About Us

Shubitz - author head shot
Stacey Shubitz

Stacey Shubitz is the Chief of Operations and Lead Writer for Two Writing Teachers. She is a certified literacy specialist and a former classroom teacher who taught fifth grade at P.S. 171 in East Harlem, NY and fourth grade at The Learning Community in Central Falls, RI.  In 2009, Stacey turned her passion for supporting teachers with balanced literacy instruction into a career as a literacy consultant based in Central Pennsylvania.  In addition, Stacey has worked as an adjunct professor, teaching graduate courses, for Lesley University and Penn State – Harrisburg.

Stacey is the co-author of Jump Into Writing: A Workshop Approach (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), the co-author of Welcome to Writing Workshop: Engaging Today’s Students with a Model that Works (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), the author of Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016), and the co-author of Day by Day: Refining Writing Workshop Through 180 Days of Reflective Practice (Stenhouse Publishers, 2010). Stacey has a M.A. in Literacy Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and a M.S.Ed. in Childhood Education from Hunter College of the City of New York. A Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor, Stacey presents at local, state, and national conferences and has published articles for a variety of publications.

Stacey resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and children. She blogs about literacy and parenting at Raising a Literate Human and tweets @sshubitz.

If you’re interested in having Stacey speak at a conference or in your school district, then please contact Noele Faccidomo, NFaccidomo[at]stenhouse[dot]com, at Stenhouse Publishers. Noele can provide you with more information regarding speaking engagements. You may also e-mail Stacey directly at stacey[at]staceyshubitz[dot]com.

In 2007, Stacey co-founded Two Writing Teachers with Ruth Ayres, a widely-followed blog solely devoted to the teaching of writing.  In September 2013, when Ruth stepped away from the blog, Stacey gathered a dynamic team of co-authors and re-launched with new voices, all dedicated to maintaining the blog’s original mission.


Betsy Hubbard
Betsy Hubbard (Co-Author since 2013)

Betsy Hubbard has experience in education spanning a lifetime. Growing up in northern Michigan surrounded by a family of educators and working early on in her college career with seasoned preschool educators helped build her solid foundation in early childhood practices. Betsy’s passion for working with families of young children continued after graduation when she became a proud public school teacher in the fall of 2001. She acknowledges that everyone has a story to share and a voice to tell it. Betsy’s primary goal as an educator is to foster writers of all ages and engage them in finding their writing process. 

Betsy teaches in a small rural community and resides in Michigan with her husband and two children. She values her colleagues within her school district, the tremendous collaboration within the Two Writing Teachers community, and the enormous network of educators who share their voices and philosophies on education in a changing world.

Betsy is a poetry advocate and the creator of Chalkabration and Facebook Collaborative Poetry. Each encourages the sharing and celebration of poetry. She can be found writing Slice of Life Stories at I’m Living My Words, tweeting @Betsy_writes, and, when possible, sipping coffee with a new notebook. 

Melanie Meehan
Melanie Meehan (Co-Author since 2016)

Melanie Meehan is the Elementary Writing and Social Studies Coordinator in Simsbury, CT, and is passionate about developing young writers, as well as human beings with curiosity, empathy, and responsibility for the world. Melanie was a member of the writing team for the Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks, and is passionate about equity and social justice. She slices at Just Write, Melanie. Melanie has written three professional books. Every Child Can Write: Entry Points, Bridges and Pathways for Striving Writerswas published in October 2019 by Corwin Press. The Responsive Writing Teacher: A Hands-on Guide to Child-Centered, Equitable Instruction, co-written with Kelsey Sorum, was published in February 2021, and Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Elementary Writing is her most recent book, published in April 2022.

Melanie holds a B.A from Cornell University, a Masters in Special Education from the University of Hartford, and her Sixth Year in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. Additionally, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Solstice Low-Residency Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College. She has published articles in Highlights Magazine, and won the 2016 Tassy-Walden Award for New Voices in Children’s Literature.  You can find her on Twitter @MelanieMeehan1.

Amy Ellerman (Contributing Writer from 2019 – 2020; Co-Author since 2020)

Amy Ellerman began her teaching career with over a decade in grades K-2. She feels a kinship with other educators who fully appreciate (and expect) the amazing thinking and writing work that our youngest writers can (and deserve to) do. Writing workshop quickly became the heartbeat of her classroom, her practice, and her ongoing professional curiosity. For the past several years, Amy has worked side by side with teachers and kids as the Instructional Coach at Maple Grove Elementary in Golden, Colorado. She loves the opportunity to teach and learn at all grade levels, K-5, and she values the community’s willingness to collaborate and innovate. The work is complex and rewarding, and she feels so fortunate to be a part of it.

Early in her career, Amy spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English as a Foreign Language to university students in Ukraine. She returned home with a deep appreciation for cultural differences, travel, and the passionate intensity that American educators feel for their work.

Amy works as a Teacher Consultant with Colorado Writing Project, and she is a Past President of CCIRA, an independent, non-profit literacy organization in Colorado. She is deeply committed to supporting the learning of fellow educators, believing all teachers deserve to be part of dynamic, professional communities.

A lifelong writer, Amy always has a number of projects in the works—blog posts, a YA novel, the germinating seeds of a professional book. She is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts (you know, just for fun).

You can find Amy on Twitter @sanderling12 and on her blog, Running to School.

Lainie Levin (Contributing Writer from 2021-2022; Co-Author since 2022)

Lainie Levin, a 26-year teaching veteran, is a fierce advocate for children, for public schools, and for all things learning. Lainie holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois, and two Masters degrees from Concordia University – one in School Leadership, the other in Curriculum and Instruction. She started out in the classroom in Sterling, Virginia and then taught in Brighton, Michigan. After a move to the Chicago suburbs, Lainie served as a gifted interventionist and coach in language arts and math. Lainie is now a language arts specialist serving the needs of gifted/talented elementary school students, and she finds it amazing that a job like hers exists in this world.  

Inspired by the fearlessness of her students, Lainie is passionate about teaching children to see themselves as writers. She pushes them to trust in the power of their voices as they seek to make sense of the world and their place in it. Lainie credits the Slice of Life community for teaching her that the best way to bring joy to writing instruction is to engage in writing herself.

Lainie is also a lifelong storyteller who shares “stories to tickle the funny bone and touch the heart.” She has given performances and workshops to a wide range of audiences across the country. Her work with fellow teller Yvonne Healy on using storytelling to connect generations and foster love for writing is featured in The Storytelling Classroom, edited by Sherry Norfolk, Jane Stenson, and Dianne Williams. 

You can find her shouting her many soapboxes on her blog, or follow her on Twitter at @mrslevin11.

Headshot of Leah Koch
Leah Koch (Co-Author since 2022)

Leah Koch began her career in second grade, and now teaches kindergarten in St. Louis. MO. Leah holds a B.A. from Graceland University in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Reading, in addition to a MSEd from Missouri State University in Elementary Education with a Literacy Certificate. She credits the TCRWP Summer institutes with helping to form her philosophy of literacy and love for the workshop model. 

Leah is passionate about honoring student voice and identity through writing. She believes that in order for children to see themselves as writers, they deserve trust and autonomy to learn more about themselves and their writing process. If students can identify as authors, the motivation, skills, and craft will follow!

Leah is energized to join the Two Writing Teachers team. She feels the best PD is learning from other teachers and is excited to support and learn from educators through TWT. You can find Leah on Twitter @LeahKoch_.

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Jenna Komarin (Co-Author since 2022)

Jenna Komarin is a Head English teacher in a bilingual English / Chinese Kindergarten classroom at Avenues: The World School in New York City. This is her tenth year teaching Kindergarten and her third year at Avenues. Jenna has previously taught in both charter school and public school settings in NY and NJ.

Jenna prioritizes play and self-expression as essential components of her teaching. She particularly loves teaching the writing workshop at the Kindergarten level because young children are such natural storytellers, unselfconscious illustrators, and prolific ‘makers’ of all sorts of things.

As an educator, Jenna endeavors to create a tolerant and mindful learning community in which children are encouraged to think for themselves, explore their creative and intellectual passions, collaborate authentically with classmates, solve real-world problems together, and share their learning and hard work with others. She believes that when children are given opportunities to wonder, ask questions, make discoveries, and think critically about the world around them, they gain vital habits of mind that guide them in the pursuit of knowledge and inquiry for the rest of their lives.

Jenna holds a BA in Art History from Smith College and an MAT in Elementary Education from Brown University. She lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and young daughter. This is Jenna’s first blogging experience and she is so excited to learn and grow from the Two Writing Teachers community of passionate educators and writers.

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Sarah Valter (Co-Author Since 2022)

Sarah Valter is the district Literacy Coordinator for Lindbergh Schools in St. Louis, MO. In her two decades in education, Sarah has taught in the primary and intermediate grades, mentored new teachers, coached at the building and district levels, and led professional development in literacy. She is also an adjunct instructor at St. Louis University, working with undergraduate and graduate students. She believes strongly that all children and adults should not only have the skills to read and write, but also the motivation to live as lifelong readers and writers.

Sarah holds a BA in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from St. Louis University, a MEd in K-12 Special Reading from Maryville University, and an EdD in Teacher Leadership from Maryville University. She is also National Board Certified in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading-Language Arts. She is a longtime member of the International Literacy Association, serving as chair of the Social Media Committee for the Missouri Literacy Association. She was also a co-recipient of the ILA Teacher as Researcher Award for her work with Novel Engineering and is currently on the Practitioner Review Board for The Reading Teacher.

Sarah is a wife and mother, spending her evenings driving from practice to practice and her weekends cheering in audiences or on the sidelines. You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @LitCoachValter or on her blog Read.Reflect.Teach

Contributing Writers

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Jessica Carey (Contributing Writer since 2022)

Jessica Carey has worked as an educator in Westport, CT since 2005. She began her career as a classroom teacher where she fell in love with helping her students grow to see themselves as readers and writers. Jessica’s love for literacy is alive every day. She shares that love with her three daughters, her husband, and everyone she meets. Jessica is currently a K-5 literacy coach, working alongside passionate educators, and championing children daily. She believes in discovery, collaboration, and community. Her favorite place to be is working in classrooms, alongside teachers and children. 

Jessica holds a B.A in Elementary and Special Education from Providence College, as well as, a Masters and Sixth Year in Literacy from Sacred Heart University. She is a regular contributor to the Teachers | Books | Readers blog. You can connect with Jessica, and get a glimpse into her life as a mom, wife, and coach on her blog, Where There’s Joy, or Twitter, @jcareyreads.

Headshot of Shawnda Fukano
Shawnda Fukano (Contributing Writer since 2022)

Shawnda Fukano is a primary literacy coach at Mount View Elementary, a dual-language school in the Highline School District in Seattle, Washington. She supports teachers and students in both English and Spanish classrooms as they develop biliteracy. Shawnda has had a passion for educating multilingual learners since she began teaching in 2004. She spent many years as a classroom teacher for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade newcomers, and was then the Dual Language Coordinator when her school first transitioned to the dual-language program. She also taught English to adult refugees from Burma for several years.

Shawnda has always loved writing. She grew up filling spiral notebooks with the chapter books she was constantly composing.  As an educator, writing is her favorite subject to teach and coach because of the intimate way you get to know students through their writing, as well as the confidence students gain when they find their voice as a writer.

Shawnda has a B.A. in Spanish, Sociology, and Elementary Education from the University of Denver. She earned her ELL endorsement and advanced TESOL Certification from Seattle University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in English as a New Language and is an OCDE Project GLAD® Trainer. Shawnda lives in Seattle with her husband, son, and twin daughters and writes slices of her life as a mom and teacher at ShawndaStories or follow her on Twitter @ShawndaFukano.

Headshot of Pam Koutrakos
Pam Koutrakos (Contributing Writer since 2022)

Pam Koutrakos is an experienced and enthusiastic educator known for her positive outlook and energy. She has worked in PreK-8 education for over twenty years in roles including classroom teacher, interventionist, literacy coach, instructional coach, and consultant. Pam currently works in New Jersey as an instructional coach, collaborating with teachers and students in all subject areas. She also supports numerous school communities as an educational consultant. Pam finds extraordinary joy and fulfillment in partnering with students and educators as they connect, work, and play in schools each day.

As an undergraduate at Rutgers University, Pam focused on Psychology and English. After graduation, she completed a post-bachelor teacher certification program at Oglethorpe University. Later, Pam pursued her M.Ed. in Language Arts Literacy. She also holds a Supervisory Certificate and has completed additional graduate coursework in special education. Pam is the author of Word Study That Sticks: Best Practices K-6), The Word Study That Sticks Companion: Classroom-Ready Tools for Teachers and Students, K-6, and Mentor Texts That Multitask: A Less-Is-More Approach to Integrated Literacy Instruction, K-8. Pam has blogged for ILA, NCTE, CCIRA, Peter Reynold’s Word Collectors, Learning Without Tears, MiddleWeb, Gravity Goldberg LLC, Two Writing Teachers, and Corwin Connect. She regularly presents at conferences and events across the country. Connect with Pam on Twitter (@PamKou), Instagram (@Pam.Kou), and LinkedIn. She can be contacted directly for speaking, writing, and consulting engagements at koutrakosp[at]gmail.com.

Headshot of Krista McGowan
Krista McGowan (Contributing Writer since 2022)

Krista McGowan is an international educator, currently teaching grade six humanities in Nairobi. 18 years ago, she began her teaching career in Washington State and has since taught in Taiwan, China, and now in Kenya. Krista attended George Fox University, receiving her Bachelor’s in International Studies. After traveling the world, she leaned into her passions and obtained a Post Bac in Elementary Education from Western Washington University. Krista taught five years in public schools and then made the leap to teach abroad. At the start of this journey, she completed her Masters of Science in Curriculum and Instruction at Western Governors University. She also received her International Literacy Coach license through NESA.

A passionate learner, Krista continues to hone her practice in reading and writing workshop through various professional development opportunities such as institutes with TCRWP and UNH. Krista has led workshops around incorporating notebooking across the curriculum and has published experiences of her transdisciplinary work in the EARCOS Journal. Krista has also served as an EAL coordinator in a K-12 setting, and was instrumental in developing an EAL program while in Taiwan. During her time as an instructional coach in Beijing, Krista supported the implementation of writing and reading workshop within the middle school.

Krista lived the life of a writer from a young age. At six years old, she home published her first story when her mother taught her how to hand bind books. From that day on, she was hooked on writing. Krista’s love of writing was supported and encouraged by her grade 7 English teacher, Mrs. Wark, who introduced her to keeping a writing journal. Krista’s practice of keeping a writing notebook continues to this day and is a cornerstone of her teaching practice. 

Today, Krista is a strong advocate for all learners, beginning with her two internationally adopted daughters, one of whom is deaf. She is inspired by students, such as her own daughter, who don’t always have the language to share the beautiful stories that live within them. Krista’s passion lies with engaging striving writers and helping them develop confidence in their writing, while also bringing themes of equity and social justice into her work.

Krista cherishes summers spent in the Pacific Northwest with family. As each June arrives, thoughts of slowly drizzling rain, long hikes through the forest, and strong cups of coffee call her home to Bellingham.  

You can find Krista on Twitter @kristamcgowan14 and on her blog, McGowan’s Mutterings: A Middle School Teacher’s Rambling Thoughts

62 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I love this blog and the work you do and the amazing tips you provide, which I’ve been testing out in my creative writing studio. Wanted to say “hi!” To all, and Dana we’re practically neighbors, I live in Downers Grove.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really wanted to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge, but I am a little late to the party. I am a middle school math teacher with a passion for my students and a commitment to daily blogging…I also have a medically-fragile son who puts another spin on things…Please stop by my blog The other side of the equation: A story of life, love and math! Excited to be a part of this community!




  3. As an educator passionate about writing and a writer who loves to share my craft, this site provides a place for me to mingle with other like-minded people! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful resource!


  4. Your blogs help me be a better coach. You always seem to be one step ahead of me and know just when I’m going to need an extra tidbit to support a teacher.


  5. We are a new education website (www.stageoflife.com) looking to grow our resources.

    We would love to discuss education trends. Recently, we quoted Troy Hicks, English professor at Michigan University and author of The Digital Writing Workshop, on our “digital literacy” page as we look to help teachers use blogging in the classroom. It would be an honor to quote you as well.

    I look forward to hearing from you,


    P.s. Our site has a variety of education resources including: national monthly writing contests, free lesson plans, mentor texts, etc. We are working to enhance our education pages; any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  6. Dear Ruth & Stacey:

    You have a GREAT site!!

    Was hoping you can give me some direction. . ..I’m looking for some kind of list or article that identifies what are the characteristics of effective reading and writing classrooms. Do you happen to have any leads?



    1. Hi Vincent,

      I’d suggest looking through the citations in recent professional books on the teaching of reading or writing to find relevant journal articles.

      Hope that helps,


  7. What an incredible site. Someone mentioned it on my English Companion Ning (www.englishcompanion.ning.com) the other day. I would love to have you join us over there so people can learn more about your site and benefit from your resources. Thanks again for all you provide here. I’ll be back (pronounced the way my governor (of California) would say it…)



  8. I just came across your site when googling Katie Wood Ray. I’ll definitely be checking back often!

    I am beginning a daily writer’s workshop with my PK-K students in a public Montessori school. Today, we were practicing the routine of the workshop (I was planning on beginning Monday) and one student said “can we just do it now?” I asked, do we want to start now? I received a resounding YES!!!!! Anyways, for the following 40 minutes, I had 22 4, 5, and 6 year olds who were completely engaged in creating books! Really really great books! It was amazing! Brought tears to my eyes…can’t wait to continue!

    I am glad to find your website and will check back frequently for writing tips.



  9. I just came across your blog and it made me so happy! I am a staff developer at the Reading & Writing Project (this is my sixth year) and seeing this was incredibly inspiring. This is what it’s all about!! If you come to the April reunion at TC let me know!


  10. this is a great blog for teachers good to read and get motivated a lot of information we too promote and encourage teachers to use technology . we also show them how they can use technology for the benefit of students and their financial gains


  11. I am so excited to come across your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your thinking and resources. I was a part of a school district that was moving forward with balanced literacy, reader’s workshop, writer’s workshop and word study, but I moved and no longer work in a place where this type of teaching and pedagogy are the norm. I greatly miss it. I am hoping to post one of my units of study up in the next week. Thanks again!


  12. Stacey:

    WOW! What a tremendous resource. I was very fortunate to meet you during Lucy’s small group session. Sorry I was unavailable to say good bye on the last day but I cannot wait to share this new resource with our teachers. Please stay in touch.

    New Haven Schools
    Union City, CA


  13. Dear Ruth & Stacey,

    I just wanted to make sure that you were invited to our education “Blogger Summit”. We hope you can make it and feel free to share this invitation with any other bloggers in the area that might be interested. The invitation is attached below.

    ED In ’08 Blogger Summit


    Strong American Schools is excited to announce the ED in ’08 Blogger Summit. Conference details are as follows:

    May 14th – 15th
    Palomar Hotel, Washington DC
    Registration is Free!

    An opening reception is scheduled on the evening of Wednesday, May 14th. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served before the screening of a new documentary film on education, Two Million Minutes. A Q&A session with the filmmakers is set to follow.

    Then join us for an all-day conference on May 15th. Nowhere else will you have an opportunity to meet and network with fellow education bloggers, participate in panels, attend workshops, and help tackle some tough questions on the state of education in America.

    Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP today!

    Register at http://edin08.com/bloggersummit/


  14. I am thrilled that you alerted me to your blog. It has tons of useful information, and it’s also fun to read. I will definitely pass your site information on to educators throughout the country when I do my “dog and pony” presentations at state and regional IRA conferences.

    Thanks for reaching across the miles to each other, and for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.


  15. Dear Ruth and Stacey,

    I am pleased to announce that the first online issue of Launch Pad has now been published. The issue is freely accessible (open access) on the magazine web site. Our January/February “Animals” issue features creative works by talented young authors and illustrators from eleven states and from Australia, New Zealand, Wales, and England. You will find creative fiction, folktales, poetry, and nonfiction, complemented by imaginative illustrations by young artists using a variety of colorful media and artistic styles. I know you will enjoy reading our first issue!

    Launch Pad still needs contributors. We are looking for works for our upcoming issues about Fairy Tales & Fantasy, Sports, Summer Fun, Mysteries, and Heroes. If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent, please encourage young people to submit their work! We still have space in all of our upcoming 2008 issues, and Launch Pad especially needs young artists. I hope you will share this announcement with the members of your blog. Enjoy the magazine!

    Paul Kelsey
    Editor and Publisher
    Launch Pad: Where Young Authors and Illustrators Take Off!


  16. I’m enjoying your blog.

    Any chance you can post what your schedule looks like for a week or two? Showing how you manage writing conferences and reading conferences as well as content?




  17. This is indeed a wonderful chance find for me, tripping across the cyberspace in search of something new to do for the new year!!

    Keep up the good work and keep young people writing!

    Your postings would further inspire me . thanks.


  18. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and have added you to my site’s blogroll. Thanks for all your thoughtful work!


  19. Thank you.
    Yes, I researched your book a ton before buying it because I couldn’t exactly figure out where to buy it. Or actually I was trying to find the most convenient place to get it.
    Good luck in future ventures in writing.


  20. Megan:

    Thanks for your support of my students’ book. All of the proceeds go to P.S. 171’s Visiting Author Fund. Hence, you’re purchase will help bring published authors to the students of P.S. 171. Thanks!

    Checked out your blog… it’s great!



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