The Literacy Promise Conference 2022 has been postponed and will be held on March 23-25, 2022, at the Utah Valley Convention Center.

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Conference Information

Individual registration is:


For a team of 5 or more:


Utah Valley Convention Center
220 West Center Street Provo, Utah

Keynote Speaker Bios

Nancy Frey
Steven Layne
Debbie Silver

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor of Educational Leadership in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. She is a recipient of the Christa McAuliffe award for excellence inteacher education. She has co-authored several books on literacy and was a co-recipient (with Doug Fisher) of NCTE’s 2004 Kate and Paul Farmer award for outstanding writing. She teaches a variety of courses in elementary and secondary literacy in content-area instruction and supporting students with diverse learning needs.
Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher may be the two most prolific authors in the area of K-12 literacy education, with a following that includes tens of thousands of teachers and administrators. Across their more-than-a-dozen titles, they’ve addressed everything from how to raise rigor in reading, structure lessons with learning goals in mind, implement formative assessment, and teach content literacy to how to set up an effective PLC. Few educators can match Nancy’s breadth of expertise.
Dr. Steven Layne serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. He is a respected international literacy consultant, motivational keynote speaker, and featured author throughout the world, and his work as an educator, researcher, and writer has garnered critical acclaim from a large number of organizations including USA Today newspaper, ASCD, IRA, NCTE, and the Milken Family Foundation.
Author of over 30 books and publications, Steve is a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Literacy Association, a member of the Illinois Reading Council Hall of Fame, and a former president of the Illinois Reading Council. He lives with his wife Debbie, their four children, and one very adorable Collie who is only naughty sometimes, in St. Charles, Illinois.
Dr. Debbie Silver is a brilliantly funny, beautifully insightful, and boldly authentic speaker, author, and educator. She has dedicated her life to understanding learning and growth behavior. Through her research, her outreach, and her humor, Debbie seeks to help teachers find the joy in the daily job of teaching, so that children can embrace the satisfaction and pride of knowledge, growth, and self-worth. Through her research, her outreach, and her humor, Debbie seeks to help teachers find the joy in the daily job of teaching, so that children can embrace the satisfaction and pride of knowledge, growth, and self-worth.
With 30 years spent as a teacher, staff development instructor, and university professor, Dr. Silver doesn’t just know her way around the classroom–she is deeply familiar with the challenges educators face at every level, from kindergarten through college. This former Louisiana State Teacher of the Year has given presentations around the world.
Debbie’s best-selling books include: Drumming to the Beat of Different Marchers, Finding the Rhythm for Differentiated Learning, Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed, Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education, Teaching kids to Thrive: Essential Skills for Success (co-author Dedra Stafford).

Featured Author

Josh Allen

Josh Allen’s debut book, OUT TO GET YOU: 13 TALES OF WEIRDNESS AND WOE, received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Booklist and was named Junior Library Guild selection. His second book, ONLY IF YOU DARE: 13 TALES OF DARKNESS AND DOOM, came out in August, and Booklistcalled it “delightfully dark.” Publisher’s Weekly said it was a book “ready to thrill.” And The Wall Street Journal said Josh’s horror stories for children “[get] the balance just right . . . with stories that are scary but not scarring.” Both OUT TO GET YOU and ONLY IF YOU DARE include artwork by the award-winning illustrator Sarah J. Coleman, and both of Josh’s books feature covers that glow in the dark.

Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in English from BYU and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University. He lived in Egypt from 2002-2004 where he taught composition and critical thinking at The American University in Cairo. Since 2004, he’s been teaching creative writing and literature at BYU-Idaho. He has a lovely wife, four kids, and a pet snake named Pumpkin.

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, March 23
5:00 p.m. Conference Registration
6:30 p.m. Keynote: Josh Allen
Thursday, March 24
7:00 - 8:30 a.m. Conference Registration
8:30 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome and Opening Keynote: Nancy Frey
9:45 - 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Breakout Session I
11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 - 12:45 p.m. Breakout Session II
12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch
1:45 - 3:00 p.m. Breakout Session III
Friday, March 25
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Conference Registration
8:30 - 9:45 a.m. Welcome and Opening Keynote: Steven Layne
9:45 - 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 - 11:15 a.m. Breakout Session I
11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 - 12:45 p.m. Breakout Session II
12:45 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Closing Keynote: Debbie Silver

Keynote Sessions

Session 1 Breakouts

Session 2 Breakouts

Dr. Sarah K. Clark is a Professor in the Department of Teacher Education. For more than 30 years, Dr. Clark has been involved in the field of education in a variety of roles including classroom teacher, curriculum developer, author, editor, instructional coach, consultant, researcher, consultant, and university professor. Dr. Clark earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Teacher Education and Literacy Instruction from Utah State University. She received a Master of Arts degree in Education with a specialization in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Margarita Espino Calderón, professor emerita at Johns Hopkins University, has worked on numerous research projects.
She was co-principal investigator with Robert Slavinon the five-year randomized evaluation of English immersion, transitional bilingual, and two-way bilingual elementary programs. She developed the Bilingual Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (BCIRC) program, which is included in the What Works Clearinghouse.
Dr. Calderón was principal investigator in a study called Expediting Comprehension for English Language Learners (ExC-ELLTM), which developed a program to train math, science, social studies, and language arts teachers on integrating academic language, reading comprehension, writing skills, and content knowledge. Her program Reading Instructional Goals for Older Readers (RIGOR) was developed for Newcomers with Interrupted Formal Education.
As president and CEO of Margarita Calderón & Associates, Inc., Dr. Calderón and her team continue to implement ExC-ELL in many schools, districts, and statewide institutes throughout the country and internationally. Currently, Dr. Calderón and faculty from the Graduate School of Education, George Washington University are recipients of a USDOE-OELA Title III five-year grant to implement and further study “A Whole-School Approach to Professional Development with ExC-ELL” in Virginia schools. She has over 100 publications, and is an international speaker.
Deborah Dean taught junior high and high school before moving to BYU to teach pre-service teachers. She is the author of Strategic Writing, Revision Decisions, What Works in Writing Instruction, and Genre Theory. Her scholarly interests include helping to develop student writers and supporting teachers who can help students along that path.
Kelly Gallagher teaches English Language Arts at Magnolia High School in Anaheim, California, where he has worked fornearly 35 years. He is the former co-director of the South Basin Writing Project at California State University, Long Beach, and the former president of the Secondary Reading Group for the International Literacy Association. Kelly is the author of several books on adolescent literacy, most notably Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It and Write Like This. Kelly's latest book, co-written with Penny Kittle, is 180 Days: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents. Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyGToGo, and visit him at

Barry Hoonan teaches, writes, consults and doodles. He works with teachers both in the U.S. and internationally. His experience has included appointments as a three-time Fulbright Teaching Exchange teacher in the United Kingdom, a teaching fellow at Harlem Village Academy in NYC, and as a teacher-consultant at the American School of Brasilia. Barry is a co-author of Beyond Reading and Writing: Inquiry, Curriculum, and Multiple Ways of Knowing (NCTE, 2000), What Are You Grouping For? (Corwin, 2018) and is a recipient of NCTE’s Edward Hoey Award and of the Bonnie Campbell Hill Washington State Literacy Award.
David A. Kilpatrick, PhD is a professor of psychology for the State University of New York College at Cortland. He is a New York State certified school psychologist with 28 years experience in schools. He has been teaching courses in learning disabilities and educational psychology since 1994. David is a reading researcher and the author of two books on reading, Essentials of Assessing, Preventing, and Overcoming Reading Difficulties, and Equipped for Reading Success, and is a co-editor of a third, Reading Development and Difficulties: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice.
Lori Oczkus is a literacy coach, author, and popular speaker across the United States and internationally. Lori has extensive experience as a bilingual elementary teacher, intervention specialist working with struggling readers, and staff developer and literacy coach. She works with students in classrooms and really knows the challenges that teachers face in teaching students to read! Lori has been inducted in the California Reading Association Hall of Fame for her many contributions to the field of reading in California and internationally.
Lori's best-selling books include: Reciprocal Teaching At Work, Powerful Strategies and Lessons (ASCD, 2018), Literacy Strong All Year Long Powerful Lessons for 3-5 (ASCD, 2018), with Tim Rasinski and Valery Ellery,Close Readingwith Paired Texts K-5 series (Shell, 2015), with co-author Tim Rasinski, Just the Facts: Close Reading and Comprehension of Informational Text (Shell Education, 2014), Guided Writing: Practical Lessons, Powerful Results (Heinemann, 2007), Talk About Books/ Guided Reading Series K-3 (2017), coauthor Maria Nichols. You can learn more about Lori Oczkus at her website at or reach her at
Thank you!!

Linda Farrell is a Founding Partner at Readsters, a consulting firm with a mission to improve early reading education using effective, evidence-based instruction. Linda has been an English teacher, an elementary and high school counselor, and an adjunct professor of finance. Linda was a National LETRS Trainers from 2002 – 2009. She has taught students from ages 4½ to 81 to read.

Much of Linda’s work is with schools across the US to improve reading instruction, with a focus on struggling readers. She works with teachers to help them understand and implement effective, research-based instruction in early reading classes, and to improve instruction for upper grade students who struggle with foundational reading skills. Part of Linda’s work is helping teachers understand how to use data as the basis for instruction. Perhaps the most important part of her work is modeling effective instruction in the classroom and in intervention lessons.

Looking at Reading Interventions, which is six lessons with K – 3 students and has 12 short videos on topics such as “The Simple View of Reading”, “How do you teach children with dyslexia?”, and “Patience when teaching reading”. Linda has also helped develop curricula for children in West Africa to learn to read in seven languages she doesn’t even speak.
Marisol Thayre is a presenter and author whose topicsinclude Close Reading and Text-Dependent Questions. She currently conducts trainings on the Gradual Release of Responsibility, Differentiation, Collaboration, and Assessment. She is a contributing author to Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom and Preparing Students for Writing Beyond School. She is currently an 11th and 12th grade English teacher at Health Sciences High and Middle College, an urban high school in San Diego, California.
Janet Wong is a graduate of Yale Law School and a former lawyer who switched careers to become a children’s author. She is the author of more than thirty books for children and teens on a wide variety of subjects, including writing and revision (You Have to Write),diversity and community(Apple Pie 4th of July),identity (A Suitcase of Seaweed & MORE), peer pressure (Me and Rolly Maloo), chess (Alex and the Wednesday Chess Club), and yoga (Twist: Yoga Poem). Wong has served as a member of several national committees, including the NCTE Poetry Committee and the ILA Notable Books for a Global Society committee. Her two main interests now are publishing anthologies (with her colleague Sylvia Vardell) to make it easy for teachers to share poetry with students and encouraging children and teens to publish their own writing using affordable new technologies.You can find more info about Janet Wong at and read about her work with Sylvia Vardell at