Literacy Educators Program Coordinator and Program Faculty
“My philosophy of education centers on the belief that all students can learn and it is the responsibility and privilege of educators to find a way to meet the needs of all their learners.
In high school, I volunteered in a first grade classroom at a public school in the Lower East Side in New York City. I witnessed firsthand the inequitable distribution of resources, facilities and staffing. With all these challenges, the classroom teacher still created a joyful and academic-rich environment where students thrived. I have always seen education as a way to create opportunities and address social inequities, and teachers are vital to that mission. In particular, I have seen the need for educators to develop their skills in teaching students how to read and effectively implement research-based interventions for struggling readers.
I am thrilled to join the faculty at UVEI and coordinate the Literacy Educators Program. I loved seeing my students’ confidence and enthusiasm for reading grow when they realized that they could read! I loved it even more when other teachers were able to see their growth and feel successful as well. I am excited to continue to build meaningful relationships with educators and support them as they either begin their practice in classrooms or develop into master literacy teachers.”
Kristen Liu is the Literacy Educators Program Coordinator and a faculty member in the Teacher and Masters of Education programs. She has ten years of teaching experience in early childhood and elementary schools. Throughout her teaching career, Kristen has focused primarily on literacy instruction, both as a classroom teacher and as an interventionist. She is trained in literacy intervention programs that use the Orton-Gillingham approach, such as Wilson, SPIRE, and Sounds Sensible. In addition, Kristen is trained in administering a variety of assessments, including Acadience Reading (formerly known as DIBELS), running records (Fountas & Pinnell and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project) and benchmark assessments.
Most recently, Kristen was a special education teacher at Bradford Elementary School in Bradford, Vermont, where she collaborated with teachers, families, and administrators to support students. She is the former Special Education Coordinator and IEP Teacher at Sojourner Truth School in Harlem, New York, where she supported teachers to close the achievement gap among special education students, leading to the movement of more than 50% of students from a self-contained classroom to a less restrictive environment. She is also a former adjunct instructor at Hunter College School of Education.
After graduating cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in geography and a minor in education policy, Kristen earned her master of science in education from Hunter College School of Education in Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families. Upon graduation, she received the Elena D. Gall Award for Academic Excellence in Special Education.
Kristen’s practice interests include inclusive education, literacy interventions, data-driven instructional decision-making, teacher collaboration, and equity in schools.