Units of Study Team

These individuals help schools and districts that have recently adopted the new Units of Study to get off to the strongest possible start.

Elaine Bakke

Bakke, Elaine

Elaine Bakke has demonstrated a commitment to Literacy Education throughout her career. A former supervisor of Language Arts K-12, supervisor of HR, literacy coach and classroom teacher, she has worked with TCRWP to bring reading and writing Workshop to her former NJ school district, with teachers and administrators to develop curriculum and staff development, and with various professional organizations to present workshops on literacy topics.

Kris Barnes

Barnes, Kris

Kris Barnes brings thirty years of educational experience to her work as a Units of Study staff developer. During her career with Seattle Public Schools, Kris was a teacher, literacy coach, administrator and district level curriculum specialist. She holds a master's degree in Reading from the University of Washington and has extensive experience supporting schools' implementation of reading and writing workshop and the alignment of standards-based instruction. Kris currently works as a literacy consultant supporting schools in the Seattle region.

Jenny Bender

Bender, Jenny

Jenny Bender brings over fifteen years of education experience to her work as a Units of Study staff developer. She is a former K-8 TCRWP staff developer and also helped write the new Units of Study. Jenny is the author of two texts on the teaching of writing: The Resourceful Writing Teacher (Heinemann, 2007) and Teaching Young Writers to Craft Realistic Fiction (Scholastic, 2011). She currently works as an independent literacy consultant.

Peter Cipparone

Cipparone, Peter

Peter Cipparone taught reading and writing workshop as a 4th grade teacher at PS 161 and PS 29, two NYC public schools closely affiliated with TCRWP. Before that, Peter taught English in Spain on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of Michigan studying what students learn from whole class and small group discussions—including read aloud conversations and book clubs—in elementary schools in the Boston area. He also holds expertise in teacher education and teaching and learning in math and social studies.

April Delude

Delude, April

April Delude was a teacher in Hazel Park, Michigan for sixteen years before joining the Project. Her classroom was a demonstration site for best practices. She led state-wide literacy institutes, and coached both lower and upper elementary teachers across Michigan's Oakland County. April works with schools across the country.

Kate DiMeo

DiMeo, Kate

Kate DiMeo brings 20 years of education experience to her work as a Units of Study staff developer. She holds an Educational Specialist degree in Administration from Oakland University and a master's degree in Teaching from Michigan State University. She has spent the last several years as a K-12 literacy consultant in a high performing school district. Kate is passionate about increasing professional development opportunities for teachers.

Katie Even

Even, Katie

Katie Even brings years of experience teaching grades 3-5 in both general and special education settings to her work as a Units of Study staff developer. Katie is a former TCRWP staff developer who has led many TCRWP reading and writing institutes around the country.

Mary Green

Green, Mary

Mary Green has worked as both a classroom teacher and a literacy specialist in a large urban district. She brings experience helping teachers and administrators create cultures of learning and norms of high expectations across schools to her role as a Units of Study staff developer.

Annemarie Johnson

Johnson, Annemarie

Annemarie Johnson’s work as a Units of Study staff developer stands on her experience in teaching, literacy coaching, and working with teachers from schools across the US and Canada. Her background includes work with the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) and work as a university instructor, and spans both urban and suburban settings.

Linda Kasarjian

Kasarjian, Linda

Linda Kasarjian has taught primary grades and more recently the teachers of primary grades since 1994. She began her teaching career in NYC, where she was a classroom teacher in Harlem and on the Upper West Side and then a full-time staff developer at TCRWP. Linda currently consults in schools around Charleston, SC and travels around the country as a Units of Study Team Member.

Janine King

King, Janine

Janine King's career in education includes roles as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and director of literacy K-12. She holds master's degrees in reading and in educational leadership. Partnering with TCRWP, she brought reading and writing workshop to two urban school districts in the Seattle area. In addition, Janine has provided literacy professional learning for teachers and administrators in schools and districts throughout the northwest and internationally.

Gael Lynch

Lynch, Gael

Gael Lynch has served as a classroom teacher, program administrator, curriculum developer, mentor and coach in Newtown, CT. She has extensive experience in the K-6 classroom, building a learning community that embraces the TCRWP reading and writing workshop model and invites conversation and collaboration. She is currently an educational consultant, designing transition alignment for students and educators.

Cynthia Mershon

Mershon, Cynthia

Cynthia Mershon draws on her experience as a reading specialist, language arts supervisor, and teacher resource specialist as a Units of Study staff developer. She also has experience working with both struggling and gifted students and developing and implementing classroom reading and writing workshops.

Christy Patriarca

Patriarca, Christy

Christy Patriarca brings experience as a classroom teacher, district literacy specialist, and higher education literacy instructor to her role as a Quick-Start Units of Study Team staff developer. She has years of experience collaborating with and coaching teachers in grades K-8 on the implementation and instruction of reading/writing workshop and best literacy practices. Much of her background has focused on struggling readers/writers and English language learners, both school-aged and adults, and planning targeted differentiated instruction that can be embedded within the workshop model. She currently works as a literacy specialist in northeast Ohio and leads staff development for TCRWP in schools across the country.

Chara Rodrigues

Rodrigues, Chara

Chara Rodrigues is a literacy coach and former reading specialist who has received extensive training in these areas from TC. Chara was a K-5 reading and writing workshop teacher for many years before becoming a coach. She has been an integral part of teachers transforming their practice and loves helping create readers and writers for life.

​Laura Schiller

Schiller, ​Laura

Laura Schiller brings experience in teaching, authorship of professional texts (Using Discourse Analysis to Improve Classroom Interaction), staff development in literacy, and work as an administrator to her role as a Units of Study staff developer. Her doctoral work focused on literacy, language, and culture.

Sara Shenkan-Rich

Shenkan-Rich, Sara

Sara Shenkan-Rich's relationship with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project began over 15 years ago. Sara first partnered with the Project as a classroom teacher at PS 132 in New York City, then as a principal at Sherman Elementary School in San Francisco, and now as a trainer on the Units of Study team. Due to Sara's success as a principal, the Mayor of San Francisco named her the 2010 Mayor's Principal of the Year.


Patty Wright

Wright, Patty

Patty Wright brings 15 years of experience as a K-8 literacy consultant/coach as well as experience as a primary classroom teacher, a Reading Recover teacher, and a high school English teacher to her role as Units of Study staff developer.