Dr. Felicia Hobbs
Felicia Bell-Hobbs is the principal of Gibbs Magnet School of International Studies & Foreign Languages in Little Rock, Arkansas. Felicia has 36 years of experience in education, including special education, early childhood, school counseling and administration. She has been the principal of Gibbs Magnet for 18 years. Felicia was named " Educator of the Year" in 2002 by the Little Rock Parent Teacher Association Council. In 2003 after being a principal for a few years, she was elected by her colleagues to the position of President for their local Principal's Roundtable where she served as the key representative for principals in the school district. Under her leadership, Gibbs Magnet was honored by Magnet Schools of America, Inc., in 2006 and bestowed the coveted Magnet School of Merit Award. In 2008, Felicia was named a finalist for the Arkansas Principal of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals. Last year she was recognized instead as the Arkansas Principal of the Year for Central Arkansas region. She has led her school to significant recognition and academic gains with the implementation of Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy for the past six years. For the past two years, Felicia has served as a national co-facilitator of the Network Literacy Administrators.
"Sharing my passion about children and learning along with my plight for school excellence is one of the most fun things I get to do. I really have a good time when I get to share my journey and inspire others to be strive for nothing less than excellence!"
Dr. Salli Forbes
Salli Forbes is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa. She is also the Director of the Reading Recovery Center of Iowa and Co-Director of the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy. She is dedicated to the vision that all children can achieve high levels of literacy competency through a comprehensive approach to instruction and intensive, high quality intervention instruction for the students who are not able to learn from classroom instruction alone. Throughout her career, Salli has been committed to educational improvement through high quality professional development for teachers. Her research interests include teaching for fluency, student engagement and motivation, and educational change. She co-edited the book Research in Reading Recovery Volume Two and published several articles on topics related to early literacy. She is President Elect of the Reading Recovery Council of North America, Chair of the RRCNA Communications Committee and Chair of the Communications Committee for the International Reading Recovery Trainers Organization.
Dr. Rick Traw
Rick Traw is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of Northern Iowa. He is also the Director of the Literacy Education Professional Development School and Co-Director of the Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy. The three areas of emphasis during Dr. Traw's tenure at UNI include reading and writing in the content area, emergent literacy, and the administration and supervision of literacy curriculum, K-12. One highlight of his tenure at UNI has been his participation in the International Reading Association's Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking project, an international program aimed at the professional development of teachers in formerly Communist nations throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia. As a consultant and trainer in this program, he has worked in Slovakia, Kazakhstan, and Romania.
Currently a literacy consultant, Julie Eckberg has been an eighth-, fifth-, and third-grade classroom teacher, K-5 Title I reading teacher, and a Reading Recovery teacher leader, working in various contexts—public school, university laboratory school, and higher education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Reading through Linda Dorn at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, researching the process of school change through a Vygotskian lens.