FVRC Newsletter

August 22, 2015

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Meet the 2015-2016 Fox Valley Reading Council Board of Directors

President-Bobette Dodson

It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve as the FVRC president. As a member for six years, I have seen the council grow and prosper. Change is in the air, as we are fortunate to have three new members joining us, and becoming involved! I retired in 2013, after 28 years as reading specialist, and classroom teacher. I live in St. Charles with my husband, have three children, and four grandchildren, for which I feel truly blessed. I enjoy reading, writing, walking, traveling, and the company of my family, friends, and German Shepherd, Auggie! My love for literacy continues, as I tutor at home, and the NIU Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic. Working with children provides pleasure and literacy involvement, which goes hand in hand with the FVRC mission!

President-Elect-Denise Mitchell

My name is Denise Mitchell and in 24 years of education I have worn many hats at Conant High School; including Assistant Athletic Director, Dean of Students, classroom teacher and reading specialist. Currently, I teach in both the Social Studies and English Departments, and sponsor a number of activities including the Debate Team. In these various capacities I have learned that when we provide opportunities for students they usually surpass expectations. As my four children become teenagers, my free time consists of driving to sports and activities.

Co-Vice President-Jean Kindelin

A teacher since 2000, Jean F. Kindelin gained experience as a classroom teacher in the private and public sectors. After earning her Master of Science degree in Reading and Literacy in 2004, she went on to become a Reading Specialist in the West Aurora School District, where she has earned the Best in the West Teaching Award in 2012 and the A+ Teaching Award in 2015.

Jean's passion has been to help children, especially the most at-risk students, to become literate: to clearly and effectively read, write, communicate and think, so that they may become happy, civilized, and lifelong learners. Jean enjoys supporting her colleagues, sharing her knowledge and encouraging them to use proven and effective methods of teaching. At the school level, Jean fosters the love of reading at home and has managed thematic annual Family Reading Nights.

Jean looks forward to improving learning for even more students, educators, and parents in her role as co-vice president of the Fox Valley Reading Council. She feels honored to be elected to this position and will do her utmost to support literacy for all.

Co-Vice President-Karin Lewis

Karin is a reading specialist currently serving at Hill Elementary School in West Aurora. She received her BS in Elementary Education at Keene State College in 1989 and her MEd at Notre Dame College in 1998. She has been in education for 26 years, first as a classroom teacher and then as a reading specialist in New Hampshire. Relocating to Illinois in 2001, Karin has worked as an elementary reading specialist in LaGrange and St Charles, but has spent much of her latter career in Illinois serving the West Aurora School District and schools. Karin has had a lifelong love of children’s and young adult literature and considers the collecting and reading of acclaimed books as her greatest hobby. In 2011, Karin won the National Center of Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Bill Ellis Award which is presented annually to a general education teacher who demonstrates excellence in practice and commitment to all students.

Treasurer-Teresa Thompson

Teresa joined the Fox Valley Reading Council as Treasurer in the Spring of 2015. She began her teaching career with a B.A. in Reading from the University of Northern Iowa in 1984. She moved to Illinois working in several areas until hired by Indian Prairie School District 204. She earned her Masters from Northern Illinois University in 1992. In 1998, she transitioned to the role of Reading Specialist and is currently entering her 28th year with Indian Prairie teaching a Scullen Middle School.

Secretary-Katina Kastrantas

This is my fifth year on the FVRC Board! I am looking forward to another wonderful year!

I was President-Elect for two years and then Co-President for the last two years. I am excited to remain on the council as secretary this year. During the school year I am enjoying my fifth year as an English Language teacher in Wheaton-Warrenville school District 200. I love taking what I learned from the IRC conferences into my classroom. This summer I spent a few weeks in France and Greece. I loved finding my favorite book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein in Greek. I love forward to reading it in both languages to my students on the first day of class.

Membership-Karen Ringas

Karen Ringas is currently serving as the membership chairperson for FVRC. She has served for FVRC in the past as vice-president, president -elect and president. She served on the Illinois Reading Council as the Director of Membership for the state in 2008-2011. Karen is a third grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Wheaton. Prior to this role she was a reading specialist in both Wheaton, District 200 and Naperville, District 204. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2010.

Illinois Reads-Ryan Schaeffer

I teach fifth-grade at Conley Elementary School in Algonquin, IL. This will be my tenth year teaching. I am currently studying at Judson University to obtain my Doctorate of Education in Literacy degree.

Publicity/Media-Dawn Lutz

My name is Dawn Lutz. I am thrilled to be joining the Fox Valley Reading Council this year. I am passionate about literacy and LOVE going to hear authors speak about their craft and how I can use some of their techniques and strategies in the classroom. I am originally from WI and graduated from UW-Madison (Go Bucky) with a degree in Elementary Ed. I taught second grade in William's Bay, WI (near Lake Geneva) for 17 years and raised my two sons, Beau 23 and Drew 21, there. Fourteen years ago I met my husband Jon and the boys and I moved to IL twelve years ago. I now teach third grade in Geneva, IL and have two more sons, Jason 27 and Jordan 24. My nine year old, male German shepherd completes my testosterone-filled family in St. Charles. I received my masters' degree in Literacy from Judson University four years ago and it was the best thing I've ever done professionally. I can't wait to see what I learn each year that makes me a better teacher and I hope you'll join me on my educational journey with IRC!

Past President-Beth Herrig-Hello Fox Valley! I'm Beth Herrig and will be the Past President of your board. I have just begun my 24th year in teaching! I am a Reading Specialist at Georgetown Elementary School in Indian Prairie School District #204. I love my job and the impact I can make on my students. I have two boys/men. Nick is 21 and is attending Iowa State University to become an Industrial Engineer and Justin is 16 and Metea Valley High School is where he attends. We will have lots of college visits in our future! I live in Aurora with my husband Doug, our two dogs, two cats, and our 16 year old. We call our house the Herrig Zoo! I have been a part of the council for about 8 years. What a great place to meet some awesome people with similar goals! I have learned so much from the members and our presenters. When I'm not teaching or with my family I love to read, exercise, and listen to music. I am looking forward to another awesome year with The Fox Valley Reading Council.

Dr. Camille Blachowicz- National Louis University

Looking up a list of words does not work for vocabulary instruction. In

this session, Dr. Blachowicz will elaborate on the research that shows us
what really does work!
She will share 6 basic understandings about vocabulary learning that can

help teachers structure effective programs, and favorite, classroom-tested
strategies for developing word-conscious word learners who are deeply
engaged in vocabulary learning.

Register now for this informative, teacher-friendly, professional development session!


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