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2019 Conference Speakers

Berit Gordon headshot .jpg
Berit Gordon

Berit Gordon is an independent literacy consultant who works with teachers and administrators to develop and implement literacy programs that will authentically engage students with literacy within the existing culture of the school.  Her learner-centered philosophy of literacy instruction drives these programs, ensuring that every student can develop into the best reader and writer she can be, and her approach to instruction allows teachers to enhance instruction rather than just implementing another program.  Her book, No More Fake Reading, explores strategies teachers can use to encourage real literacy practices in their students.  She has taught in the Dominican Republic, New York City schools, and at Teachers College of Columbia University.  She now works as a literacy consultant and resides in New Jersey with her family.

Donalyn Miller.jpg
Donalyn Miller

Donalyn Miller taught upper elementary and middle school students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and was a finalist for 2011 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. In her popular book, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn reflects on her journey to become a reading teacher and describes how she inspires and motivates her middle school students to read 40 or more books a year. In her latest book, Reading in the Wild, Donalyn collects responses from 900 adult readers and uses this information to teach lifelong reading habits to her students. Donalyn co-founded the community blog, The Nerdy Book Club and co-hosts the monthly Twitter chat #titletalk. Her articles about teaching and reading have appeared in publications such as Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership and The Washington Post. Donalyn serves as Scholastic Book Fairs’ Manager of Independent Reading and Outreach.

Zuri Raushannah Wilson-Seymore

Zuri Raushannah Wilson-Seymore is our SC Poetry Out Loud Coordinator and will be our Saturday keynote speaker. She will be with us thanks to a sponsorship by the SC Arts Commission. Zuri is poet, yogi, and an actress. In October 2017, she became the Poetry Out Loud Coordinator for the SC Arts Commission. She booked her first major voice over June 2017 with G.E.M. Studios. In 2017-2018 she worked with her editor Al Black on her first poetry book. Her mission is to encourage others to be the life force energy and create unity through diversity for the community by exuding love with poetry, music and movement. The vision of Zuri’s Parallel Worlds and Zuriality is to heal and produce through poetic expression, therapeutic music, and laughter with an embodiment of like-minded spirits, and souls to create life. She is a 2016 honorary graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a master’s degree in Creative Writing emphasis poetry. She has also led poetry workshops under the sponsorship of the City of Columbia and for C.A. Johnson High School in Columbia, SC, as well as, Poetry Meets Screenwriting Workshops for the University of SC in 2015 and 2016. She was inducted in two honorary societies in 2015: The National Leadership & Success Organization and the society of Sigma Tau Delta. For booking or additional information please visit her website:

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