Gretchen Bernabei has taught middle school and high school for 32 years. After earning her B.A. at Southwest Texas State University, she has devoted her professional life to learning, developing, and sharing best practices, particularly through the National Writing Projects. A sought-after speaker, Gretchen has authored Why We Must Run with Scissors: Voice Lessons in Persuasive Writing (2001, Discover Writing Press); Reviving the Essay: How to Teach Structure Without Formula (2005, Discover Writing Press); Lightning in a Bottle (2003, Trail of Breadcrumbs); Sparklers: High Scoring Test Essays and What We Learn from Them (2007, Trail of Breadcrumbs); The Good Writer’s Guide (2006, Hampton-Brown/National Geographic School Publications); Crunchtime: Lessons to Help Students Blow The Roof Off Writing Tests and Become Better Writers in the Process (2009, Heinemann); The Story of My Thinking: Expository Writing Activities for 13 Teaching Situations (Heinemann, 2012); Fun-Size Academic Writing for Serious Learning (Corwin, 2013); and Grammar Keepers (Corwin, 2014).
For her work, NCTE honored her with the James Moffett Award in 2010.
She currently lives with her husband and two children in San Antonio, TX.
Stephen and Kayla Briseño are Texas educators with over 15 years combined classroom experience. After both earning degrees in education (Stephen with a degree in Secondary English, and Kayla with a degree in Elementary Education, respectively) from Sam Houston State University, Stephen and Kayla have taught English, ESL, and AP Literature the world over. They are devoted to being a helping hand to teachers and are devoted to the belief that as teachers we never fully arrive–there is always more to learn!
Stephen and Kayla love to share the writing strategies of teacher/author Gretchen Bernabei, what they’ve learned along the way, and how much fun teaching writing can actually be.
Jennifer Koppe believes writing is not only for the classroom, but it is a way to connect with people. With extensive special education experience, she has taught both in Chicago, Illinois and San Antonio, Texas. Jennifer’s 31 year focus has been helping struggling students find their way through writing. She has the experience in public education from grades K-12. Everyone feels comfortable around Jennifer because of her genuine concern and wonderful sense of humor. She wants all students and teachers to “get it” about the joy of writing.
She also co-authored Text Structures from the Masters with Gretchen Bernabei.
Jayne Hover loves helping kids develop confidence through writing sparkling sentences. She has taught Kinder-8th for 23 years and has been instrumental in improving scores drastically on state-mandated tests. Because of her love of kids, teachers and because of her proven success, Jayne is highly sought-after by school districts that want to improve writing instruction. Jayne has co-authored Crunchtime: Lessons to Help Students Blow the Roof Off Writing Tests with Gretchen Bernabei. Teachers across the state have latched onto CRUNCHTIME and ALL of the other strategies that Jayne has used daily with kids, many of whom have struggled with writing until they met Jayne Hover. Straight-forward and an easy demeanor make Jayne the perfect presenter for teachers looking for ways to implement better strategies for teaching writing.
Working with students and teachers to be successful writers, Dottie Hall uses her 33+ years as a teacher and administrator to be a master presenter of proven strategies for writing. She is the co-author of The Story of My Thinking, an authentic work on expository writing. Daily journals and gallery walks are just a few of the strategies Dottie uses to encourage students to be successful writers. Her love for teachers and students and her wonderful sense of humor make Dottie one of the most sought after presenters on the subject of writing.
Chris Goode feels compelled to keep students “begging for more” kernel essays. Chris’ experiences in the classrooms spreads the spectrum from elementary through middle school, with great emphasis on the humor and minds of middle school thought.
She’s been training teachers since 1993 and still confesses daily enrichment and gratefulness for her opportunity to work with teachers for students. Chris’ presentation style is rich and familiar, inviting teachers to take risks. Chris believes that Gretchen’s work is the most authentic way to teach writing.
Motivational, passionate, inspiring!
Shirley Gerdes, with 30 years of experience, is a seasoned teacher and presenter. With prior experience with struggling schools, Shirley values students as authors and writing as a tool that leads to success. She co-directed the Central Texas Writing Project for 12 years, has done consulting for the National Writing Project, and was an adjunct professor at Texas State University.
Shirley has provided training for 18 years to both teachers and students.
Kayla Shook, an energetic, motivational, and inspiring presenter will not only capture your attention, but keep you totally engaged. With 7 years of experience teaching 4th grade, she has a wealth of knowledge to share.
Kayla demonstrates model lessons and useful strategies and techniques for teaching writing. She maintains a proven track record with successful students. Kayla’s participants appreciate her high energy and implementation techniques.
Suzanne Langston aims to provide information and resources that are engaging, simple, and relevant. At the end of any presentation, she wants you to walk away with ideas that you can confidently implement in your classroom the very next day. With experience teaching reading and writing at the elementary, middle, and high school level, Suzanne can help teachers strengthen skills for current and future success. She firmly believes that smiles and laughter are trademarks of a good lesson. Along with her friend Lori, she co-authors the blog The Curly Classroom.
Lori Johnson started teaching high school English 11 years ago. Her career began with a distinct and pure love for the literature. However, it quickly transformed into a love for the students and the art of teaching itself. After pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and literacy instruction, Lori’s passion again shifted from working with students to working with teachers. She currently stays busy teaching 7th grade English and supporting teachers as an instructional specialist. At The Curly Classroom, she and her friend Suzanne blog about their experiences, share resources, and provide strategies to ELAR teachers who love to do things differently. Lori lives in Dallas with her husband and two children.