Research Project Specialist, KUCRL
2016 SIM CONFERENCE PRESENTERS
Research Project Specialist, KUCRL
Associate Professor, Department of Special Education, University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, MN
Gwen Berry has been conducting professional development in the SIM Model since 1992. She is graduate of the University of Kansas and earned her doctoral degree through the Center for Research on Learning. She is an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
SIM Program Manager, Education Service Center, Region 13
Mary, as an administrator at Riverbank High School, CA, was part of the leadership team guiding their CLC Project beginning in 2003, and in 2006, Riverbank High School won the SIM Impact Award. After leaving Riverbank, she became the principal at Merced High School where she initiated the implementation of the CLC and SIM. She moved to Texas in 2010 and joined the SIM team at the Texas Education Center Region 13 in Austin where she works as the SIM Program Manager and Professional Developer Leader on the restructured Strategic Instruction team.
Assistant Research Professor, KUCRL
Dr. Irma Brasseur-Hock is a research associate at the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas. Her research interests include adolescent literacy, staff development, coaching, instructional technology, and instructional sustainability. She has coordinated several federally funded research projects, including a study that developed a reading skill profile of struggling adolescent readers. Together with her colleagues, she developed and validated Fusion Reading, a reading program for struggling adolescent readers. Dr. Brasseur has extensive experience as a special education teacher and is highly regarded for her skills as a professional development specialist, particularly in the area of adolescent literacy.
Research Professor, University of Kansas, KU-CRL
Dr. Janis Bulgren is a research professor at the Center for Research on Learning and courtesy assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. Her interests lie in the design and implementation of teaching routines for use by general content teachers whose classes include students with learning disabilities and at-risk students. Dr. Bulgren’s research addresses ways that teachers can plan for and provide instruction so that all students learn to process and think about critical content information. The focus is on both acquisition of critical content knowledge and cognitive approaches to higher-order thinking and reasoning. Dr. Bulgren’s recent research on analysis and evaluation of scientific and socio-scientific arguments has been extended to the development of an educational game to support student learning and engagement in argumentation.
Education Program Specialist, KUCRL
Kristina Clark is a 2014 KU alumnus. She came to the CRL as a student and now works full time to keep the Center up and running with new, innovative technology. She has also worked as a Special Education paraprofessional, substitute teacher, youth mentor, and as a Lawrence Arts Center instructor. In her free time, Kristina enjoys traveling to comic conventions, working on home projects, spending time with her many nieces and nephews, and running with her three dogs. Kristina holds a Kansas teaching license in Visual Art Education (earned at KU), and a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas Wesleyan University (2009) in Graphic Design
Instructional Staff Developer, Assistant Project Manager, SPDG SIM Project, FDLRS Administration
Janice Creneti is the Assistant Project Manager/Lead Instructional Staff Developer for Florida’s State Personnel Development Grant SIM Project. She has been a Certified Content Enhancement Professional Developer since January 2011 and has been instrumental in expanding the use of Content Enhancement in her home district of Pinellas County, Florida. She has 24 years of experience as a public school educator and professional developer in the areas of science and Career/Technical Education and 6 years as an instructional coach. She is a passionate believer in the game changing power of high-quality Professional Development.
Professor Emeritus, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Research Scientist Associate, KUCRL
Edwin S. Ellis is a Professor Emeritus, University of Alabama Department of Special Education and Multiple Abilities and Research Affiliate and SIM Professional Development Specialist, University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.
Ed has conducted research on strategic instruction for over 30 years and works extensively on putting that research into practice. While his scholarship is well known and studied in the academic community, the practical, user-friendly instructional materials stemming from his research is used extensively in elementary and secondary schools as well as in teacher-preparation programs throughout North America.
Associate Professor, The University of Kansas
Jim Ellis, associate professor, joined the KU faculty in the fall of 1997. His research focus is on science education reform aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards so that all students are successfully prepared for college and careers upon graduation of high school. He currently is Principal Investigator on an NSF-supported project investigating the use of social media to enhance teacher and student use of scientific argumentation in biology. He teaches and advisees in initial licensure program for science teacher education and advisees and teaches courses at the graduate level (masters and doctoral) in science education. He has a half-time appointment as the accreditation coordinator for KU’s educator preparation programs.
Prior to joining the KU faculty, he worked for two years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, for thirteen years as a senior staff associate at the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, and for three years as a visiting assistant professor in the Science Education Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Ellis also taught science for three years in the junior high in Garden City, Kansas. He earned his B.A. degree in Zoology, his M.A. degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and his Ph.D. in Education all from the University of Kansas.
Sixth Grade Teacher, Keppel Union School District
Sarah Eylands, M.Ed. is a sixth grade teacher at Keppel Academy Middle School in Littlerock, CA. In 2009, she was Teacher of the Year for her district, and in 2015 she was an integral part of her school receiving the prestigious Gold Ribbon School Award. Sarah’s love for learning and education is reaching a new high as she is receiving her professional developer certification for SIM this week.
Regional Literacy Consultant, Ohio State Support Team Region 1
Associate Professor, Auburn University
Margaret Flores, Ph.D., BCBA-D is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling at Auburn University. Her research interests include mathematics interventions for students with disabilities and students receiving tiered interventions.
Virginia Project Manager, KUCRL
Manakin Sabot, VA
Diane C. Gillam is the Virginia Project Manager at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. In her current position, she is overseeing the implementation of the CLC model in school sites across the commonwealth. This includes responsibility for orchestrating all CLC planning, implementation, and evaluation activities in all target sites.
Ms. Gillam earned a M.Ed. in special education from James Madison University and is also a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model. Prior to her current position, she provided leadership at the Virginia Department of Education as a specialist in the Office of Special Education Instructional Services, taught in the classroom for 16 years, served as an administrator, and was an educational consultant in a university setting.
Director of Professional Development, KUCRL
Patty has been a Strategic Instruction Model (SIM®) professional developer since 1988 and a SIM Professional Development Leader since 1994. She is the Director of Professional Development at the University of Kansas Center for Research onLearning and leads the SIM Professional Developer Network. Patty spent 25 years in public schools in Palm Beach County, Florida Schools and in Pennsylvania as a classroom teacher for students with disabilities, a district resource teacher, a district program planner for high incidence disabilities, and professional development specialist. Patty holds her B.S. and M.Ed. in special education from Edinboro Univesity and is certified in several intervention and support programs. She earned her Ph.D. in special education and reading from the University of Kansas under the mentorship of Dr. Donald Deshler and Dr. Jean Schumaker. Her targeted interests are in adolescent literacy, school improvement and professional development.
Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University
Grand Rapids, MI
Monica L. Harris earned her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is a member of the SIM PDers Network and author of the Word Mapping Strategy. Her research interests include vocabulary instruction in inclusive general education classrooms and working with schools to implement a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) and positive behavioral intervention and supports (PBIS). Currently, Dr. Harris is working on supplementary materials to enhance word study instruction in content area classrooms.
Interim Director, KUCRL
Dr. Michael Hock is associate director of the Center for Research on Learning and Associate Research Scientist at the University of Kansas. His research involves the development and validation of reading, student motivation, professional learning, and interventions that respond to the needs of districts or agencies as well as the needs of academically underprepared adolescents and adults. He has directed research and development efforts for literacy-based programs for adolescent and adults, and his interests include the design and validation of instructional strategies and practices for improving student outcomes for adolescents who struggle with learning. He and his colleagues developed and validated a high school reading program for struggling adolescent readers called Fusion Reading™. His interests also include school transformation and the change process.
Learning Resource Specialist, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources Systems (FDLRS)
Allison Kanji has a strong background in social studies, and has numerous experience teaching reading and writing across the curriculum including implementing AVID strategies, Document-Based Questions (DBQ) and Write Track into her teaching. She was fortunate to begin her career at Ocoee Middle School, Florida’s Demonstration School for Technology where technology was infused throughout the curriculum and co-teaching was the norm. As a newly certified SIM Professional Developer in Content Enhancement, Allison’s area of focus at the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources Systems (FDLRS) includes the Strategic Instruction Model, English Language Arts, Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction.
Professor in the Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics Program in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Kansas and Director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI).
Dr. Kingston is a Professor in the Research, Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics Program in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Kansas and serves as director of the Achievement and Assessment Institute (AAI).
In June 2015, the National Association of Assessment Directors honored him at the AERA annual conference for Outstanding Contributions to Education Assessment. These include Dynamic Learning Maps which “are poised to change standardized testing across the US by giving immediate feedback to teachers throughout the school year on the progress of their students,” according to School of Education Dean Rick Ginsberg. The grant supporting the DLMs is the largest grant in KU history.
Dr. Kingston’s research focuses broadly on improving large-scale assessments so they better support student learning, especially the use of fine-grained learning maps as an organizing structure for instruction and formative assessment, which will be the topic of his keynote address.
Author of over 180 publications and presentations on assessment topics, his specialized knowledge and experiences in the development and deployment of various tools are reasons for inviting him to keynote for the Network.
Research Associate, KUCRL
Jim Knight has spent more than two decades studying professional learning, effective teaching, and instructional coaching. He is a Research Associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and the President of the Instructional Coaching Group and the Impact Research Lab.
Jim has written or co-authored several books including Instructional Coaching: A Partnership Approach to Improving Instruction (Corwin, 2007). Knight), Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach to Dramatically Improving, edited Coaching: Approaches and Perspectives (Corwin, 2009) and co-authored Coaching Classroom Management (Pacific Northwest Publishing,2010). Jim’s newest books are High-Impact Instruction: A Framework or Great Teaching (Corwin, 2013) and Focus on Teaching: Using Video for High-Impact Instruction (Corwin, 2014).
Jim’s articles on professional learning, teaching, and instructional coaching have appeared in journals such as “The Journal of Staff Development,” “Principal Leadership,” “The School Administrator,” “Kappan,” and “Educational Leadership.”
Frequently asked to lead professional learning, Knight has presented or consulted with more than 50,000 educators from six continents.
Professor,Department of Special Education at California State University Northridge
Beth Lasky, Ph.D. has been a Professor in the Department of Special Education at CSU Northridge for 36 years. During this time she has used SIM to train both general and special education teachers. In 2012, she won the SIM Leadership Award for her commitment and contribution to SIM. In addition to SIM, her area of passion is training teachers to meet the needs of English language learners.
Pam has worked in various projects across the United States helping schools successfully implement SIM through a focus on the Content Literacy Continuum. She is currently working as project manager of North Carolina’s Statewide CLC Initiative. Prior to her work as a consultant, Pam worked in the public school systems teaching special education and serving as a secondary special education coordinator. She was a school improvement leader in her home district of Holland, Michigan where she helped to initiate a district-wide CLC project, which eventually earned Holland Public Schools the SIM Impact Award. Pam is also a past recipient of the SIM Leadership Award. She received her M.A in Special Education at West Virginia University.
Velvet Bridge - GIST
Kansas City, MO
Peter Lenz has been the managing member of Velvet-Bridge, LLC the maker of GIST(Graphic Interactive System for Teaching) for 8 years.
President, Velvet Bridge, LLC
Keith Lenz has been an educator and researcher in education and special education for more than 30 years. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Lenz has focused on the design, validation, and evaluation of interventions to promote the success of students in secondary schools, including students with disabilities. Dr. Lenz was a senior researcher at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and a faculty member in the Department of Special Education for more than 20 years before joining SRI in 2010 and is one of the original developers of the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM), the Learning Strategies Curriculum, the Content Enhancement Series, and the Content Literacy Continuum. He is also the developer of the Graphic Interactive System for Teaching (GIST) software that teachers throughout the United States use to plan and implement research-based interventions based on the principles of UDL (Universal Design for Learning) and strategic instruction in general education classrooms.
Coordinator/SIM Professional Developer
Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Center at Virginia Tech
Dana is a coordinator at the VDOE T/TAC at Virginia Tech and a SIM™ Professional Developer for Learning Strategies and Content Enhancement. She is responsible for providing instructional coaching and support to teachers and administrators implementing evidence-based and inclusive practices. Dana has worked with students with and without disabilities at the secondary level for more than twenty years. Her specialties include SIM, CLC, tiered interventions, inclusive practices, instructional coaching, teacher leadership, and school-wide change.
Florida Inclusion Network- Inclusion Facilitator, Florida Inclusion Network East Region
Elaine McCann has many years of experience as an educator, and has taught elementary, middle and high school students, with a primary focus on learning strategies and content enhancement. She also worked as co-teacher and support facilitator in the areas of reading and language arts. She has been a SIM professional developer for over 18 years. As a FIN (Florida Inclusion Network) facilitator, she takes the time to provide meaningful supports and opportunities to teachers, school and district administrators and families of students with disabilities.
Coordinator and SIM Professional Developer
Virginia Department of Education T/TAC at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Whitney is a coordinator at the VDOE T/TAC at Virginia Tech and a SIM™ Professional Developer. She graduated from Radford University with a Master of Science degree in the area of high incidence disabilities, K–12, and in the spring of 2009, she graduated from Virginia Tech with an Ed.S. degree in the area of administration and supervision. She has sixteen years of experience working with and instructing students with disabilities in both elementary and secondary public school settings
Human Resource Development @ FDLRS Action
Melissa is a certified SIM professional developer for a Learning Strategies and Content Enhancement. Melissa earned her National Board Certification in 2004. She has experience in middle and high school settings as a reading and Learning Strategies teacher; co-teacher in English and World History classes (high school); support facilitation in English, World History, Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II classes (high school) and development of high school inclusion models. Her areas of focus at the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources Systems include: The Strategic Instruction Model, reading instruction and collaborative teaching.
Belle Isle, FL
SIM Professional Developer since 1987; Florida Jane Langenbach Award, SIM Leadership Award from KU 1994; KU SIM Professional Development Leader; worked on initial Xtreme Reading Research Project; worked on Midwest CLC Project, including FUSION Reading; currently working on NC CLC Project
Associate Professor, School of Education - Special Education
University of Kansas
Michael J. Orosco is an associate professor in education specializing in bilingual special education at the University of Kansas. Professor Orosco’s primary research focuses on understanding how problem solving knowledge development occurs in English Language Learners. For example, how does comprehension strategy instruction promote learning of concepts and procedures? To what extent does intervention facilitate children’s comprehension of math text? How does working memory development support later math knowledge development? This research bridges between bilingual, educational psychology, and special educational theory, and Professor Orosco also collaborates with teachers and educational researchers to apply and test his research in educational settings.
President, Edge Enterprises
Jean Schumaker, Ph.D., is the former Associate Director of the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas. She is also President of Edge Enterprises, Inc., a research and publishing company focusing in the area of special education. She has spent the last 45 years studying the problems of adolescents and developing educational interventions for them.
Assistant Director of Professional Development, KUCRL
Independent SIM Professional Developer
Dotti has worked with staff and administration at a variety of school districts in New York. She has been a member of the Virginia State Improvement Grant leadership team and has served as coleader of the Massachusetts Striving Readers Federal Grant. Dotti’s 28 years of teaching experience included special education and general education at both the elementary and secondary levels. She is certified in N-6, Special Education, Reading and Social Studies 7-12. She has also served as a reading specialist and as a full-time instructional coach.
Sue Vernon, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience working with youth, parents, and educators. She has been the Principal Investigator on 14 grant projects from the Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Mental Health to develop and validate instructional programs for at-risk populations. She is the first author on nine instructional programs, eight multimedia, interactive professional development CD ROM programs, and four interactive multimedia CD ROM programs for teaching social skills and communication strategies. Dr. Vernon is a research affiliate with the KU Center for Research on Learning, a guest lecturer in graduate-level university courses, and president of Social Perspective, LLC, a small counseling, consulting, education and research business that she co-founded in 2011.
Independent Professional Developer
Sue Woodruff is an independent professional developer and instructional coach who has been associated with the CRL at the University of Kansas for over 20 years. Sue has implemented at the classroom and school level at Muskegon High School, and in partnership with KUCRL, Muskegon High School partnered on several projects to learn more about a whole school approach to literacy. Upon retirement in 2001, Sue had opportunities to work on a variety of CLC projects as well as KUCRL research projects. Sue’s passion lies in quality instruction for all students and in developing reading programs that have impact. Most recently, Sue has worked with schools implementing all aspects of SIM, FUSION Reading, and continues to work with schools implementing the Content Literacy Continuum or other aspects of literacy into the curriculum. Sue is particularly interested in capacity building and developing instructional leadership among school personnel.