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Let me introduce myself. I am foremost a classroom teacher. I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in special education. My master's degree is in reading with an emphasis on testing and diagnosis of reading problems. My public teaching experience includes preschool, EMH, and first grade. My ten years of clinical teaching ranges from kindergarten to adult learners. My educational and clinical experiences, combined with on-going training in effective research based instructional techniques, have allowed me to see a wide range of students gain years of reading growth in relatively short periods of instructional time.
Helping teachers to better understand the reading process and successful instructional techniques has been a continuing goal of mine. During my ten years of clinical work I also provided training for teachers to local school districts. As a result of my time spent training teachers and modeling instruction with their students I developed classroom models of instruction reflecting both my classroom and clinical experiences and knowledge.
When I train and model, I share my passion for teaching and respect for the learner. I have a strong commitment to the teachers I train and wish to see them knowledgeable in the reading process and empowered in their ability to teach a broader range of students to read at grade level. My belief is that the teaching of reading is a rocket science (United Federation of Teachers Item No. 39-0372) and that there is much to bring teachers up to date on. I also know that teachers need specific assistance in understanding just where and how to effectively include this new knowledge into their instruction. The bottom line is in the outcomes. Do I have a teacher who is empowered and more students under his/her instruction are reading at grade level? If so, I now have an excited teacher and a confident student. I'm often asked, Don't you get tired of teacher training and doing the same thing over and over? My answer is: It's never the same and I'm always learning.
Mary has presented, trained, and coached for Pathways to Reading for several years. Prior to that, she was a district trainer, classroom teacher, and reading specialist for the Northwest R-1 School District in Missouri. Mary's twenty-seven year teaching experience included elementary levels kindergarten through fifth grade, middle school levels sixth through eighth, and four years experience in a self-contained special education class. Her degrees include a BS in Education and a Masters of Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Mary has been recognized by her district with the Excellence in Education distinction by the Board of Education and the Emerson Electric Excellence in Education Award. She was also selected for Teacher of the Year from the Northwest R-1 School District. In addition to training for PTR, she provides in-service workshops for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.
Janet Thompson recently retired after teaching 32 years in the Northwest R-1 School District in the state of Missouri. During her 32 years of teaching, she has taught Kindergarten, Second Grade, Fourth Grade, and Self-contained Special Education classes. Janet holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education Degree with an emphasis in Special Education. She has mentored beginning teachers and currently is a district trainer and coach for the Northwest R-1 School District aiding in the implementation of the Pathways to Reading Program. Janet provides staff development for phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension in the Northwest District. She has been a presenter at conferences in and out of the state of Missouri. In addition, she provides training in the above areas to districts in the states of Missouri and Kansas.
Janet has received Excellence in Education distinction from the Northwest R-1 District and has been recognized before the Board of Education as an exemplary teacher.
Jane's belief in the research, Scientists now estimate that 95 percent of all children can be taught to read at a level constrained only by their reasoning and listening comprehension abilities, (Fletcher and Lyon, 1998), was behind her passion to teach primary students to read proficiently. She believes that making meaning is the foundational reason for reading, and concluded that children cannot understand what they cannot decode. The search for systematic phonemic awareness and phonics instruction led Jane to the PTR model.
Ten years of classroom experience utilizing her model as well as a seven-year position as a reading specialist for the Pratt, Kansas Special Education Cooperative have allowed her to teach a wide range of students to read at grade level and serves as an inspiration to teachers as she provides PTR training.
Jane's educational background includes a Masters degree in Education from Wichita State University. She currently provides learning opportunities as a literacy specialist at Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK) in Hutchinson, Kansas. Her evaluations are consistently high and she strives to make learning engaging and fun. Jane looks forward to working with you to ensure that all students learn to read proficiently and grow to be lifelong learners.
Jennifer Phillips holds a Master's degree from Lesley University and is in her 16th year in education: 10 years in the classroom, 2 years as Literacy Coach, and 4 years in her current position as Instructional Coach for the Blue Springs School District. Jennifer has been an in district staff developer of PTR for 4 years. She also completed the Mentor Training Program at the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, as well as the University of Kansas Coaching Institute. In addition, Jennifer has been a mentor teacher with Graceland University's Professional Development School.
In 2004, Jennifer earned the honor of Blue Springs School District Teacher of the Year. Currently she is in her sixth year of working with staff developers Ellin Keene and Debbie Miller to facilitate a district wide residency program in literacy.
Corinne Arens is in her 8th year in education. Her experience consists of being a classroom teacher, a Literacy Coach as well as her current position as an Instructional Coach for the Blue Springs School District. Corinne began her teaching career as a member of the Kansas City Residential Urban Internship through NWMSU and spent two years at Troost Elementary. Corinne received her Reading Specialist Degree and MA in Literacy from Avila University. Corinne has been a Teacher Consultant for the Greater Kansas City Writing Project as well as for the RPDC.
During the 2008-2009 school year, Corinne was selected as a Teacher of the Year candidate. Currently she is working with staff developers Ellin Keene and Debbie Miller to facilitate a district wide residency program in literacy.