Dr. Peter Afflerbach

Dr. Peter Afflerbach is Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Maryland at College Park. His research interests include  individual differences  in reading, factors influencing reading achievement, reading comprehension strategies, and reading assessment. Afflerbach has served on National  Academy of Education and National

Academy of Science committees related to literacy and literacy assessment. He is a member of the NAEP 2025 Reading Framework Development Committee and has served on the NAEP Standing Reading Committee and prior Reading Framework Committees. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Research Association. Afflerbach was elected to the International Literacy Association’s Reading Hall of Fame in 2009 and is a Research Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. Afflerbach is the author of Teaching readers (Not reading): Moving beyond skills and strategies to reader-focused instruction (2022), and Understanding and Using Reading Assessment, K-12 (3e, 2018). Prior to his employment at Emory University and then the University of Maryland, Afflerbach served as a Chapter 1 remedial reading teacher, reading and writing teacher in middle school, and high school English teacher. He is a proud graduate of New York City Public Schools.


Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson is an internationally recognized expert in the teaching of writing for grades K-8. He works as a consultant in schools and districts around the world, and is known for his conference keynotes, workshops, and in-school residencies. Carl is the author of numerous books on teaching writing, including the brand-new How to Become a Better Writing Teacher (with Matt Glover), A Teacher’s Guide to Mentor Texts K-5, and A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Conferences K-8.




Dr. Nancy Anderson

Nancy Anderson, Ph.D., is a professor of Literacy at Texas Woman’s University. Complex connections between language, literacy, and learning focus her research and work with children, teachers, and leaders. Her work has been published in national journals, including The Reading Teacher, and she has contributed chapters to multiple books. She 

co-authored a book for novice teachers, Linking Assessment to Reading Comprehension Instruction: A Framework for Actively Engaging Literacy Learners, K-8, and is engaged in multiple school-based research projects. She may be found most often joyfully laughing and learning with teachers and children in schools. 



Valerie Bang-Jensen


Valerie Bang-Jensen is a literacy consultant for schools, libraries, and outdoor spaces. She worked as a Professor of Education at Saint Michael's College for 23 years, teaching literacy and children's literature courses. Her most recent book is Literacy Moves Outdoors: Authentic Learning Approaches for Any Environment.



Seth Bishop

Seth Bishop is a data and evaluation specialist on the Special Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, where he leads data efforts related to IDEA accountability and racial equity. He organizes Wisconsin’s R User Group, a monthly cross-agency meeting of data analysts which focuses on professional development related to data analysis 


and the R statistical programming language. His academic background emphasized social theory and public policy, particularly in the areas of immigration, the politics of identity, and biopolitics. As an individual with multiple disabilities, Seth owes much of his success to his family of educators—particularly his mother—who fought to ensure he received the free and appropriate education that was his right. He is proud to pay those efforts forward by advocating for and protecting the rights of other children to receive the education and support they need.


Dr. Sam Bommarito

Dr. Sam Bommarito has a 52-year career in education, teaching every grade from K through graduate school. He has served as chair of both the St. Louis and the Missouri ILA affiliates. He's made numerous presentations at ILA (formally IRA) conferences, including national conferences. In spring 2022, he was featured at the LitCon and the main 

speaker at the Albany, New York area's ILA conference. Most of his career was spent working in Title 1 buildings as a reading specialist and/or staff developer. He is reading recovery trained and has been a strong voice defending Reading Recovery and other balanced literacy approaches. He has a weekly blog about literacy https://doctorsam7.blog/


Christina Brey

Christina Brey iis a proud product of Wisconsin Public Schools who is passionate about education in her role as Public Affairs Manager of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). She advances the WEAC’sadvocacy through strategic communications, marketing, public and media relations, government relations, campaign development and member engagement.




Kathryn Champeau

Kathryn Champeau is a reading specialist/consultant with over 40 years of experience, a former UW-Milwaukee adjunct instructor of 28 years, and a past president of the Wisconsin State Reading Association, currently serving as their Legislative Committee Chair. She works side-by-side with classroom teachers supporting their understanding of

dialogic and responsive teaching. Kathy has co-authored a recent book with Dr. Peter Johnston, Engaging Literate Minds: Developing Children’s Social, Emotional, and Intellectual Lives, K-3, which chronicles the results of this work. Kathy has presented at international, national, state, and local conferences.



Kathy Collins

Kathy Collins presents at conferences and works in schools all over the world to support teachers in  developing high-quality, effective literacy instruction.  She is the co-author, along with Matt Glover, of I Am Reading: Nurture Meaning-Making and Joyful  Engagement with Texts and the co-author, along with  Janine Bempechat, of Not This But That: No More

Mindless Homework. Kathy’s other books include Reading for Real: Teach Children to Read With Power, Intention,and Joy in K-3 Classrooms and Growing Readers: Units of Study in Primary Classrooms. Kathy has been a classroom teacher in Brooklyn, NY, collaborated with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, and has been involved with several literacy think tanks and organizations. She and her family live in Durham, New Hampshire.


Dr. Catherine Compton-Lilly

Dr.Compton-Lilly teaches courses in  literacy studies and works with professional development schools in at the University of South  Carolina. She has a passion for helping teachers to support children in learning to read and write. Her interests include examining how time operates as a  contextual factor in children’s lives as they progress through school and construct their

identities as students and readers. Dr. Compton-Lilly is the author/editor of several books and has published widely in educational journals.


Dan Feigelson

Dan Feigelson is a national and international literacy consultant who has traveled the globe leading institutes, workshops, and lab-sites on the teaching of reading and writing. An early member of the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he worked for decades in New York City public schools as a teacher, staff developer, 

curriculum writer, principal, and local superintendent. A regular presenter and keynote speaker at national and international conferences, Dan is the author of Radical Listening: Reading and Writing Conferences To Reach All Students (Scholastic); Reading Projects Reimagined: Student-Driven Conferences to Deepen Critical Thinking (Heinemann); and Practical Punctuation: Lessons in Rule Making and Rule Breaking in Elementary Writing (Heinemann). He lives in New York City and the Hudson Valley. 


Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher is a literacy education author an consultant, specializing in the teaching of English Language Arts for grades 4-12. Informed by a 35 year teaching career, Kelly has developed and shares an ever-evolving body of work that helps teachers engage and empower even the most reluctant readers and writers. Kelly is the former president of the Secondary Reading Group for the International Literacy Association and the author of several professional development books, including Readicide and Write Like This, and two books co-written with Penny Kittle, 180 Days and Four Essential Studies. Kelly also works with Savvas Learning Company as a featured author for the myPerspectives and iLit ELA programs for grades 6-12.




Gravity Goldberg

Gravity Goldberg is an international educational consultant and author of nine books on teaching including her latest release, Active Learning: 40 Teaching Methods to Engage Students in Every Class and Every Subject (Corwin, 2023). She has over 20 years of teaching experience, including positions as a science teacher, reading specialist, third grade teacher, 

special educator, literacy coach, staff developer, assistant professor, educational consultant, and yoga teacher. Gravity holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from Boston College and a doctorate from Teachers College. As the founding director of Gravity Goldberg, LLC she leads a team that offers side-by-side coaching and workshops that focus on teachers as decision-makers and student-led instruction.



Berit Gordon

Berit Gordon is an author of books for teachers and a teacher coach to schools nationwide. Two of her books include No More Fake Reading: Merging the Classics With Independent Reading to Create Joyful Lifelong Readers  and The Joyful Teacher: Strategies for Becoming the Teacher Every Student Deserves.  Before consulting, Berit taught in NYC public schools 

and the Dominican Republic. She is also a former instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She's frequently told she "speaks the language" of teachers and truly understands the nuts and bolts of ELA teaching and how challenging it is. Her workshops are known to be engaging, fast-paced, and highly practical.


 Chia Gounza Vang

Chia Gounza Vang is a Hmong American YA historical fiction author and teacher. Born in Laos in the midst of a civil war after the Vietnam War, she spent her childhood life living in fear and education was inaccessible. Her parents made a decision that changed her life. She came to America and started her education as a teenager. Education and opportunity made her dreams possible. She has been teaching middle school students for 22 years and recently published her debut novel, The Illiterate Daughter, a young adult historical fiction about the Secret War conflict in Laos and a Hmong family’s struggles to survive, and their trek to safety in Thailand. The Illiterate Daughter is the first book in the Young Guardian series. The second book, The Dreamer’s Dream, will be out soon. Chia likes historical fiction and learns history through it. When she is immersed in the characters’ world, feeling their pain, struggles, love, happiness, and life, history comes alive to her, and she hopes her readers would learn about the Secret War conflict in Laos, the struggles many Hmong families endured, the hazardous journey to safety, and the hardship adjusting to a new life through her book series, The Young Guardian.

Lara J. Handsfield

Lara J. Handsfield is a Professor of Elementary Literacy and Bilingual Education at Illinois State University, in Normal, Illinois, where she teaches literacy and bilingual methods courses for undergraduates, and graduate courses in theoretical foundations of literacy. La

ra’s research critically examines comprehension instruction in multilingual classrooms, how teachers negotiate multiple and conflicting pedagogical demands in their work, and implications for student and teacher identity construction. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and published in several academic and professional journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, Language Arts, the Journal of Literacy Research, The Reading Teacher, Research in the Teaching of English, and Linguistics in Education. She is author of Literacy Theory as Practice: Connecting Theory and Instruction in K-12 Classrooms (Teachers College Press, 2016) and co-author of The Complex Development of Preservice and Inservice Teacher Identities Across Space and Time (Peter Lang, 2020). In 2021, she was named an ISU University Outstanding Researcher.


Patrick Harris II

Patrick Harris II is a Black queer writer, storyteller, and middle school humanities teacher. He has won multiple national teaching awards for his leadership and innovation in the classroom, including recognitions from NCTE, ASCD, and ILA. Patrick is the author of The First Five, A Love Letter to Teachers. Teaching and creating is only part of who Patrick is.




Dr. Towanda Harris

Dr. Towanda Harris brings over twenty years of experience to the education world. Towanda is the author of The Right Tools: A Guide to Selecting, Evaluating, and Implementing Classroom Resources and Practices. She has a passion for empowering educators to freely and joyfully support young minds, build strong relationships, and create spaces for students to be their authentic selves. Educators around the country rely on her wisdom about finding resources that meet their teaching goals, connect with students and foster agency. Dr. Harris’ workshops have been featured at the Virginia State Literacy Association Conference, Wisconsin State Reading Association Conference, National Reading Recovery Conference, Indiana State Reading Conference, and National Council of Teachers of English. Teachers turn to her to learn how to employ those resources, blend them with best practices, and help all students reach their full potential.


George G. Hruby Ph.D.

George G. Hruby Ph.D.(Reading Education, University of Georgia, 2002) is the associate research title professor of literacy education at the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. His scholarship has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed research journals and handbooks. Hruby is known internationally for his scholarly reviews of the 

neuroscience research on reading. He is also appreciated for his theoretical analyses on reading development and its variability. He was the executive director of Kentucky’s Collaborative Center for Literacy Development from 2010-2023, and is the chair of the International Literacy Association’s Dyslexia Task Force.


 Carol Jago

Carol Jago has taught English in middle and high school for many years and is associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA. She served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English and has published many books with Heinemann including The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis. She currently serves on the International Literacy Association executive board.



Courtney Jenkins

Courtney Jenkins started her career in education as a paraprofessional in a segregated school for students with disabilities, which literally paid for – and informed the focus of – her legal training. Since then, she has conducted legal investigations under federal and state civil rights laws for the State of Wisconsin; managed systems-change state initiatives focused on 

gender and racial equity in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa and Wisconsin; and served on the senior management team of a national civil rights organization. She currently works on the Special Education Team at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Courtney focuses on justice in education in honor of her mother, who grew up white in the segregated south, and her daughters, to whom she wants to leave a fairer world. For over two decades, Courtney Reed Jenkins, JD, CPM, has focused on eliminating institutional barriers to success for people targeted for marginalization. She has managed systems-change state initiatives focused on gender and racial equity in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa and Wisconsin; and served on the senior management team of a national civil rights organization.


Elizabeth (Betsy) Kaye

Elizabeth L. (Betsy) Kaye is an associate professor in the Dept. of Literacy and Learning at Texas Woman’s University. She has 18 years of public school experience, serving as a special education teacher, classroom teacher, reading interventionist and district literacy staff developer. She holds a Ph.D. in Reading Education and is actively involved as a Reading Recovery trainer in addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Betsy regularly collaborates with teachers and district leaders to support literacy learners in elementary schools. Her research interests include early literacy, literacy intervention, and self-monitoring in reading and writing. She has published articles in journals such as The Reading Teacher and Literacy Research and Instruction.



Katie Kelly 

Katie Kelly is an Associate Professor at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. As a former teacher and literacy coach, Katie’s teaching and research interests include engaging children in meaningful literacy experiences and practices to foster lifelong literacy, equity, and justice. She is widely published in several peer-reviewed journals including The Reading Teacher and Voices from the Middle. She has co-authored four books: Critical Comprehension: Lessons for Guiding Students to Deeper Meaning (Corwin); Reading To Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Think Deeply Speak Freely and Take Action (Heinemann); From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-12 Literacy Practices (Solution Tree); and Smuggling Writing: Strategies that Get Students to Write Every Day, in Every Content Area (3-12) (Corwin).


Penny Kittle

Penny Kittle teaches first year writers at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She was a teacher and literacy coach in public schools for 34 years. She is the author of nine books including Micro Mentor Texts, Book Love, Write Beside Them, and two books co-authored with Kelly Gallagher: 4 Essential Studies and 180 Days. She is the founder and president of the Book Love Foundation, which annually grants classroom libraries to teachers throughout North America. Penny works beside teachers and leaders across the world to empower young readers and writers.




Jennifer LaGarde

Jennifer LaGarde is a lifelong teacher and learner with over 20 years in public education. Her educational passions include leveraging technology to help students develop authentic reading lives, meeting the unique needs of students living in poverty and helping learners (of all ages) discern fact from fiction in the information they consume. Jennifer is the coauthor of the books Fact VS Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking In the Age of Fake News (ISTE, 2018) and Developing Digital Detectives (ISTE, 2021) with Darren Hudgins. Subscribe to their free monthly information literacy newsletter here! A huge fan of YA Literature, Jennifer currently lives, works, reads and drinks lots of coffee in Olympia, Washington. Follow her adventures at www.librarygirl.net or on Twitter @jenniferlagarde.


Merri Lindgren

Merri Lindgren is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center, (CCBC) a the School of Education. The CCBC is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.




Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon, Ph.D.

Gwendolyn Thompson McMillon, Ph.D. is professor of literacy in the Department of Teaching & Learning at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research focuses on examining literacy experiences of African American students in school and out-of-school learning environments, such as the Black Church, to improve literacy teaching and learning across contexts. Her work informs effective ways to support teachers’ efforts to develop home-community-school connections and help students navigate successful border-crossing between learning environments. She has conducted community-based participatory research for almost 25 years and is currently project director and principal investigator for the I Read, I lead, I Succeed Literacy Program for K-5 students. Dr. McMillon is co-author of best-selling Change is Gonna Come: Transforming Literacy Education for African American Students - winner of the Edward Fry Book Award. She is also co-author of Bridging Equity and Literacy: Guidelines for Social Equity Teaching and recently released Affirming the Lives and Literacies of Black Students: Bearing Witness.


Teaira McMurtry

Teaira McMurtry, PhD is an Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a former high school English Language Arts teacher, literacy leader, and curriculum specialist for Milwaukee Public Schools. She has published articles on the promising outcomes of centering Black Language in curriculum and pedagogy in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and English Journal




Ananda Mirilli

Ananda Mirilli is unafraid and unapologetic in her commitment to, and centering of, racial justice from a global & intersectional space, that evokes creativity and innovation in tackling deep seated inequities. She is a native of Brazil, and she has a long history of working with communities in the U.S. and abroad. At age 14 she engaged in the social justice movement 

advocating for children with multiple abilities, youth and seniors experiencing poverty and homelessness. Ananda works for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as a Grant Director of the WI Network, a statewide initiative that works to address racial disproportionality in special education and discipline. Ananda is a doctoral student at Alverno College, centering her work around co-creating belonging in learning spaces. Ananda holds a master’s degree in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Psychology. In Madison, Wisconsin, Ananda is a former member of the Board of Education of the Madison Metropolitan School District, Nuestro Mundo Bilingual School and Unidos Against Domestic Violence. She is also the President for the Latino Education Council and Communities United. Lastly, Ananda is a proud and dedicated mother to her 19-year-old daughter Breana.


Lindsey Moses

Lindsey Moses is an associate professor of literacy education at Arizona State University and an author and consultant. A former elementary teacher, Lindsey works with classroom teachers across the country and internationally supporting the implementation of effective literacy instruction. She conducts ongoing classroom-based research on elementary literacy instruction in diverse classroom settings. Lindsey brings her classroom and research experience together to provide practical, research-based instructional ideas for teachers in her books and presentations. Her latest books include What Are the REST of My Kids Doing? Fostering Independence in the K-2 Reading Workshop and Supporting English Learners in the Reading Workshop.



David J. O'Connor

David J. O'Connor is an American Indian Studies Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.





Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick has served in public education for 23 years. 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 along with athletic director duties. As an elementary principal in Mineral Point, WI, he continues to enjoy the relationships he develops with students, faculty, and families.Matt is an author. He wrote Five Myths About Classroom Technology: How do we integrate digital tools to truly enhance learning? (2016) and Digital Portfolios in the Classroom:Showcasing and Assessing Student Work (2017) for ASCD, as well as Leading Like a C.O.A.C.H.: Five Strategies for Supporting Teaching and Learning (2022) for Corwin. Matt is a frequent writer for Choice Literacy, MiddleWeb, and his weekly newsletter at https://readbyexample.subtack.com. Matt has also taught future administrators in graduate courses on curriculum and instructional leadership at the university level.


Megan Schliesman

Megan Schliesman is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center, (CCBC) a the School of Education. The CCBC is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.





John Schu

John Schu is the author of Louder Than Hunger, This Is a School, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison, and This Is a Story, illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Lauren Castillo. He also wrote the adult study The Gift of Story: Exploring the Affective Side of the Reading Life. Children’s librarian for Bookelicious, part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and former Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic Book Fairs, Mr. Schu—as he is affectionately known—continues to travel the world to share his love of books.


Frank Serafini

Frank is a Professor of Literacy Education and Children’s Literature at Arizona State University. Frank has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in the field of literacy education, multimodality, and children’s literature. His newest book entitled Beyond the Visual: An Introduction to Researching Multimodal Phenomena was published in 2022.





Cris Tovani

Cris Tovani is an internationally known consultant who focuses on issues of disciplinary reading and writing instruction. She was awarded the 2017 Thought Leader award from the International Literacy Association. Cris has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Colorado, Metropolitan State University, and the University of Denver. She is the author of five books. Her most recent from Stenhouse is, Why do I Have to Read This? Literacy Strategies to Engage Our Most Reluctant Students. Other books by Cris are: No More Telling as Teaching- Less Lecture-More Engaged Learning, I Read it but I Don’t Get It, Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? and So, What do They Really Know? For 35 years, Cris taught students from grades one to twelve. She continues to study the “knowing-doing gap” by investigating how current cognitive science can be practically applied to meet a variety learners’ needs. Embracing a growth mindset, she loves sharing her successes and failures with colleagues as they work to serve students.


Stef Wade

Stef Wade's dreams came true when she published her first children's book, A Place for Pluto in 2018. She continues to live her dream every day writing books and presenting to children all across the country to share learning, love, and laughter.Stef's other books include The Very Last Leaf, Q & U Call It Quits, Moving To Mars and Every Day's a Holiday. She's the recipient of the 2019 LITA Golden Duck Notable Picture Book Award, honorable mention for the Tofte/Wright Children's Literacy Award and a nominee and runner-up for multiple state book awards. She loves to travel the country and the world with her college sweetheart husband and three historically and literary named boys. They currently reside in Brookfield, Wisconsin with their Goldendoodle, Bobby Franklin.


Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is currently the RR Teacher Leader-in-Residence at The Ohio State University and was a classroom teacher and literacy coach for over 30 years in Ohio. He served RRCNA as President and has been on the Board from 2013-present. Jeff has also been on the Board of Directors for NCTE from 2008-2012. Jeff presents at international and national conferences and consults in districts across the country. He has co-authored and contributed to professional books, numerous professional journals, and authored 120 children’s books for Hameray.




Jeff Wilhelm

A full time classroom teacher for 15 years, Jeff Wilhelm is currently Distinguished Professor of English Education at Boise State, director of the Boise State Writing Project (and the founding director of the Maine Writing Project!) and a teacher of middle or high schoolers each spring. He has authored 42 texts, mostly about literacy teaching, including: the NCTE Promising Research Award winner “You Gotta BE the Book” and the Russell Awards for Distinguished Research for both “Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys” and for Reading Unbound: Promoting the Power of Pleasure Reading. His latest books are Planning Powerful Instruction: 7 Must Make Moves of Transformational Teaching which operationalizes major agreements from across the learning sciences about effective teaching and powerful learning and Fighting Fake News: Identifying and Interrogating Information Pollution about how to help students know the susceptibilities of their own minds and how to control for these when reading digital texts and social media.