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46th Annual Literacy Conference - Speaker Bios


Penny Kittle
Thursday Keynote Speaker

Teachers love Penny’s books, which show teachers how to empower students through independence in literacy - 180 Days, Book Love, and Write Beside Them. Penny believes in curiosity, engagement, and deep thinking for both students and teachers. 

In 2012 Penny and her husband founded the Book Love Foundation to put books in the hands of teenagers. 

She teaches English at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire.




Lower Level Presenters

Katie Garner, M.Ed. (author of the best-selling book, SECRET STORIESĀ®—Cracking the Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!) is an internationally known educational speaker, author, and literacy consultant. This popular speaker shares "brain-changing" strategies for boosting existing reading curriculum and phonics instruction with the latest neural research showing how our brains learn best.

Jen Jones is a K-12 Reading Specialist, ELA Staff Developer, and author. She maintains the Hello Literacy Blogspot.


Middle/Upper Level Presenters

Rebecca Harper is an assistant professor of literacy at Augusta University in Georgia. She received her PhD in Language and Literacy from the University of South Carolina. She is the author of Content-Area Writing that Rocks (and Works!) and Content Literacy Lowdown: Making It Work in All Classrooms. Her research interests include content area literacy, student conceptualization of writing, teacher beliefs, and critical literacy. She lives in Aiken, SC with her husband and three children. 

Stephen Peters is a newly elected member of the International Literacy Association Board of Directors. He is also the new superintendent of schools in Laurens County School District 55, Laurens, SC. Peters has served in public education for 35 years as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, human resource director, director of secondary education, and education thought leader.



Friday Morning
Mini-Keynotes - Choose One!

Kami Butterfield is a third grade teacher in the Baxter Springs, (KS) school district. She holds a master's degree as a reading specialist from Pittsburg State University. Her third grade classroom is often visited by other school districts to see what a 1:1 device classroom should look like. She also has a passion for teaching teachers how to use iPads in their classrooms. She travels all over the United States showing teachers how to incorporate technology in their classrooms.

The Curly Classroom  Suzanne and Lori together make up The Curly Classroom. It is an online space for English Language Arts and Reading teachers who dare to do things a little differently. Above all else, Suzanne and Lori strive to create strong relationships and to see and hear each of their students.

Salina Yoon Born in Korea, Salina Yoon is an author, illustrator and format designed of nearly two hundred innovative novelty books for young children. She specializes in formats that are unique and interactive –flaps, sparkles, dye cuts, wheels and more! She works out of her home studio in San Diego where she resides with her husband and two sons.



Friday Book and Author Luncheon

Cynthia Lord  is a children's book writer, avid reader, and a self-professed daydreamer. When her children got older, this former teacher turned to writing. Her debut novel Rules was published by Scholastic, Inc. in 2006, and was a 2007 Newbery Honor book. She loves making people laugh and cry and shiver with her writing. She lives in Maine with her husband John and their two children.


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