Laurie Winter and Principal Jessica Dain

Laurie leads a Professional Learning Community (PLC) through a session on developing "close reading" lessons of complex text.

Laurie Leiker Winter has worked in the field of education for more than 20 years. Since receiving her master's degree in education and reading specialist license from the University of Kansas, she has developed literacy as her primary area of expertise.

In February of 2011 Laurie was hired by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) to facilitate the Sunflower Literacy Project. She worked collaboratively with the KSDE directors, educational consultants and the State Literacy Team to produce a statewide literacy framework titled the Kansas Guide to Learning: Literacy (KGLL). This guide provides caregivers and teachers with important information for working with children birth through grade 12 that will assist them in planning effective lessons that prepare students to be college and career ready. The KGLL may be downloaded at www.ksde.org/literacy.

In August of 2003, Ms. Winter was hired by the University of Kansas to lead the effort to design professional development in reading called the Kansas Reading Academy. The Kansas Reading Academy is a four-and-a-half-day Academy that teachers from all over the state of Kansas attend to learn more about reading instruction. In fact, almost 5,500 elementary teachers have attended an Academy to date. In addition to the Kansas Reading Academy, Ms. Winter has also helped design the Title I Kansas Reading Academy, Administrator's Academy, Special Education break-out sessions, and Interactive Distance Learning sessions.

Prior to her time at the University of Kansas, Ms. Winter worked for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District. She focused on district-wide literacy professional development which included Kansas Accelerated Literacy Learning (K.A.L.L.) training, an early intervention program in reading for primary teachers, the Literacy Leaders trainer-of-trainer model for disseminating literacy information to more than 30 elementary buildings in the district, the Reading Excellence Grant which involved in-depth literacy professional development, as well as instructional coaching, and assessment coordination.

During the first decade of her professional life she taught first, fourth and fifth grades, and also served as the Title I teacher for White Church Elementary School.

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