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Greg Roberts

Dr. Greg Roberts is executive director of the Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts and associate director of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Roberts is the principal investigator and director of the English Learner Institute for Teaching and Excellence: Project ELITE and principal investigator for the Dissemination Core of the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities. He has an undergraduate degree in special education and is trained as an educational psychologist, with expertise in quantitative methods, measurement, and program evaluation. He has provided external evaluation for projects in education, health care, and industry. Recent projects have included the state-level evaluations of the Hawaii Reading First Initiative, the Oregon Reading First Initiative, and the Alabama Reading First Initiative. He was also the evaluator of PiHanaNaMamo, a project funded by the Office of Special Education Programs that supported native Hawaiian high school students in special education, and is currently evaluating Washington state’s implementation of response to intervention. He has published in tier 1 multidisciplinary journals and contributed chapters to books on reading instruction, measurement, and response to intervention.


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Sharon Vaughn

Dr. Sharon Vaughn, the H.E. Hartfelder/Southland Corp. Regents Chair in Human Development, is the executive director of The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Vaughn is the author of numerous books and research articles that address the reading and social outcomes of students with learning difficulties. She is currently the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several Institute of Education Sciences and Office of Special Education Programs research grants, investigating effective interventions for students with reading difficulties and students who are English language learners. She is also principal investigator on a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant, examining response to intervention in younger and older readers.


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Jennifer B. Schnakenberg

Dr. Jennifer Schnakenberg’s earned her doctorate in educational psychology, with an emphasis on learning, cognition, instruction, and motivation, from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She has provided high-quality professional development and technical assistance at the national, state, district, and campus levels to build capacity and implementation of evidence-based and sustainable literacy practices. Her research interests include teacher and leadership effectiveness, the impacts of professional development on teacher learning and student achievement, interventions for students with reading difficulties at all ages, and how leadership influences school culture and climate.

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Alexa Obregon

Alexa Obregon serves as a field trainer/analyst with the Texas Literacy Initiative grant. Obregon provides support and professional development to public school districts across the state as well as their associated early childhood education providers. Prior to her current position, she taught various grade levels both in Texas and internationally; served as a response to intervention specialist, reading specialist, and literacy coach; and worked with TLI as an early childhood specialist. She received her degree in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.


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Jessica Manning-Acebo

Jessica Manning-Acebo is the director of the Write for Texas Institutes and a state literacy liaison for the Texas Literacy Initiative. Manning-Acebo provides support and professional development to public school districts across the state and their associated early childhood education providers. She holds a master of curriculum and instruction and a bachelor of science in elementary education with an emphasis in special education from The University of Texas at Austin. With more than 19 years of experience in the field, she has worked as a special education teacher, elementary teacher, instructional coach, intervention coordinator, and also in private practice.


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Maria Longhi

Maria Longhi is project director for the Scientific Explorers (Sci2), Precision Mathematics (PM1), and ROOTS grants. Longhi has served as associate director of the Texas Literacy Initiative and program director of the Literacy Achievement and Reading to Learn Academies. She has provided high quality professional development and technical assistance at the state, district, and campus levels in the areas of leadership, assessment, evidence-based literacy practices, and response to intervention. With more than 20 years of experience in the field, she has worked closely with directors, administrators, literacy coaches, and teachers to build capacity and implement sustainable literacy practices. She holds an M.Ed. in elementary reading and a B.B.A. in mangement.  Prior to her work at MCPER and VGC, she served for 15 years as a bilingual teacher and district literacy coach. Her interests include implementation science, teacher effectiveness, and second-language aquisition.


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Michelle Lambert-Yuhasz

Michelle Lambert-Yuhasz is currently a Cohort Leader for the House Bill 3 Texas Reading Academies Authorized Provider for K-3 teachers. She is currently supporting the project and content development with the Tiered Interventions Using Evidence-Based Research (TIER). She has served as a state literacy liaison for the Texas Literacy Initiative. Lambert-Yuhasz implements and evaluates response to intervention initiatives, including providing professional development and technical assistance on evidence-based reading instruction for public school districts across Texas and their associated early childhood education providers. She served as the project manager for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department Project. This project supports and evaluates the effectiveness of a scientifically based reading intervention program and supports the implementation of research-based strategies for improving literacy outcomes for adolescent struggling readers in the context of juvenile correctional facilities, with an emphasis on academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs. She has served as senior field trainer/analyst for the Alice Partnership Project, providing literacy support to six elementary campuses. Prior to joining MCPER and VGC, she worked as a reading technical assistance specialist, providing professional development and technical assistance for various districts across Texas. She was also an elementary special education teacher and new teacher mentor in Texas. She earned a master of education in educational leadership and is a certified school administrator. In addition, she earned a bachelor of science in education with an emphasis in special education from the University of North Texas.