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Meet Our Foundational Skills Experts

The Faces Behind Foundations A-Z's Embedded Professional Development

In today’s educational environment, professional development is paramount to achieving success in the classroom, as it equips educators with the tools to address learning challenges. That’s why we’ve packed Foundations A-Z with embedded professional development, allowing educators to immediately apply what they’ve learned. Aligned with Science of Reading research, such as Scarborough’s Reading Rope and the Simple View of Reading, Foundations A-Z is specifically designed to support instructional best practices with the knowledge and expertise of quite a few experts.

Meet Our Team of Experts

Dr. Julia Lindsey

Dr. Julia Lindsey

Dr. Julia Lindsey is a foundational reading expert focused on creating, implementing, and evaluating research-based, practical, and culturally responsive foundational skills curricula. After gaining a passion for education as an elementary teacher, Dr. Lindsey now works with various districts, non-profits, and curriculum publishers to find innovative solutions to improve early literacy instruction. Julia earned a B.S. from Davidson College, a MAT from Relay Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Read more of Dr. Lindsey’s work on the Breakroom.

Dr. Tara Gleason

Dr. Tara Gleason

Dr. Tara Gleason received her B.A. in English/Secondary Education from St. Joseph’s College, an M.S. in Teaching Literacy from Touro College, and an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from St. John’s University. Prior to joining the Learning A-Z community as an Editor, Dr. Gleason taught middle school English Language Arts in New York City and has worked as a freelance education consultant for various educational publishing companies over the last decade. Derived from her passion and dedication to aid students and teachers alike in achieving success in the classroom, Dr. Gleason’s published work, “Trust is Contagious: The Role of Trust in School Relationships and Teacher Retention Rates”, has been recognized and included in the prestigious St. John’s Scholar.

Dr. Tim Rasinski

Dr. Tim Rasinski

Dr. Timothy Rasinski is a professor of literacy education at Kent State University and director of its award-winning reading clinic. Outside of holding the Rebecca Tolle and Burton W. Gorman Endowed Chair in Educational Leadership, Dr. Rasinski has also written over 250 articles, including these for Learning A-Z, and has authored, co-authored, or edited over 50 books or curriculum programs on reading education. Known for his best-selling books on reading fluency such as The Fluent Reader and The Megabook of Fluency, Dr. Rasinski’s scholarly interests include reading fluency and word study, reading in the elementary and middle grades, and the science behind struggling developing readers. His research on reading has been cited by the National Reading Panel and has been published in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Reading Psychology, and the Journal of Educational Research. Outside of the works he has written, Dr. Rasinski has made an immense impact on literacy education by serving on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and acting as co-editor of The Reading Teacher, the world's most widely read journal of literacy education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. As the winner of an AB Herr and Laureate Award from the College Reading Association and a William S. Gray Citation of Merit by the International Literacy Association, Dr. Rasinski’s contributions have changed the world of literacy education.

Dr. Francesca Pomerantz

Dr. Francesca Pomerantz

Dr. Francesca Pomerantz is a tenured, full-time professor in the Department of Childhood Education & Care, School of Education, Salem State University in Massachusetts. For the duration of her career, her research, writing, and teaching has centered around preparing and supporting teachers to teach literacy and create culturally responsive classroom environments. After receiving her Ed.D. from Boston University in Literacy, Language, and Cultural Studies, her M.A. in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and her B.A. in English from Amherst College, Dr. Pomerantz held many impactful roles. From directing a project to increase reading opportunities for children in the Boston Public School District to teaching developmental reading and writing for college students and adult basic education, ESL and GED preparation classes, Dr. Pomerantz is a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for education and literacy. Having received numerous grants and awards for international research and study, Dr. Pomerantz has made a significant impact and continues to do so to this day.

Dr. Marta Leon

Dr. Marta Leon

Dr. Marta Leon is an instructional designer with a background in psychology. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology from the Universidad de Costa Rica and her Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from West Virginia University, she served as the head of instructional development for Headsprout’s online reading program prior to officially joining Learning A-Z in 2014. Dr. Leon’s areas of interest include the application of instructional design to reading, writing, and reading comprehension, concept development, and the analysis of complex skills. As a co-author of four peer-reviewed reading comprehension publications and a member of the board of trustees at the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, Dr. Leon continues to make an impact in the world of literacy.

Luisa Villa

Luisa Villa

As a current Professional Development Manager at Learning A-Z, Luisa Villa began her career in education in 2007 as a certified ELL education and intensive reading teacher, working with K–adult students acquiring English language and/or intensive reading skills. As a former emergent bilingual herself, she has first-hand knowledge of the needs and challenges both emergent bilingual students and ELL teachers face. Over the past eight years, Luisa has been working in the EdTech industry, partnering with school districts and leaders across the United States to provide research-based professional development and practices to support student growth and district initiatives. She’s passionate about creating culturally responsive and equitable learning opportunities for all students and teachers, and she is an LGBTQ+ ally.

Learning Awaits With Foundations A-Z

This team of experts is ready to guide you through Foundations A-Z with easy-to-use embedded professional development support when and where you need it most.

EXPLORE FOUNDATIONS A-Z

Professional Development

General Callout - Professional Development
We provide a number of professional development offerings to help users enhance instruction.
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