2003
  • CLAD Teaching Credential, New College of CA, 1991
  • M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Virginia, 1989
  • B.A., English Literature, High Honors, Oberlin College, 1985
  • MA Educator Licensure:
    • Reading, All Levels
    • Supervisor/Director, Reading/Language Arts
    • Elementary, 1-6
    • Early Childhood, Students With and Without Disabilities, PreK-3
    • English as a Second Language, PreK-9
    • English, 5-8
    • English, 8-12
    • Sheltered English Immersion, Administrator
    • Sheltered English Immersion, Teacher

From our reDesign community to yours, we look forward to connecting, co-designing, learning, and sharing with you.