Our Curriculum Committee consists of a number of seasoned educators who advise us on curriculum changes to our software and direct instruction materials that will aid beginning and struggling readers. For more information about the members of our Curriculum Committee, click on the name of each member below:
Curriculum Committee Director
Heidi Hyte received her bachelors degree in linguistics and her master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Brigham Young University (BYU). She has taught English as a Second or Foreign Language both domestically and abroad, including California, Utah, American Samoa, Africa, China, and Taiwan. She has also traveled to English-speaking schools in Fiji, Kiribati, Mexico, Samoa, Taiwan, and Tonga to conduct EFL needs assessments and teacher trainings. She worked as a full-time faculty member at BYU’s English Language Center (ELC), where she supervised the Self-Access Study Center (SASC) and the Listening/Speaking skill area. As a faculty member at the ELC, she also taught reading, writing, listening/speaking, grammar, study skills, and business English courses to ESL students of various levels. In addition, she has conducted teacher training for TESOL minors and graduate students at BYU, and she has taught the Literacy Development in TESOL course at BYU to TESOL minors. She has conducted research projects in language learning, including studies that involve metacognitive language learning strategies and the effects of learner characteristics on language learning. She is a current member of the international association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. and has presented her research at the international convention. Her research interests include second language literacy and reading, language learning strategies, learner characteristics, metacognition, pronunciation, and computer-assisted language learning.
Elementary Curriculum Committee
Corey Triassi is a Title I reading teacher (intervention specialist) at Smoketree Elementary School in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in education with a reading endorsement from Northern Arizona University. She also has an English Language Learner endorsement on her certificate from the University of Phoenix. She has been teaching at the elementary level since 1986 and also taught at the college level for four years. She is currently a member of the International Reading Association. In 1999, Triassi received the Walmart Teacher of the Year Award. In Lake Havasu Unified School District #1, she is currently serving on a Reading Committee that is reviewing researched-based intervention materials for very intensive readers. She is also a member of the District Curriculum Council, which allows her to have input in areas of the district regarding curriculum, school calendar, tutoring programs, English-language learners, and assessments. At the school level, she is providing professional development in the Big Five areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
Triassi has used the Reading Horizons program since 1987 and has served on both the Advisory Council and the Curriculum Committee for Reading Horizons. She says, “I would recommend Reading Horizons to a professional peer because it is a research-based, high-quality program that helps children unlock the code to reading. It gives children the basic tools they need to be successful, lifelong readers. They learn to enjoy reading because the program makes reading an easy task.”
Joan Parrish is currently working full time for Reading Horizons as a national trainer. She holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood and elementary education from Utah State University. She has been an elementary teacher for 13 years, during which time she has developed excellent skills in teaching various reading strategies. She is trained in curriculum compacting and completed an Idaho Comprehensive Literacy course as well as a 6 Traits of Writing course. She is certified in phonics instruction and has spent nine years training teachers of Kindergarten through sixth grade in phonics, reading, and language instruction throughout school districts in Idaho and Utah. She is the co-author and publisher of various teaching materials, including phonics posters and activity books in spelling, reading, phonics, and language skills. She has written and received reading/language grants in Idaho from Albertson’s, the Governor’s Innovative Reading Grant, and the Idaho Community Foundation. She received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Idaho Masons in 1997 and participated in Teaching with Technology in 1999.
She says, “As a result of using this phonics program daily, we see children using the phonetic skills they have been taught when they come to a word they don’t know. The testing on reading we have done at grade level has shown them higher than ever before. The children use their decoding skills to help them spell words. I rarely have more than three children who don’t get 100 percent on the spelling test. In using this program daily, the children’s printing skills and creative writing skills have improved greatly. As phonetic sounds are introduced with words, the children learn other meanings for words, and we use that in comprehension skills. Dictation of sentences has become a breeze because (the program teaches) punctuation along with the phonic skills. I have become an avid fan of Discover Intensive Phonics and would never go back to anything I taught before.”
Linda Eversole is an educational consultant and national trainer for Reading Horizons. She studied business at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. Charlotte Lockhart, author of Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself, trained her in the methodology. Eversole joined her husband in the administration and marketing aspects of Reading Horizons and served as president of the company for seven years. She has conducted many national lectures and trained thousands of teachers and administrators in the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself approach to reading. She is a methods expert and reading specialist and has authored both the adult and elementary versions of Reading Horizons’ computer courseware. She recently updated the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself manuals.
Mariann Marchant is a 1st-thru-5th grades reading specialist at South Summit Elementary School in Kamas, Utah. She began her career in 1991 as a 4th/5th-grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School in Tremonton, Utah, upon graduating with her bachelor's degree in elementary education at Utah State University. She taught in Tremonton for two years and then began teaching 4th grade in Coalville, Utah, at North Summit Elementary School for the next five years. Marchant has been at South Summit since 1997. She taught 4th grade for four years and has been the school's reading specialist ever since. In 2005, Marchant received her master's degree in education, with an emphasis in reading, from Southern Utah University.
Marchant has been using many different methods to help students with specific reading difficulties. She has been trained in psychoneurotherapy and has used those skills to help struggling readers in conjunction with other reading-intervention programs. Since 2005, Marchant has used Reading Horizons with her 1st-thru-5th grade reading-intervention students. She has seen her students develop increased decoding skills, reading fluency, and self-confidence. Marchant loves teaching school and spending time with her wonderful husband and three "awesome" girls.
Maxine Offenbach began teaching special education in 1967. In 1983, she began implementing Discover Intensive Phonics with her special-education students, experiencing phenomenal success. Offenbach has conducted teacher-training workshops throughout Florida and at reading conventions in Arizona and California. Her success with Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself is highlighted in her letter of testimony to the United States Senate Hearing on the Causes of Illiteracy and in the testimony that was given before the Florida State Appropriations Subcommittee on "Teaching Teachers to Teach Reading." With 34 years of experience in public education, Offenbach continues to teach reading to students of normal, gifted, and mentally handicapped intelligence.
Offenbach says, "I have always taught those labeled as ‘hard to teach’— the disturbed, the retarded, and the learning disabled — and have always experienced some success by year's end. This has changed so completely for me since the introduction of Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself. I can now see hourly successes. The students become independent, gain self-respect, and are happy learners. Their learning skills are awakened and retained by the continuous use of the listening method at the chalkboard."
Sandy Hoffman is a Title I reading teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Hubbard, Ohio. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Youngstown State University and a master’s degree in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders and supervision certification from Kent State University. She began her career in public education in 1972 in Hubbard, where she taught children with perceptual and motor skills difficulties. It was at that time that she noted the extreme importance of addressing all of the modalities when teaching. She was trained at Purdue University in Illinois under Newell Kephart. In 1983, she began teaching children with reading problems. She has used the Intensive Phonics program with her students for many years and has been thrilled to see their remarkable progress. She has also trained many of the parents of her students. She feels that the carryover at home is an important step in integrating the Intensive Phonics system into the students’ overall way of looking at words in any educational setting. Hoffman also teaches a reading course, Phonics in Reading Instruction, at Youngstown State.
She says, “It is amazing to witness the impact that Intensive Phonics has on my adult students and the benefit that they gain from the direct, multi-sensory, hands-on approach. They are constantly telling me, ‘I never knew that! Why didn’t I learn this when I was in school?’ The program has opened their eyes to the understanding of phonics.”
Hoffman is certified in phonics instruction and has conducted many Intensive Phonics workshops throughout the United States. In 2004, she was a recipient of the “Fulfill a Need to Educate” grant. She has been a member of numerous committees in Hubbard, including the Technology Curriculum, Language Arts, and the Textbook committees and the Hubbard Education Association’s Executive Board.
Secondary / Adult Curriculum Committee
Brian Brown is an educational specialist at Skagit County Juvenile Detention in Mount Vernon, Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law and justice from Central Washington University, a K-12 teaching certificate from Western Washington University, and a master’s degree in computer education from Lesley College. He taught in the public schools for two years and has taught in correctional education since 1983. He has been using Reading Horizons since 1995 and joined the Curriculum Committee in 2003.
He says, “The strength of this program is that it empowers people to read. It gives them skills and confidence (when they) successfully complete reading lessons. It’s very thorough and comprehensive with instructions and follow-through in the lessons. (When you are) a teacher, you know when something works; this works!”
Charlene Koplin is a special-education teacher at Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She holds a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and elementary education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in education (with an emphasis in special education and Native American education) from the University of Utah. Her teaching career began at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic on the campus of the University of Southern California, where she taught middle and high school-aged students with severe emotional challenges. After moving to Utah, she taught students with severe learning disabilities, communication disorders, and behavioral challenges in various junior high and high school settings. She was the lead English Language Learner teacher at an elementary school where students spoke 27 different languages. At Granite High School, she began the first Native American Student Council, for which she encourages students to develop their potential and to contribute to their school. She is implementing Reading Horizons with her students with severe learning disabilities, and they are demonstrating remarkable gains in reading and written language, leading to college acceptance and scholarships.
Koplin says, “I was a little skeptical, but I went to the training and it grabbed me. I was treated as if I was a student. I was at the board the whole time. It was really fun!” Koplin and her students set goals of one year’s growth for the school year. After four weeks, they had a computer failure, and Koplin had to re-administer the pre-test. She was amazed to see three-to-four year’s growth in just four weeks' time! She says, “I thought, ‘There is no way this is really happening,’ but it happened over and over and over.” Over the summer, her students retained what they learned. Some even improved, because they finally had the confidence to pick up a book or magazine and read it. Koplin says, “I feel really fortunate to have this program at our school. We’re now opening it to our adult community school.”
Norene Peterson is a language arts instructor and technology consultant at the Adult Education Center in Billings, Montana. She serves as the Montana LINCS specialist. Recently, Peterson served on the Montana High School Equivalency Panel, received her Certified Program Manager Certification from the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium, and also became a basic trainer for the National Institute for Learning to Achieve component. She holds a bachelor’s degree in languages (Spanish and Italian) from the University of Montana, a master’s degree in special education from Eastern Montana College, and a reading endorsement from the Office of Public Instruction in Helena, Montana. Additionally, she has multiple credits in adult education from Montana State University. Peterson has served as president of the Montana Association for Adult and Community Education (MAACE) and on the Board of Directors of the Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and received a variety of awards from each association. She has given numerous presentations on the topics of literacy and technology, is affiliated with many associations that promote education and literacy, and has served on the board for the Yellowstone County Family Drug Court.
ESL Curriculum Committee
John Antonellis is the lead instructor at Harvard University's Bridge to Learning and Literacy program. He received his bachelor's degree in biology from Northeastern University in Boston and a master's degree in TESOL from the University of Massachusetts. He came to Harvard in 2002 from the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-public organization whose mission is to empower people and businesses to "learn, earn, and succeed." While at the Commonwealth Corporation, he was the project manager of the Workplace Education Professional Development program, which researched and compiled a list of competencies required by effective workplace educators and then piloted an innovative professional development training program to address those competencies. He has had several years' experience administering and teaching in both workplace- and community-based education programs. He has taught all levels of English as a Second Language classes in academic and non-academic settings. He has a particular love and expertise for developing material for low-literacy learners.
Antonellis enjoys collaboration and sharing ideas with other teachers. He has twice served on the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) Board as the Adult Education representative. During his tenure, he represented both MATSOL and the Commonwealth Corporation as a member of the Massachusetts Department of Education's ABE Licensure Work Group, which made recommendations toward the development of a teaching license for adult educators. He also served as a taskforce member on the TESOL Standards for Teachers of Adult Learners project. Antonellis made presentations at the TESOL international conferences in 2003 and 2007 and has often made presentations at annual conferences hosted by MATSOL and the Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Educators (MCAE). He has also run workshops on effective workplace education practices for the Massachusetts Department of Education training and technical assistance program called SABES (System for Adult Basic Education Support).
Julie Hammond is an experienced ESL teacher, trainer, editor, and marketing manager. She holds a bachelor's degree in French from Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois, and an adult TEFL certificate from Worldwide Teachers' Development Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where visiting Harvard scholar Thomas Kane qualified her as a teacher with an "exemplary" ability to present language. She has traveled the country as a product presenter and trainer in sound ESL pedagogies, working closely with renowned ESL and post-secondary education authors. In the last few years, she has concentrated on editing and translation management. Most recently, she has edited the new edition of Reading Horizons Discovery™ K-3 Teacher’s Manuals.
Hammond says, "Reading Horizons’ unique, systematic method integrates a manageable set of word attack principles with an engaging, interactive software product that accommodates visual, audio, and kinesthetic learning styles. Reading Horizons leads the way in effective ESL literacy development."
Maryruth Farnsworth is the coordinator for the International TESOL Internships program at Brigham Young University (BYU). She received her master's degree in linguistics and a certificate in TESOL from UCLA. She has taught at UCLA, the Yale University Summer Institute, and BYU and has given workshops in teacher training throughout the United States and abroad. She has published articles, given presentations, and co-authored a composition textbook.
Maryruth says, "How amazing to finally have a phonics program that is proving itself for both ESL and EFL Students. I finally have materials to use in my Linguistics 377 training course that provide my interns with a specific phonics skill for their international internships. This program allows them to use and then leave with their students and bi-lingual teachers a valuable pronunciation and reading fluency system."
Neil J. Anderson is a humanities professor of Linguistics and English Language at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. He also serves as the coordinator of the English Language Center. He teaches courses in the TESOL master’s program as well as language classes to second language learners. His research interests include second-language reading, language-learner strategies, and English-language-teaching leadership development. Professor Anderson has taught and presented papers and workshops in over 25 countries. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of over 40 books, book chapters, and professional articles, among them Exploring Second Language Reading: Issues and Strategies (1999, Heinle), ELT Advantage: Reading (2006, Heinle), ACTIVE Skills for Reading (2007/2008 Heinle), and Practical English Language Teaching: Reading (2008, McGraw-Hill). Professor Anderson served as president of the international association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc., from 2001-2002. During 2002-2003, he was a Fulbright Scholar conducting research and teaching in Costa Rica. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the International Research Foundation for English Language Education from 2004-2008.