Meet the Reading Horizons Certified Facilitators

Reading Horizons Certified Facilitators bring their expertise, knowledge, experience, and high-quality facilitation to all professional learning and coaching events, enabling teachers to effectively implement Reading Horizons Discovery® or Reading Horizons Elevate® and impact classroom learning.

Alabama

 
Christa Bryant

Christa Bryant

Christa served as a classroom teacher, Title I teacher, elementary principal, special education coordinator and ended her career as a federal programs coordinator/director of human resources. She was introduced to Reading Horizons during her time as a federal programs coordinator at her previous district and witnessed gains in kindergarten through high school students. She began as a contractor for Reading Horizons and is currently serving as a Lead Certified Facilitator. 

She enjoys spending time with her husband on their farm and living the lake life. She also enjoys traveling to visit her children in Colorado and Texas.

Meredith Buzbee

Meredith Buzbee

Meredith became a teacher because she loved teaching even as a child. Her mom used to say that she had the smartest stuffed animals around. She currently works as a dyslexic interventionist. She has an administration degree but is currently seeking a degree in dyslexia therapy. 

In her spare time, she is a travel agent and enjoys watching her daughter play volleyball.

Erica Llewellyn

Erica Llewellyn

Before joining the team at Reading Horizons, Erica spent 15 years inside the classroom. She was a self-contained third-grade teacher for eight years and a K–6 interventionist for seven. In this role, she was introduced to Reading Horizons and had the opportunity to use it with her students. The rest, she says, “is a dream come true.”Watching students test out or return from the intervention classroom to the mainstream classroom, reading at higher levels than the students not pulled out for additional assistance, was an incredible experience for Erica. It was eye-opening for the district as well. She is proud that all students in her home district learn to read with Reading Horizons and feels her goal in life will be accomplished when every student has that opportunity.

Heather Price

Heather Price

Heather was a classroom teacher, interventionist, and instructional coach for twenty years in elementary education, teaching every grade level K–5. She was introduced to Reading Horizons as an interventionist and had the opportunity to teach it in her class for six years before coming on staff two years ago. She is one of the Lead Facilitators in her current role and is truly passionate about empowering teachers to teach students to read. She is also really enjoying mentoring new facilitators on training and coaching. Heather has coached hundreds of teachers in their classroom on teaching the Reading Horizons method. She believes it is the best thing that happened to her in her career. 

She is married with three daughters and a precious Yorkie-poo named Princess. They enjoy living on the lake and spending lazy family days on the water. 

Juli Richey

Juli Richey

Juli taught kindergarten, second, and fourth grade and was the reading specialist at Wilson School in Lauderdale County, Alabama. She retired after 27 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education. She has a master’s degree in elementary education and administration. She also has an EdS in administration. She has been a National Board Certified Teacher for 17 years. She is currently working as an EL specialist for an online school. She has taught hundreds of students using Reading Horizons and is amazed at those students’ growth. She has been a contact trainer with Reading Horizons for over two years.

Jamie Roby

Jamie Roby

Jamie is from Birmingham, Alabama. She began teaching third grade in 2002 at Tarrant Elementary School. After teaching for several years, she moved to the role of Reading Specialist at her school. She graduated in 2007 with her master’s degree in educational technology from Lesley University. She is passionate about teaching and instilling a love of reading in English language learners and students living in poverty. 

She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, especially at the beach.

Karen Scott

Karen Scott

Karen was in public education for thirty-four years. She has served as a reading specialist for the past 18 years in a Title I school in Alabama, working with students and teachers in grades K–3 and mentoring coaches in her district. Before that position, Karen served as a classroom teacher in grades 2–6. During those years, Karen’s passion for metacognitive literacy learning developed. She loves it when children become aware of their thinking. One of her favorite successes as a reading specialist is helping students and teachers identify their strengths and supporting them as they grow in other areas of teaching and learning. She is trained in the science of reading in both LETRS and Neuhaus-Reading Readiness and Language Enrichment. She was a National Board Certified Teacher for the last twenty years of her career.  

Karen enjoys outdoor activities with her family and friends.

Vicki Strampe

Vicki Strampe

Vicki resides in Pell City, Alabama. She is happily married and is the mother of two beautiful children and two children by marriage; she has also raised her sister’s children for the past five years. She began her educational career in Talladega, Alabama, teaching first grade in 1992. In 2007, she moved to Pell City, Alabama, taught for one year, and then was selected to be the ARI Reading Specialist for her school and later for multiple elementary schools. Vicki retired in 2019 with 27 years of teaching experience. Teaching has always been her first love, so when the opportunity presented itself to work with Reading Horizons, it was like a dream come true. She has specialized in reading instruction, collecting data, coaching teachers, and providing professional development. She is passionate about literacy education and helping students “break the code” to our English language while making it fun and engaging for all learning abilities. Touching the lives of so many children and watching their excitement for learning has always been such an inspiration. 

Vicki loves to read, cook, and enjoy the great outdoors. Now that her children are grown, she loves it when they all get together and remember the great times they had growing up together.

Chrestie Thach

Chrestie Thach

Chrestie began her career in education as a Title 1 paraprofessional in 1989, where she continued working while obtaining her degree in elementary education. While teaching first grade in 2014, she realized that the current materials were not sufficient to meet the needs of her students. Many students were identified as having dyslexia characteristics. Her journey to find a phonics program that would help fill in the gaps led her to Reading Horizons. After implementing the method in her classroom and seeing improvements, she approached her principal with the idea of adopting the program for the school system. Thankfully, her principal and the school system agreed. Chrestie was certified as a Reading Horizons instructor in 2017. She is certified to teach Experience Dyslexia and obtained 35 hours of Orton-Gillingham training. She recently retired after serving 31 years in education as a classroom and Title 1 teacher. Her grandson received a dyslexia diagnosis in 2017. Due to her grandson’s and other students’ struggles, she is passionate about multisensory literacy education that empowers the teacher and student. 

She loves to read, spend time with her family on the water or at the pool, and sing. 

Arizona

Carrie Jones

Carrie Jones

Carrie is passionate about teaching children to read and supporting teachers in refining their craft. After being fortunate to complete a vocational teaching program in high school, she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees through the outstanding program at Grand Canyon University. Carrie deeply believes that teacher language is the single most powerful tool an educator has and is constantly working to refine “teacher talk.” Her education experience includes many years in K–1 and fifth-grade ELA, reading interventions, and full-time teacher mentoring. Providing professional development that moves teachers and students makes her heart smile. Carrie has recently led the literacy learning curve in a unique “sub rural” district outside the Phoenix Valley. 

When she isn’t busy being a mom, wife, or teacher, you may find her hiding out in the woods, working on a photo book, or supporting local theater through acting, adjudicating, or attending.

Rachel Phipps

Rachel Phipps

Rachel has a passion for increasing access to quality education for students who need it most. After earning her bachelor’s degree in English teaching from Brigham Young University, she taught English Language Arts to secondary grades, including teaching students with learning disabilities. While entering her fourth year of teaching, Rachel earned her master’s of science in education in international educational development from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel is taking strides to understand and develop the broader scope of “what works” in education. She has participated in and presented at numerous research endeavors, including the Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Penn GSE Leading for School Improvement, and Engaging Reluctant Readers with Cris Tovani. Rachel sees literacy as a major building block to improve education on a worldwide scale. 

She enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, skiing, wakeboarding, and catching up on her favorite Netflix series.

Connie Shirley

Connie Shirley

Over the last four years, Connie has worked in several roles for a fast-growing online ESL company. She was their first teacher for Open Class, an innovative program pairing one teacher to thousands of online students per class session. In addition to teaching, she coached hundreds of ESL teachers both online and in-person and was in the top 1% of teachers chosen as mentors and teacher applicant trainers. She also contributed as a content director/designer for remedial and advanced reading curricula and teacher coaching programs. With a background in elementary education, communication, and ESL, Connie loves helping to make a difference in the lives of teachers and students alike. She believes literacy is the life-changer that knocks down barriers and unleashes unlimited possibilities! She is thrilled to be a part of Reading Horizons.

In her spare time, Connie enjoys international travel, learning languages, reading, and meeting new people.

California

 
Rachel McCoy

Rachel McCoy

Rachel always knew she wanted to be an educator. After working with preschoolers, she returned to school to obtain her multiple subject teaching credential in 2006. She spent five years teaching middle school social studies before transitioning out of the classroom to become an instructional coach. While working as a coach, Rachel developed a passion for early literacy because it sets the foundation for future educational success. During her 12-year tenure at a Title 1 K–8 charter school in San Diego, Rachel served as a teacher and coach and as an interim principal and director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. She believes her most important role in education is to work with teachers to help them combine best practices, curriculum, and student needs in the classroom. 

She loves to read, make quilts, and spend time with her husband, friends, and three dogs.

Katy Spicer

Katy Spicer

Katy holds an MA in education and in learning technologies. She also has credentials in administrative services, multiple subject teaching, and single subject English teaching. Katy taught for 11 years at a K–8 school before transitioning to the role of site administration and then to the district level as Director of Educational Programs, Instructional Technology & Staff Development. Her interest in the human story led her to fellowships with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Olga Lengyel Institute for Holocaust Studies and Human Rights. Katy is passionate about education (specifically, literacy), the application of research-based effective teaching practices, learning strategies with practical follow-up for support and implementation, coaching, and focusing on equity.

She is an advocate, friend, reader, art enthusiast, coffee drinker, tea steeper, and possibility seeker.

Florida

 
Amie Bachle

Amie Bachle

For the past 20 years, Amie has been teaching second, third, and fourth grades. She has spent the past 18 years training other teachers and administrators throughout the state of Florida and facilitating reading endorsement courses. Reading instruction is Amie’s passion, and she has continually sought to increase her awareness and knowledge to reach young readers better. 

When Amie is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters.

Rhonda Brown

Rhonda Brown

As a child, Rhonda knew she would be a teacher. In addition to spending 22 years in middle and high school science classrooms in Indiana and Florida, Rhonda is a published author. She wrote course guides for the Florida DOE for Forensic Sciences I and Forensic Sciences II, eventually writing a textbook (Forensic Science: Advanced Investigations). She served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation and became even more passionate about literacy during that year. She attended think tank discussions in the DC area and presented at conferences around the United States and Canada. She was selected to participate in the ECO Classroom in Costa Rica, where her team of four teachers studied frogs with three other teams from across the United States. In 2015, she retired from the classroom to work as a professional learning consultant.

Veronica  Franco

Veronica Franco

Veronica began her career as a first-grade school teacher in central Florida. Over 15 years, she has worked as an instructional coach, curriculum designer, NASA education specialist, and program manager facilitating teacher training and implementing programs for various organizations and many school districts in the U.S. and abroad. Currently, she is an education consultant, facilitator, and instructional designer collaborating with organizations to bring authentic learning experiences that support STEM career interests.

Her passion for helping all learners build literacy skills began early in her career, working with at-risk children in Spain and then supporting non-English speaking children and families in the U.S. As an ESL learner and first-generation graduate, she believes that literacy skills are at the heart of opportunities for learners to shape their future.

Veronica holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s in math and science education from the University of Central Florida. She is a certified Florida Digital Educator, UCF Minority in Education Scholar, and a Presidential Award for Science nominee.

Taryn Jackson

Taryn Jackson

Being surrounded by children was a lifelong goal for Taryn. Straight out of high school, she started her journey working with children. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational leadership. Over ten years, she advanced from a middle school English teacher to the role of an assistant principal. Her years with CSUSA were filled with milestones and memories, which helped her identify the importance of early literacy. 

Now you can find her running two self-starter businesses. As a copywriter and education consultant at Taryn J Writes LLC., she has founded a business that ignites two of her greatest passions: writing and supporting educators. Tails and Toddlers Inc. is her other business venture that she runs alongside her husband and fellow animal enthusiast. They build custom furniture for pets and children.

Kelly Lucero

Kelly Lucero

Primary literacy coach turned education consultant, Kelly is a wealth of knowledge helping learners succeed and bridging the gap of early literacy. With a background in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading and literacy, she worked for the Department of Defense as an instructional support teacher, facilitating professional development in literacy and math instruction. 

Throughout her 20+ years teaching and being a military spouse, she has traveled and taught in various states and programs, from Minnesota to Colorado and North Carolina to Florida. She is currently working as a writer, education blogger, and educational consultant with educational collaborators. She is also a Microsoft Innovative Educator & Minecraft Trainer plus a Google Certified Educator 1, 2, and Certified Google Coach Mentor. Additionally, she has a knack for creating meaningful stories and engaging lessons to share with young readers and their families. 

Laurie Lear

Laurie Lear

Laurie is a professional facilitator and instructional coach for K–12 schools. After graduating from the University of North Florida with a degree in elementary education, she taught first grade for over 12 years. Her passion for building confident readers in a digital world ignited her desire to create lessons that infused reading literacy and technology. As a STEM leader in her school, she inspired students to weave reading and computer literacy skills into their daily lives. Her passion is providing researched-based strategies that allow all students an opportunity to build self-confidence so they may succeed in reading and pursue their dreams. 

Her hobbies include cooking, reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her family.

Chloe Romeo

Chloe Romeo

Chloe began her career as an elementary school teacher in Florida, working to instill an excitement for literacy in her students through engaging, interdisciplinary learning experiences. In her more recent role as an education consultant, Chloe has facilitated professional learning and coached teachers in many school districts across the country. Chloe specializes in educational technology and 21st-century skills, which she believes are vital to a student’s future success. Chloe is passionate about literacy education because it is the foundation of all learning and unlocks a student’s ability to recognize their fullest potential. 

In her free time, Chloe enjoys being in nature, exploring new biking or hiking paths, and relaxing on the beach.

Georgia

 
Chloe Rhea Beauford

Chloe Rhea Beauford

As an experienced workshop leader and coach, Chloe has helped thousands of educators successfully implement Reading Horizons’ instructional methods. Over the past 25 years, Chloe has conducted workshops and led presentations at many national and state education conferences. Chloe’s passions are educator professional learning and coaching, and she recognizes these as key to implementing new instructional methods. Before facilitating workshops for Reading Horizons, she was an instructional specialist and coach for a school district on the Navajo Nation.

Brittany Jones

Brittany Jones

Brittany is currently a twelfth-grade British literature teacher. Her career in education started when she helped her younger brother with his homework at their family kitchen table. Helping him sparked an interest in teaching for her, and she realized she loved helping others “get it.” Some career highlights for her include becoming a distinguished teacher, teacher of the year nominee, and director of the New Staff Mentor Program. When she isn’t serving her teachers and students, you can find her reading a book for her book club or re-watching all seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.

Carol Moseley

Carol Moseley

Carol began her informal teaching career as a little girl when she often "played teacher" to siblings. This trajectory carried her through multiple opportunities in and out of the classroom in the US, Asia, and Africa. She recently taught at an international English school for students who were preparing to enter US colleges. 

She was honored five times as the top teacher with the highest percentage of achievers. One of her career highlights was teaching students representing 15 different countries in one class. Another highlight embodied a cultural and religious moment when students were excused from class to honor their hour of prayer.

Her specialty areas are teaching writing, reading, and speaking skills to students of other languages.

She is passionate about literacy education. For her, it speaks volumes about improving impoverished and minority communities. 

Her favorite hobbies are traveling, reading, and perusing museums.

Alexis Scranton

Alexis Scranton

Alexis began her career as a kindergarten and third-grade teacher in a Title 1 school in metro Atlanta with a diverse student body comprised of students from across the globe. She then followed her yearning for intercultural exchanges to South Korea, where she taught English to preschool through 6th graders at a rural public school. Her career has also taken her to Malaysia and Brunei, serving as an Instructional Coach to elementary teachers in early literacy, math, and ELA and as a trainer and mentor for other coaches. She has served as a program administrator and an instructional leader in adult ESL, basic education, and high school equivalency programs. 

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading. She is passionate about helping others achieve the gift of literacy because she knows how it can change the trajectory of one’s life and open a world of possibilities. 

Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith

Sandra’s dream of becoming a teacher began as a first grader when she read a book to her class. She never even considered another job! After being a classroom teacher for 20 years and an ESOL teacher for 10 years, she served as a Title I Parent Facilitator and an RTI Support Specialist. Most recently, she started her own company with a focus on empowering schools to engage families. In this role, Sandra developed and facilitated workshops for teachers and parents. While Zoom meetings have been a necessary format, she is really looking forward to being with people face to face. She believes that literacy skills are the foundation of most learning, and when we teach children to read, we are enabling them to be successful in life. 

Sandra enjoys running, biking, hiking, spending time with family, and playing with her dogs in her free time.

Illinois

 
Mary Willingham

Mary Willingham

A native of Chicago – Willingham grew up on the South Side – relocating to Los Angeles in October of 1988.  She has since lived in California, Colorado, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Luzern, Switzerland. She is passionate about making sure that ALL children receive an excellent education. 

Willingham served as a teacher & literacy director with Kipp in Arkansas and Chicago, a Faculty Adjunct at Durham Technical Community College, Learning Specialist and Assistant Director for the Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling, and Clinical Instructor in the School of Education at UNC, Chapel Hill. She pursued a second career as a teacher in NC, having previously worked for 15 years in the corporate world as an HR Manager.  Her educational experiences include a BS degree in Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago, and an MA in Liberal Studies from UNC-Greensboro.  She held a North Carolina Teaching License, K-12 Learning Disabled, and trained as a Reading Specialist in both Wilson Reading and Orton Gillingham/Hill Learning Center methods. 

When she is not writing or reading, Willingham is an avid runner, biker, swimmer and kayaker. 

Brittany Graves

Brittany Graves

Brittany began her teaching career more than nine years ago. She has spent most of that time teaching second grade. Brittany earned her master’s degree in reading and literacy from Benedictine University in Illinois in the fall of 2018. She enjoys learning about literacy theories and the science of reading. After being introduced to Reading Horizons in the fall of 2019, phonics quickly became Brittany’s favorite instructional block of the day. 

When she is not teaching, you can find her spending time with her family, reading, or hiking. 

Kansas

 
Cara Baltazar

Cara Baltazar

Cara began her career in education in 2009 as a kindergarten teacher after graduating from the University of Arkansas with a master’s degree in education. She is currently a first-grade teacher in North Carolina. One of Cara’s major accomplishments is becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, focusing on early and middle childhood literacy. Cara is passionate about literacy education, lifelong learning, and instilling a love of literacy in all students. She is a proud military spouse and has taught in three different states.

Kentucky

 
Sara Harris

Sara Harris

Sara is beginning her 18th year in education. She began her career as an elementary teacher, teaching both first and second grades. She is currently the Curriculum/ Instructional Coach at Bell Elementary in Wayne County, where she has been coaching and supporting their teachers for the past four years. Sara received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University, master’s degree in special education from Union College, and Rank I Certification in Supervisor of Instruction from the University of the Cumberlands. Sara not only coaches, trains, and supports teachers, she also serves as an English language learner resource for her school. Sara’s love for literacy comes from her background in teaching in the elementary classroom. She wants all students to be successful in understanding text and be able to experience life through reading. She believes that literacy instruction is important for our students to become socially engaged and to be able to communicate effectively and understand the world around them.  

Sara enjoys spending time with her family on the family farm, relaxing on Lake Cumberland, and watching her children participate in sports.

Michigan

 
Kate Traylor

Kate Traylor

Kate is currently a first-grade teacher. She has been teaching for eight years and loves being in the classroom. For six of those years, Kate has been using Reading Horizons. She loves teaching reading and seeing success with her students and enjoys helping other teachers prepare for implementation.

Kate loves traveling and usually comes home with a good story to tell. When she is not teaching, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, shopping, and cooking.

Mississippi

 
Sara Townsend

Sara Townsend

Sara comes from a long line of educators in her family. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Sara is now a military spouse who has taught primary grade levels in Georgia, Texas, and Arizona. She has a huge passion for teaching phonics and recently joined the Reading Horizons team of facilitators after teaching it in her own classroom. Sara is also a children’s book author and enjoys creating resources for teachers to use in their classroom.

North Carolina

 
Ashley Conner

Ashley Conner

Ashley graduated from East Carolina University with her master’s degree in elementary education. She taught third grade for ten years in Pitt County, North Carolina, before becoming the Elementary Curriculum Director of Beaufort County Schools, NC, where she earned her add-on licensure in gifted education. 

She got married in 2015 to her husband, Nate Conner, who is a high school head football coach. They recently added a Havapoo puppy named Joey to their family in 2020. Mrs. Conner aims to use her experience and love for literacy instruction to inspire teachers in multiple school districts to help their students learn to read.

Heidi DeMaio

Heidi DeMaio

Heidi’s 20 years of experience in K–12 public school and virtual classroom settings inspired her interest in literacy training and joining the Reading Horizons facilitator team. Heidi has worked with thousands of teachers to encourage, support, and help them align their teaching with current research and to inspire their potential. With degrees in liberal studies and English and ESL endorsements, she seeks to help enhance the knowledge and practices of teachers. 

As a mother of four, spending time with her husband and children is her greatest joy. She has seen the benefits of engaging learners through meaningful play and entertainment by performing as a ventriloquist and vocalist.

Ohio

 
Wendy Morrey

Wendy Morrey

Wendy started teaching as a PE specialist and classroom aide and promptly changed her major from English teaching to elementary education. She loved working with all ages and subjects, but she especially loved her time as a reading aide. Wendy got her master’s degree in learning and technology during her first year teaching and was so grateful for the lessons of data gathering that the process gave her. She taught first grade for six years, and during her fifth year, she was awarded Teacher of the Year. She usually worked with the gifted and talented students during breakout time, and she loved pushing her students to new heights and showing them that learning can be fun. 

Wendy is an avid reader, usually reading two to three books per week, and she loves seeing the passion of reading come into her students’ lives. Her current hobbies are watercolor and triathlon training.

Pennsylvania

 
Ellie Ingram

Ellie Ingram

Ellie has a degree in early childhood education and was a teacher for four years. She is a certified structured literacy classroom teacher and is passionate about increasing literacy through her work with students and teachers.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, creating pottery, and boating with her family.

Christina Lucera

Christina Lucera

Christina Lucera received her bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education from Holy Family University in 2009. In 2011, she earned her master’s degree in education curriculum and instruction. Christina received her Reading Specialist certification, K–12, in 2016.

Christina became a teacher in 2009 with the Philadelphia School District. In 2013, she began working as a teacher at West Oak Lane Charter School, a K–8 school, and has served as literacy coach and literacy specialist. She is currently the director of literacy. Additionally, she has managed the school’s 21st CCLC grants since 2015. Christina started Reading Horizons as the core K–2 reading program in 2017 and was trained as a facilitator herself in 2020.

Christina has three children. Her youngest has dyslexia, like Christina. Literacy has also been Christina’s passion, and she strives to develop a deep love of reading in children so that they never stop learning.

South Carolina

 
Melissa Freeman

Melissa Freeman

Melissa has been teaching school for 22 years in general and special education. She received her bachelor’s degree in special education at Carson-Newman University, her master’s degree in special ed inclusion from Concordia University, and has earned and renewed her National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. Her experience includes teaching in the general education third and fifth-grade classrooms and the resource and self-contained special education classrooms. Currently, she teaches part-time in the resource classroom and coaches special education teachers in Reading Horizons for the second part of her day. Melissa has received training in Orton-Gillingham and has a passion for teaching the struggling reader. She has taught the Reading Horizons method and coached teachers implementing it for the past four years.  

In her free time, she enjoys watching her sons play sports, traveling, and reading good books. 

Tennessee

 
Toshiba Bouey

Toshiba Bouey

After her first year in education, Toshiba  quickly realized her passion was teaching literacy. She has spent countless hours studying, training, and developing ways to create strong readers in early childhood. Toshiba was a key member of the Instructional Leadership Committee for Literacy, and her most recent role was Instructional Facilitator for grades K–3. 

She enjoys traveling, sightseeing, and photography. Toshiba is often referred to as a social butterfly. She has never met a stranger. 

April Johnson

April Johnson

April is very enthusiastic about being part of the Reading Horizon family. Before joining the team, Mrs. Johnson worked as a K–3 teacher for Parkway Village Elementary in Memphis, Tennessee. At Parkway Village, she held the second and third-grade chair positions and was a member of the Instructional Leadership and Digital Learning Team. She also acted as a lead teacher mentor to first-year teachers within the school district. During this time, Mrs. Johnson was a presenter for various professional development courses such as Eureka Math, Math TEM Crosswalk, and Teaching Equality vs. Equity in the classroom. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in elementary education from The University of Memphis. Her philosophy on education is that “Learning is not a one size fits all.” Mrs. Johnson enjoys providing a safe and highly engaging learning environment, allowing all her students to discover their fullest potential.  

She also enjoys international travel, reading, museums, trying new foods, and Broadway shows.

Texas

 
Deborah De Hoyos

Deborah De Hoyos

Deborah De Hoyos is a professional learning facilitator and instructional coach for Reading Horizons. At an early age, Deborah felt drawn to education. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology. With an interest in education and culture, she went on to earn her master’s in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Upon completion of her graduate degree, Deborah joined the administrative council of an intensive English program. As an administrator, she mentored graduate students, conducted teacher training, and taught international students with novice, intermediate, and advanced English skills. Outside of the classroom, Deborah has worked in curriculum and assessment development. As part of Reading Horizons’ non-profit efforts, Deborah helped develop a literacy program designed for pre-literate learners and refugee populations.

Deborah usually stays up too late because she cannot resist the lure of one more chapter. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Utah

 
Amber Booth

Amber Booth

Amber began teaching in 2001 and has been teaching first grade ever since. She received her degrees from Weber State University in Utah in early childhood education and curriculum design and instruction with a Level 1 Reading Endorsement. She is passionate about phonics and literacy after working with young developing readers for 20 years. 

She loves to ski, go rafting with her family, and hike with her golden retrievers. 

Shannon Bowles

Shannon Bowles

Shannon has been working with edtech for five years as a remote ESL teacher for students in China. During this time, she developed lasting relationships with her students and their families. Shannon has also mentored prospective ESL teachers as part of a coaching team that facilitated in-person and remote ESL teaching training workshops. Shannon has recently worked as part of the Brigham Young University Pathway Worldwide program, remotely mentoring students around the world. She takes great satisfaction in helping others succeed. She is passionate about the possibilities technology can bring to educating students of all ages. 

Shannon lives in Utah with her husband, four children, and one neurotic but lovable dog. She is an avid reader who believes literacy is for everyone. In her spare time, you’ll find her with her nose in a book, baking, taking a Zumba class, or swimming with her kids at the pool.

Jana Fawbush

Jana Fawbush

Jana started her career in 2011 after graduating from Weber State University. She has since received a master’s degree from Southern Utah University. She currently teaches kindergarten and produces great readers. 

She loves being in the outdoors and staying active. 

Sharee J. Jensen

Sharee J. Jensen

Sharee has been an educator for 27 years and has taught mostly in the primary grades. Recently, she’s been working as a reading/instructional coach in her district. For the last six years, she’s been training for Reading Horizons and was excited to be on the committee to help develop the Reading Horizons Discovery® Spelling Supplement. She has also recently been trained in LETRS. She loves that students with reading skills are empowered with so many opportunities to enhance their lives in the way they choose. 

Sharee has a cabin that she loves to spend time in with her family. Her favorite hobby is quilting. She likes to hike and spend time outdoors.

Lesli Niebergall

Lesli Niebergall

Lesli has been an educator for over 23 years, teaching kindergarten, first, second, fourth, and sixth grade. Her most recent role has been as her school’s reading specialist. She was part of the leadership and management teams at her school and helped bring fun to the love of reading with her principal “Captain RED” (Read Every Day) as his sidekick “Miss PINK” (Power IN Knowledge). Literacy Nights were always a favorite, and Lesli loved spreading the joy of reading through them. She developed a passion for literacy as she helped struggling readers learn to read and see the “light turn on” in their eyes when they suddenly understood. 

She loves spending time playing games with her family, performing in community theater, yoga, reading, and crocheting. A fun fact about Lesli is that she earned her blue belt in karate (back in the day).

Belen Pulsipher

Belen Pulsipher

Belen majored in early childhood and elementary education. She began teaching in 2005, starting her career in the kindergarten classroom. She taught kindergarten for 11 years, first grade for five years, and is currently a sixth-grade teacher. She has spent her whole teaching career in the same school, a Title I school in Ogden, Utah. She has been using Reading Horizons in the classroom for four years and has been a big advocate for grades K–3 using it at her school. She feels strongly that reading is something everyone should feel like they can do and do well! Belen has been a facilitator for Reading Horizons for two years and loves the opportunities she gets to meet and help teachers all over the country.

When she isn’t teaching or working for Reading Horizons, she loves to spend time with her two daughters and husband in the beautiful mountains and lakes of Utah. 

Jenna Schroder

Jenna Schroder

Jenna has spent the last few years teaching reading in an adult ed setting, working primarily with English language newcomers. She has also tutored elementary students with dyslexia using Reading Horizons and is a passionate advocate for quality literacy instruction at all levels. She loves how Reading Horizons empowers students and educators to be successful in the classroom and hopes to share her experience with the program to help other teachers/students succeed.  

If you can’t find Jenna behind a book, then you will most certainly find her baby-wearing her six-month-old little boy, Grant, as she and her pup, Ranger, go out to explore the hiking trails local to her in Utah. 

Susie Tayrien

Susie Tayrien

Susie began her journey in education in youth organizations. She has a degree in recreation management and youth leadership and worked in several educational roles, such as the education director at a Boys & Girls Club and before and after school programs supporting students. She eventually became a K–6 PE teacher and para educator supporting math and reading. She transitioned to the classroom teaching first and second grade and received her teaching license through an alternate route. It was in this role she became familiar with Reading Horizons and became passionate about literacy. She is now her school’s Literacy Specialist and supports teachers and paras using Reading Horizons curriculum and helping to achieve school-wide literacy goals. 

She has four children and enjoys nature, reading, and music.

Allison Ward

Allison Ward

Allison has been teaching predominantly Title 1 schools for seven years in San Diego, California. She began as a single subject social science teacher for seventh and eighth grade and added her multiple subject credential to teach ELA. Her passion for literacy education stemmed from the vast majority of middle school students reading far below grade level and realizing the detrimental effect this had on those students progressing to higher grade levels and even college. The problem with reading comprehension became evident when she taught third grade and realized the fundamental skills were not being taught to their fullest potential. She had the highest growth that school year (in a K–8 school) through her own classroom interventions in reading and math. 

In addition, Allison played college soccer and coached high school soccer for eight years. She also coached a U8 team. She loves working with kids in all capacities and is very passionate about their personal and academic growth.