Carol Booth Olson
Carol Booth Olson is professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, and director of the UCI site of the National Writing Project. Olson is an expert in the field of reading and writing and has authored six books including, Helping English Learners to Write: Meeting Common Core Standards, Grades 6-12 (Teachers College Press) and numerous journal articles on effective literacy instruction. She has been an expert panelist for two What Works Clearinghouse practice guide on writing instruction (Graham et al., 2012; Graham et al., 2016) and is the recipient of two state and two national awards for outstanding educational research to improve the academic literacy of English learners.
Angie Balius is currently a specialist in the Garden Grove Unified School District and has 18 years of experience teaching grades K-6. Angie has been an Associate Director of the UCI Writing Project since 2003. She also served as a consultant with the California Writing Project to create writing modules for the California Department of Education. She has provided professional development workshops at local conferences and schools in the areas of reading and writing instruction. Angie is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Emily McCourtney is a K-6 teacher in the Tustin Unified School District. In 2015, she launched Tustin’s first independent study blended learning school. As the lead elementary teacher, Emily designs innovative and personalized curriculum combining the district’s signature practices with online learning. Prior to opening the school, Emily worked as a Digital Learning Coach, working with teachers one-on-one and providing professional development throughout the district on the effective use of educational technology. In addition to her work in Ed tech, Emily works as an associate director of the UCI Writing Project, is an active member of the California Writing Project, a Level 2 Google Certified Educator, and an Apple Teacher.
Mary Widtmann is an elementary school teacher in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Over the past 20 years, she has taught students from grades 2 through 6, and was the NMUSD Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2014. Additionally, Widtmann works at University of California, Irvine as an associate director of the UCI site of the National Writing Project. In 2012, Mary and her school were expert panelists for What Works Clearinghouse practice guide on writing instruction (Graham et al., 2012). She specializes in ELA instructional strategies and works as a presenter providing professional development at local conferences and to local schools in the areas of reading and writing instruction.