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ReadOregon - Faculty

Katie Czerwinski, MEd has been teaching language arts to diverse and struggling middle school students since 2003. She has worked in diverse areas of Southern California and the city of Portland, Oregon. Currently she teaches sixth grade language arts and social studies in the David Douglas School District. As a teacher-researcher she is a regular contributor to Choice Literacy.com, a web resource for literacy coaches and teachers of reading and writing, with articles focusing on classroom applications of reading and writing strategies. Katie has presented on effective teaching and learning strategies at various conferences both locally and nationally, including Choice Literacy events and the NCTE annual convention. Katie holds a BS in Elementary and Special Education (State University of New York at Geneseo) as well as a Master’s Degree in Education and a reading endorsement.

Dolores Johnston, MA, is a library media specialist in the West Linn/Wilsonville School District. She manages technology in her school and collaborates with teachers to integrate technology and information skills and literature into the curriculum.

Susan Lenski, EdD, is a professor in the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where she teaches graduate courses in reading, writing, and language arts. She brings 20 years of experience as a public school teacher to her work as a professor. Dr. Lenski is a popular speaker for professional development programs and has consulted in the United States, Canada, Panama, and Guatemala. She has been recognized for her work by a variety of organizations, including the International Reading Association, the Illinois Reading Hall of Fame, and Illinois State University. Dr. Lenski has authored 11 books, including Improving Reading: Strategies and Resources (with Jerry L. Johns), and has published over 65 articles in state and national journals. Her research interests include incorporating reading and writing strategies into classroom practice, content area reading, and preparing culturally responsive teachers. She also volunteers as a consultant in Latin America and is currently co-authoring a book for Spanish-speaking students that will be sold in the United States and a book  for Spanish-speaking teachers that will be sold in Latin America.

Gregory Lum, MLS, has been in education as a classroom teacher or school librarian since 1983 and has taught all levels from kindergarten to adult computer courses.  He earned a B.S. in elementary education from Oregon State University and an M.L.S. from Vanderbilt University. Professionally, he has served on the board and/or committees for the Oregon Association of School Libraries, the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and the Young Adult Library Services Association. Gregory also reviews books for School Library Journal. Currently, he is the library director at Jesuit High School in Portland.  

Dot McElhone, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  She teaches courses on elementary literacy instructional methods, assessing and instructing struggling elementary readers, paradigms of research, and children's literature.  Dr. McElhone earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Teacher Education with a focus on literacy at Stanford University in 2009. She won a National Academy of Education/Carnegie fellowship to support her dissertation research, which explored relationships between patterns of teacher talk and student reading engagement and achievement. She is currently researching an approach to helping teachers improve classroom talk through examination of video and the use of conceptual tools for analyzing discourse. Dr. McElhone earned her teaching credential at Vanderbilt University, served as an AmeriCorps member in a rural elementary school, and taught for several years in Oregon before pursuing her doctorate. She is a board member for the Portland Reading Council

Leanne Moll, MA has worked as a high school and middle school language arts teacher, a reading teacher, a writing coach, a literacy curriculum developer, and a college writing instructor. Prior to her career in education, Leanne was a PhD Candidate and college instructor in musicology and comparative literature. Currently, Leanne teaches English at Catlin Gabel School, developmental reading and writing courses at Portland Community College, and literacy courses through ReadOregon. She earned a BA from Mills College, an MA in musicology from Cornell University, and an MAT from Lewis & Clark College. Leanne completed her ReadOregon Reading Endorsement in 2011.

Leigh Morlock, MAT, MS, holds a bachelor's degree in English and master's degrees in both teaching and library/media education and a graduate certificate in children's and young adult literature. In addition to her teaching role at PSU, she also teaches in California and is the librarian and technology facilitator for Beaverton School District's Health and Science School. Ms. Morlock is the chair for the intellectual freedom committee for the Oregon School Library Association.  

Rebecca Olien, MET, spent 18 years in elementary education and 9 years in adult education and online course design. She has developed and authored educational materials and coordinated programs for various art and sciences museums. She earned her BS at Michigan State, her MA at the University of Wisconsin. and her MET at Boise State.

Megan Owens, MEd, is an adjunct instructor in the PSU Graduate School of Education. She also teaches middle school language arts and has expertise in technology, Web design, and online courses.

Cindy Reed, MS, library media, is district media coordinator with North Clackamas School District, teaches students K-6, and manages six libraries. She was formerly librarian at Linwood Elementary in the same district. In addition, she consults with a local private school, works at Lake Oswego Public Library, and has presented curriculum design ideas at OEMA and Portland State. She has long-standing involvement in media and the arts.

Leigh Anne Scherer is a licensed K-12 teacher and administrator in Oregon and Washington. She has taught ESL to students in kindergarten through college, has been an elementary school principal, and is currently coordinator of services for English learners for the North Clackamas School District. She provides training and support for teachers, administrators, and instructional assistants to enrich instruction and services for ELLs. Ms. Scherer has worked to strengthen parent and community outreach services as well as train teachers in SIOP and Systematic ELD.

Donna Shrier, Senior Instructor, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University.   Literacy Program faculty and cohort leader and faculty for the Graduate Teacher Education Program.  She has taught grades K-9 in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, including serving as a reading specialist and TAG specialist. Her areas of expertise include working with struggling readers and writers, gifted learners, literature study and differentiated curriculum.  Certifications include Oregon Teaching License (K-9), Reading Endorsement (K-12), Administrator License.(BA, MA, University of Northern Colorado)

Kimberly Skach has spent the past ten years serving as Literacy Coach, Title 1 teacher, and School Improvement Coordinator in the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Skach was a nationally recognized professional trainer/speaker and owner of National Balanced Literacy Consultants from 1988 to 2000. She taught professional development/college courses in literacy topics through The Wright Group Publishers and Loyola Marymount University. As a private consultant, she developed and led K-5 in-service experiences in reading, writing, and science methods for numerous school districts around the country.

Frances Verbruggen, MAT, MA, is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University, where her research interests include instruction for struggling readers and writers and English language learners. She currently holds an early childhood/elementary teaching license with a reading endorsement, and has taught reading at both the elementary and college levels. Her educational background includes coursework in literacy development, language acquisition, and communication sciences and disorders. She earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an MA in teaching French from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and an MAT from George Fox University.