Joan is an experienced educator, serving in the roles of teacher, school administrator, teacher trainer, and literacy consultant since 1974. She has provided literacy professional development to thousands of educators and related professionals at schools, colleges, clinics, and professional conferences. Joan received her Masters in Reading Education from Harvard University in 1980, and her B.A. from Boston College in 1975.
From 1974 until 1998 Joan worked at the Landmark School in Massachusetts, a pioneer school in the development of reading and writing intervention programs. At Landmark, she was a teacher, supervisor of tutorials, English language arts department chair, and high school principal. She was also the founder and director of the Landmark College Preparation Program and director of the Landmark Outreach Teacher Training Program. During that time period, Joan also conducted psycho-educational evaluations at Landmark and at Children’s Hospital in Boston.
From 1998 to 2007 Joan trained teachers and consulted with schools throughout the country and was involved with a number of literacy projects. She was one of three Lead Trainers in Massachusetts for the Reading First Initiative and consultant to the state’s Secondary Reading Initiative. Joan was a national LETRS author and trainer (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling), a member of the ETS Praxis National Reading Advisory Committee, and a member of the LD Worldwide Board of Directors. During this period, she developed the comprehension and vocabulary training programs that were the basis for Keys to Literacy’s signature programs The Key Comprehension Routine and The Key Vocabulary Routine.
In 2007 she founded Keys to Literacy and currently oversees all academic and business aspects of the company. Joan continues to develop literacy professional development programs, oversees the hiring and supervision of Keys to Literacy trainers, presents at state and national conferences, and consults with state departments of education and districts throughout the country.
Joan has authored a number of books including the Landmark Study Skills Guide (1st ed. 1989), Study Skills: A Teaching Guide (2nd ed. 2001), Active Learning and Study Strategies Using Kurzweil 3000 (2003), and Writing: the Road to Reading Comprehension Module 11 of the LETRS reading training series (2004). She has authored several book chapters and articles, including the Adolescent Literacy chapter in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills (J.R. Birsh, Ed., 2011) and the Learning to Write and Writing to Learn chapter in Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment: 6-12 (M.C. Hougen, Ed., 2014). She is the author of the Keys to Literacy professional development books, including The Key Comprehension Routine, The Key Comprehension Routine: Primary Grades, The Key Vocabulary Routine, Keys to Content Writing, and Keys to Early Writing.