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Fifteen years ago, my adventure as an educator began. Ever since, I’ve had a passion for children’s literature. After four years of teaching, I pursued my Masters as a Literacy Specialist. Two years later, I pursued a Masters in Early Childhood Administration/Principals.
Since then, my goal has always been to give children the gift of reading. Children need to read stories about adventures so that they can travel through literature. I want the children that I help to read well and to develop a passion for reading.
I am grateful for the opportunity Pacific Learning has given to me. Being part of a great educational publisher that is also passionate about learning is something I am proud of!
When I’m given the chance to lead a group on Professional Development, it allows me to share my knowledge to the great educators and administrators in the field. I feel that it’s a chance to give back and I really enjoy it!
“The More That You READ, The More Things you will Know. The More That You Learn The More Places You Will Go”
– Dr. Seuss
Kerry Gavett is the primary author of the Spanish phonics curriculum for early reading called El camino al éxito. She has over 10 years’ experience teaching reading interventions to small groups of kindergarten through 2nd grade students learning to read in Spanish. Kerry led a team of educators at Metzger Elementary School in Oregon to create the curriculum, which provides extra support for kindergarten students who are not making good progress with their core reading program. The curriculum was so successful in moving students forward, that Karen Twain, the principal of the school (who went on to lead the Oregon Governor’s Reading Initiative), declared that “El camino al éxito was one of the things that was instrumental in Metzger receiving the “Closing the Achievement Gap” award 3 times in the state of Oregon.”
María M. Torres is an educator of forty-five years of experience in grades K-20. Her passion of making everyone bilingual, biliterate and bicultural has led her to working as a National Education Consultant. Her experiences in Dual Language, English Language Learners and Bilingual Education programs have afforded her the opportunity to share her insights on Vista Higher Learning and SantillanaUSA products through face-to-face presentations, workshops, webinars and speeches. The most recent presentations include Great Expectations for ELLs: Raising the Bar, Guiding Principles of Dual Language Programs and Brain Research, Differentiated Instruction, Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, Español Santillana, Galería, Antologías, Descubre el Español, El camino and others. Maria has worked as an Administrator in Dual Language Schools and implementing districtwide programs. She has experience Evaluating Dual Language, Foreign Language and English Language Learners’ programs.
She is well-known for her teaching skills, school and district administrator experiences, master trainer in the state of Florida, curriculum and grant writer, grant evaluator, and developer of training materials for tutors, teachers, administrators and parents. Maria ran a TV Show to educate parents about important educational issues utilizing the district TV channel. The name of her show was Passport to America where she developed 10 years of programs for parents in English and Spanish.
She authored a Training Manual for Guidance Counselors on how to work with ELLs, for Santillana USA; and a Manual of Resources for teachers and parents: Tradiciones culturales del mundo hispánico, Rouke Educational Media. She participated in and contributed to the United STAR Distance Learning Consortium (Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas) for ELLs under the auspices of the Florida Department of Education.
María was born and raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in English Secondary Schools at the University of Puerto Rico Upon moving to the United States, she went to University of Florida, for Bilingual Education and ESOL Infusion Program; later earned a Master of Science, from NOVA University, Florida with a Major: Teaching English as a Second Language and Computer Science. Her desire to continue learning took her to acquire graduate credits at Oxford University, Exeter College in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, where she studied 19th Century Literature and Shakespeare. Lastly, she earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration and Supervision of Schools from NOVA Southeastern University with a Specialization in Foreign Languages. Studied poetry at the University of Cuernavaca, Mexico.
When she is not working, Maria enjoys reading, writing poetry, learning and traveling with her husband, enjoying her two children and grandson or visiting family. She became well-known in Naples, Florida where she has lived for the past thirty-one years, for her passion to educate, and for her phone message: “A Smile is the same in any Language”. She recently moved to Sanford, Florida to enjoy her only grandson as he grows. When you describe Maria, you can use five words: learner, focused, strategic, intellectual and relator. Her passion is educating!
Carmenza Sarvay was born and raised in Colombia. She lived in Europe for eight years and has lived in the United States for more than 35 years. Carmenza is passionate about languages, teaching, and inter-cultural relations. She is fluent in three languages and proficient in two others. Carmenza is a retired teacher with many years of experience in Elementary school. She taught first grade in Colombia. In Oregon, she has taught Spanish native literacy, English to speakers of other languages, first grade reading in a dual language setting, and first grade. Carmenza’s passion for helping Spanish-speaking students struggling to read, and her frustration with uninspired Spanish reading programs, led her to develop a program that could serve both teachers and the students she cares so much about. Being in nature is one of Carmenza’s greatest pleasures, so she is often hiking and walking the beautiful forests in Oregon and the National parks. She also loves to travel the world, dance, read and practice yoga. Carmenza obtained her bachelor’s degree in Education with specialization in Languages from Universidad Industrial de Santander in Colombia, and her Bilingual Education, ESOL certification, and master’s in education from Portland State University in Oregon.
Anjeanetta Prater Matthews is a retired Bilingual Academic Intervention teacher from Houston, Texas. She received her M.Ed. in Bilingual Education from Houston Baptist University in 1995. She is trained in Reading Recovery and Descubriendo la Lectura and has 26 years of experience working with low achieving students in the area of reading. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French. Since retiring, she served as an adjunct professor of ESL at Houston Community College and now as a Reading Tutor for students in Spring ISD.