Today’s educators are teaching the most linguistically diverse student population in United States history. To ensure educational equity for English learners, teachers must be skillfully equipped with proven reading science instructional practices.
In this on-demand webinar, 95 Percent Group’s Chief Academic Officer, Laura Stewart, and Vice President of Professional Learning and Academics, Dr. Antonio Fierro, share how current research impacts the English learner. Along with Blanca De La Sierra, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, and Mariela Magro-Malo, Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction at Irving Independent School District in Texas, these educational leaders shared how Irving ISD, a large school district with over 33,000 students and 13,200 English learners, strategically moved away from ineffective practices toward instruction rooted in current research to advance literacy.
When you watch the webinar, you will learn:
“Teachers of English must be masterful – they must understand how language works. We cannot leave it up to chance or the child inferring how English works because it probably won’t happen. The more we know how language works, the better we can scaffold the instruction for English learners.”
~ Antonio Fierro, Vice President Academics and Professional Leaning, 95 Percent Group
Laura Stewart, Chief Academic Officer, 95 Percent Group
As Chief Academic Officer, Laura Stewart drives our leadership position and is our primary Reading Science advocate. Her journey began as a classroom teacher and a school district administrator, igniting her lifelong passion for empowering ALL students to positively and ultimately change the course of literacy achievement in this country. Before joining 95 Percent Group, Laura served as Chief Innovation Officer for The Reading League and was the Chief Academic Officer for Professional Development with the Highlights Education Group. She is also a LETRS® Certified Trainer.
Dr. Antonio Fierro is a former Texas State Teacher of the Year and was a member of the LETRS® cohort of literacy experts led by Dr. Louisa Moats for almost 20 years. He has contributed to several literacy curricula for English learners and, along with his colleague, Dr. Mary Dahlgren, co-authored Kid Lips™, a curriculum that teaches the articulatory features of English phonemes to young children with additional support for English learners. His areas of interest include early literacy instruction, improving the learning experience of pre-service teacher candidates, and the research and practice that impacts English learners. As a recognized literacy leader, he currently sits on the national board of The Reading League.
Blanca De La Sierra, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Irving Independent School District, Irving, TX
Blanca De La Sierra has over 15 years’ experience in education. She is a former teacher, interventionist, instructional coach, principal, Director of BIL/ESL, and currently the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning in the Dallas–Ft. Worth, Texas area. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is currently a doctoral student focused on School Improvement at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Mariela Magro-Malo, M.B.Ed., Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction, Irving Independent School District, Irving, TX
Mariela Magro-Malo is an innovative and results-driven director of curriculum and instruction in Irving Independent School District and is committed to school improvement that leads to equitable access for all students. She has served as an elementary and middle school principal in two large urban districts, achieving distinctions for reading, academic growth, and closing the gap in former schools. Her recent efforts have focused on learning about the Science of Reading to align the district's literacy program and improve early literacy outcomes. Mariela is dedicated to leveraging improvement science principles to facilitate collaboration, integrate research-based practices, and provide teachers with high-quality curriculum materials and professional development to ensure all students succeed.