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Francine R. Johnston, EdD, completed her master’s degree in early childhood education at the University of Virginia while teaching first grade for 12 years. She later worked as a Book Buddies coordinator while pursuing her doctorate in reading education. Dr. Johnston has been at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 1995, where she teaches courses in literacy and coordinates the Reading Masters Program. She has a special interest in how children learn to read and spell and is the illustrator and a coauthor of Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, which has become a bestseller in the field of education.
Marcia Invernizzi, PhD, holds the Henderson Professorship in Reading Education at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, where she is also Director of the McGuffey Reading Center. She advises master’s and doctoral students and teaches graduate reading courses in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. With Francine Johnston, she is a coauthor of Words Their Way. Dr. Invernizzi is the principal investigator and primary author of Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS), the statewide literacy assessment for grades K-3 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As a former reading teacher, she enjoys her ongoing involvement in literacy interventions such as Book Buddies and Virginia’s Early Intervention Reading Initiative.
Connie Juel, PhD, is Professor of Education at Stanford University. Her research centers on literacy acquisition with a particular interest in how classroom instruction affects the development of children with different reading and linguistic profiles. A former elementary school teacher, Dr. Juel is noted for her longitudinal research on models of reading development and her work on interventions to help struggling readers. She was awarded the National Reading Conference’s Oscar S. Causey Award for outstanding contributions to reading research and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame by the International Reading Association. Dr. Juel was most recently Professor of Education in Human Development and Psychology and Language and Literacy and Director of the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to that she was the Thomas G. Jewell Professor of Education at the University of Virginia, where she began her collaboration on Book Buddies.
Donna Lewis-Wagner, MEd, has served as a Book Buddies coordinator and a Title I reading teacher. She is currently teaching in the Albemarle County School District in Virginia. A former journalist and publicist, Ms. Lewis-Wagner was inspired by her 4 years as a Book Buddies volunteer tutor to pursue a career in reading education. She earned her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a master’s in reading from the University of Virginia.