Delia DeCourcy, Oakland Writing Project/Oakland Schools ISD
Delia DeCourcy is the 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing Conference Chair and has been part of the 4T Virtual Conference Planning Team for the past three years. She joined Oakland Schools ISD as a literacy consultant and Associate Director of the Oakland Writing Project in 2013. Prior to that, she was a writing instructor at the University of Michigan where she taught first-year, new media, and creative writing and was awarded the Moscow Prize for Excellence in Teaching Composition. She has also taught middle and high school ELA classes and has always integrated technology into her instruction. At Oakland Schools, she has spearheaded the development of literacy-focused online professional learning modules as well as the building of a virtual portal called mi PLACE (Michigan Professional Learning and Collaboration Environment) where Michigan educators can learn and collaborate. She also hosts a year-long, literacy-focused webinar series, which is free for educators. Twitter handle: @delia_decourcy.
Troy Hicks, Chippewa River Writing Project/ Central Michigan University
Dr. Troy Hicks, an associate professor at Central Michigan University, teaches pre-service writing methods classes and facilitates professional development on the teaching of writing, writing across the curriculum, and writing with technology. In his research, he collaborates with K-16 teachers and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms. He also serves as the Director of the Chippewa River Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project at CMU. His publications include The Digital Writing Workshop (Heinemann, 2009) and Because Digital Writing Matters (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Troy is a member of the 4T Virtual Conference on Digital Writing Planning Committee. Twitter ID:@hickstro
Rebecca Hornak, Saginaw Intermediate School District, MI
Rebekah Hornak is the Director of Instructional Services at the Saginaw Intermediate School District. Over the past year and a half at the SISD, Rebekah has been able to develop and encourage digital writing in the classroom through the use of the Google platform. Known as a "closet nerd," Rebekah placed the Instructional Department on the forefront of the digital world utilizing social media as well as a newly developed blog for administrators, teachers, and students. Rebekah earned both her B.S. Secondary Education and M.A. in School Principalship from Central Michigan University. You can follow Rebekah on Twitter at @SISDInstruction.
Jillian Johnson, Wayne Westland Community Schools, MI
Jillian Johnson is a Technology Integration Specialist at Wayne Westland Community Schools. Prior to that, she taught 5th grade and 7th grade language arts. Jillian earned her BA in elementary education from the University of Michigan and her MA in educational technology from Michigan State University. She was awarded the 2015 MACUL Technology Using Educator of the Year Runner Up. Jillian is passionate about working with fellow educators and inspiring them to try new ways to engage their students.
Dr. Karen LaBonté has worked as a writer, studied writing, taught writing as a 12th grade English teacher and graduate school instructor, taught graduate school methods classes in the teaching of writing, and supported classroom English teachers in developing their practice. Karen received her Doctorate in English Education in May 2016. Read more at her website www.klabonte.net.
Lisa Rivard, Macomb Intermediate School District, MI
Dr. Lisa Rivard is a Language Arts Consultant at the Macomb Intermediate School District and assists regional schools in developing effective literacy plans. Dr. Rivard is a graduate of Michigan State University’s nationally recognized College of Education. Most recently, Lisa completed a Ph.D. in
instructional technology from Wayne State University where she teaches classes for district and building level administrators. Lisa is also a Past-President of the Michigan Reading Association.
Jill Runstrom, Chippewa River Writing Project
Jill Runstrom is a media specialist, as well as a digital writing and social media teacher at Cadillac High School. She has been teaching for 22 years. Jill is a proud graduate of Alma College with a double major in English and psychology. She went on to earn her master's degree in educational technology with a library endorsement from Grand Valley State University. When asked to describe herself, Jill says she is a curious learner. A self-taught tech enthusiast, Jill masters digital tools by using her social media PLN and YouTube as resources. She believes that students must have this same curiosity to learn things for themselves in order to be successful members of society. Her mantra is, "the learning is in the struggle" and believes if students embrace this idea, they will do well in school and life. When not at work, Jill enjoys reading, her pets, her iPhone, quiet mornings with a cup of coffee, and time with her busy family.
Sue Ann Sharma, Oakland University
Dr. Sue Ann Sharma enjoys teaching literacy courses for the Department of Reading and Language Arts in the School of Education at Oakland University. She is Michigan Reading Association’s past president and holds appointments on MRA’s Conference Planning Commission and Michigan Reading Journal Review Board. Sharma’s expertise lies in the areas of culturally relevant teaching, digital curation, online teaching & learning, and coaching and has written articles and presented internationally on these topics.
Caroline Thompson, Oakland Writing Project
Caroline Thompson (@TeacherThompson) taught middle school ELA for twelve years in Lake Orion before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She supports AARI teachers for Oakland Schools as an independent literacy consultant in the areas of digital media, professional development, and non-fiction resources. Caroline is a Reading and Writing Workshop advocate, a 2008 Oakland Writing Project Teacher Consultant, and a 2009 Oakland County Outstanding Teacher of the Year Nominee. She has a BA in English from Michigan State University and a Masters in the Art of Teaching Reading from Oakland University. She lives in Berkley with her husband and their three year-old daughter.
Lauren Villaluz, Oakland Schools Intermediate School District, MI
Lauren Villaluz was previously a K-12 Spanish, ESL, and technology teacher, She currently supports students, staff, and community in the Ferndale Schools in partnerships with Oakland Schools ISD with meaningful technology integration in education as a Technology Integration Specialist. She holds a master’s degree in educational technology from Michigan State University. For more information, see her website.
Amber White, Saginaw Bay Writing Project
Amber White is the Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator at Ruth Fox Elementary School in North Branch, Michigan. Much of her work with students, teachers, and parents has been informed by her involvement with the Saginaw Bay Writing Project, the Michigan Reading Association, and a collaborative learning partnership with Michigan State University. She is a contributing co-author to Using Technology to Enhance Writing: Innovative Approaches to Literacy Instruction. Her energy and time is spent exploring the thoughtful use of digital literacies, reading, writing, and modeling content literacy strategies to assist teachers in balancing student choice and interest in an era of assessment and high curricular demands.