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Dr. Kathy Stephens

Chair of the Department of Teacher Education,

Teacher Education Professor

Email: KathyStephens@letu.edu

Background

I was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a loving Christian family. My dad was a career Air Force man who later became a minister, teacher and principal. My mother, my strongest life role model, was a housewife. I grew up with two rowdy brothers.

At the age of 13, we moved to East Texas, where I finished high school in 1976 at Nacogdoches High School. Later I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1979. Along the way, I met and married my high school sweetheart, Rick Stephens in 1978.

I began my teaching career at Christ Episcopal School in 1980. In 1984, we moved to Longview where I taught elementary and middle school at Pine Tree for 11 years. My last four years of classroom teaching was completed at Hallsville primary as a pre-kindergarten teacher.

I served a brief stint with Region VII as a reading consultant before joining LeTourneau in 2001.

Research Interests

  • My research interests focus on reading, especially related to motivation, comprehension and achievement. In addition, I am interested in the impact of increasing the reading of nonfiction texts in the classroom and how that might affect young boys and specific ethnicities who have a history of being unmotivated or reluctant readers. Finally, I am interested in research related to best practices when preparing pre-service teachers for the classroom.

Education

  • Ed.D. in Supervision, Curriculum & Instruction, Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading, Texas A&M-Commerce 
  • M.Ed., 1989, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
    Major: elementary education
  • B.S.H.E. 1979, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
    Major: home economics, endorsement: elementary education

Publications

  • Stephens, K. E. (2006). Text to test comparison in Texas: An analysis of informational texts in basal readers for elementary students . College Reading Association 2006 Yearbook. Forthcoming.
  • Stephens, K. E. (2006). A quick guide to selecting great children’s informational books! The Reading Teacher. Forthcoming. Curriculum writing, LeTourneau University
  • Author of LETU TEACH course, Family and School for EC-4, EDUC 3113T (2005)
  • Author of LETU PACT courses, Curriculum for the Middle School, EDUC4123P (2003), Methods of Language Arts and Social Studies, EDUC4133P (2001)
  • Revised – PACT courses, Integrated Language and Literacy, READ 3123P (2003), Reading and Testing in the Content Areas, READ 4313P (2003)

Awards and Grants

  • H. M. Lafferty Doctoral Scholarship, Texas A&M-Commerce (2005)
  • Faculty Nominee for Minnie Stevens Piper Award for Department of Teacher Education (2004)
  • Texas Monthly 2004 Guide to Texas Colleges & Universities, selected for “Best Classes and Recommended Professors” (2004)
  • University Supervisor for Student Teacher of the Year (2002)
  • Who’s Who Among American Teachers (1998)

Professional Activities

  • Conference Presentations - National Conferences:
    • Stephens, K. (2005, November). Connecting to the real world: Selecting the best informational texts for the primary classroom. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the College Reading Association, Savannah, GA.
  • Conference Presentations - State and Regional Conferences:
    • Stephens, K. (2006, August). Making words – Connecting read alouds to vocabulary and word study. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to-School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K. (2006, August). A quick guide to selecting great children’s informational books. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to-School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K., & Mills, S. (2005, April). Beyond the textbook. Session presented at the
    • First Annual Bill Martin, Jr. Memorial Symposium, Commerce, TX.
    • Stephens, K., & Mills, S. (2005, August). John Dewey, Who? Past, Present, and Future Strategies to Make Learning Relevant. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K. (2004, August). Beyond the Textbook. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K., & Mills, S. (2004, August). Trade books: A companion to textbooks. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K., Walton, R., Maglott, T., Hightower, R., Kilian, L., & Dettmer, J. (2004, March). New literacy ideas from our newest teachers. Session presented at the Texas State Reading Association, 32nd Annual Conference on Literacy, Corpus Christi, TX.
    • Stephens, K. (2003, October). Successful literacy strategies. Session presented at the Piney Woods Fall Conference, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K. (2003, August). Read alouds and writing. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K., & Mills, S. (2003, August). Literacy and language in the early childhood classroom. Session presented at the Northeast Texas Back-to School Conference for Non-Public Schools, LeTourneau University, Longview, TX.
    • Stephens, K., & Mills, S. (2003, January). Literacy and language in the early childhood classroom. Session presented at the First Annual Texas/Mexico Border Conference, South Padre Island, TX.
    • Stephens, K. (2001, March). Academics 2000 literacy project. Session presented at the Texas State Reading Association, 29th Annual Conference on Literacy, Dallas, TX.
  • Participation at Conferences and Meetings:
    • National Reading Research Conference (December 2004)
    • TAIR conference state board meeting (2001-2005)
    • Literacy Conference presented by Lucy Calkins (November 2003)
    • Texas Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (Fall/Spring 2003)
    • Texas/Mexico Border Literacy Conference (January 2003)
    • CSOTTE (October 2002)
    • Higher Education Collaborative for Language Arts Instruction Annual conference (2001-2006)
    • State Technology Conference (February 2001)
    • Texas State Reading Conference (March 2001)
    • Served on the State focus group in advisory capacity for Second Grade Reading Academies (Fall, 2000)
    • Served on Focus group to rewrite Kindergarten Academies (November 2001)
  • Scholarly Activities:
    • Active memberships in Professional Organizations
    • College Reading Association (CRA)
    • Texas State Reading Association (TSRA)
    • International Reading Association (IRA)
    • Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK)
    • Texas Association for the Improvement of Reading (TAIR)
    • Higher Education Collaborative for Language Arts Instruction (HEC)
    • National Reading Conference (NRC)
  • Positions Held:
    • Treasurer, PDK, local chapter (2003-2006)
    • Secretary, TAIR state board/conference, (2004-present)
    • Piney Woods Reading Council officer/board member (2002-2005)
    • TAIR conference – Area President (2001-present)
    • Area Vice President (2000-2001)

Service (Community Involvement)

  • Pinewood Park Elementary School, Student sponsor for reading remediation activities (2006)
  • Wesley McCabe Church, “Terrific Tuesdays” Student sponsor for small group literacy activities (2003-2006)
  • Longview Partners in Prevention Drug Awareness Essay Contest and Awards Luncheon Facilitate senior preservice teachers to serve as judges for the contest, plan and host the awards luncheon (2001- 2005)
  • Hallsville Choir Booster President and member (2006)
  • Longview Habitat for Humanity, Community support team (2003 to present)
  • “To Longview With Love” (2001-2004)
  • Longview Habitat for Humanity, LETU All Women Team (2002-2003)
  • Hallsville Band Boosters (2002 to present)
  • Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center, supporter
  • Polycystic Kidney Foundation (PKD), member and PKD Walk organizer (2005), chapter board President (2005); Board member (2006)

Personal Statement

  • “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
  • “Think enthusiastically about everything; but especially about your job. If you do, you’ll put a touch of glory in your life. If you love your job with enthusiasm, you’ll shake it to pieces. You'll love it into greatness, you’ll upgrade it, you’ll fill it with prestige and power.” Norman Vincent Peale
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