Blended ELAR Cohort Leaders

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Rhonda Bell-Wallace

Rhonda Bell-Wallace is a wife and mother of two awesome young men.  She has served in the field of education for more than 20 years. During this journey, Rhonda has been a classroom teacher, campus and district literacy specialist, and an independent literacy consultant; however, in all of her endeavors, her greatest joy has been serving students who struggle with reading.  She believes that all students should have access to a literate lifestyle, and that belief has led her to the Reading Academies. Rhonda’s work with the Reading Academies will allow her to continue to support students while serving teachers. She is so excited about this adventure and looks forward to new learning experiences!

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Kasha Ashworth

Kasha Ashworth is thrilled to join you on your literacy journey this year as a Texas Reading Academies cohort leader. Before joining the Reading Academies 11 team, Kasha taught grades K-3 in multiple districts and states. In her most recent role before joining ESC Region 11, she was a K-3 Early Learning Specialist and a Comprehensive Reading Academies Cohort Leader. She believes that equipping students with the tools to become strong, confident readers unlocks doors and opportunities for all children. She can't wait to see the amazing things your students will achieve this year! In her spare time, she loves to read thrillers, shop, listen to Taylor Swift, and try out new BBQ restaurants.

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Kimberly Ballard

Kimberly Ballard is excited to join ESC Region 11 as a part-time Reading Academies Cohort Leader this year. Literacy has always been here strength, both as a student and an educator.  She believes that literacy is key to future success and a right that all students deserve.  She is currently serving as an Instructional Coach for International Leadership of Texas in Saginaw for grades 4-8 (with emphasis in ELA and SLA).  Prior to this position, she has served as a classroom teacher at the elementary level, a Dyslexia Interventionist at the middle-school level, and an adjunct professor for incoming ELL Freshman at Andrew's University.  She has been married for 29 years and has two exceptional adult children.

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Jordan Dunn

Jordan Dunn has been fascinated with the art and science of teaching children how to read since the beginning of her career in education.  She couldn’t be happier to serve you throughout your Reading Academies 11 journey.  Her experience entails serving several districts in multiple roles, including teacher, RtI coordinator, literacy/dyslexia specialist, and instructional coach.  Jordan received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Studies, from the University of Texas at Arlington, and she strives to continue her professional learning every day at ESC Region 11.  Jordan’s passion for superior, equal literacy instruction for all children, regardless of income and race, is fueled by evidence of its significance in shaping individuals into those who contribute to a fruitful economy.  In addition to literacy, she adores animals, the outdoors, and music, and she is devoted to her family of five! 

 

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Cindy Forestier

Cindy Forestier is a Reading Academies Cohort Leader. She has served in the field of education for over 20 years. Her years in education include ten years as a classroom teacher; her district-level experiences include Early Childhood Specialist, Bilingual Specialist, Reading First Literacy Coach, and K-12 Literacy Content Coach. In addition, she was a member of the 2017 TEA TEKS Review Committee. Her mission is to increase all educators’ opportunities for success by inspiring excellence in their professional growth, collaboration, and implementation of effective practices that will foster student literacy achievement. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

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Leigh Anne Frazier

Leigh Anne always knew she wanted to be a teacher! As a little girl in Guatemala, even her dolls learned to read under her watchful eye. She couldn’t be happier to serve Reading Academies participants through ESC Region 11! Her experience includes working in several states and districts at the campus and district level. Leigh Anne received her M.Ed. in Reading from Texas Woman’s University. On her journey as a lifelong learner, she lives by the mantra “when you know better, you do better”.  At the core of her soul is advocacy for English Learners and their families. Leigh Anne believes that all children can learn and are supremely important in this world. This leads to a passion for providing a strong, research-based academic foundation as a critical piece for teaching the “whole” child. She is also totally in love with her family, which includes her precious husband of 38 years, 3 fantastic adult children, 2 perfect daughters-in-law, two sweet German Shepherds, and THE most delicious grandson ever born!

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Elisabeth Ivy

Elisabeth Ivy is currently a full-time Reading Academies Cohort Leader for ESC Region 11. She has been a classroom teacher at both the elementary and secondary levels as well as a Reading Specialist, Master Teacher, Dyslexia Support Specialist, Instructional Coach, and District-Level MTSS Specialist. In addition, Elisabeth serves as an adjunct professor, has written a curriculum for secondary literacy intervention, and has served on state-level committees for the continued development of the HISET and TExES exams. Elisabeth holds a doctorate in Education Curriculum and Instruction, and her areas of interest include effective practices in primary literacy and literacy as a civil right. 

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Tanya Kellerman

Tanya Kellerman is currently in her 29th year as an educator. She served as a kindergarten and second-grade classroom teacher in Garland and Irving ISDs before becoming a lead teacher in a multi-age classroom at Georgia State University Lab School. Early in her career, she discovered that teaching reading was her passion. To that end, she has served as a Reading Recovery Teacher, Language Arts Instructional Coach, and a Learning Liaison. After spending the past 12 years in roles primarily focused on teacher education, she has now returned to her first love of teaching reading as a Literacy Interventionist. She is thrilled to be part of the Reading Academy Team at ESC Region 11. 

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Valorie Kruger

Valorie Kruger is a part-time Reading Academies Cohort Leader for ESC Region 11. An educator with 25 years of experience, she has been a district literacy specialist, dean of instruction, reading coach, gifted and talented teacher, and elementary classroom teacher. She has worked with diverse populations her entire career. One of her accomplishments is the development and leading of an after-school literacy intervention program for second-grade students with funds received from a Mattel Corporation grant. Her passion is helping striving readers overcome their challenges.

Valorie has an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of South Florida as well as a Master of Education in Elementary Education and Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Florida. Her experience running an early reading intervention program is published in Curriculum Leadership Development: A Guide for Aspiring School Leaders. She holds both classroom teacher (EC-6) and principal (EC-12) certifications.

Valorie lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with her husband and two young children. When not supporting schools or districts, she enjoys spending time with her family by volunteering at her children’s school, biking, hiking, or camping at state parks. Her other interests include digital scrapbooking and the arts.

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Crissy Peterson-Smith

Crissy Peterson-Smith is excited about the mission and purpose of the Reading Academy and the benefits for our youngest scholars.  She currently works as an Early Learning Assistant Principal for Dallas ISD.  She has 25 years of experience, having taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, fifth grade (reading), SPED Inclusion, and Dyslexia.  Her world is made better by her two fantastic children – Cristian, is a 1st grade teacher in Waco and Markus will be graduating from Hardin Simmons University this December…HOOYAH!

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Rebecca Putman

In addition to her role as a Reading Academy Cohort Leader, Rebecca Putman, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Tarleton State University’s Fort Worth campus, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on literacy to preservice and in-service teachers. She is a former elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist and has experience in deaf education and general education classrooms. Her passion for literacy instruction and the science of teaching reading is rooted in the belief that literacy is the foundation for all educational success. She lives in Mansfield with her husband, three teenagers, and an ornery terrier.